Pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is a nutritious, creamy, and delicious nut-free alternative to traditional nut butters. Looking for nut free lunch ideas? All you need are three simple ingredients and a food processor to make this spread.
Pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is perfect for making nut free lunches
As so many kids have nut and peanut allergies, a lot of schools these days are nut-free. And from my experience since my son's school is nut-free, it can be hard to come up with nut free lunch ideas.
So, that's why I love this nut free butter spread! Not only is it quick to make, but my preschooler loves it.
Whether you have nut allergies at home or just want to try something new, let me show you how simple it is to whip up a batch of pumpkin and sunflower butter at home!
What is seed butter?
So what exactly is seed butter?
Seed butter is a spread, just like peanut butter, but made completely from seeds only. That means, it's a nut- and peanut-free spread.
Many seed butters are made from just one seed, like sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter. While both are good options, I like using a mix of seeds for a more complex, deeper flavor.
I like to make my own seed butter as it’s just so easy, and I like getting to choose the types and amounts of ingredients in it.
But, if you’re looking for a more convenient option, there are also some great store bought seed butters you can buy instead. This one is very popular, and it comes in a crunchy version too.
Are seed butters healthy for you?
Seed butters can be very healthy for you! This pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is particularly good for you.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in important minerals
Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are super nutritious. This article goes in-depth on the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
But what’s most notable about these seeds is that they’re an excellent source of several essential minerals including:
- iron, and
They’re also filled with healthy fats and fiber, which are important for heart health.
Health benefits of flax seeds
Flax seeds are known for being good for digestive and heart health as they’re rich in fiber.
They’re also an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and have a bunch of other important benefits for the body.
As this article explains, ground flax seeds are more nutritious than whole flax seeds as they’re easier for our bodies to digest.
Sunflower seeds are also very nutritious
Many of us grew up snacking on sunflower seeds, but never knew that they’re not just tasty but also super nutritious.
You can read all about the benefits of sunflower seeds in this article, but essentially they’re a great source of fiber, healthy fats, protein, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect us against chronic diseases, while magnesium is needed for muscle and nerve functioning, as well as a strong immune system.
How to make seed butter
This pumpkin and sunflower butter is super simple to make! All you need are a handful of ingredients and a food processor.
Ingredients to make this pumpkin and sunflower seed butter
Pumpkin and sunflower butter comes together with just three to five ingredients:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sea salt (optional)
- Honey (optional)
Before blending everything together, you’ll want to toast the seeds. This will give your seed butter a lovely toasted flavor.
While you can also buy them pre-roasted, I prefer to roast my own as they’re often cheaper and give me full control over just how toasty they get.
No nuts spread is made in a food processor
This nut free lunch spread can put a strain on your food processor, so it’s important not to let it overheat.
TIP: You can prevent overworking your food processor by taking breaks between pulses and using a high-powered food processor.
I use a Magimix, which is a powerful food processor, so it doesn't give me any trouble. But previously, I have almost burnt out cheaper food processors making nut butters at home.
You shouldn’t need to add extra oil
The key to making seed butter is patience as it can take a bit of time for the oils to get released from the seeds.
I didn’t take process shots for this post, but you can look at my DIY almond butter post to see what it looks like as the oils slowly become released.
Essentially, your mixture will go from dusty, then clumpy, then finally creamy.
If you feel like the spread is still too thick even after the oils have been released, you can add a few drops of oil, but there really should be no need for it.
Wait to add honey until the very end
Pumpkin and sunflower butter is delicious all on it’s own. But if you want to make it a little sweeter, you can add a little honey.
Just be sure to wait and add the honey only at the very very end. And stir, rather than pulse, it in.
Adding honey can cause the seed butter to become clumpy rather than smooth. So just add it in slowly so you can keep an eye on the texture.
Add your own flavor twist to this no nuts spread
This pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is a great base recipe to add extra flavors to. Some mix-in ideas that I think would work particularly well include:
- Speculaas spice
- Vanilla bean or extract
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
Especially if making this nut free lunch spread for kids, I think a touch of maple cinnamon sugar would go over really well!
Sunflower and pumpkin seed butter keeps for a couple weeks
How to store: place this nut free butter spread in a cool, dark spot in your kitchen.
You’ll also want to be sure to use it up within a couple weeks to avoid the oils from the seeds going rancid. If you open your jar and smell a strong, almost paint-like scent, it’s a sign that your seed butter has gone bad.
There are so many ways to use this nut free butter spread
Pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is good on challah bread! If you haven’t had it before, challah bread is made with a rich dough, meaning its wonderfully soft and buttery.
I recommend buying challah bread to make this Ultimate Crispy French Toast, and then serve this no nuts spread on any leftover challah bread.
Seed butter is also delicious on top of buttermilk pancakes! Plus, the healthy fats and protein in the spread helps make pancakes even more filling and a touch healthier.
For a dairy and nut free lunch idea for preschoolers, I like to make a seed butter and jam sandwich for my toddler to take to school.
It’s also perfect spread on crackers or apple slices for an easy snack.
Pumpkin and sunflower seed butter is a deliciously creamy nut-free spread that can be enjoyed all day long
I really hope this seed butter recipe makes it on your table soon. It’s definitely a recipe I like to keep on hand for easy nut-free breakfasts, lunches, or snacks.
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Butter (Nut Free Lunch Spread)Print Recipe Save RecipeSaved!
- food processor or high speed blender
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- sea salt - as desired
- honey - as desired
Optional Flavors (pick one or combine a couple)
- honey - to taste
- speculaas spice - to taste
- maple cinnamon sugar - to taste
- If you are using toasted pumpkin and toasted sunflower seeds, skip this step. In a medium skillet on medium heat, lightly dry toast the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, stirring frequently with a spatula, for about 3 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds in a food processor. Process until a butter forms, scraping down the sides as necessary. It took about 7-10 minutes total in my food processor. Depending on the food processor you are using, you may want to rest the motor to prevent overheating. Do not add additional oil or anything. As the seeds break down, they will release their own natural oils.
- At the very end, blitz in the salt if desired. If using honey, stir it in with a spatula at the end, as it may cause the seed butter to form into a ball if you use the food processor.
- Transfer to a jar and store in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.
Im going to try chia seeds as i too have no flax seeds, thought i might try adding cocoa powder and hazelnuts i dream of eating nutella!
Jessica Carruthers says
Hi, I'm having trouble. I followed the recipe but my batch doesn't seem to be going creamy at all and I've blended it for sometime now. My food processor is quite fast too. So not sure why it's not working.
Tina Jui says
Hi Jessica, the seeds should release enough oil. If it really does not work, you can add a tiny bit of oil into the mix to help it get going. Different brand of ingredients sometimes vary and there's not much we can do about it. Also, it's very important not to add the honey into the food processor but to stir it in at the very end. Hope this helps!
Hi dear, thank you for your recipe. May I substitute flaxseed with chia seed?
Tina Jui says
Hi - I haven't tried it specifically in this recipe, but I think it would be ok. As always, use your best judgment and enjoy the recipe!
Trish Haskins says
This looks wonderful and I love that I can select my own flavors. I'm new to your blog and I love it! Just cooking for myself, but I prepare the full recipes as I like leftovers! Also, I am a breakfast/brunch kind of person, so I'm really enjoying the variety of recipes and the many suggestions you provide for each. Thanks and be well!!
Tina Jui says
Hi Trish, thanks for the kind words! Hope you find many recipes to enjoy.
mohan kumar says
This sounds gorgeous!Nice blog to follow while preparing recipes.