Usually when I’m bored- or, I mean, taking a well-deserved break from working on my thesis…- I post up in the kitchen and whip up something yummy. Whether I’m baking apple bread or doing some weekly dinner prep, I’m happy and relaxed when I’m chopping, sauteeing, or baking. However, seeing as my stove is still on the fritz (but intended to be mended by tonight!) my usual cooking adventures have been turned on their head and I have NOT been happy about it.
I think my boyfriend could almost sense my kitchen anxiety and decided to surprise me with a new gadget, so as to replace our fallen stove- a Nutribullet! This mighty machine can be used to make smoothies or juices, and grind/mill nuts, seeds, coffee beans, or herbs. Basically, it can do whatever my tiny Cuisanart food processor can’t do! We have loved experimenting with different smoothie/drink recipes, and I’m even getting Danny to start thinking about the idea of adding a small amount of greens to his drinks- baby steps!
What to grind up next? With this high powered device I knew it could only be one thing- nut butters! Have you ever made your own nut or seed butters at home? My mom is a big fan of making her own, or getting this paleo goodie from Life of Riley Foods, and so I decided to try my hand at making Sunberry Butter, inspired by Riley’s recipe.
While nut butters- almond, cashew, walnut- have really exploded in popularity, seed butters are also out there and are packed with the same nutritional goodness- protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Instead of going into the nitty gritty of every brand out there, I found this chart that very nicely sums up the nutrition content of lots of different butters. While we’re talking about labels, there is another bonus to making butters at home- you can be in even more control by choosing environmentally friendly oils (avoiding the palm oil in many store-bought varieties), natural sugars, and avoiding any allergens such as gluten, soy, or dairy.
So here we go, sunberry butter. It’s pretty much what it sounds like- berries and sunflower seeds. Without a set recipe I was really able to call the shots on the ingredients and amounts I wanted to use. It may still need some tinkering with, but I think my first batch came out pretty good. Straight into the Nutribullet went a cup of sunflower seeds- I chose the raw, unsalted kind- and a half cup of dried blueberries, and half cup of a mix of dried cranberries and cherries. I popped on the milling blade (I think I’ve seen the infomercial a few too many times…) and blended away. I did have to use the shake method, where I picked up the bullet and shook it as it was locked “on”, but then after about 30-35 seconds there were hardly any chunks left.
At this point I had a pretty fine dust and it hadn’t reached the butter stage. So I added in my walnut oil and coconut oil and gave it another blend. The end product: pretty darn near perfect. I could have maybe used a touch more oil, but I kind of like it more on the loose, crumbly side.
Makes about 2 cups of spread
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted or salted
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberry/dried cherry mix
- 1 Tbsp walnut oil
- 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil- mine has hardened in the cold, so I melted it to liquid for about 30 seconds
- Mix dry ingredients in food processor or bullet until no large pieces are left.
- Add oils and blend again until smooth. Add more oils if you prefer a “wetter” butter that is less crumbly.
- Eat until your heart’s content!