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Sun butter: Homemade sunflower-seed butter for SB&Js

Sarah's love of food led her down what she calls "the culinary rabbit hole," leaving her management job to first apprentice on an organic vegetable farm and then to write about and photograph food professionally. Her agricultural backgro...

A nut-free spin on a classic

Whether your child's classroom is nut-free or you're simply looking for a change of pace, sunflower-seed butter is a tasty alternative to peanut butter.

A nut-free spin on a classic

If your child has a peanut or tree nut allergy or shares a classroom with one who does, sunflower-seed butter, or sun butter, is the ticket to still enjoying a creamy, nutty spread. Like peanut butter, sun butter is a great partner to jelly or honey, as well as bananas, carrots and ants on a log — almost anywhere you would use peanut butter.

Homemade sun butter

A nut-free spin on a classic

Makes about 2 cups

This seed butter is creamy, rich and slightly sweet — perfect for SB&Js.


  • 3 cups roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Add the sunflower seeds to a food processor or high-speed blender with a tamper tool. Pulse or process on medium until a fine sunflower seed meal forms.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Increase the speed to high and process or blend, using the tamper as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. If the sunflower seeds get stuck to the bottom of the food processor or blender, you may need to use a spoon or spatula to release them before continuing to process. Add additional oil as needed to bring to desired consistency.
  3. Once the sun butter has reached the desired consistency, add the honey and salt. Process to combine. Transfer the sun butter to a lidded container and store in the refrigerator.

A nut-free spin on a classic

More school lunch ideas

Healthier allergy-free alternatives to peanut butter
5 Healthy brown bag lunches kids will love
Healthy lunch tips for back to school

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