Sunflower Seed Cinnamon Nut butter

I was really craving a thick nutty smoothie but I didn’t have any banana, soy yogurt or nut butters. So I decided to make my own nut butter with sunflower seeds. This was experimental so I didn’t make a large quality. I was quite happy with the result, but next time I will toast the sunflower first. I used it in my blueberry smoothie and it thickened it up nicely.

Sunflower seeds are really high in vitamin E, which neutralizing free radicals and is significantly anti-inflammatory. This is great for people with asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. They area also a great source of vitamin B1, manganese, copper, tryptophan, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus and folate [1].

Sunflower seeds can be eaten raw and also toasted. I prefer them toasted as it gives them a really different flavor and doesn’t taste so woody. You can add them to salads, cereals and porridge, make spreads and even grind them to use in place of flour when dusting meat/meat substitutes.

This is my first time making nut butter. What ones have you made? Any tips for flavors and techniques?

DSC01086

Sunflower Seed Cinnamon Nut butter (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (toasted or untoasted)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon agave

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1/4 cup water

Method:

1. First grind all the sunflower seeds in the processor.

2. Then rest of the ingredients while processor is one. First start with spices, salt, then agave & oil and lastly the water.

*About 1/2 cup

Blueberry Sunflower Smoothie (vegan gluten free, nut free, soy free)DSC01092

Ingredients:

1/2 cup blueberries

3/4 plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 big tablespoon Sunflower Seed Cinnamon Nut butter

Method:

1. Blend all the ingredients and serve.

*Serves 1

[1] Sunflower seeds, <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=57#preptips>

Advertisements

Smoothies

While I was away on exchange I really missed fresh home-made smoothies and juicers. Unfortunately my juicer and blender are at my place, since I’ve been spending the semester at my boyfriends, so I bought myself a cheap bar mix for smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to get fruit into my diet since I usually don’t eat it them otherwise. I haven’t been exercising enough, so I just don’t find I need to eat more then 3 meals a day.  

I usually blend fresh fruits with some juice or almond/rice milk and chia seeds. I noticed since I’ve been making it an everyday meal that I feel heaps better and don’t need coffee first thing in the morning.  I also discovered some other ingredients that change up the flavours. Pears give a fresh, crisp, mild taste. Nut butters and dates are also really good for a rich decadent taste as well. Soy yoghurt also give that sweet bubblegum flavour. I like Soy Life, which is available at Coles, Woolworths and now Aldi.

I’ve also been trying to incorporate more berries into my smoothies, since they are the healthiest fruits. Compared to grapes, bananas, apples and mango, berries have way more antioxidants. In particular,  raspberries and blackberries, since they have way more antioxidants then strawberries and blueberries [1]. When in season strawberries are between $1 to $4 and blueberries are about $4. Unfortunately a small punnet raspberries are $8. Black berries are about the same, but I rarely see them available. Another problem is that they are they usually start growing moss within a day. They must have a long way to travel. So I have opting to buy these berries frozen. Creative Gourmet has also brought out some organic frozen berries, since the pesticides used for berries are quite high compared to other fruits.

Best Berries- Nutritional Facts Video

Another new discovery is Smoothie cubes. They are now available at Aldi and as well as Coles and Woolworths and all seem to be on sale at the moment. Most of which are 100% fruit and fruit juice or fruit with natural ingredients. They all appear vegan too. The only ingredient I don’t agree with is in the Breakfast flavour, which has Polydextrose, which is a synthetic fiber.  Marco is addicted to smoothie cubes.  He has bought one of each flavour. At least he is making his own smoothies every morning and I’m not having to make him drink them anymore. I only used them as an accompaniment to the fruit, instead of the only fruit in my smoothie.

Here are a couple of my favorite smoothie recipes. What are yours???

Btw I found this great Vegan Cheat Sheet for products you can buy Australia

Berry and Kiwi Smoothie– Handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, 1 kiwi, 2 tbsp soy vanilla yoghurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds.

Raspberry, Pear & Blueberries Smoothie– handful of blueberries, 3 tbsp frozen raspberries, 1 pear (not skin), 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 berry smoothie cube (optional), 1 tbsp chia seeds.

Banana Nut Smoothie– 1 banana, 1 tbsp nut butter (brazil, cashew & almond), 1 /2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 banana & mango smoothie cube (optional)

Banana Date Smoothie – 5 dried dates chopped (put boiled water on them for a few minutes to soften), 1 banana, 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 2 tbsp nut butter (brazil, cashew & almond), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Five Fruit Juice– 1 orange juiced, 5 strawberries, handful of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 kiwi

Banana Chocolate Smoothie– 1/2 banana, 2 scoops Soy Good Soy Chocolate Ice cream, 1/2 glass soy/almond/rice (the kids favorite smoothie)

Blueberry & Oat Smoothie– handful of blueberries, 2-3 tbsp rolled oats, 3 tbsp soy vanilla yogurt, 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 smoothie cube (optional) (Marcos favorite)

Raspberry Pear & Blueberries Smoothie

Banana Nut Smoothie

[1] Best Berries-  http://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-berries/