Making Sunbutter – Sunflower butter the easy and cheap way.

Salt Cured Chili Peppers
October 8, 2011

Making Sunbutter – Sunflower butter the easy and cheap way.


We recently found that one in our household had a peanut butter allergy and being lovers of the famous PB&J this hit us hard.  We knew we had to find a substitute that we could all live with.  Enter SunButter, the peanut butter substitute to brighten your day!

Well, at about $5.00 a jar, it hurt, but we needed to do it.  It tastes very similar to peanut butter and made those bleary eyed morning lunch packing chores much easier.  I just couldn’t stomach the price though and last week I started googling recipes.  What I am posting here today is a conglomeration of a couple that I found and seems to be the road to a sunflower butter that closely rivals that of the store bought product.

Ingredients to assemble:

3 cups roasted sunflower seeds. (Use raw sunflower seeds and roast your own. DO NOT buy pre-roasted or salted seeds as they are too dry and too salty)

1 teaspoon sea salt.  (I prefer Maldon)

1 teaspoon sugar

Sunflower (or any oil of choice) to drizzle.

I started with roasting 3 cups of sunflower seeds that were under $2 a pound at our local Whole Foods.  It takes just about 5 minutes on the stove in a heavy pan, I prefer the All-Clad French Skillet for this task as it has nice high sides and the aluminum core provides a very nice and even heat for roasting, but any good heavy pan should do.  A cast iron skillet would be wonderful for the task. Preheat the pan on medium heat, add all your raw sunflower seeds (don’t skip this step and use roasted seeds.  Trust me) and turn them constantly so they do not burn.

When most of your sunflower seeds are golden brown you are ready for the next step.  Now pour all of your seeds into your food processor along with a teaspoon of sea salt and the teaspoon of sugar (you can add more to taste later if you wish) .  It is going to be running for a long time and will probably get hot.  Don’t panic.  If you have a sturdy, quality, food processor, you shouldn’t have any problems.  I use a Cuisinart Elite 12-Cup Food Processor.

  • Once you have your seeds loaded up you are ready to go!  So turn it on.  In just about 30 seconds you should have a pretty grainy batch of ground up sunflower seeds.  Most recipes tell you stop here and add the oil.  Don’t.  Let it keep going so that the seeds can release the oil within them, naturally.
  • Keep going and you will see it starting to clump.
  • At this point you want to start using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides.  Do this every so often, but don’t be afraid to walk away and open up your chicken coop for the day.  I did.  Found an egg.
  • It will start to get shiny.
  • Then clump together nicely.
  • Now you can start drizzling in the oil a little at a time until you reach a nice spreadable consistency.
  • Scoop it into a pint jar and you are ready to go!!!  Sunbutter for less than half the cost of store bought and in less time than it takes to load up the kids and head to the store!!!

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