This healthy and delicious cookie post was inspired by my neighbor’s son who has a nut allergy. The one thing he can eat and does use often is sunflower seed butter. I had never used sunflower seed butter before in baking, I usually opt for cashew, almond or peanut butter for my granola bars or cookies. I purchased SunButter at my local Whole Foods and after dipping my spoon into the jar for a taste test, I was hooked. Sunflower seed butter is naturally sweet, creamy and has a subtle nutty flavor that made me asking myself why I waited so long to try it.
What’s so great about sunflower seed butter? It’s peanut-free, tree-nut free, and gluten-free, so it’s great for people with these types of food allergies. It also has 1/3 less saturated fat than peanut butter and 27 percent of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin E in one serving, and it’s high in iron, fiber and protein. The SunButter brand is also sugar and salt-free which is an added plus.
The first time I made these I was blown away by how delicious these cookies were. My kids kept coming back for more. I brought them over to my neighbors for a taste test and before I knew it the plate was almost empty. I hid the last three to see how the cookies would taste the next day, and you won’t believe what happened? They turned slightly green on the inside. I quickly opened SunButter’s FAQ questions and this is what I found. The chlorogenic acid (chlorophyll) in sunflower seeds will react with the baking soda/powder when baked causing the product to turn green when cooled. This isn’t a bad thing at all and what makes sunflower seeds so good for you, just a little strange. SunButter recommends adding some lemon juice or reducing the amount of baking soda/powder in the recipe. I made these again and added 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the recipe and this reduced the green color. I am going to make them again and reduce the baking soda to 1 teaspoon. I don’t even mind the green color and I love the flavor of sunflower seed butter. I cannot wait to try it out in other recipes.
Anyone use sunflower seed butter before in baking? Please share some of your experiences.
I also added some unsweetened vegan carob chips to the cookies and I’m so glad I did. If you haven’t tried carob chips or carob powder in your recipes I highly recommend trying it, just make sure they are unsweetened. Carob is a great substitute for chocolate (especially if you have a chocolate allergy) and it has about one-third of the calories of chocolate and is low in fat. Carob chips do not taste like chocolate, they are slightly nutty, sweet and completely irresistible. I love the way they melt too.
Have you used carob chips or powder before? Do you like it?
Sunflower Seed Butter Oatmeal Cookies (vegan, gluten-free)
Author: Jennifer Strohmeyer - Virtually Vegan Mama
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 cookies
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup date sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 4 tbsp warm water
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup unsweetened vegan carob chips or vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with either parchment paper, a nonstick baking mat or lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, baking powder, date sugar (or light brown sugar if you are using that), cinnamon and sea salt.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the apple sauce, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, lemon juice and egg replacer. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine completely. Fold in raisins and carob chips. Place 1 tablespoon of batter, spacing cookies 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten a little.
- Bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes (15 minutes for a chewy cookie and 25 minutes for a crisper one). Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.