Sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds, is a creamy alternative for those who are allergic or sensitive to peanuts. The best thing about Sunbutter is it can stand on its own as being a delicious food rather than just lackluster substitute.
The sunflower spread is manufactured in peanut and tree nut-free facilities which makes it a reliable choice for those with peanut allergy. However, it is processed on the same equipment as soybeans.
The mild-tasting spread has the same texture, color and appearance as peanut butter. It tastes good on crackers, celery, bread, and in cookie and other baked-good recipes.
It trumps peanut butter when it comes to nutrition. It’s higher in iron and folate, and in some brands, contains more protein. Sunbutter is rich in Vitamin E and contains 40 percent of the recommended daily amount in one serving (2 T.). It also contains copper, magnesium and zinc which are not listed on peanut butter labels. Calorie-wise sunbutter is about the same as peanut butter but has less saturated fat, and lower sodium and sugars.
You can purchase sunbutter in grocery stores, health food stores and online in crunchy, creamy, organic and unsweetened versions. Be prepared for sticker shock. The cost runs about twice as high as store-bought peanut butter but is well worth the price for those who are allergic to peanuts. Stock up when it’s on sale.
One of my favorite recipes that uses sunbutter is Sunbutter/Carob or Chocolate cups
•1 bag vegan carob or chocolate chips
•¼ cup sunbutter
•Spray a mini-muffin pan with pan spray.
•Melt carob or chocolate chips in a dish in the microwave.
•Stir. Spoon 1 tsp. or so into each section of the mini-muffin pan. Top with 1 tsp. sunbutter. You can top with additional melted carob chips.
•Cool to harden before removing the sunbutter cups from mini-muffin pan.
Another tasty sunbutter recipe is Carob or Chocolate Coconut Balls
•1 cup shredded coconut (substitute rice crispies if allergic to coconut)
•2 T. toasted carob or cocoa powder
•2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
•4 T. sesame, pumpkin or hemp seeds
•4 T. sunbutter
•Add seeds and coconut to a food processor. (If using rice crispies, do not put in food processor.) Pulse to grind seeds and combine with coconut. Add the other ingredients and continue pulsing. Place the dough in a bowl. (Add the rice crispies at this point and stir to combine with a spoon.)
•Shape the dough into balls. Make them as small or large as you want.
•Freeze or refrigerate the balls to harden.