Are you sensitive or intolerant to gluten? Do you struggle to find grain-free flour alternatives that work well in recipes? Are nut-based flours not an option due to allergies? You’re not alone, thankfully there are increasingly more options for grain and nut-free baking on the market. Meaning you can enjoy the foods you love without compromising on taste or texture.
One of the best alternatives is flour made from Sunflower seeds.
What Is Sunflower Seed Flour?
Just as its name suggests, sunflower seed flour is flour made from sunflower seeds. Sunflowers are a hardy and resilient crop that has been cultivated around the world since the 16th century.
The seeds themselves are easily harvested from the flowers and in large numbers, they are incredibly versatile as a food source. The seeds can then be used to create cooking oil, as animal feed, seed butter, or as a delicious snack pack of seeds we often see in grocery stores.
To create sunflower seed flour post-harvesting, the seeds are:
- Gently ground into a fine powder to create the flour.
Wondering how to make sunflower seed flour at home? The process of blending the seeds to create flour has to be undertaken expertly. Ground sunflower seeds can quickly turn into a paste if blended too long. Meaning you’ll end up with seed butter. Which while also delicious, obviously not going to work as a flour substitute.
Why Choose Sunflower Seed Flour?
So why should you choose sunflower seed flour over other grain-free alternatives?
- It’s also nut-free, making it safe for use for just about any allergy sufferer.
- It’s inexpensive, especially when compared to almond flour which is the usual alternative for those avoiding gluten.
- It is nutritionally dense, sunflower seed flour nutrition includes B group vitamins, vitamin E, and antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. These antioxidants have been shown to improve brain health and help regulate weight.
- It has a neutral flavor so as not to impact the taste of your recipes.
- Naturally sweeter than grain-based flour so can help you reduce added sweeteners when cooking.
- Sunflower seed meal is similar in texture to almond flour or cashew flour.
- It is significantly higher in protein and lower in carbs than other flours, making it perfect for Keto or Paleo recipes.
- It is vegan, non-GMO certified, and sustainable - using significantly less water to cultivate than grains and nuts.
Can I Make Sunflower Seed Flour?
The short answer is yes, however it can be tricky to get right as well as time-consuming. As mentioned previously, should you blend it for too long or too vigorously, it becomes a paste. One way to avoid this is to pulse it in small batches and then sift to remove the larger pieces which you can then pulse again. Given that homemade sunflower seed flour has a short shelf life, this makes it rather inconvenient to make yourself.
Beyond The Equator has perfected the grinding process and enables an extended shelf life through clever packaging. So you can whip up your favorite treats in no time with none of the hassles of blending your own flour. In fact, they are one of the only companies to commercially mill Sunflower Seed Flour.
How To Use Sunflower Seed Flour
Using sunflower seed flour is incredibly straightforward, for recipes where a grain-based flour is used simply substitute at a 1 to 1 ratio. Should you be substituting it in place of coconut or cassava you’ll need to use a little more sunflower seed flour.
This is because coconut and cassava are naturally more absorbent than sunflower seed powder. In these instances, it is recommended to add 1 full cup of sunflower seed flour for every ¼ cup of coconut or cassava flour.
Why Did My Baking Turn Green?
A little-known quirk of using sunflower seed flour is that it turns green upon baking. Baking powder and baking soda react with the chlorophyll in the seeds creating a reaction known as chlorogenic quinone-amino acid greening. This reaction is entirely harmless, won’t change the taste, and can make your baking more fun, especially for kids! Green Halloween cookies and treats anyone?
If you’d rather avoid this side effect, simply add a little lemon juice or white vinegar beforebaking. Just be careful not to add too much as this will impact the taste.
Intrigued? Why Not Try One Of Our Great Recipes
Do you love bread and muffins but feel they’re off the menu due to gluten or nut allergies? The good news is that sunflower seed flour bread and muffins are possible! The following recipe for Pumpkin Banana Bread Muffins is sure to hit the spot.
Pumpkin Banana Bread Muffins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup Creamy 5 Seed Butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 1⁄2 cup oat flour
- 1 cup Beyond The Equator Sunflower Seed Flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- chocolate chips/optional chopped pecans for on top
- Preheat the oven to 375 and oil a muffin tin or use a silicone muffin tin.
- Mix the wet ingredients together then add in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth, add in the chocolate chips and mix once more.
- Scoop into the muffin pan and sprinkle over chopped pecans/seeds/coconut.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden, let cool before removing from the pan, then enjoy!
For added deliciousness and boosted protein and nutrition, you may like to slice your muffins and spread them with Chocolate 5 Seed Butter.
Be sure to check out our other great allergen-free sunflower seed flour recipes.
Enjoy Great Food And Boosted Nutrition With Beyond The Equator
At Beyond The Equator we are committed to the innovation and development of allergy-friendly foods without compromising on taste. Our goal is to produce products that are as accessible and safe to consume as possible - no matter what your dietary needs are. Try our products today and experience the Beyond The Equator difference.