I made some sunflower seed butter over the weekend for the first time and it turned out very well. I would describe the taste as a cross between peanut butter and tahini; smoky but creamy. It was very tasty and cheap too. I purchased a packet of sunflower seeds from Aldi for $2.49. I also picked up a silicone-based 20cm x 20cm baking tray for $4.99, which was perfect for roasting the sunflower seeds. I simply roasted 1 ½ cups of seeds in the oven at 160°C for about 15 minutes (or until the seeds started to turn golden brown). I then processed them in the food processor for about 10 minutes until they formed a creamy butter. I added a sprinkle of sea salt during the processing and I had to scrape the sides with a spoon a couple of times during the processing. Very easy. It is also quite healthy with sunflower seed butter containing more monounsaturated fat, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, manganese and vitamin E compared to peanut butter (1), although, bear in mind that like any nut or seed butter, it is high in calories.
Below is a recipe for a Sesame chicken salad with a dressing made with the sunflower seed butter.
Sesame chicken salad with sunflower butter dressing
Makes 2 serves or 1 large salad
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 brown onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Sprinkle of chilli flakes
Sunflower butter dressing
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
½ cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
¼ ground ginger
Sprinkle chilli flakes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ red capsicum, diced
1 carrot, grated into ribbons
Extra sunflower seeds to sprinkle on top
Non-stick fry pan
Measuring cups and spoons
Small microwave safe mixing bowl
Salad bowl (or just put it directly onto plates to save washing up)
- If you have time, marinate the chicken and onion in the garlic, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and chilli for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken breast along with about ¼ cup of water to a non-stick fry pan and cook over high-medium heat.
- To make the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Microwave for 1 minute then stir further until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Prepare the salad in a salad bowl and top with the Sesame chicken and sunflower butter dressing.
- Thomas R and Gebhardt S (2010) Sunflower and almond butter as nutrient-rich alternatives to peanut butter. American dietetic association, Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. Boston, MA. http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Aricles/ADA10_SunflowerAlmondButter.pdf, accessed on 08-03-2013.