Until we arrived in Brazil, we had no idea the value of a jar of peanut butter. Each jar sent from the States is a hoarded treasure. Occasionally, a small jar or two makes it's way to our Super Muffato for the bargain price of $8-10 American dollars each. When researching online for baking alternatives, I came across sunflower seed butter. Because of the rise of peanut allergies, sunflower seeds have become a healthy option for replacement, especially in the States. Our local health food store in Londrina sells bags containing 1 cup of hulled seeds for less than $1 each. The recipe I used filled an 18 oz. jar, and half of another jar the same size. My children liked the sunflower seed butter for their sandwiches, though we have not tried baking with it, as of yet. If you have blanched almonds or skinned peanuts readily available where you are, feel free to substitute for the sunflower seeds. If you're making it at home, you have better control of the quality of ingredients that are used!
Sunflower Seed Butter
4 c. hulled sunflower seeds
4 tbsp. Coconut oil (or sunflower seed oil)
2 tbsp. Honey
1/4 c. Brown sugar (because we like it sweeter)
1/2 tsp. salt
Roast the seeds for 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring often to avoid scorching. While it isn't completely necessary to roast the seeds, it will greatly enhance the flavor. Using a 14 cup processor, process the seeds until they start clumping together. Add in the oil 1 tablespoon at a time, processing until smooth. Each batch may require more or less oil depending upon humidity and the natural seeds oils. Add the honey, salt, and extra sugar after tasting. To get the same texture we are used to, I moved it to my Vitamix, but it's not necessary. Process until desired texture. I believe it took about 10 minutes in the food processor, so don't be afraid to let it work for a while. Lasts longer in the refrigerator.