Sunflower Seed Butter
My grandchildren love our homemeade sunflower seed and peanut butters, which I make for frugality's sake true, but more importantly to control exactly what is in it (we can't find ready-made sunflower seed butter without ingredients some of us can't have). Sunflower seed butter gets a little sugar added as it can be a little bitter. The children prefer it made with roasted seeds as the flavor is more similar to peanut butter and we prefer it because raw sunflower seed butter requires a lot more sugar to be palatable. Honey can replace sugar, but must be STIRRED in AFTER the butter is made!
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1This will require a high-powered food processor or blender.
2Into your food processor or blender:
Add roasted sunflower seed kernels.
Add granular sugar, but not honey or other liquid sweetener.
3Grind or process sunflower seeds into a coarse meal.
I use a lower speed on the Vita-Mix to do this, using the tamper as needed to keep the seeds moving down.
Grind or process into butter on high power. Add oil 1 Tbsp at a time as needed to process if the meal/butter is too dry or it is straining your machine.
You may need to pause and scrape down the sides.
I don't need to add any oil with the Vita-Mix, but I do need to keep pushing down the seeds/butter with the tamper.
Process to desired consistency - chunky or smooth.
4(from the National Sunflower Association)
Oven Roasted Sunflower Kernels
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Evenly spread 1 cup of raw sunflower kernels over a jelly roll pan or large roasting pan. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool and store in airtight container. May be frozen for up to 1 year.
(In my oven they take 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes; one pound of kernels is about 3 cups & I have one baking sheet so I do this three times!)
You must use HULLED sunflower seed KERNELS, NOT seeds in the shell! If you grow your own sunflower seeds, which I may do someday, you will have to hull them yourself. If you have a very effecient method of hulling sunflower seeds, would you please share in the comments? I'd love to know it!
You can use any sugar you like; add granular/dry sugars during blending (we use organic evaporated cane juice which we've first finely ground as the granules won't dissolve in), but honey and other liquid sugars make an interestingly thick and sticky texture that can burn out your machine and should be stirred in by hand after the seeds have been rendered into butter. (I do not buy "powdered sugar" because of the added starch, I keep starch out of any recipes I might consume as it makes me ill; I don't know if it can be used or if the starch will cause everything to gum up, I don't want to be responsible for burning out anyone's machine!)
I strongly suggest using unsalted sunflower seeds and adding the salt - salted sunflower seeds are much to salty. Alternately, you can use half salted and half unsalted sunflower seeds and omit adding the salt.
You can use raw sunflower seeds, but if you ask anyone in my family it isn't any good without a lot more sugar to mitigate bitterness.
You can flavor your butter as you wish, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla etc.