It’s no secret I am nuts for nuts. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, you name it…I eat them. Clearly nuts make a pretty frequent appearance in my recipes in their various forms. But I realize that not everyone is as fortunate to be able to or has the desire to eat nuts. Having a nut allergy must suck not only for the obvious reason that you can’t eat them, but also because obnoxious people like me eat them and talk about them incessantly. I don’t blame you for hating me!
Many people with nut allergies and intolerances opt to replace recipes with nuts with their closely related cousin, seeds. I am also a big lover of seeds believe it or not. In fact pumpkin seed butter may be up there as my favourite nut/seed butter (behind PB & pistachio butter of course). I’ll be honest, I was not blown away by sunflower butter the first time I tried it. Note to self, don’t try making it with salted sunflower seeds. It will taste well…salty. I did however start experimenting and found I came to enjoy it with a bit of added cinnamon and vanilla extract. If you are interested in making your own I usually add 2 cups of sunflower seeds, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of vanilla extract to a food processor and within 5 mins have sunflower seed butter. For this recipe feel free to make your own or use store-bought. If you are making your own, no need to add the additional cinnamon and vanilla extract the recipe calls for.
Since I was in an experimenting mood I thought I would make another interesting substitution. Instead of using cocoa as I normally would I replaced it with unsweetened carob powder. I tried carob chips (similar to chocolate chips) for the first time a few years back in Israel. I immediately loved them. They taste like chocolate with a bit more of an earthy, almost caramel flavour. Carob is part of the legume family that comes from the carob tree. In addition to its awesome taste, carob packs a serious nutritional punch:
-Good source of fibre
-Contains many B vitamins, vitamin A, and many minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium
-compared to chocolate it is 1/3 less calories and 17x less fat
-It does not contain caffeine
-In chip or bar form less sugar is added because carob is naturally sweeter
Clearly this stuff is pretty awesome. But if you’re more of the chocolate type feel free to just use cocoa powder. I hope this is a recipe that everyone can enjoy!
- For the sunflower seed butter center:
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seed butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 T coconut flour
- 2 T apple sauce
- 6 drops liquid stevia
- For the carob coating:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened carob powder
- 4 T melted coconut oil
- 6-10 drops liquid stevia
- 1. Mix together all ingredients of the sunflower seed butter center and roll into balls. Set aside
- 2. Combine carob powder, coconut oil and stevia.
- 3. Drop balls into carob mixture and coat.
- 4. Remove from mixture and place on a parchment-lined plate or sheet.
- 5. Place balls in freezer to set for at least 20 mins.
- 6. Keep in fridge or freezer.
Do you have a nut allergy? How do you manage? Have you ever tried carob?