Do you struggle with a peanut allergy? Let me introduce you to the mighty sunflower seed and its commercial, spreadable greatness in the form of Sunbutter. Here are Sunbuter “peanut butter” cookies 3 ways!
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Peanut allergies effect around 3 million Americans, depending on what study you’re reading. That’s only about 1% of the population, but peanuts are still the leading allergic food, followed by shellfish. Some peanut allergies are relatively mild and others can be quite dangerous.
Many people have found healing from food allergies when they begin to mend their gut system. You can read one perspective here from Real Food Forager.
Yeast overgrowth can also play a part in allergic reactions to some food. You can read a three part series of articles on yeast overgrowth on our site, beginning here.
You might want to consult with a qualified, holistic doctor about combining healing diets with other medical regimens. Remember to include a medical professional you trust when making big changes if you’re struggling with your overall health.
It’s possible you may heal or grow out of your peanut allergy. However, until you do (or if it sticks with you), you can still enjoy a “peanut butter” cookie that will warm the cockles of your heart.
No Peanut For the Peanut Allergy
Sunbutter brand sunflower spread makes all kinds of different peanut butter substitutes – organic, no sugar added, chunky, you name it! They sent us a bottle of their standard sunflower spread (which contains some sugar, fyi) to try for Cookie Month ’14. I baked up the cookies you’ll find below with it.
The spread can also stand on its own, though.
One particularly stressful night found me digging some Sunbutter out of the jar with a spoon. I dunked the spoon in chocolate chips and ate it down, several maniacal bites at a time. It was delicious. Don’t you judge me.
I’ve just spend the past few weeks repainting nearly every room in my house in the middle of harvest season because my toddler conjures pens and crayons out of thin air with which to decorate the walls. That wouldn’t be so bad, really, if it weren’t for the fact that we’re still showing our house which is for sale and people get turned off by toddler artwork on the walls. I really needed that Sunbutter and chocolate chip combo. Needed.
Sunbutter Cookies 3 Ways for That Peanut Allergy
Ok, so the first batch I made was a Paleo one – no grain flour, no butter and no sugar. I’m not a big Paleo disciple but eating this way for a time really helped my gut heal. Plus, I enjoy a lot of the recipes. (I’ve settled into this eating-less-grain sort of lifestyle that works for me.)
My go to girl for Paleo recipes is Danielle Walker who blogs at Against All Grain. I have her cookbook by the same name and, since I really can’t improve on her recipes, I’m linking her recipe for Paleo Sunbutter “Peanut Butter” Cookie here.
The Sunbutter worked, as Danielle says it will, perfectly as a peanut butter substitute. Please make sure you’re measuring your baking soda accurately because a mis-measurement may result in bright green cookies.
Funny quirk about sunflower seed butter than you can read more about on Sunbutter’s website.
Only 1 Problem for Me
Here’s my only reservation about these cookies and it has nothing to do with Sunbutter or Danielle’s recipe: I’ve realized that I don’t like coconut flour. Not only do I not like it, I’m one of the few people who can’t eat much of it without a severe gut reaction.
Most people don’t have that reaction and many people enjoy the flavor and texture of coconut flour so I don’t want to discourage you from trying it. I’m just explaining why this wasn’t my favorite of the three cookies.
Gluten Free Version Regardless of Peanut Allergy
The next batch I tried was using the recipe outlined below exactly as its written but replacing regular, whole grain flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Flour. This is my favorite gluten free flour of the ones I’ve tried. (We don’t have a gluten or peanut allergy and don’t have to eat either peanut or gluten free entirely, but I enjoy using a wide variety of seeds and grains.)
I have another brand that I got at Costco and its almost the same ingredient list (of course, I don’t know the proportions because they’re not on the bag) as Bob’s. However, this other brand includes arrowroot powder as a binding agent since gluten free dough needs help sticking together.
Now, I know whole foodies go ga-ga over arrowroot powder but I can’t stand the stuff. Its bitter and slimy when used in place of corn starch as a thickener. Bob’s uses potato starch, along with a few other things, in their gluten free flour mix.
Non-GMO Corn Starch
In the FAQ section of their website, Bob’s answers the question Are your products genetically modified?:
“No. All of our products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds.”
I’m not sure if that means “seed potato” as well (potatoes are most often grown by cuttings of their tubers, not their seed), but I sent them an email to ask and I’ll update this post when I know for sure.
Here was Bob’s Red Mill’s response to my email and I think its super, extra-crispy, uber cool:
Thanks for asking about this. This Company has had a commitment to purchase only non-GMO products for over 10 years and this still hasn’t changed. Though it is not on our bag yet, we have recently enrolled in the NON-GMO Project and you can find the details of this in the link provided below. We have over 400 products and our bags will be updated to reflect this in time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions and have a wonderful day.
Ben Griswold Customer Service”
Gluten Free Sunbutter Cookie Recipe
So, with that goodness inside the flour, know that these gluten free cookies baked up beautifully. My tummy is much happier as a general rule eating gluten free so I was happy, too. Sometimes I can hang with a grain flour, though, and this recipe proved to work just fine for both versions. I got the following recipe off Sunbutter’s website and just tweaked it a bit for my family’s tastes – in that we eat cinnamon and nutmeg is just about everything.
Gluten Free Sunbutter Cookie Recipe
- 1 Cup Sunbutter
- 1 Cup butter softened
- 1 Cup of raw sugar succanat or coconut sugar
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cardamom
- 2 1/2 Cups flour
- Pre-heat oven to 375F/190C
- Cream Sunbutter and butter together until smooth.
- Add sugar and eggs, mixing thoroughly; add vanilla and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together soda, salt, spices and flour until well blended.
- Slowly add dry mix to wet mix, blending about a cup at a time until fully mixed.
- Using your hands, work bits of dough into roughly 1 1/2" balls. These you can roll in sugar for a classic look, if you like.
- Evenly space balls on a cookie sheet and carefully flatten with a fork, criss-crossing for a classic peanut butter cookie look.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
To learn how to make your own powdered sugar, please visit our post on Making Your Own Baking Supplies.
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