This is Blendtec week! All of our posts this week will feature something we’ve done with our new blender. Don’t have a high speed blender and want one? Enter to win your own Blendtec Designer Series with Twister Jar on Monday’s post. Even if you don’t acquire one, we hope these posts are still helpful for you!
We are constantly bombarded, on practically every single one of our recipes, with requests for modifications. Can you make these egg free? What if I don’t have palm shortening? I really hate bananas, so would an apple work? The answer to all of these is, of course, I don’t know. I didn’t make them that way, so I have no way of knowing if they will turn out edible at all! I can guess, but someone needs to make it to confirm. No matter how much we reference our Ingredients Page that has some replacements suggestions, we’re still not going to have all the answers!
However, we’ve been trying to tackle the most frequently requested replacement for years, “I’m alergic to tree nuts, what can I substitute for almond flour?” Almond flour is a wondrous thing, truly. It’s more nutrient-dense than any other flour out there, and its quite versatile. Personally, we find it to be much tastier than wheat flour could ever hope to be. But then it has its drawbacks, too. For example, it’s really quite expensive. Your Bob’s Red Mill, inferior to begin with, runs over $10 per pound. Better quality like our recommended Honeyville is over $30 for 5lb. bags. And of course, so many people are allergic to tree nuts; even if you’re not allergic, perhaps tree-nuts are banned at your child’s school.
So when Fresh4Five mentioned that she thought there was an ingredient out there that could be substituted one for one with almond flour that was not a nut, we had to investigate. Honestly, I’ve never seen the kids SO excited to help in our “test kitchen.” It was both a new, fun device to use – as well as a science project!
Introducing Sunflower Seed Flour
Wait, you say, I’ve never heard of that! Where can I buy it?
Bad news. I don’t think you really can. This is something you’re going to have to make yourself. While we used our Blendtec, you may or may not be able to reproduce this stuff in a different appliance.
First step, acquire some raw, whole hulled sunflower seeds. This is just the kernels without the shell, but before they’ve been roasted or salted. Next, pour about 2 cups into your blender. Then blend until you’ve powdered it all. On our blender, that was 12 seconds on level 5. The result? Oh it’s floury alright!
Not only is this stuff nut-free, but do you realize that it’s half the price of the blanched almond flour we use? And I found sunflower kernels at the local, normal supermarket on the regular, ordinary shelf! How fantastic!
But now that we have it, will it really work to replace almond flour? To find out, we tried it in one of our favorite recipes: Addicted to Veggies’ Coconut-Lemon Meltaways.
Will it Cookie? Coconut-Lemon Meltaways
Long ago, these were Stacy’s go-to cookies for a refreshing and light treat. I’ve made so many of these delicious little balls that I can no longer remember what life was like before we had these. Have you tried them? They’re astounding. And so simple and delicate that we knew it would be a great “tester” cookie!
But will they work without that cup-and-a-half of almond flour listed as the very first ingredient? We aimed to find out.
The result? Perfect. They maintained their consistency, shape, flavor, everything that the original had without skipping a beat. What?! High-fives all around! Sunflower Seed Flower Flour, yo! But, you say, that was too easy. Those were raw cookies that you merely dehydrated instead of baking. How about a real challenge, buddy.
Okay. How about it. Let’s make up our own cookie recipe as we would with almond flour and instead cook with the sunflower. Will that work? Well…
It’s (not actually) Peanut Butter Jelly Cookie Time! Whereyat?
So Stacy asked the boys what kind of cookie they’d like to make with the new sunflower seed flour and the resulting vote produced “Peanut Butter and Jelly Time Cookies”. Of course they then dropped the mic and walked away like they expected us to come up with the recipe.
But we totally did, and to further prove a point – we made it egg-free too!
PB&J Sandwich Cookies
Ingredients (applaud my flexibility for you!)
- 7 Medjool dates
- 1/2 C palm shortening (or lard or butter)
- 1/2 C sunflower seed butter (or chunky almond butter)
- 1/3 C palm sugar (or date or maple sugar)
- 1 1/2 C sunflower seed flour (or almond flour)
- 1 TBSP arrowroot powder
- 1/2 TBSP vanilla
- 1 tsp hazelnut extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- ♥ Pulse or use batter setting on dates by themselves until a paste forms.
- ♥ Add the remaining ingredients and puree until a batter forms.
- ♥ Place tablespoons of batter onto a greased baking sheet (for that real peanut butter cookie look, make crosshatches at the top with a fork).
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on tray for five minutes.
- ♥ Spread sunflower seed butter and jelly between two cookies to make a sandwich.
Steps marked with a ♥ are perfect for little helping hands. But be forewarned: the Blendtec was not designed for a two year old! The touch panel can be easily turned on accidentally and there is no locking mechanism that prevents it from being turned on without a lid. CLOSE supervision is a must!
They are delicious and totally hit that peanut butter cookie spot. Per the boys request, served ours with a natural jelly. We adults, however, spread on some sunflower seed butter and made ourselves little not-nutter-butter-sandwiches with them. The resulting sandwiches tasted just like Nutter Butters. Seriously! Deeply nutty tasting without a single nut plucked from a tree. Out of this world good!
So if you want to satisfying a cookie craving but have a nut-flour complication, perhaps you’ll consider making some sunflower seed flour?
Lastly, don’t forget to let your kids help – we recommend those marked with a ♥
Lastly, you should know that although these two recipes don’t include baking soda so they will be unchanged, recipes which do include it cause a chemical reaction with the chlorophyll in sunflower seeds (butter or flower), causing a bright green reaction in your baked goods! This can be FUN and an exciting science experiment if you give your kids a heads up. If you wait for them to see it themselves, they may find it off-putting… We’ve used it to make some gnarly snacks on Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day!