Snacks with Sunflower Butter – and Free Samples

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by Amy Flanigan on January 18, 2010 · 45 comments

Good: eating peanut butter right out of the container with a spoon.
Bad: discovering your child has a peanut allergy.

Ugh.

Yep. Haley’s allergic to peanuts. Instead of boring you with all the details, though, and droning on about how much it stinks, and how concerned we are, I will just say we’re dealing with it and life goes on.

To prevent me from turning fully gray overnight with worry, my friend Christy gave me a dose of perspective with this: “at least she doesn’t have a debilitating disease like Cystic Fibrosis.” Very true.

She also told me about SunButter. It’s sunflower seed spread, just like peanut butter, but made from roasted sunflower seeds. Who knew? (Well, apparently everyone but me. I really need to get out more.) Oh, and it turns out, it lives on the same shelf as peanut butter…which is also next to the cashew and almond butter. (It’s like I stumbled upon the land of pureed nuts!)

But today, kind readers, we will focus on SunButter. It’s made in a peanut and tree-nut free facility, so if you, or someone you know, has a peanut allergy, this is a wonderful substitute. No, I am not suggesting you eliminate peanut butter from your cupboards. Just another option. Another wonderful option.

Let me be clear, however – just as peanuts are to peanut butter, sunflower seeds are to sunflower butter. If you don’t like sunflower seeds, you won’t enjoy this.

I love sunflower seeds…so pass me a spoon.

I used it on apples with granola. Mmm mmm.

…a S’more version. Heaven sent.

And a sandwich creation with toasted cinnamon raisin bread and bananas. Lick-your-fingers-good.

Want to try some? Well, I’ve got a truck load of sample packets to give away thanks to an inquiry by yours truly, and a very kind Justin who answered the call. Awesome.

Leave a comment by 1/24 at 9am (CST) and I’ll send you some.

UPDATE 1/26: The samples were mailed out today. (If you didn’t leave your e-mail address, than I was unable to contact you to get your shipping info!)

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Jude February 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Amy, thanks for the sunbutter samples! I like it spread over apples. It is creamier than peanut butter and a nice change of taste, too.

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jive turkey January 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

The fact that I nearly chewed my arm off while looking at those sunflower butter photos is my way of saying I am very sad I missed this giveaway. Boo.

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food-4tots January 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

My son has developed asthmatic cough after eating some grounded peanuts in the pancake last year. Just started to introduce some nuts (not peanut yet) in his diet. Still need to observe for allergy issue. I’m new to this sunflower butter too. A great alternative to ppl who is allergy to peanut.

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Astrid January 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I have never tried sunflower butter, but I would love to try it! I love the snack and sandwich ideas with it. They all look amazing and have reminded me that I need to make the nutella goat cheese sandwiches that I stumbled upon when I first found your blog! I’m sorry your daughter has a peanut allergy, that does stink!

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Amy January 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Diana – No doubt. I can’t buy anything packaged now without reading the labels.

Minshu – dangerous, in a super yummy way!

Tra – I don’t like anything better than peanut butter ;-)… but this is definitely a close second. Very close. It’s probably whatever you get used to. The first image in the post is of the three varieties they offer, so I assume the “Natural Crunch” would be with seeds.

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tra January 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

do you like sunbutter better than crunchy peanut butter? do they MAKE crunchy sun butter? i’m looking to decrease peanut consumption and branch out to new butters!

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Juliana January 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Wow, never knew about sunflower seed spread…thanks for the info, will definitely try it :-)

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Minshu January 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I stay away from my parents’ peanut butter because it has partially hydrogenated oils in it, so I’m happy to see that SunButter has none of that nonsense…this could be dangerous though. But I suppose a few sample packets couldn’t hurt that much though!

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Diana January 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

SunButter….cookies? That sounds amazing and even more horribly addictive than peanut butter cookies. The peanut allergy will be a pain (from experience) but it will make you way more aware of what’s in everything you eat!

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Amy January 20, 2010 at 7:21 am

Sar – I think this is a great peanut butter substitute if you work around kids (school/daycare/library) where peanuts are forbidden.

Julie – She’s had a few minor allergic reactions over the past 2 years, but we could never pin point what it was related to. Then she had a full blown reaction pretty soon after making a bird feeder in pre-school, made of cereal and peanut butter. We had her tested. Ding. I don’t remember having sticker shock, but maybe it is expensive. I think cost concern sort of flew out the window when I found out it was safe for Haley to eat.

Jenny – I took a peanut butter cookie recipe and substituted with the Sunbutter. They were yummy. I guess I look at it as a substitute AND something completely different. It tastes like sunflower seeds, so it is it’s own thing. However, I bet you could sub it in most recipes that call for peanut butter. (Like Les said at the beginning of the comment thread.) You’ll need to try it and let us know…I’m going to keep experimenting with it, too.

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Jenny January 20, 2010 at 6:49 am

Have you tried using it in baked goods? Is it more of an alternative/substitute, or do you look at it as kind of it’s own thing as well?

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Julie January 20, 2010 at 1:31 am

We had a kid in the daycare who used to have this instead of peanut butter. It’s expensive if I remember correctly!! I thought Haley just didn’t like peanut butter…? How’d you figure out she was allergic?

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paintrich January 20, 2010 at 12:26 am

I had some of this a few years ago in Yosemite and I’ve been looking for it since!

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Mom January 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

If you send me a couple of samples, I promise to pass one along to Lynda. I’ve already been alerted to be on the lookout!

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Sar January 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I’d love to try this! I work with kids and we have a strict “nut aware” policy, so peanut butter has been out for a while.

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Allie January 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Mmm, sounds tasty- and a great name too, “Sunbutter.”

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Amy January 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Lo – I swear I live under a rock! I am definitely going to check out the almond and cashew butter next. How delish.

Lauren – Greetings Lauren! Thanks so much for stopping by. You’re blog is great. I can’t tell you how many of those apples, s’mores, and sandwiches I devoured while taste-testing this stuff.

Joanne – I thought about you as I was writing the post…”Joanne’s worst nightmare.” Sucks for us too, but at least there are other options out there. Did any of those other nut spreads exist 15 years ago?

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Joanne January 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Ugh I can’t imagine having a peanut allergy. That would eliminate basically my whole diet. Maybe she will outgrow it. Stranger things have happened.

I used to baby-sit for a girl who was allergic to peanuts and her mom gave her sunbutter constantly. Love the stuff!

What a great giveaway.

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Lauren January 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm

What a great offer! I’m a HUGE nut butter fan, and have been wanting to try Sunbutter for a while. I could dive head first into any of the photos above ;).

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lo January 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Heh. Apparently I’m a real champion for seed/nut butters. On any given day, our house could serve as a safe spot for all peanut-allergic children. We’ve had macadamia nut butter, sunflower butter, tahini, soy nut butter, cashew butter… any one of them might be living in my fridge at this very moment!

Although we’re both peanut butter lovers, at our house we eat more almond butter than anything. I read somewhere that it’s got more of all the “good stuff” in it… so we made the switch. I still buy peanut butter once in a blue moon, but /almost/ don’t even miss it. So, there’s hope!

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Amy January 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Rachel – How did she get by all these years without an allergic reaction? Seems like peanuts are in everything.

Lora – If he doesn’t like peanut butter, it’s unlikely he’ll like this either. But you never know. Kids are weird that way, right? I am VERY familiar with apple butter! Paul and I were introduced to it when we got married in an apple orchard and all the local shops were selling it, of course. Along with apple pie and apple cider. It was the best day ever.

Lynda – LOL. Ya, I think my Mom can be trusted. Thanks for chiming in Lynda!

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Lora January 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

I’m up for trying any new butter that doesn’t come from a nut – which my oldest avoids along with a whole list of things. He’s not much into seeds either, but got to sneak in some fiber some wayl. Did you know there’s also apple butter? Not quite as healthy, I’m sure, but its something spreadable for sandwiches.

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Lynda Justice January 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I’ve never heard of it. I have no allergies but would love a taste. If you send some to your mom, could you throw one in for me? I think she could be trusted to deliver!

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Paul January 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I had to finish off the peanut butter in the house.

Darn me.

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Rachel January 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

My sister Dani has a peanut allergy too, just found out recently, and she’s 16! Crazy! I will definitely make sure to keep an eye out for it. Thank you, as I had no idea it existed either!

xoxo

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Amy January 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

Daphne – the texture is almost identical to peanut butter, perhaps slightly thinner. And it tastes…well, like sunflower seeds!

Dani – We stocked up on Benedryl right when we found out. And we have the Epi pen for emergencies. Joy. p.s… I did make cookies with it and they were great.

Andrea – Thanks for the extra info and link!! It seems to work on my end.

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Andrea January 19, 2010 at 9:32 am

Here’s a link to the nutrition facts. Note that the fats are plant-based, and therefore not as bad for you as animal-based fats. They can help raise HDL and lower triglcerides, if you have to watch that sort of thing. (I do.)

http://www6.netrition.com/sunbutter.html#NUTFACTS

You’ll have to copy and paste the link into your browser. I couldn’t figure out how to make it a hyperlink w/o my glasses on.

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Jennifer January 19, 2010 at 6:23 am

I love sunflower butter. I stumbled upon it at Trader Joe’s when I was looking for almond butter! It’s great to have it every once in awhile when we’re sick of peanut butter.

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Dani January 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I’m really sorry about Haley having the allergy! My daughter’s 38 now and still has severe reactions to ant bites, bee stings and the like. I’m always nagging her to have fresh Benedryl in her purse at all times. I love sunflower seeds, so I can only imagine I’d love the butter. Isn’t it wonderful that you can find an allergy-safe alternative at the grocery store these days! I bet it will make cookies just as good as peanut butter. The sandwich you made sounds pretty darn tempting. Even though there are fats, I think they are the good kind. The doctor has told me to eat a (small) handful of nuts every day – and it can be a nut butter. (I have sticky hands a lot. :P) I hope you have a really good week, Amy.

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Cheryl January 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I’ve never seen this at the store either, but I also never looked. I love all nuts, chopped, mashed, pureed. I’m sure I would enjoy this.

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Natasha - 5 Star Foodie January 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

The sunflower butter sounds very interesting, I would love to try some. I also love the sunflower seeds, a childhood favorite.

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daphne January 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I do wonder about the texture and taste! It looks JUST as appealing as peanut butter though!

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Amy January 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Elisa – we’re peanut butter lovers at my house, too, but will be removing it for safety reasons. I might cry.

Mom – well, sunflower seeds aren’t low cal, so the high fat content makes sense. As with any nut spread, I guess. It’s worth it. This stuff is gold.

Amy – I’ve heard that a lot of kids like it just as much as peanut butter.

Natashya & Melissa – she’s not on the “touch a pea-sized amount and go into shock” class, but her levels are very high. High enough that it’s an issue and can be dangerous.

Jen – So you’ve known about this stuff and didn’t tell me!!?? Hmpfh.

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Jennifer January 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Having personally tried this stuff, I have to say it’s SUPER YUMMY! It’s one of those things that I would sit and eat (straight from the jar) and have a hard time stopping.

Ame, the cinnamon toast with bananas and sunflower butter are making me drool!

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Melissa January 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

That sandwich. Wowza.

Sorry about dear Haley. That stinks.

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Amy January 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

My sister and her son both are allergic to peanuts. I always thought it was sad that she’d never had a PB & J. I’d love for her to be able to try this…

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Natashya January 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Great idea to make a butter out of sesame seeds. It is bound to be cheaper than cashew or almond butters.
So sorry to hear about the allergy, I hope it isn’t too severe.

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Mom January 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I have not noticed anything other than peanut butter on the supermarket shelves, so I’ll pay more attention next time. I’m surprised that it is so high in fat. The cinnamon bread with bananas and spread really look good.

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Elisa January 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

my roommate is allergic to peanuts, and i’m a peanut butter-aholic, so we have to be careful with it in the apartment. we’d love to try the sunflower butter!

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Amy January 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

Mellissa – Hi Mellissa! You are totally in the know, of course! I bet Trader Joes has a great variety.

Les – thank you so much for writing in. I tried it on several other recipes which usually call for peanut butter, and they were all great.

Jenny & Jude – Jenny, no worries on the funky name. I have two little ones, so I get it. I haven’t been able to use the phone in 2 years!

As for nutrition facts…it’s really comparable to peanut butter in the creaminess and texture, and certainly not low cal.

However, here’s what their website says, “SunButter® is nutritionally superior to peanut butter with 1/3 less saturated fat, 27% of your vitamin E in one serving, and has a much higher iron & fiber content.”

And here’s what the nutrition facts are from the label:
Serving Size – 2 tablespoons
Calories per serving – 203
Calories from fat – 146
Total fat – 16g (25%)
Saturated fat – 1g
Trans fat – 0g

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Jenny January 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

Ugh, sorry about the goofy name post on the previous post. Fighting with a 2 1/2 year old over the caps lock key is never an easy battle!

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JenNNY January 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like a great alternative. I’d love to know nutritional content as well. Is it as high in fat as peanut butter?

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Jude January 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

I’m the second person not in the know about Sunflower Butter. Never heard of it, never saw it on the shelf. But I’ll try it because it sounds tasty and that s’more version is what I’m craving with my coffee right now!

What are the nutrition facts?? Dare I ask?

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Les January 18, 2010 at 10:10 am

Loved peanut butter as a kid, but developed an allergy as an adult. Was in seventh heaven when I discovered Sunflower Butter. It’s the next best thing next to … well, peanut butter! I’ve used it any way I would regular peanut butter and no one can tell the difference, especially in my cookies with the Hershey’s kiss on top. Yummy!!

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Mellissa January 18, 2010 at 8:57 am

I love Sunflower Butter! So tasty and can really satisfy a craving for something salty.

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