Honey 'n Spice Sunflower Seed Butter
The more time I spend reading labels at the grocery store, the more I want to make everything from scratch.
Well, maybe not everything, but certainly the easy stuff, like homemade nut and seed butters. It only takes about ten minutes to make homemade nut butter, and you can easily customize the recipe to suit your own taste. I've been experimenting with different combinations of seeds and nuts. Sometimes sweetening the butters with honey, molasses, or maple syrup, and adding a touch of spice.
The results have been delicious.
I think this recipe may be my best effort to date. You can omit the honey if you want, but don't leave out the lemon zest, it's essential to balance the spice.
- 2 cups toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Puree the sunflower seeds with 1 tablespoon sunflower oil in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the machine running, drizzle another 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil into the mixture. Stop to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice, to ensure no seeds escape the blades. Continue to pureee the mixture adding the rest of the oil slowly in a thin stream, until the butter reaches the desired consistency. About 2-3 minutes for a crunchy butter, and twice as long for a creamier texture. Next, add the remaining ingredients and puree for another minute or so to evenly distribute the spices and the zest.
Transfer the finished butter to a clean jar for storage.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups sunflower seed butter.