When I have told people about the cookbook, many have asked for my favorite recipe in the book. With over 270 recipes, you can imagine it’s difficult to pick a favorite. For me, it’s easier to think in terms of sections, so I will try sharing with you some favorites from each of the sections:
– Make Your Own Staples
– Get a Little Saucy
– Dress Up Your Salad
– Super Spreads
– Spice it Up
– Morning Munchies
– Salads and Slaws
– Hand-to-Mouth Snacks
– Just Dip It
– Marvelous Mini Meals
– Fruity Treats
– A Clean Cookie Jar
– Cakes and Cupcakes
– Fantastic Frozen Desserts
– Beverages for All Ages
We are going to start with one my favorites from the Super Spreads section: sunflower seed butter. My peanut butter and almond-tella recipes are amazing, but I have a soft spot for the sunflower seed version.
I first met sunflower seed butter years ago when I first moved back to Madison. I was staying with some friends who had both sunflower seed butter and peanut butter. Of course, I had to do a taste test. I spread one half of bagel with peanut butter and one half with sunflower seed butter. I was struck with the rich and nutty taste of the sunflower seed butter. This is a powerful spread! A little goes a long way and feels so indulgent!
This is a Goldilocks and the Three Bears type of recipe because if you don’t toast the seeds enough, it’s still good, but it looks a little like brains, and if you toast them too much, you get coffee grinds. I thought it would be a great post for the blog to give you some visuals that I can’t give you in the book.
Things You Should Not do When Toasting Sunflower Seeds
On my (second to) last attempt, I admit I was a little cocky and thought I could multi-task as I toasted the seeds. Big mistake.
Don’t be tempted to think you can do it all and don’t try to do any (or all) of these tasks while toasting your seeds:
– Call your best friend to get the low down on her weekend
– Decide that you really need to sit down and drag over a large stool to perch on as you stir the seeds
– After you pull the stool over, decide that this would be a great pic for Twitter
– Answer call waiting and chat with carpet installation guy who needs to reschedule, run and check your calendar to pencil him in
– Try to figure out how to get back to your best friend. D*!& smart phone!
– Call best friend back and laugh off when she warns you about burning the seeds, this is YOUR recipe after all
– Hmmm….that looks a little dark…..
Learn from my mistakes. Be a little zen with this recipe: when you’re toasting the seeds, be in the moment. Phone calls, twitter pictures, all of that can wait.
You are looking for this type of color in your pan:
You can see some of the seeds are turning dark brown, but dark brown does not dominate the pan. This is key.
Rich, nutty, decadent. Who knew a humble sunflower seed could incite such passion?
This is a great spread for sandwiches, toasted bread, but I have a soft spot for eating it with apples and raisins.
The crispness of the apples plays off the richness of the sunflower seed butter. The big, juicy raisins compliment the sweetness from the honey. It brings together three contrasting textures and tastes that build off of each other. In short, it’s a perfect snack.
Have you ever made your own seed or nut butter?