March 1, 2013 I love SunButter. It’s by far the best spread I’ve used. Of course my son is allergic to peanut and I can’t use peanut butter, but even if that weren’t the case, I would still prefer to use SunButter. I prefer the taste, and it also has some qualities I really appreciate:
- It’s made in the U.S.A. in a peanut and tree nut free facility. Products are tested on a regular basis to ensure this.
- It’s free of dairy, casein, egg, wheat, and corn.
- It has no artificial color, flavor, preservatives, sweeteners, or genetically modified ingredients.
- It’s gluten free.
- It contains no hydrogenated oil and no trans fat.
- It has 1/3 less saturated fat than peanut butter.
- It has 20% less sodium than peanut butter.
- It has double the fiber of peanut butter with the same level of protein (3.5 grams per tablespoon), and
- It contains more vitamin E and iron than peanut butter.
SunButter sent me a jar of each product they sell – creamy, original or natural, original crunch or natural crunch, organic, omega-3, and no stir. I was wondering to myself – what do they use to make it crunchy, salba or something? – and of course, they use pieces of sunflower seeds. It really is a wholesome spread.
The ingredients in natural SunButter are sunflower seeds, dehydrated cane juice, salt, and natural mixed tocopherols. I verified that the mixed tocopherols are a soy-based vitamin E oil that acts as a preservative (it’s not present in organic SunButter). SunButter is made in a facility that also processes soybeans, so from an allergen perspective, the only issue is for those severely allergic to soy.
You’ll find that the creamy and the natural no-stir SunButter are thicker than the other versions. My favorite is the natural (called “original” in Canada). I actually keep a jar of it in my office, and I eat spoonfuls of it straight from the jar. I also love to spread it on organic granola bars as an afternoon snack.
You can purchase SunButter online from Peanut Free Planet by clicking here. Canadians may wish to order from The Specialty Food Shop, which you can visit here. I like that 5 pound tubs are available, which would be convenient and money saving. I’m also a fan of the squeeze packs. They’re a great way to send a safe peanut free snack to school because the packs allow a teacher to see the label and know it’s SunButter, not peanut butter.
I decided to bake with SunButter, and when I started to search for recipes, I was surprised by how many I found. I was cautioned to use half the amount of baking soda or baking powder called for in a recipe, since the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds causes a reaction that makes the finished product turn green. It’s not harmful to eat, but it doesn’t look very appealing. You can also counteract the reaction by adding a small amount of lemon juice to the recipe. I decided to work with recipes from the SunButter website, which have already been altered to prevent the chlorophyll reaction.
I made each of the recipes below: Chocolate covered SunButter cups, flourless SunButter chocolate chip cookies, SunButter chocolate spread (like nut-free Nutella), SunButter muffins, No Bake Energy Bites, and finally a SunButter milkshake. Everything I made was delicious, but the three tasters in my family each had a different favorite: One son preferred the cookies, the other preferred the SunButter cups, and I preferred the energy bites. I used crunchy SunButter in them, and the pieces of sunflower seeds in it added a very nice texture.
Here are the recipes. If you try one of these recipes yourself, please be sure to let me know how it went by leaving a comment. If you have a favorite SunButter recipe to share, feel free to add it as a comment, or just let me know how SunButter has worked for your family.
4 Tbsp SunButter (I used natural SunButter)
1 frozen banana
1 cup milk or milk substitute
4 tsp chocolate syrup
2/3 cup vanilla ice cream or ice cream substitute
Blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.
2 medium eggs, beaten
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup SunButter (I used crunchy for added texture)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the SunButter and mix thoroughly.
Combine the eggs and milk, then pour into the mixture.
Add the butter and stir until mixture is moistened.
Fill greased muffin tins or paper cup lined tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12.
No-tella SunButter Chocolate Spread via Enjoy Life Foods
3/4 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate mini chips
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute
2 Tbsp rice milk powder (optional) (I omitted it)
3/4 cup SunButter (I used natural SunButter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp agave syrup (optional) (I omitted it)
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Heat milk until boiling, pour over chocolate, and stir until incorporated.
Add SunButter to chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla, then agave, if desired.
Place in a jar and refrigerate until set. This spread was fantastic on the SunButter muffins.
Flourless SunButter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup SunButter (I used creamy, the Canadian version of natural)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Mix the sugars and SunButter together until smooth.
Add in the egg and vanilla and mix. Add in the salt and baking soda and mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll the dough into balls, place about 2 inches apart. Flatten them with a fork.
Bake for 10 minutes. Makes about 24 cookies.
No Bake Energy Bites (Nut-free version of Smashed Peas and Carrots recipe)
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup SunButter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or hemp seeds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Working with wet hands, press into balls. These are so delicious, consider doubling the recipe. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup SunButter (I used natural)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 pinches of sea salt
Melt half the chocolate (3/4 cup) in microwave or double boiler. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of chocolate into each muffin cup to coat bottom. Let them harden in fridge.
Mix SunButter, powdered sugar, and salt. Spoon about 1 teaspoon onto each chocolate base. If needed, soften it slightly in microwave. Let harden in fridge.
Melt remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. Spoon on top of SunButter. Allow to harden and enjoy.
Chewy SunButter and Krispy Rice Bars (can be made gluten-free)
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 Tbsp protein powder (chocolate works best) (you can omit this)
Mix together in a large bowl.
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp SunButter (I used natural)
1/2 cup honey or agave or brown rice syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Put all wet ingredients into a bowl, melt in microwave, and mix together well.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix together well.
Press into a square pan.
Melt about 1/4 cup chocolate chips and spread on top.
Chill slightly before cutting. Enjoy!
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