It's always fun to make your own nut butters at home. I try to stick with sunflower butters now, because using peanuts of other nuts are too hard on my food processor. Sunflower seeds are much gentler. This sunflower butter is infused with vanilla bean and roasted cinnamon. This was good- I used salted sunflower seeds though, and it was a little too salty because of this. Next time, I would use non-salted (and add a pinch of salt) or just lightly salted. And, do not add any additonal salt if using salted seeds! Another fun recipe to try is this Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter.
Vanilla & Cinnamon Sunflower Butter
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1/4 cup / 60 ml sunflower oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more as needed (do NOT add salt if using salted seeds)
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste (OR seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used roasted)
zest of 1/2 a lemon, or to taste, optional
1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a 325F / 165C oven, on a rimmed baking sheet, until fragrant and golden. Stir them once or twice to ensure even roasting. Let cool for ten minutes.
2. Puree the seeds in a food processor along with 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, and the sea salt (if using). As the motor runs drizzle in another 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Scrape down the sides once or twice along the way, you're aiming for an even, creamy consistency, and it may take some time. Once the mixture starts to look smooth, add the vanilla paste and cinnamon, and pulse to incorporate. At this point, evaluate the consistency, if your sunflower seed butter is on the thick side, drizzle in the remaining tablespoon of oil while the processor is running. Taste, and add more salt if needed (and the lemon zest. if using), as well. Makes about 1 1/2 cups / 380 g.
*If sunflower seeds are already roasted, skip this step.
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