Now that I’m back from vacation and through the craziest part of the summer, I’ve been spending some time back in my happy place…my kitchen.

I’m gearing up to teach a cooking class in September called Yummy Snacks for Healthy, Happy Kids at the Institute for Integrative Health (click this link to register!) and have been doing lots of recipe testing and experimenting.

My friend, Lindsay, contacted me because she found out that her son’s kindergarten is completely peanut-free.

Like most kids, he loves PB&J, so she was looking for another option.

Meet sunflower seed butter AKA sunbutter :)

IMG_0739Just like its peanut and tree-nut cousins, sunflower seed butter is made by grinding up sunflower seeds until they’re smooth and creamy.

It tastes WAY more like peanut butter than almond butter does, so if you’re not a huge fan of almond butter, give sunflower seed butter a shot!

I decided to upgrade the basic sunbutter, as it’s commonly called, by adding in some hemp seeds and cinnamon.

Let’s take a look at each ingredient in this quick, easy, and tasty recipe.


These little guys don’t get enough love, but they should! Here’s why…

  • Good source of magnesium to calm our nerves, muscles and blood vessels
  • Anti-inflammatory, containing heart healthy fats and vitamins
  • The detoxifying and cancer preventive mineral selenium
  • Rich in compounds called phytosterols that promote healthy cholesterol levels

You can find sunflower seed butter at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Wegmans, MOMs Organic Market, most Giants, The Fresh Market, and any natural food store. It’s also sold online at Amazon and Thrive Market.

Hemp Seeds

In case it’s crossing your mind, these hemp seeds won’t give you the “high” you’re thinking of, but they DO have lots of other benefits. They’re a great source of plant-based protein, high in healthy fats that naturally balance hormones and promote heart health, and rich in  fiber to keep us feeling full and satisfied.

For more benefits of hemp seeds, click here.


Cinnamon is a naturally sweet tasting spice that helps us regulate our blood sugar, which is key for sustained energy. Check out the top 10 proven health benefits of this super spice from the folks over at Authority Nutrition.

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Servings: 2


  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 4 teaspoons shelled hemp seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add more to taste)

Note: If your sunflower seed butter is salt-free and sugar-free, add a pinch of fine grain sea salt and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.


Stir all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon until combined. Use as a spread or dip for celery, apples, pears, Mary’s Gone Crackers pretzel sticks or sandwiches. It’s versatile and delicious! Make a double or quadruple batch to have on hand throughout the week.

The next post will cover another fun way to use this dip, so stay tuned!

**Remember, if you want one of the 30 slots for the Yummy Snacks for Healthy, Happy Kids workshop, click here to register and get more info!**

I’d love to hear from you! What was YOUR favorite snack at school when you were a kid?