Marisa McClellan, full-time food blogger, author and canning teacher, is sharing her recipe for Chocolate Sun Butter with us. It’s made with sunflower seeds, which makes it a nut-free spread.
Knowing how to make nut and seed butters at home is such a useful skill. It’s a money saver for sure (small jars of artisanal butters can go for as much as $10 a jar) and it allows you to customize to your family’s taste buds.
I particularly like making butters out of lightly toasted sunflower seeds. They’re great for those who can’t have nuts and because the seeds are a bit softer than peanuts or almonds, they don’t tax food processors and blenders quite as much.
While it’s not as creamy as a store bought Nutella, it’s just as flavorful and since Chocolate Sun Butter is made with toasted sunflower seeds it passes the nut-free test.
Like so many natural nut butters, it does harden a bit if stored in the refrigerator, but softens back up after just 30 minutes on the counter. It also spreads easily on warm toast, even when cold. It also pairs nicely with jam!
Heat your oven to 375°F. Spread sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When they are honey-colored and smell fragrant, they are done.
Let the sunflower seeds cool for a few minutes and then funnel them into the processor. Run the motor until the sunflower seeds are well chopped and sandy. Add the cocoa powder and salt and pulse to combine.
Run the motor again and stream in the honey and two tablespoons of oil. Stop the motor, remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the machine. Run again and repeat the scraping maneuver. If the nuts look particularly dry, add up to two more tablespoons of oil.
Once it begins to look like paste, add the melted chocolate and run and scrape some more. Then, while the motor is running, stream in the water. Suddenly, the butter should look fluffy and more like nut butter than a rough paste.
All told, there will be about 10-15 minutes of processing time. If your food processor starts to overheat, walk away for a few minutes to let it cool down before proceeding.
When you are happy with the consistency, jar the butter and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
If you want to explore more nut butter recipes. Food in Jars has a few more below.