Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Recipe - Sunflower Butter Balls

I read the feed to a craft blog called The Crafty Crow. She highlighted another blog called Happy Things - specifically a recipe for Peanut Butter Balls - which the author had adapted from a sinful recipe from the butter queen herself Paula Deen. The recipe looked so good that I thought I would take my first stab at creating a peanut free treat from a peanut laden one.

The transformation from there to here definitely took a few turns. Paula's original treat has been turned into something a bit healthier and definitely something that a Peanut and Tree Nut free child can partake in.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup sunflower seed butter (I used Sunbutter Organic Creamy)
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup quick cook oats (I used McCann's Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal)
3/4 cup wheat germ

To make them:

Place the wheatgerm in a shallow bowl. You'll use this later.

In a separate bowl, combine the sunflower seed butter, honey, milk, and oats and mix until they are evenly incorporated. Roll into small balls about the size, ironically enough, of a walnut (I used my meatball making tool and it worked really well). Roll them in the wheat germ. Place on a plate or tray and refrigerate until set. Once they are set you can transfer them into a covered container or put in the freezer.

Makes Approx. 36 balls.

How are they, you ask? Put it this way, when I tasted one, the first words out of my mouth rhymed with Moly Mitt! I swear I could eat, like, 7 or 10 of these in one sitting. I regretted making only a half a batch. Suffice it to say, these will be made many more times (I'm sure with variations) in our household. These are almost like little soft granola bars - I could see giving Bella a few of these in the morning for a quick breakfast. I also think these are not peanut butter looking enough to confuse a child.

A note about allergens: these don't contain peanuts or tree nuts but they DO contain dairy and wheat, but I bet we could find substitutes. McCann's oatmeal is made on dedicated equipment so I think it's safe for gluten free diets (correct me if I'm wong!). You could use gluten free graham cracker crumbs to coat them and you might be able to find in your area powdered soy milk? I'll leave it to you, my wonderful readers, to suggest a dairy free alternative to powdered milk.

Let me know if you try these, and if you do, how your kids (and you) like them. I can't really take any credit for them, but the experiment was fun and oh so delicious.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

p.s. You know what? If you wanted to try Paula's recipe and just substitute SunButter, I bet the recipe would turn out fabulous -it would definitely make a sweet treat for the holidays.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found you. (I was googling 'peanut allergy' today, and came across your blog.) My son was officially diagnosed with peanut allergy earlier this summer. I was reading your 'how we got here' and could relate to EVERYTHING. Wow... (My son had his first reaction when he was 8 months old, and we had 'known', and taken preventative measures since then. Long story, short - The doctor recommended waiting until he was 3 to test.) I'm working on a post about my son and will be posting it within the next few days. Thanks for taking so much time to devote to a subject that is (unfortunately) :) so near and dear to my own heart!

~ Jennifer

Tara said...

Hi. I have been reading your blog for a while now, and you help me "normalize" what we are going through, if that is possible. Just a question for you on the sunbutter. My dd's bloodwork confirmed peanut allergy, but we are waiting on skin test this fall for others such as tree nuts--we avoid them all at this point. I am so "gunshy," that I'm downright paranoid. While I've tried SunButter when dd was at my parents' house, I have not let her try it yet. I'm a recovering peanut butter a holic :) but I found it to be an acceptable substitute for me. How did you try Bella with SunButter, or was it just no big deal?
Thanks in advance. And thanks for all the information you share.
Best wishes.

Heather said...

Oh, yum! I think I'll try it with Vance's Dari Free for my son (soy and dairy allergic in addition to so many other things!).

I made boiled cookies this weekend with sunbutter and they turned out delish! It needed a little more oats than the recipe called for though. DS demanded many "cook-cooks" :)

Anonymous said...

Teacher educator says: I was happy to find this alternative to peanut butter. I tried this recipe as a alternate to peanut butter balls for my students to use in their early childhood classrooms. I felt there was too much honey. I prefer 1/2 cup sunflower butter to 2 tbsp honey to 3 tbsp of dry milk. I'm also not sure all kids will like the texture (in their mouths) when the oatmeal is used. I prefer it to be an optional variation. I did not roll in wheat germ. Perhaps the wheat germ neutralizes the oversweetness of the honey. We often roll in sesame seeds or coconut flakes.
When we make peanut butter balls, there is a big contrast between the ease of pouring honey vs the viscous quality of the peanut butter and that contributes to science knowledge and problem-solving. I kind of wished the sunflower butter (I just used the natural) were harder to pour for that reason. Is there a more viscous (less pourable) variety?

Liv said...

To Teacher Educator: the Creamy (rather than Natural) Sunbutter (brand) is more viscous. I think the trade-off is that the natural doesn't have hydrogenated oils, but of course, the Creamy is cheaper.

Thanks for this recipe! I did cut back on the honey also and added more powdered milk and oats to make a "drier" ball. I also added 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal. I'm afraid I also threw in some choc chips, as I was trying to make an alternative to a promised candy treat for my children (not healthy, but delicious). Rolled in crushed crisp rice cereal since we didn't have wheatgerm on hand, and that worked wonderfully. Just a really great versatile recipe that you can adjust to your needs/ liking. Thanks again!