One of my greatest loves in life is freshly made peanut butter. There’s something about those little nuts, crushed in their own oils, which always makes me happy. This is potentially why I feel so much empathy for anyone with a nut allergy. If you are one of these unfortunate few, this recipe for sunflower butter (affectingly known as sunbutter) will change your life. It’s spreadable, dipable and spoonable in all the best kind of ways. It also happens to make the most mouth-wateringly smooth, dark chocolate covered, sunbutter cups.
While sunbutter tastes and acts much like peanut butter, it happens to be 30% lower in fat and full of vitamin E and fibre. Like other nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds are also a very good source of proteins loaded with fine quality amino acids such as tryptophan that are essential for growth, especially in little ones. Although sunbutter costs an arm and a leg to buy in health food stores it’s very cost efficient to whip up at home.
To make your sunflower butter you’ll need unsalted, shelled, sunflower seeds, as well as salt and maple syrup. That’s it. As always, make sure you’re using quality ingredients- it always makes a difference to the final result. The dishes you cook will only ever be as mediocre, good, or sublime as the ingredients you put in them.
Another tip, sunflower seeds need to process for quite some time, at least ten minutes. Despite initial appearances the seeds will release their oils and eventually, your sunflower powder will turn into sunbutter. Once you have your sunbutter handy, the real fun begins. Here I’ve swapped peanut butter for sunbutter and made these gorgeous dark chocolate coated cups of goodness. I’ve included the recipe below and, trust me, it’s definitely worth trying.
- Sunflower Butter
- 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Sunbutter Cups
- 200g dark chocolate (no more than 70%)
- ¼ cup sunbutter
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- Sea salt flakes
- Sunflower Butter: Place sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes. Once fragrant and slightly browned, remove and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Once cooled, place sunflower seeds in a food processor and process until they turn into butter (about 8-10 minutes), scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add maple syrup the to food processor along with sea salt and pulse once more until combined. Store at room temperature in a glass jar. If storing for more than 2 weeks, store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using.
- Sunbutter Cups: To make sunbutter cups, break up the chocolate and melt half in a double boiler, stirring to make sure it is perfectly smooth.
- Set out the liners and spoon about a teaspoon of the chocolate into the bottom. Repeat this process for all liners.
- Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.
- To make the filling, mix ¼ of a cup sunbutter with the powdered sugar and stir until smooth.Remove the liners from the freezer and scoop out half a teaspoon of the sunbutter filling at a time and gently roll it into a little ball. Press the sunbutter ball into the centre of a chocolate filled liner.
- Repeat until all the liners have a sunbutter ball.
- Melt the remaining chocolate and spoon a teaspoon or so on top of each sunbutter ball, making sure there is enough chocolate to fill the liner.
- Sprinkle with a little dash of sea salt and then chill in the fridge to set.