Christina Does Sunbutter

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of nut butters. I love ’em all. In fact, I publicly proclaimed my love of the nut in it’s buttery form years ago here. And this is still true today—my unwavering love of nut butters has not changed; however, this love has evolved. It has evolved to include a cousin of the nut, seeds, and just like nuts, there a a lot of them out there, from the more standard sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame to some newcomers (in the sense that you can find them on your standard grocery store shelves) like hemp and chia.

The seed that I became enamored with a couple years ago is the beloved sunflower, particularly in it’s butter form called sunbutter. Even after a few years into our relationship we’re still going strong. Though, we have had our ups and downs like when I consumed an entire jar in a single day and had a massive bellyache, or that time when I consumed heaping amounts every single day and started to develop a weird sensation on my tongue whenever eating it so we had to go on a break for a while. Thankfully those dark lonely days only lasted a few months. And through all of that, we’re now in a really great place. So great that I decided it was high time to try making some from scratch myself.

On my walk home from yoga on Friday night I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some plain organic sunflower seeds and got busy in the kitchen. It was a date—a totally giddy-like-friends-who-are-just-starting-to-get-to-know-each-other-on-a-new-level kind of date. And let me tell you, the results of that date are awesomesauce. The chemistry was purely magical. I suggest you too give it a go! Here’s how you can move on to a deeper level in your relationship with the sunflower seed and how my Friday night romp ended up:


  • plain, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
  • sweetener of your choice (agave syrup, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc.)
  • salt
  • cinnamon or any other interesting flavors you might want to add to the mix
Roasting: The first step is toasting the seeds in a dry skillet or oven for a few minutes. When they’re brown, but not too dark, quickly remove them from the pan. Some will be darker than others—they won’t all toast evenly and that’s A-ok! Just make sure you don’t over toast them otherwise you might end up with a bitter sunbutter. You’ll want to transfer the seeds into a dish or on a plate to cool down and you’ll want to do this right away to prevent them from cooking longer in the hot pan. This is how mine looked post-toasting. Once we got the basic get-to-know-you conversation out of the way, we could then move on to the fun part.
Dirty Dancing:  You then need to start grinding your seeds like a couple of college students at their first frat party. Throw caution to the food processor and turn it ON. After a short amount of time it will start to look crumbly, but that’s just because it’s nervous.

Don’t Give Up: Keep grinding and its nerves will subside, it’ll become more relaxed and start to form into a creamy paste.

Keep Grinding: Don’t let the screams of the food processor fool you, it’s not done until both parties are satisfied. You really have to be patient with it and it will eventually loosen up to become a smooth operator like this. This foreplay lasts roughly 7 to 10 minutes before you’ve gotten the sunbutter to the right drippy consistency. And if your food processor starts to whine about the massive workout you’re giving it like mine did, you might want to give it a short break. You don’t want it to die pre-climax and be left with a mealy, unfinished sunbutter.

Any Accoutrements?: Right at the sunbutter’s peak consistency, I then added some salt, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Oh. My. God. Just when I didn’t think it could get any better I totally lost it. This is the thing about being on a date with your own sunbutter—you can completely customize the additions to your liking. Maybe you like the paler agave syrup? Or maybe you too prefer the complex flavors of maple syrup? Or maybe you like both at different times? Or a little of both at once? You totally get to choose when you make your own!

At this point, Alex arrived home and walked in on me in such a post-coital haze that I forgot to snap more photos, but you probably don’t want to see me shoving it in my mouth. So that’s pretty much how it went down on Friday night in my house.

Serving: For me, I truly love my sunbutter straight up with a spoon (like the picture below), but I also enjoy when it dresses up in some sexy outfit like bread or crackers from time to time.

Anyone else this crazy about nut and seed butters? Or am I the only nut-case like this? Pretty please tell me that’s not true!

5 Responses to Christina Does Sunbutter

  1. Pingback: Super Easy, Super Amazing Vegan Sunbutter and Coconut Cups « Fruit of Adventure

  2. spaceJASE says:

    LOL I love this write up and will have to try it out.

  3. Ash says:

    hehehe, great post! I have nut allergies so I use sunbutter as a peanut butter substitute, and this is a great idea. Now if only I had a food processor…=P

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