This creamy and smooth Sunflower Butter is the perfect alternative to any peanut or almond butter. Toasted sunflower seeds are seasoned with cinnamon and cloves, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup for a seed butter you won’t believe is nut free!
Medically reviewed and cowritten by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).
Ever since Ellie started going to a nut-free school, I have been playing around with making different seed butters.
This experiment started the lazy way. I went to the store and bought a $6 jar of sunbutter, took a big lick and almost gagged! Really?!?! That stuff was not good! I can’t believe kids would actually eat this stuff. So I took that as a challenge. Seed butter was about to get a makeover.
After 4 trial batches, the end result was a rich, creamy, spicy seed butter that rivals any almond butter out there. Just look at that golden brown jar of goodness!
This homemade sunflower butter will easily become your new nut butter staple for school lunches or afternoon snacks. You can even use it in place of peanut butter or nut butter for any recipe – peanut noodles with crispy tofu? Done! Sweet potato hummus? Totally! Yogurt and peanut butter fruit dip? Abso-frickin-lutely!
Reasons to Love this Sunflower Butter
- Made with pantry staples
- Excellent source of vitamin E, fat, protein, and fiber
- Naturally nut-free
- Great for school lunches and snacks on-the-go
- Perfect addition to sandwiches, tortillas, oatmeal or yogurt
- Naturally sweetened
- Customizable – add a dash of chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, cocoa powder, you name it!
- Cost-friendly alternative to store-bought seed butters
- Sunflower seeds: raw, unsalted (or if yours are roasted, just skip the toasting step in the recipe)
- Coconut oil: you can use any type, we’ll use a little bit to make the butter creamy and fluffy
- Maple Syrup: use pure maple syrup for the best flavor and no artificial flavors
- Sea Salt
Health Benefits of Sunflower Butter: Sunflower butter is a great healthy alternative to peanut butter since it is allergy friendly. It is a good source of fiber and protein and boasts tons of healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, copper, and vitamin E.
- If using unsalted roasted sunflower seeds, skip to step #3.
- For raw sunflower seeds, add them to a medium skillet and toast over medium-low heat until golden brown. Let cool slightly.
- Add the sunflower seeds to a food processor and blend until you have a fine sand texture.
- Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and continue to process for 8-10 minutes or until completely smooth.
- Store in an air-tight container and serve at will.
How to Use Sunflower Butter for Kids
Sunflower butter is a delicious alternative to many foods where you might typically use peanut butter or other nut butters. My kids’ favorites include seed butter and jelly tortilla roll-ups, but here are several more ideas!
How to Store
Store in air-tight container for 1 month. I like to keep my nut and seed butters in my pantry so they stay easy to spread and they last at least 1 month for me. You can also keep in the fridge for a longer storage time.
- Choose raw, unsalted sunflower seeds as they’re often much lower in sodium than roasted seeds.
- Be patient when grinding sunflower seeds – it does take several minutes for the seeds to break down.
- If serving to babies or younger toddlers, make sure to prepare safely, as nut butters can be a choking hazard due to their thicker nature. To minimize the risk, blend seed butter until very smooth and mix with milk or breastmilk, water or yogurt to thin it. Or spread a very thin layer on crackers or toast.
- Feel free to get creative – experimenting with some tasty additions to this seed butter like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, cocoa powder or vanilla is so much fun!
- 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Storage: store in an air-tight container for 1 month. I like to keep my nut and seed butters in my pantry so they don’t get too thick and they last at least 1 month for me. You can also keep in the fridge for a longer storage time.
Sunflower Seeds: if you can find unsalted roasted sunflower seeds, you can use that in place of roasting your own sunflower seeds. I can sometimes find these at Trader Joes or Whole Foods.
Calories: 93kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 16mg, Potassium: 89mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg