I wonder if you feel the same as I do. You know, when you’re spending good money on quality food and wonder, “Could I make this at home and save some money?” Have you been there?
I’m there a lot. Maybe it’s because I’m a housewife and kitchen dweller. Maybe it’s because I’m frugal. Whatever the reason behind this feeling, I’m there a LOT. First it was bread. Then it was ice cream. Ketchup. Butter. You name it, if I’m spending some money on quality food, I get the itch. The itch to make it at home.
Well, the itch is back. And this time it’s for sunflower seed butter. We’ve been buying SunButter for awhile now (be sure to check your grocery store too, the one linked from Amazon was more expensive than at my store). It’s soooo good! It’s creamy, dip-able, spreadable, sweet. Mmm.
It’s also expensive. A 16 ounce jar is around $8. I can’t be doing that, at least not long term.
The biggest catch? My husband loves it! It’s one thing if I have to let go of something I enjoy eating, but when he likes something, I feel called to make it happen. One way or another. And the way, for me, is not to spend an arm and a leg.
So, you guessed it. I put my food processor to work. Now, you will need a food processor for this, just like you do for Peanut Butter. I have a well-loved, not so fancy processor but I’m guessing some of the higher end ones will get the job done more quickly.
You see, that’s the thing with making SunSeed Butter. It takes time. Quite a bit of time. My lower end processor actually needed a break because it got too hot. Total run time for my machine was about 35 minutes. So you’ll have to ask yourself, is 30ish minutes of your time worth saving $8-10. It is for me, at least for now. Processing time may vary greatly depending on your machine, but I’d bet even the best food processors will need at least 20 minutes.
To Soak or Not to Soak
Now, you’ve seen me mention the importance of soaking grains and legumes. Well, the same goes for seeds. Here’s why you should soak your seeds first. I realize this takes some planning and if you’re not there yet, that’s okay. Getting into the habit of soaking and drying nuts/seeds takes some getting used to, but if you’re wanting to get all the health benefits of these little food powerhouses, I recommend you get yourself a dehydrator and go for it!
To soak sunflower seeds, place 3 cups of seeds in a large glass bowl and cover with warm water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and cover. Soak for 8 hours. If using dehydrator, dry at 100-115 degrees for approximately 24 hours. If using an oven, set to the lowest temperature and check after about 5-6 hours. The seeds are done when they’re good and crunchy.
3 cups sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey or other natural sweetener
The salt, vanilla, and honey are optional, but highly recommended.
Place seeds in food processor and process for 5 minutes. Scrap sides as necessary. This will get old, but it’s necessary to get all the seeds ground up. Ya gotta go with it.
Your seeds will go through the following stages: seeds, seed pieces, sand, fine sand, a huge ball of goo, smooth butter. The photos below were taken after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 20 minutes. The last photo is the finished product after about 35 minutes of processing.
So don’t freak out when your seeds look like concrete or turn into a mass of goo. That’s normal. Let the processor work through the ball of goo stage, that means you’re getting close. Just after the ball of goo stage, add in your salt, vanilla, and honey and continue to process until you’ve got a smooth, somewhat runny butter. Taste and add more extras to your liking.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator, should keep for 2-3 weeks (but I doubt it lasts that long!).