We are doing whole30 for the month of September. That means for 30 days no peanut butter. Sure, there are a few other things we are avoiding for it too… But, no peanut butter is a much bigger deal than no sweeteners, treats, grains, baking, alcohol, or dairy.
We started doing it over the summer, but ended up choosing to stop. At the time continuing was harder than the benefit we would have gotten out of it. We had family visiting, and I wanted to enjoy visiting with them. But, it was the first thing I have tried in a while that was actually helping me feel better and I lost some of the weight I have been trying to lose since Valerie has been born.
So, no peanut butter it is. But, I still really want to be able to have nut or seed butters. Cashew and almond butters are not an option for me as I have a (very) mild allergy to them. But, mild or not being kept up at night by itching ears is not worth it.
This brings me to sunflower butter.
In preparation for whole30 I bought 12 cups of sunflower seeds. As a nursing mom I knew that having a nut butter around would really help me. While snacks are not really a part of whole30 being a nursing mom is an exception, so I needed something that I could easily use to make myself a quick snack.
Last time I bought sun butter, but decided I should make it this time. While I have made many other kids of nut or seed butters I had not tried sun butter because I had read somewhere about it being hard to get smooth and creamy.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. It took longer than when I make peanut butter, but that is hardly a problem as it is my food processor doing all the work.
I did find it a little on the bitter side though, even after lightly salting it so added a few medjool dates. Three dates was enough to cut the bitter and allow me to enjoy the nutty creaminess.
Note: This is ONLY nut-free under specific circumstances (ingredients not processed with nuts, like must seeds are, and a nut free kitchen and equipment). It is not a sub for nut-free sunbutter for taking to nut free schools ect. unless those conditions are met (and if they are you probably already know this because your kitchen is nut free :D)
- 3 cups raw sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medjool dates, pitted
- Toss the oil and sunflower seeds together. Spread out on two sheet pans.
- Bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes stirring every few minutes, until they smell nice toasty. They will not be super golden, but will change colors some.
- Blend the medjool dates, salt, and toasted sunflower seeds in a food processor until smooth. If the sunflower seeds build up the walls of the food processor and are no longer in contact with the blades, scrap down. Otherwise I let the food processor do all the work.
- When it sounds like it is cutting through liquid it is done. I rarely am in the kitchen the entire time, so that is what I listen for. Otherwise just blend until very smooth.
- I think it took around 10 minutes, but did not time.
Since I am on whole30 I won’t exactly be spreading this on bread or using it in smoothies. Here are a few Whole30 ways I have really enjoyed it.
Cut bananas into quarters and spread with sun butter, then sprinkle with coconut flakes. This is so easy, and yet so satisfying. I often make it for the kids when I need something relatively filling and quick.
Serve banana chips with this as a dip. Make sure the banana chips are unsweetened if eating this as part of a whole30 meal. The ingredients on these were “bananas, coconut oil”
So, I realize that ^ looks like a big clunky mess… but it is so good. Since it is so quick and filling I have done it as an emergency meal when everyone needed to eat within 1.2 minutes before attempted overthrow of parental authority. All you have to do is drizzel frozen blueberries with a thin stream of coconut butter (it will harden), some sun butter, and top with nuts/seeds and coconut. You get the hard coconut oil (which is about the best part), cold blueberries, and crispy nuts.
Outside of whole30 I would use this in a smoothie (smoothies are discouraged on whole30, but I have had a few) or in these fudgy nutty dates.