Homemade sunbutter

November 9, 2013 at 12:27 am (Alma's faves, B plus (3 stars, like a lot), Derek's faves, Sauce/dressing, Website / blog) ()

I’ve already waxed euphoric about the wonders of sunflower seed butter, so you know how much I enjoy it. Sadly, however, it seems to be the one nut/seed butter I can’t find here in Germany. I’ve found peanut butter, hazelnut butter, almond butter, cashew butter (roasted and raw), and even pumpkin seed butter. But no sun butter. I have no idea why. So I tried making my own sunbutter a few months ago. I just added the sunflower seeds to the food processor and tried grinding them up. They turned into a dry, sandy, powdery substance, but not into a nut butter. I thought maybe I needed to add a little oil but that didn’t work at all. It just turned into a sticky, pasty, oily kind of sand. I tried adding some water. Big mistake. I ended up with pale, pasty, white goop. Blech. I decided to try again, but this time to actually read some instructions online first.

It turns out you need to toast the sunflower seeds, and you need to let them go in the food processor quite a bit longer — the “sand” phase is only the beginning. After the “flour/sand” phase there’s the “moist and crumbly” phase, followed by the “clumping” phase, and then finally (after 5 to 10 minutes) you’ll start to get to the “creamy” phase.  There are great photos of each stage on the Prudent Baby blog.  I followed her basic technique but altered a few steps based on the advice on the Tessa Domestic Diva blog.. I didn’t toast the seeds on the stove, but rather in the oven at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. I didn’t want to thin the sunbutter with olive oil, because I thought that the uncooked olive oil would add too much of its own flavor, so I used coconut oil instead. I couldn’t taste the coconut oil in the final product. I added a bit of salt and some honey and date syrup for a touch of sweetness. I thought that the sunbutter was creamy enough, so I skipped the final blender step.

I thought that the final product tasted a lot like the Sunbutter I used to buy in the States.  Oddly, however, although Derek never liked the storebought sunbutter I bought in the U.S.,  he really liked my homemade sunbutter. I asked him why and he said because it’s not as sweet as the storebought butter, which is quite an odd explanation since Derek often adds honey to his peanut butter!

Update Nov 18, 2017:

I roasted my sunflower seeds at 325 F (actually 160 C with the fan on) for 20 minutes but they still didn’t look as dark as the ones in the Prudent Baby blog photo. Maybe the temperature should have been a tad higher? I added 1/4 tsp. fine salt and I think it was a bit too salty. I used 14 ounces of sunflower seeds (after roasting) and it made about 1.5 cups of sun butter. I added a touch of date syrup but the final product didn’t taste very sweet. Mostly salty. At some point my food processor stopped working. I assume the motor overheated. Probably next time I should only run it for a few minutes at a time then give it a break?

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