How To Make Sunflower Seed Butter (Oil-Free)

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Since peanut and tree nut allergies are so prevalent these days, sunflower butter is a great allergy-friendly alternative.

sunflower seed butter

This homemade version is more affordable than the store-bought jars and is naturally sweetened with just a touch of pure coconut sugar, for a low-glycemic alternative. If you’re not familiar with sunflower butter, it’s typically made with roasted sunflower seeds, plus added sugar and oil. I was curious if I could make a similar result at home, using as few additives as possible, and the process was surprisingly easy!

I’ve been making my own almond butter for years, and I’ve found the easiest way to turn the nuts into butter is by gently toasting them in the oven first. The warmer the nuts, the faster they will release their natural oils– so you won’t need to add any additional oil to the mix. The same applies for making sunflower seed butter. I toasted the seeds in the oven, and it took just about 10 minutes for them to turn into a creamy butter. I imagine it would take a lot longer if you didn’t toast them first!

Though this process can be a bit time-consuming, very little of it requires hands-on attention. I made this sunflower butter while preparing my family’s lunch, and by the time our food was ready, so was the butter! So, this is a great recipe to work on when you’re going to be doing something in your kitchen already.

I would love to tell you that this homemade version tastes delicious without any added sugar… but it’s a little bitter on its own. Adding a few tablespoons of coconut sugar helped balance out the flavor for me, so feel free to add as much or as little sweetener as you need to taste. I used a dry natural sweetener to help extend the shelf life, but if you want to use something like maple syrup, I’d definitely keep this homemade butter stored in the fridge and use it within a couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy it!

Homemade Sunflower Butter
makes 16 ounces

Ingredients:

3 cups hulled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F and spread the sunflower seeds into a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. (I only have small rimmed baking sheets, so I had to use two pans.) Toast them until the seeds start to turn lightly golden and have a nutty aroma, about 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll want to watch and stir the seeds every 10 minutes or so while they’re toasting to make sure they don’t burn.
toasted sunflower seeds in a pan

Once the seeds are toasted, pour them into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade and start processing them. Just like making almond butter, you’ll need a bit of patience during this part. First, the sunflower seeds will be ground into a fine meal, and in about 5 to 6 more minutes, it should start to form a sticky ball, as pictured below.

making sunflower seed butter in a food processor

After the ball stage, it took another 5 minutes or so for the butter to reach a creamy consistency. Once the butter is smooth, you can add the coconut sugar and salt, to taste, and keep processing for a couple more minutes to incorporate it evenly.

Transfer the butter to a glass jar with an airtight lid and store it in the fridge for up to a month. (It might last longer than that, but we usually use it all by then!)

sunflower seed butter in a glass jar

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Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

How to make homemade sunflower butter, with no added oil and just a hint of low-glycemic coconut sugar.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword How To Make Sunflower Seed Butter (Oil-Free)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 ounces
Calories 154kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and spread the sunflower seeds into a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. (I only have small rimmed baking sheets, so I had to use two pans.) Toast them until the seeds start to turn lightly golden and have a nutty aroma, about 20 to 25 minutes. You'll want to watch and stir the seeds every 10 minutes or so while they're toasting to make sure they don't burn.
  • Once the seeds are toasted, pour them into a food processor fitted with an "S" blade and start processing them. Just like making almond butter, you'll need a bit of patience during this part. First, the sunflower seeds will be ground into a fine meal, and in about 5 to 6 more minutes, it should start to form a sticky ball.
  • After the ball stage, it took another 5 minutes or so for the butter to reach a creamy consistency. Once the butter is smooth, you can add the coconut sugar and salt, to taste, and keep processing for a couple more minutes to incorporate it evenly.
  • Transfer the butter to a glass jar with an airtight lid and store it in the fridge for up to a month. (It might last longer than that, but we usually use it all by then!)

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Per Serving: Calories: 154, Fat: 12g, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

Note: Sunflower butter makes a great substitute for nut butter in most recipes, but keep in mind that if it’s combined with baking soda in a baked good the result may turn slightly green, thanks to a chemical reaction. It’s safe to eat, but it can come as a surprise if you’re not ready for it! 

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried Sunflower Seed Butter? What’s your favorite way to use it?

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Comments

KRISTINA jolly-Preston

Going to try this recipe, thank you! What is the serving size, 2 tbsp?

R. Allen

HI, just to let you know that when listing nutritional mass per serving for this to make any sense at all you need to include a serving size, not just per serving. As an insulin dependent diabetic I have to know if the 7 g of Carb per serving are for one teaspoon, one tablespoon or…
It is extremely annoying but your site is not the only one that offers potentially useless nutritional information.

Mia

Love your recipes! This one I haven’t been able to make work just yet. It seems like oil is needed, but even then, it’s just so so so thick and not creamy or runny at all, and once it sets it’s completely solid-like you could break off a piece! What am I doing wrong?!

Carol Lettington

Megan –
As stated in the recipe, it makes 16 ounces. Nuttional data is also givn thatas:
Per Serving: Calories: 154, Fat: 12g, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

Please tel me, what measurment do you use per serving? One tablespoon??? Two tablespoons?? It might be useful if you gave that in the recipe.

Thank you for this recipe!

TRacey

Megan Whatabout putting vanilla essence instead of coconut sugar?

    Megan Gilmore

    Ooh, I’m not familiar with that ingredient! Will you let me know if you try it?

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