I don’t know if you know this but coconut butter is pretty much the best thing ever! Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t eat nuts but enjoys a delicious creamy butter like spread. And of course if you like coconut.
There is some confusion out there over what the different coconut products are because there are several names for things. Coconut butter, also called coconut manna or coconut concentrate, is different than coconut cream. Coconut cream is what you get when the coconut water separates from the cream in a can of coconut milk. This can be used to make coconut whipped cream or in any other situation that calls for a heavy cream-type of product. Coconut butter is simply shredded coconut that has been blended to form a spread. I typically just eat it by the spoonful but it also serves as a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles and it can be used in recipes as well like this garlic mayo recipe or this recipe for coconut fudge.
As much as I would like to be, I am not a big tomato fan. Tomato soup? Sure. Ketchup? Absolutely. But plain tomatoes or tomatoes in a salad or on a burger? I’ll pass! One tomato based thing I really do love though (besides ketchup, because who doesn’t love ketchup) is salsa. So when I got a big bag of tomatoes in my CSA basket, the first thing I thought of was salsa. Especially since I already had some cilantro waiting to be used up. So I made some salsa. And you can’t have salsa without guacamole! So what did I do? I used the fresh homemade pico in the guacamole. Best idea ever! Yes I know I’m not the first person to come up with this idea, but I had never made guacamole with homemade pico before and now I don’t think I could make it any other way. This is the best guacamole I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of guacamole.
I used to be a peanut butter fiend! Back in high school I ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch everyday. My favorite snack was an apple with peanut butter. I would eat spoonfuls of it whenever I got hungry. To try to limit my consumption, I started making my own peanut butter in my Vitamix. I thought that if I had to make it before I could eat it, that would deter me from eating it. That didn’t happen! I ended up eating it less often but I’d eat the entire quantity I made in the span of like a day (ya, I’ve got self control problems…don’t judge me).
When I stopped eating peanut butter I developed a new obsession with almond butter which turned into an obsession with any and all nut butters. Well the problem with this obsession is that nuts and I don’t get along very well. You see, I have a VERY sensitive digestive system. One wrong food and I look like I’m three months pregnant and feel like my intestines are full of concrete (and I also can’t poop for days but we won’t go there). So I try to save the nut butters for special occasions and stick to avocados, coconut butter or this sunflower seed butter when I need a little fat fix.
This sunflower seed butter is seriously addicting so it’s not the best for my self control, but it tastes delicious and is a little easier on my digestion. Plus, it is so easy to make and making it yourself is a lot cheaper than buying it at the store. I’ve heard people say that sunflower seed butter tastes like peanut butter and I’ve never found that to be the case, but it has it’s own unique flavor that is equally delicious.
Spread sunflower seeds onto rimmed baking sheet in one layer
Roast for 10 minutes, checking on them every few minutes so they don't burn
Let cool slightly before placing in food processor
Blend until smooth, stopping every few minutes to scrape the sides (takes about 10-15 minutes)
Add salt, coconut oil, and optional vanilla and honey and blend until incorporated
I like to add a little sweetener and some vanilla to my sunflower seed butter to make it a little bit of a sweet treat perfect to top pancakes or dip apples into. However, if you’re going to use it in a recipe as a replacement for peanut butter or almond butter I’d leave out the sweetener. Regardless, it’s super tasty and I hope you love it as much as I do!
I used to hate mayonnaise, like the wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole kind of hate. I know now that my distaste for mayo was a blessing considering the first ingredient is soybean oil, a genetically modified, rancid industrial seed oil that I prefer to avoid at all costs. And the rest of the ingredients aren’t too hot in my book either.
Turns out that mayo can actually be quite delicious though… when it’s free of all those nasty chemicals, sugar and bad oils of course! And it’s really quite easy to make too, especially if you have my new favorite kitchen tool: the immersion blender! It’s cheap, easy to use and to clean, and it’s highly versatile. I use mine to blend soups, make butter coffee, and homemade mayo and other creamy dressings and sauces. I have this one. You can also make mayo in a blender or a food processor, but it takes a lot more time.
The key to making mayo is getting the fat to emulsify. In a blender or food processor the only way to ensure proper emulsification is to pour the oil in drop by drop. But who has time for that? With an immersion blender, all you have to do is place your ingredients in a cylindrical container (I use the 2 cup measuring cup it came with or a 16oz wide mouth mason jar- just make sure the base of the cup isn’t larger than the immersion blender head), put the immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the container, and blend away. You will be left with perfectly emulsified, creamy and delicious mayo! Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes!
½ tsp yellow mustard (mustard powder works as well but changes the flavor slightly)
⅛ tsp salt (or more, to taste)
⅔ cup avocado oil or light tasting olive oil
Place egg, lemon juice, mustard, and salt into a tall container.
Place immersion blender at the bottom of the container.
Blend until it starts to become thick.
Move blender around until all the oil is incorporated.
Yes, this recipe does contain a raw egg. It is perfectly fine to consume raw eggs, but you will need to make sure you are getting them from a quality, pastured source. I buy mine from a friend that I work with who has her own little farm. If you can’t find local pastured eggs, just try to find the best quality eggs possible. Organic doesn’t guarantee the chickens were raised humanely so spending the extra money for the organic isn’t always worth it. Look for “Certified Humanely Raised” or “Pastured” and just do the best you can! We aren’t about perfectionism over here!