Vanilla Bean Sunflower Seed Butter


Peanut and tree nut allergies abound these days. I worked in a school that banned any kind of nut butter on the premises because some kids were so allergic, they could develop a reaction through the air.


So what’s a nut butter fiend to do when she/he either a) is allergic or b) works in a nut-free environment?

There’s a simple homemade answer to that question: make sunflower seed butter. Seeds are full of healthy fats just like nuts, and when roasted & pulverized in a food processor, they break down into a delicious butter. You have to be patient, though… sunflower seeds take even longer than almonds or peanuts to butterize. Plan to watch your food processor work hard for at least 15-20 minutes until you reach a smooth & creamy consistency.


I added vanilla bean seeds and Kosher salt to this batch, but – as is noted in the ingredient list – you can certainly add in a bit of sweetener as well if you so desire.




Vanilla Bean Sunflower Seed Butter

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: roast

Ingredients (1 jar)

  • 3 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey, optional


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Evenly spread sunflower seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Carefully transfer roasted sunflower seeds into a food processor. Process until a smooth, creamy butter forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. This will take at least 15-20 minutes.

Add in remaining ingredients and process until fully combined.

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