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If you’ve got kids in school, you’ve probably heard of sunflower seed butter, a.k.a. sunbutter! It’s a safe, and yummy, alternative to peanut butter for those who have peanut allergies. (For more info on peanut allergies, check out this post.) With peanut and treenut allergies being so prevalent, many schools prefer or even require parents to avoid sending peanut butter to school and instead, use sunbutter.
Usually, when I decide to go the DIY/homemade route for a staple in our home, it’s because of toxins or added preservatives that store-bought versions so often contain. Most store-bought sunbutter, however, contains only sunflower seeds, salt, and sugar.
So why make your own sunbutter?
The reason I decided to try homemade sunbutter was for 2 reasons.
#1 I don’t like that I can only find sunbutter in plastic jars.
#2 I pay nearly $7 per jar of sunbutter at the store! That adds up quick!
Since sunbutter has only three ingredients, I figured it was worth a try to make it myself.
As it turns out, homemade sunbutter is super easy to make! I do not have a lot of extra time on my hands, so if I think it’s easy enough, it probably is. Just sayin’. 😉 All you need for this sunbutter recipe is roasted and salted hulled sunflower seeds, sugar (or your preferred alternative sweetener), and a food processor. That is ALL!
Which Sunflower Seeds to Use for Sunbutter
For homemade sunbutter, you need some hulled sunflower seeds. I buy mine in the bulk section of Sprouts, my local natural food market.
If you’ve been googling how to make your own sunbutter, you’ve probably seen some recipes say that you should use raw, hulled sunflower seeds, roast them in the oven, and then add salt to the recipe. The first time I made sunbutter, I did it that way, and while it worked fine, the whole process was just a bit too time-consuming for me. So I decided to just try using already salted and roasted hulled sunflower seeds. This way was much simpler since you can skip the roasting step and you don’t have to add salt to the recipe. In fact, I found the resulting sunbutter to be much creamier than when I used the raw seeds. Easier, quicker, creamier…that’s the method I have stuck with and that I am sharing here in this post.
So first, you pour about 2 1/2 cups of roasted, salted hulled sunflower seeds in your food processor. Pulse a few times and then turn that baby on and let it go. Below is the process broken down by time. Of course, all food processors will be a little different, but this is how it goes with my Cuisinart. I process mine for a total of 10 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides a couple times.
|Running Time in minutes||Notes|
|1 :00||getting clumpy and sticking around the bottom of bowl|
|2:00||some has formed a ball; more is sticking to the sides|
|2:30||beginning to look creamier & smoother|
|3:00||mostly smooth; some larger pieces still|
|5:00||smooth & creamy; this is when I took the photo below. Add your sugar/sweetener now|
|10:00||sunbutter is completely smooth and ready to go in a jar!|
Price Comparison: Store vs. Homemade Sunbutter
When I buy sunflower seed butter at the store, I typically pay between $6 and $7 for one plastic jar. 2 1/2 cups of sunflower seeds purchased in the bulk section of my local natural food store costs me less than $3.00! If you happen to go through a lot of the stuff like my household does, this is a really easy way to save a boatload of money!
The jar of store-bought sunflower seed butter, while recyclable, is a pain to recycle because of how sticky and oily sunbutter is. It takes some elbow grease to get the residual off so that it can even be recycled! Plus, recycling is really the last “R” I want to resort to. Instead, by buying your own hulled seeds in bulk and reusing a glass jar for your homemade sunbutter, you can create a zero-waste kitchen staple! 🙌
Do your kids go through a ton of sunbutter like mine do?! If so, you should definitely try making your own!
This is a simple recipe for making sunflower seed butter from scratch. Use in place of peanut butter on sandwiches, in cookie recipes, or as a dip for fruits and veggies!
- 2 1/2 cups roasted, salted, hulled sunflower seeds
- 1-2 tbsp sugar substitute agave syrup, honey, or other sweetener as desired
Process the sunflower seeds until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides after a couple of minutes. This will take approximately 5 minutes, though exact time will vary depending on your machine.
Add your sugar to taste, little by little, until desired sweetness is reached. Continue to process for another 5 minutes.
Pour the sunbutter into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. The sunbutter should keep for about a month in the fridge. Makes approximately 2 cups.