February 15, 2012

Nut-free Seed Butter

When I was growing up, I don't think I knew a single person with a nut allergy.  But nowadays, it seems like there are so many more people out there today who are allergic to nuts.  We should be considerate of people with this sensitivity because it could mean their life.
We've never really been huge peanut-butter eaters in our house, but since my kids have started school, pb&j sandwiches seemed like a convenient, easy, go-to lunch.  Thing is, most schools won't allow kids to bring any type of nut into their classrooms.  And that makes total sense.  So for the last couple of years I have been buying sunflower seed butter.  It's a pretty close mock-up of peanut butter, except without the nuts!
Recently I ran out of the stuff - which is not a big deal because my kids will eat pretty much anything I put in their lunches.  But today, I thought, "Hey, why don't I try making my own seed butter?".  And I did.  And it was good.  So good, I thought you'd like the recipe.  :)  This would go great with my fresh jam recipe!

Disclaimer:  This butter does not taste like peanut butter.  And it doesn't really look like peanut butter.  But it has a sweet, slightly nutty/seedy flavour to it - much more mild than peanuts.  You might like it better than peanut butter.  It would be superb spread on a rye crispbread or as a topping on pear or apple slices!  Mmmmm!

Nut-free Seed Butter

1 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted *
2 cups sunflower seeds, lightly toasted *
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or more, if needed)
3 Tbsp maple syrup, or honey, or agave
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp tahini butter

* To lightly toast your seeds, add them to a frying pan on medium heat and watch carefully (they can burn quickly).  When they become fragrant and are lightly browned, they're ready to go!

Throw everything into a food processor and process until smooth.  Depending on how powerful your processor, how long you let it run and the quality of your ingredients, the texture will vary.  Mine was not creamy-smooth, but a little more grainy-ish.  Which I liked.  If you want to make it creamier, I would suggest adding more oil, or try processing it longer or differently (maybe with a powerful blender).

Put the butter into cute little jars and store in your fridge.

This recipe makes 4-250ml mason jars full.  I'm estimating that it cost me one-fourth what the store-bought stuff costs.  Next time I make it, I'm going to try adding a Tbsp or so of dark cocoa powder for a chocolatey/nutella flavour.  Won't my kids LOVE me then!

Note:  I know I've been posting lots of recipes lately.  Although I do have great respect for food bloggers, I promise I'm not switching this over to a food blog.  I've just gotta go with my gut (no pun intended) and write about what interests me.  I hope you're enjoying all the food ideas I'm posting because food prep is not a main interest of mine when I'm not pregnant.  I mean, I love to eat and all, but I don't usually feel particularly creative about food like I do when I'm pregnant.  So if you like my ideas, I would love it if you pin them and share my blog with whoever you think would be interested!
Speaking of pregnancy...I've only got a little more than 10 weeks to go!


Ange said...

Amazing recipe - thanks for sharing!! This is so great for kids too especially when most seeds don't get digested because they don't chew them long enough.
And yay for 10 weeks to go!!

Estelle said...

Thanks, Ange! I didn't even think of the digestion thing...but that's great! One more reason to love seed butter! :)

Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

If you don't mind, I think I'll pin your post. I love the variety in this recipe! mmmm cocoa powder does sound like a great addition.
Wow Estelle, 10 weeks left...soon you'll have that wee one in your arms!

Laura said...

Awesome Estelle! I have some Tahini in my fridge that I was wondering what to do with. I'm going to try it with the cocoa powder!