Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunflower Seed Butter

I've been nursing an obsession with the Cleveland Food Co-Op's freshly ground almond butter for about a year now.  Not one to remain mystified by food, I resolved to come up with a simple recipe for this site.  That is, until I saw how expensive it would be to buy almonds just to make butter.  

But Behold!  Next to the almonds were these humble sunflower seeds, $1.50 for a pound.  Accompanied with some salt and Ari's mom's maple syrup, the sunflower seed butter has what Ari says is a caramel flavor and consistency.
You can do this with any type of nut and many kinds of seeds.  I once made a rewardingly green pistachio butter and might try pepitas next.

As much as I'd like to say the recipe is exact: it's not.  Just keep tasting until you find it.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp unsalted butter (you could also try different nut oils or olive oil)
2 tsp kosher salt (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp real maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey (adjust to taste)

Note: this makes a little less than a cup, so I might double the recipe next time.  And for those of you who like to study with a spoon and peanut butter, this version has a comparable amount of fat and calories.

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Melt the butter in the McWave and toss with the sunflower seeds in a bowl.  Add a dash of the salt and toss again before spreading out onto a baking sheet (lining it with parchment makes transfer easier later).  Toast for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes with a spoon or spatula to avoid burning.  When you smell nuttiness, transfer the warm seeds to a food processor.  Starting on low and gaining speed, process the seeds. Watch as they release their oil and change from seeds to nut meal to butter (this may take a few minutes).  Scrape down occasionally and add the salt and sweetener as you taste it.  Keep processing.  Add water if the consistency seems too thick.  When you love it, it's done.

Stored in the fridge, your butter should keep well for a few weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment