almond and sunflower seed butter

nut butter - easy to makebut·ter (noun) – a solid yellow substance made by churning cream and used as a spread or in cooking; a food made from cooked fruit or roasted nuts that have been ground up. 

We’re all familiar with butter made with cream but over the last few years there’s a burgeoning market using nuts and seeds.  While peanut butter is popular (I lived on peanut butter and jam sandwiches growing up), making your own nut and seed butter is a healthier alternative.  What’s most appealing for me is the limited amount of work required unlike the time I made my own almond milk.  Almond and sunflower seed butter is delicious and slightly sweet tasting.  Mr. S tried it and enjoyed it when spread on a celery stick.  That’s saying something given his dislike for peanut butter and celery.  Allergic to nuts?  Try using seeds such and sunflower or pumpkin. 

Because this was my first attempt and almonds are expensive, I played it safe and only made a small amount.    You can make up your own nut and seed combination to suit your own taste but give this recipe a try.  Nut and seed butters are perfect as a snack spread on apple slices, celery sticks, bread, in salad dressings, and added to smoothies.  Check out HuffPost Taste – 19 New Recipes for Almond Butter.

makes roughly 1 cup
1 cup raw almonds (unsalted)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted)

almonds and sunflower seedsPreheat oven to 300f (150c). Roast almonds and sunflower flower seeds on a baking tray 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the sunflower seeds do not get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. While still warm, place in food processor and process until a smooth and spreadable consistency is achieved.  This will take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the food processor used.

nut butterThe initial stage will start off with the nuts and seeds looking like ground fine meal, but then you’ll notice a bit of a butter-like consistency beginning to show.  After this stage a sticky ball will form.  During the whole process, you’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides.  The sticky ball stage is your sign the butter magic is about to happen!  Yes, I was skeptical at first thinking it would never happen but within a couple of minutes of the ball stage, voilà! it was now an almond and sunflower seed butter!

almond and sunflower butterThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Roasting the nuts and seeds first help to release their natural oils and is a bit easier to process while still warm.  If you use only sunflower seeds for the whole recipe, be sure to add 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut sugar as the sunflower seeds alone will taste slightly bitter.  Place in the fridge and use within 30 days.  Enjoy!

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