food to glow

feel good food that's good for you


slow-baked sunflower butter granolaMy love of breakfast is pretty well established. Not only is my Instagram feed chocka with variations of avocado on toast and a million ways to eat chard before 9 am, but I will eat breakfast at non-breakfast times too. I sometimes prefer it that way. That way I can legitimately have dinner leftovers for breakfast! I can’t be the only one who does that. Am I?slow-baked sunflower butter granolaJust the other evening I really couldn’t be bothered to cook something ‘proper’ for myself. Instead of succumbing to the really quite palatable tofu dishes at the local Chinese takeaway, I put together an omelette with some amazing Scottish goats cheese and a dusty jar of white asparagus. It took five minutes and tasted like heaven. Anyway, the point is, like age is just a number, breakfast is just a word. You don’t have to eat it before 9 (or 11, if you are a teenager). As long as it is (mostly) balanced – some ‘good’ carbs, healthy fats, decent protein, who cares when you have it?

But sometimes things like granola are different. I know they are breakfast food. It lives in the supermarket, somewhere between the oatmeal and the Honey-Nut Cornflakes. Legit brekkie food. But really, shouldn’t most granolas hang out with the snacks and the sweets? I mean, look at the label. Look at the sugars. Hell’s teeth, that’s a lot of ‘energy’. Even the healthy ones with the letterpress stamped recycled card boxes are basically flaked grains soaked in sugar. There are exceptions, but crikey they are pricey.

I know there are good reasons to buy granola. At least there are whole grains. At least there are nice nuts and seeds. And maybe some cute hipster at the farmer’s market makes the best stuff you have ever tasted. And has his address printed on that letterpress label (I know you aren’t a stalker though). I buy that. Or I would if a cute granola-selling hipster was at my farmer’s market. But making granola is one of the easiest food things you do. Not smash an avocado on toast easy, granted, but then smashed avocado doesn’t make your house SMELL LIKE A BAKERY.slow-baked sunflower butter granola

DSC_0068DSC_0083I’ve already got a couple of granolas here on food to glow – So-Cocoa Granola and Good For You Granola – but this new-ish one is too good not to share. The big tweak is nut butter. Or rather, seed butter. So good. We spread it on anything that you might spread dairy butter: sunflower seed butter and sorghum molasses on soda bread is a fab breakfast treat.

The first time I made it I used bought no-sugar peanut butter, but I have since been making it with homemade sunflower seed butter. Use any nut or seed butter that you fancy but I have an easy-peasy seed butter recipe for you below.

Making your own is SO much cheaper than bought stuff, and so easy you will want to make it regularly. Here’s a post from Tessa Domestic Diva on the finer points of seed/nut butter making. I picked up my tips from her.

As for the granola, it really isn’t just for breakfast. In fact I enjoy it most as a dessert option, with yogurt or almond milk. Kids often really like granola and with homemade you can customize to suit your little – or big – ones. I’ve also made it double up as crumble topping too. Instead of the butter, flour, perhaps oats, definitely plenty of sugar topping, just spoon warmed granola onto hot and sticky cooked fruit of your choice. My photo is of the very last of the English forced rhubarb studded with sunflower butter granola. I didn’t even get a bite!

slow-baked sunflower butter granolaMaking Sunflower Seed Butter + Slow-baked Seed Butter Granola

Last year: Golden Apple Pie Pancakes (g/f and d/f)

Two years ago: Rocket and Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

Three years ago: Sushi Made Simple

Miss R’s track of the week: Everything She Wants by Saint Raymond

The sunflower seed butter is toasty, a tiny bit sweet and with a hint of balancing salt, but use bought nut butter if you fancy it, or if you don’t have a sturdy food processor.

To make this a ‘pb&j’ version dollop on teaspoon sized blobs of good jam after you have spread the granola onto the baking trays. Try not to mix in the jam when you turn it: the jam turns into little sweets as it bakes.

120g (1/2 cup) sunflower seed butter (see below) or other nut or seed butter

170g (1/2 cup) liquid sweetener of choice (less if you like) – we like date syrup or pure maple syrup

1 tbsp walnut oil or rapeseed oil

1 egg white, whisked until foamy (optional) *

Seeds from ½ pod of vanilla (about 2 inch piece) OR 1 tsp real vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

400g (about 4 cups) mixture of rolled grains of your choice. I use rolled oats (not instant-type), rye flakes, barley flakes, buckwheat flakes and puffed quinoa. Gluten-free version: g-f oats, buckwheat flakes, quinoa flakes, teff puffs

3 tbsp chia or flax seeds

125g (about 1 cup) roughly chopped nuts – we like pecans and walnuts.

* this helps with the crispness and reduces the amount of added oil that might be needed. You can skip this step though. Chia eggs won’t do the same thing.

1. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 135C/275F. Use trays with the highest sides that you have. This will help when it comes to stirring the granola.

2. In a large saucepan melt the sunflower seed butter, sweetener, oil, vanilla and salt over a low heat. When it just starts to bubble pour in the grains and nuts, stirring very well with a large spoon. Fold in the egg white, if using.

3. Divide the granola mixture between the two trays. Put them in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Pull the trays out of the oven just when it all looks evenly toasted and your house smells edible.

4. Allow the granola to completely cool on the trays before storing in an airtight container.

sunflower butterSunflower Seed Butter

Delicious. Incredibly useful stuff.

2 cups raw sunflower seeds

2-3 tbsp walnut oil or rapeseed oil

1 tbsp good honey OR date syrup (I’m not keen on stevia in this)

¼ tsp fine salt OR none at all

1. Heat the oven to 150C/300F. Pour the sunflower seeds onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until golden and toasty smelling. Stir occasionally. Allow to cool before making the butter.

2. Pop the seeds into the jug of a powerful blender (I use my Froothie Optimum 9400) or the bowl of a heavy-duty food processor. Blend until they start clumping a bit; pour in the oil while the machine is running. Keep blending until it becomes smooth, adding a little more oil if it seems dry after two minutes.

3. Add in the honey and salt and blend until it is as smooth as you like it to be.

4. Store in a sterilized jar and use within two weeks. Keep in a cool, dark and dry place.DSC_0070 cheat's rhubarb crumblesunflower seed butter granola

57 thoughts on “Making Sunflower Butter + Slow-baked Sunflower Granola

  1. Reblogged this on Garden Eatin and commented:
    I’ve been looking for good granola recipes and this one appeared in my inbox today. I want to remember it and share so here you go!

  2. I adore homemade nut butters, so easy to make and even easier to enjoy! I often find granola recipes to be too heavy with fats and sugars. This sunflower version is so much better!

    1. Lovely to hear from you Debs. I’m still thinking about your pretty daffodil cake!

  3. CarrieRD says:

    Love the sun butter recipe 🙂

  4. cheri says:

    I love sun flower seeds, this is just lovely!

    1. Thank you, Cheri. Homemade is ridiculously easy and tastes so good.

  5. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Wow Kellie, you’ve made this look so simple! Peter is always looking for new and exciting breakfast dishes. Adding this to our menu now xo

    1. I would be honoured if this were to make it to your breakfast table, my dear x

  6. I think I’ve been hanging out at the wrong Farmers Markets as I’ve never run across a cute hipster granola hawker yet 🙂 Can you believe I have very few evenings alone to eat a bowl of granola for dinner? If I did though, I’d eat this yummy “dessert” for sure!

    1. Granola or porridge is my Monday night dinner if I’ve gone to a late zumba class. We have a cute hipster at our Sunday market but he makes vegan dips, not granola!

  7. Lovely! Lovely! I love granola but can’t being myself to buy commercially made granola, like you say, it’s so sweet and packed full of sugar, it should be in the confectionery aisle!! And absolutely, I happily eat supposed breakfast foods any time of the day, a lovely bowl of porridge in the evening often goes down well 🙂
    One question for me, can I cut the maple/date syrup right down? Will it make a difference?

    1. I do use less myself but the amount I put in the recipe is the minimum to give proper coverage of all the dry ingredients. It will not taste too sweet at all as written, but use a 1/4 cup if you like but add water and a little lemon juice when heating to help distribute it. The moisture dries during the slow-bake. I know you like sugar even less than I do!

      1. Brilliant, thank you, that is so useful 🙂

  8. Reblogged this on foodbod and commented:
    YUM YUM YUM!!!! Making your own granola is so simple and SOOOOO much better than buying the sugar laden offerings in the shops…

  9. Love your use of sunflower butter in the granola! I am currently on a hazelnut butter making kick, but may have to vary it up soon with this sunflower seed butter. Home-made granola is a staple in our house too – I love that you also put puffed quinoa in yours!

    1. I’m not allowed to run out of homemade granola. It’s not worth the whining! It was a tricky time without my oven earlier this month 😉

      1. Loved making the sunflower seed butter! So easy and my husband loves it too, which is a bonus. He has a walnut allergy so I tend to not go so heavy on the nuts for him in general, so seeds are the perfect answer.

      2. That’s fantastic, Katie. My last batch was a little less sweet but with added vanilla seeds. It is very amenable to individualising. It’s now a staple for us. I hope it becomes so for you too 🙂

      3. I think it will. 😉 Though I used Argan oil this time (but didn’t like the flavor as much), and will opt for walnut next time. It’s surprising how little oil sunflower seeds release, compared to something like hazelnuts. I don’t need any added oil to make hazelnut butter but see why you suggest the oil for this butter.

  10. Great post as usual Kellie. Well as you know I do like my nut butters 🙂 but I haven’t made sunflower seed butter – stopped my vitamix short of the butter stage and made sunflower seed ‘pate’ so I am definitely going to make this. Thanks for the great recipe x

    1. Your peanut butter is seriously the best I have ever tasted *low sweeping bow*…you’ll love the toasted sunflower seed butter.

      1. …on the case right away. Off to pump some endorphins, then sunflower seed butter next on agenda – I will be sky high after all that goodness 😀

      2. Indeed! Enjoy your day. I’m defo going to enjoy mine -out for lunch AND dinner! I never do that 😉

  11. It all sounds utterly delicious Kellie…..and filling the house with delicious smells makes everything worthwhile 🙂

  12. Deena Kakaya says:

    When I’m really hungry I crave stuff like a good veggie fry-up including stuff like fabulously creamy and spicy eggs, roasted tomatoes and crisp and light potatoes. That’s why I agree on breakfast at any time of the day, I often eat like this for dinner when husband is travelling.

    I love the sesame butter in particular Kellie, it looks so golden and long do you think it would keep for?


    1. It’s sunflower butter 😉 and should keep well in cool UK kitchen for at least 2 weeks. Your can’t be bothered eating sounds well tasty! As fancy as I getc is eggs scrambled with hummus (weird but good) and hot sauce

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        Sorry yea I did see that slip of the mind as I’m toasting sesame seeds for the boy.

        Scrambled eggs with hummus? I need to join in, you are educating my palate again x

  13. I have made your cocoa granola before and can vouch for how good it is as can my kids. This is their favourite breakfast and when I make it ,they love me for it. I often eat as as a put too after lunch or when I am hungry between meals I just eat it dry.
    I must try it with egg white f it ads extra crush, that is allays good! I have also linked to you in my flatbreads recipe, loved the recipe :))

    1. Thanks so much for super awesome feedback on both the flatbread and granola. I really appreciate it. I’ll go and visit your breads v soon!

  14. Shannon says:

    Is that…chard stems and apples??? I just salivated on my keyboard, and it’s not even 9a! Perhaps I missed this explanation in the “read” too busy tapping my toes to your upbeat tune. Great post, Kellie, as usual. I love coming here. Need more time in the kitchen…and the yard…with the kids…oh boy. I should clone myself.

    1. Ha ha! No, it’s rhubarb! I think that’s the pic you’re referring to. But chard stems I DO love ;-). Glad you like the ‘chune

  15. goodness I need that granola!

  16. Looks so good Kellie, and I love the photo too!

  17. I’ve just made the sunflower seed butter 👍👍👍 very nice 🙂 x

    1. Yay!!! No honey, right? 😉

      1. I added the weaniest amount 😉 and thumbs up from my son!! Wowee!! Major achievement 😀😀

      2. Double yay! Easiest thumbs up ever x

      3. Absolutely :)) x

  18. narf77 says:

    Steve and I found a hidden stash of walnuts in a tiny car park out the back of a shop the other day. They were laying on the ground getting squished by cars entering and exiting the area so we collected up a small box of them and I reckon I might use my wonderful stash to make a jar of walnut butter to make this granola. Cheers for the scrumptious share 🙂

    1. Vegan roadkill – love it! Enjoy 🙂

      1. narf77 says:

        Yup… 😉

  19. Kellie I was so hungry reading this post that I literally had to take a break from reading and run to my cupboard to fetch myself a bowl of granola! Only wished it was your sunflower butter granola. Yum! I’m with you on breakfast for dinner. We in fact eat omelettes for dinner every Thursday and I never really thought of it as a breakfast-for-dinner thing until someone pointed it out. You had me laughing at the idea of a cute hipster up-selling you on some fancy granola at the farmer’s market! I love making my own nut butters, and I’ve had sunflower seed butter (with a hint of vanilla) scribbled in my recipe ideas notebook for ages. I did pumpkin seed butter in the autumn, but haven’t gotten around to any other seeds yet. My jar of banana walnut granola is getting low, so this will have to be next up on the agenda. Love that it’s two recipes in one!

  20. Sally says:

    I do so agree that granola recipes are usually packed with sugar so I avoid like the plague. Not this one though. Veggie teen will love it too.

  21. Anita Menon says:

    your granola looks fab. granola and yogurt with berries is actually dessert for breakfast for me. Love it.

  22. I always LOVE what you post! I’ll do it! 😀

  23. I love dinner leftovers for breakfast too:) Your granola and sunflower butter look delicious. Would love to give them both a try.

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy. I have just made another batch (we go through it too quickly!) with vanilla powder – about 1/2 tsp – and 1/2 tbsp honey. My husband’s current favourite 🙂 Do let me know if you try either recipe. I would love to hear from you, Nancy. Thanks so much for commenting.

  24. Oh deliciousness. I often say breakfast is the best meal of the day and could probably write a thesis on why! This is a great looking recipe!! I don’t often eat granola reserving it for a treat but I like the idea of making this to snack on or munch for dessert 😉

  25. Sophie33 says:

    2 fabulous tasty recipes! I haven’t made nut or seed butter before but I will start with your tasty recipe! It looks quite fabulous even! That granola sings to me too! x

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