Here’s a common scene at the grocery store: I walk down the nut butter aisle, excited to find what’s new and interesting. Something catching my eye. And inevitably, it’s the most expensive thing on the shelf. Sigh… I allow myself these purchases once in a while, but if I were to indulge every time I wanted to, I’d be broke.The funny thing is, a lot of these “specialty” spreads are made of relatively inexpensive ingredients. I recently found Naturally Nutty’s Pepita Sun Seed butter – an irresistible combination of pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and some lovely warming spices. Pepitas and sunflower seeds are some of the cheapest items I can find in the bulk bins at my local market, so I quickly decided that since I’d already spent ten dollars on the first jar, I’d save a bit of money and make my own!
Rather than flax seeds, I used chia seeds in my version, and I had just enough hemp seeds left in the pantry to include them, as well. A splash of maple syrup and vanilla extract add wonderful depth to this delightful spread, and a touch of seal salt really makes the flavors shine.
Roasting the seeds with maple syrup brings out their rich flavors, and caramelizes the maple syrup, creating a brittle of sorts. I can’t say I didn’t sample just a teeny tiny bit of this before turning it into a delectable spread. I’ve been enjoying it with oatmeal, apples, and, of course, straight off the spoon. I’ll have to make more before the week is up!
You can easily customize this butter with whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand, but keep in mind that the flavor will be affected, especially in more strongly flavored nuts and seeds. I imagine cashews and almonds would make a wonderful base.
- 2 cups raw pepitas
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Combine pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and maple syrup in a large bowl and stir to coat.
- Spread mixture into an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring 15 minutes through. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Transfer seed mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour in vanilla extract and salt and process until incorporated.
What are your favorite brands of “gourmet” nut butters? I’ve heard such great things about Nuttzo, but haven’t yet been able to convince myself to spend fifteen dollars on a jar. Maybe someday…