*These Sunflower Butter Cups are nut free, dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free, paleo friendly and vegan.
As much as I love and adore peanut butter (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter), it isn’t always the best option around our house. The main reason being that one of my daughters is allergic to peanuts, even though she wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, anyway. She is very conscious of the things that she is allergic to. My other littles love it, however, so we still eat it every now and then.
The second reason I am not so keen on peanut butter as of late is that it turns out that contains loads of Omega-6’s. I’ve been trying to clear up my skin and I recently found out that peanut butter is not the best thing to be eating because of all those Omega-6’s, which cause inflammation. Omega-3’s reduce inflammation, Omega-6’s start it. So no peanut butter for me for awhile. Since peanuts aren’t actually a nut but a legume, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Actual nuts do not contain the same amount of Omega-6 so I will be using other butters like almond and cashew from now on.
And Sunflower Seed Butter .
This is another butter that is really delicious but doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Peanut butter cups are one of my favorite treats in the world and I often make my own raw peanut butter cups at home. Since I’m letting peanut butter take the back seat for now, I decided to try making some with sunflower butter. Have you ever tried Sun Cups? They sell them at most natural grocery stores and I really like them. What I don’t like, however, are high sugar amounts and soy/vegetable oil that they can contain.
That’s the great thing about making your own treats. You can be sure that there are no refined sugars or other products that you don’t wish to consume and you can modify them to suit your tastes.
These Sunflower Butter Cups are made by first throwing together your own raw chocolate, made from raw cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut butter, and a little maple syrup.
For the filling, you could simply use a pre-ground sunflower butter and add melted coconut oil, coconut butter, and maple syrup to it, but I like to make it from scratch. It’s so simple and just requires good blender or food processor. I use my vitamix and add raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, the coconut oil and butter, and blend it until it is smooth and creamy. Once you add the maple syrup and vanilla you only need to blend it for a few seconds – just enough to combine it since the syrup will cause the texture to change a little bit (it becomes thicker).
I topped these sunflower butter cups with toasted sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. You can do the same, just add sunflower seeds, or just leave the tops bare, if you like.
Keep these in the fridge since they will get a bit melt-y at room temperature, due to the coconut oil and butter. I really want to try making these with cocoa butter since it is more solid at room temperature. Ah well, maybe next time.
These cups are the perfect treat, to me. They are super satisfying and just sweet enough to get rid of any sugar cravings you might want to quickly dismiss. They last for a long time in the fridge, too, so make yourselves a big batch so you can have a nice supply of these sunflower butter cups to grab whenever the urge strikes!
Here are a few other recipes for easy and nutritious candies:
- FOR THE RAW CHOCOLATE:
- ⅔ cup Coconut Oil, softened
- ⅓ cup Coconut Butter, softened
- ¼ cup Raw Cacao Powder
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
- ½ tablespoon Vanilla
- FOR THE SUNFLOWER BUTTER FILLING:
- 1½ cups Sunflower Seeds (raw & unsalted)
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Butter
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- MAKE THE CHOCOLATE:
- Place the coconut oil, coconut butter, raw cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Depending on how warm or cold your kitchen is, you may need to heat the chocolate mixture over a double boiler for a few seconds to melt coconut butter and oils further. You can also pop the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds so that the mixture is a pour-able consistency.
- Line a small baking sheet or 9x9 baking dish with 12 silicone wrapper molds (or use 12 cupcake wrappers but make sure that each is doubled up...I use foil lined for easy removal).
- Divide half of the chocolate between the wrappers and place the baking sheet in the freezer.
- MAKE THE SUNFLOWER BUTTER FILLING:
- While the chocolate is freezing, place the sunflower seeds, salt, coconut butter and coconut oil in a high speed blender. Process for several minutes at high speed until the mixture is very smooth. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla and blend again, just until combined.
- Remove the chocolate filled wrappers from the freezer and divide the sunflower butter mixture evenly between them. Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until sunflower filling is firm.
- Remove cups from the freezer and divide the remaining chocolate mixture between the cups.
- Top with sunflower seeds, if desired. Place back in the freezer for another 20 minutes.
- When the cups are frozen solid, remove the wrappers and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.