Vanilla Sunflower-Chia Butter

vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Here's what I've discovered lately - I love sunflower butter! As in, can't-get-enough, it's-all-I-want-to-eat love. When I was doing the elimination diet (read more about that here), nuts were off the table...but seeds weren't. Even now that nuts are back for me, I'm still making - and scarfing down - this sunflower seed butter!


vanilla sunflower-chia butter


While I've never been one to eat peanut butter from the jar, there's a particular vanilla almond butter that had become a staple in my diet. I was missing it. I searched for a sunflower butter but couldn't find one that I liked. Also, I don't like "runny" nut butter. I mean, just read that sentence. Who WOULD want "runny nut butter;" it sounds disgusting. Ha. Anyhoo...know that you can continue processing if you're into that sort of thing. 


Heavy on the vanilla, a little salty, and with the tiniest bit of crunch from chia seeds, this vanilla sunflower-chia butter has replaced my beloved almond butter. 


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

You do need a food processor to make this. It's going to give your processor a workout. I have a mid-range processor, and it holds up just fine, but if yours is on its last legs, you might want to hold off. I don't want to be responsible for food processor casualties! A food "chopper" is not going to work here. 


Be prepared for 15-20 minutes of processing before you end up with butter. And give your processor a few breaks along the way. Let's go through it...


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

First, you'll toast the sunflower seeds. I like to start with raw seeds and haven't tried it any other way. Let them cool completely. You'll add them to a food processor and, well, process. At this stage, I use the high setting. 



After two minutes, it looks like this. 



Give it another minute or two, and add coconut oil. This is the stage where the butter is dry, so the oil helps with the processing. Here, I will alternate between low and high speed, working mainly on low. At high speed, the seeds tend to climb the walls of the processor. At low speed, they stay more in the bowl.


Stop and scrape down the bowl often. Also, if your processor feels like it's running hot at any time, stop and give it a little rest. 



When it starts looking creamier, this might be 10 minutes or more into making it, add coconut sugar and date syrup. I like coconut sugar for its roasty, toasty flavor. Date syrup adds a bit of liquid along with natural sweetness. It's a good combo. 


As you're running the processor, you might build up heat in the bowl, and the butter will get warm and steamy. I stop, open the top to release the steam, and stir the butter. This is normal, just like you can make warm soups from only the friction in a high-powered blender.


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

A few minutes more, and it's time to add the salt...I use fine Himilayan sea salt here...and vanilla. A big shot of vanilla. 


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Continue, alternating on low and high speed, until the butter is creamy and spreadable. It might form into a ball of butter. 


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Add in the chia seeds at the end and pulse just to distribute. 


You can keep going with this to get a looser butter, but I like stopping here. 

vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Spoon into a jar and refrigerate. Spread on toast, stir into oatmeal, or eat straight from the jar! 




Give it another minute or two, and add coconut oil. This is the stage where the butter is dry, so the oil helps with the processing. Here, I will alternate between low and high speed, working mainly on low. At high speed, the seeds tend to climb the walls of the processor. At low speed, they stay more in the bowl.


Stop and scrape down the bowl often. Also, if your processor feels like it's running hot at any time, stop and give it a little rest. 



When it starts looking creamier, this might be 10 minutes or more into making it, add coconut sugar and date syrup. I like coconut sugar for its roasty, toasty flavor. Date syrup adds a bit of liquid along with natural sweetness. It's a good combo. 


As you're running the processor, you might build up heat in the bowl, and the butter will get warm and steamy. I stop, open the top to release the steam, and stir the butter. This is normal, just like you can make warm soups from only the friction in a high-powered blender.


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

A few minutes more, and it's time to add the salt...I use fine Himilayan sea salt here...and vanilla. A big shot of vanilla. 


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Continue, alternating on low and high speed, until the butter is creamy and spreadable. It might form into a ball of butter. 


vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Add in the chia seeds at the end and pulse just to distribute. 


You can keep going with this to get a looser butter, but I like stopping here. 

vanilla sunflower-chia butter

Spoon into a jar and refrigerate. Spread on toast, stir into oatmeal, or eat straight from the jar! 



Vanilla Sunflower-Chia Butter 


3 cups raw sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons coconut oil, soft or liquid

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon date syrup (can substitute honey or maple syrup)

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon chia seeds


Preheat oven to 325°. Pour sunflower seeds onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on the pan. 


Transfer cooled seeds to a food processor and run on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping every so often to give the food processor a rest and stir any seeds collecting on the bottom. Add the coconut oil, and continue processing. When the seed butter starts climbing up the sides of the processor, change the speed to low. You can keep it here, or alternate between speeds, stopping to scrape the bowl frequently. 


When the sunflower seed butter is starting to smooth out, about 10 minutes for my food processor, add in the coconut sugar and date syrup. Continue alternating between low and high power, scraping frequently. You may notice the butter getting warm and steam developing inside. This is normal due to friction. Stop, remove the lid, and stir to cool. Steam inside if different than smoke. If your food processor starts to smoke...well, that's a different issue. 


Once it gets closer to a nut butter consistency, add in the salt and then the vanilla. The vanilla should help smooth things out. 


Towards the end, add the chia seeds and pulse to incorporate. I like a thick, scoopable butter. If you like yours looser, keep processing. Scoop into a jar and refrigerate. The sunflower butter is scoopable right out of the fridge. Let it sit a room temperature for several minutes to soften for easier spreading. 

Vanilla Sunflower-Chia Butter



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