Hold the phone! Hold the phone! This little baby is just one recipe you just HAVE to make and make over and over again. Why? Because you just might love it as much as I do.
I LOVE peanut butter, almond butter, sesame butter and all the gooey yummy nut and seed butters that you can buy in the shops. There are some super brands out there that I really love and to be honest with you – I do buy them sometimes – which leaves me with a guilt trip occasionally thinking to myself ‘you should be making this at home!’ notably for a fraction of the price too! Especially when you know that making a raw version is a little more time consuming and every bit more expensive.
But, making raw nut & seed butters is very easy. Making them roasted and delicious is pretty easy too and once you get the basic ‘formula’ for making nut and seed butters trust me: you are on a roll and your cupboards will get full of the stuff. You will probably be asking yourself why the heck you never made the stuff before because it’s TOO easy to be true!
The measures in this recipe are rough: because you can make as little or as much as you like. As a rule though I would say it all depends on the size of your food processor. Too little in a large drum will not work. You will be watching nut and seed chips fling around for an eon. Too much in a smaller drum will not work. Well, it will but you will be forever and ever trying to crack the oil out of the nuts and seeds. You want enough quantity to cover the blades by about an inch (couple of centimetres) which I find gives the best results. But, hey depends on your machine. I have used my Magimix with great results, my Tesco food processor (extra large drum) with fantastic results, and my smaller Kenwood with probably the best results. But just play with your own machine and get to know how it rolls, but to start a good rule of thumb is to that 2cm above the blade line is a great quantity to start with.
- 2-3 cups activated (and dehydrated) sunflower seeds
- small pinch quality sea salt (flor de sal)
Firstly if you are not experienced in ‘activating’ nuts and seeds then don’t panic. You can always roast the seeds (ok great seed butter but it’s not raw) and remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes before you roast them. When roasting scatter the sea salt over soaked and rinsed seeds and place on an oven tray. Roast on 200 or until lightly toasted. You will smell when they are ready! Be careful not to burn them. And try your best not to eat them all before they get buttered. Honestly!
Ok so now let’s get to the raw version of this dish (way better!) To activate sunflower seeds – soak seeds in a bowl covered in filtered water for at least 30 minutes – 4 hours. You may need to top up the water when the seeds start to bloat. Overnight is ok too just try not to forget about them or leave them too long! Rinse the seeds in a seed tray if you have one, or a sieve is fine, and dry roughly in a clean tea-towel or kitchen cloth. Place on a dehydrator tray evenly spread out with the teflex sheets on. Dry for 10 hours then remove the teflex sheets. Dry for another 10 hours or until your seeds are nicely dry and crisp. Not shrivelled! I set my dehydrator to 40 for sunflower seeds. If you don’t have a dehydrator yet then you can use an oven with the door slightly ajar set on 50 and dry for around 1-2 hours. They don’t take long in an oven so be careful.
Once the seeds are dried add them to your food processor drum/bowl fitted with the S blade. Add a large pinch of salt (less or more to taste) and begin processing. Don’t put the machine on and leave it or go off and do something else: you will need to coach these seeds through the process and this could take up to half an hour. I find that the seeds butter more quickly when they are warmest. So straight from the oven or dehydrator is best. Keep blending and pulsing the seeds. Stop the machine regularly to scrape the seed chips from the sides of the bowl. This may seem like a thankless task (believe me when you are running a workshop on this the time it takes can get embarrassing! lol) so be patient. Relax in to it. And keep going.
Your seeds will go through several phases before they get to silky smooth butter: powdered phased (quite dusty looking) crumbly phase (dust forming together), cake mix phase (lumping together) big ball phase (one lump of mix may occur) and so on until you get to the final phase when the oil cracks and the mixture appears almost liquid. The butter stops rising up the sides of the bowl and appears much more liquidy. Don’t stop as soon as this phase occurs. Keep going just a little more until you get a shine on the top of the mix (this will be a layer of oil) Once you can dip a spoon in and it can easily drip off the spoon you have got it! Depending on how much mixture you have in the bowl this can take anything from 15-30 minutes. Just be patient.
Once finished you can keep in lidded glass jars and use as a delicious butter for a range of meals. If you would like to make dishes like this and join me at any of my cookery school classes click here. To find out more about up and coming events click here.
Let me know if you make it! I love hearing about your creations!
Keeping it juicy & raw