Sun-Flour, a Nut-Free Almond Flour Substitute

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Sun-flour: homemade sunflower seed flour, a great alternative to almond flour!

Sun-Flour is a nut-free, almond flour substitute made with soaked, dehydrated and ground sunflower seeds!

UPDATE: I am always learning. This was one of my earliest posts, before I learned that all nut/seed flours should be used in strict moderation and should only rarely be heated. If you frequently use almond flour or other nuts/seeds for baking, please read my post 5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour for important information!

Why soak and dehydrate?

Yes, it would be much simpler to just throw some raw sunflower seeds into a coffee grinder and get instant sun-flour. But I always soak and dehydrate any nuts or seeds. Why?

Nuts and seeds are naturally high in enzyme inhibitors, which often causes stomach aches and after consumption. Soaking in salted water activates other enzymes that neutralize these trouble-causing enzyme inhibitors. The seeds then must be dried before they are ground into flour.

You may also use pumpkin seeds or probably even sesame seeds with this technique!

Sun-Flour: Soaked sunflower seed flour almond flour substitute

Nut Free? Try This Almond Flour Substitute!

I recently started experimenting with using Sun-Flour in place of almond flour, and the results are delicious! I can’t guarantee that you will have perfect results every time you make this substitution, but it is a great solution for those who have nut allergies. Not only is this almond flour substitute more healthy, because it has been soaked and dehydrated to reduce the enzyme inhibitors that are present in almond flour, but it is more affordable.

How to make Sun-Flour:

sprouted sunflower seed flour sun-flourCover sunflower seeds with filtered water and add 1 Tbs. sea salt for about every 2 cups of seeds (you don’t need to be exact). The salt helps destroy the phytic acid.Soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.

 

 

 

sprouted sunflower seed flour sun-flourRinse the sunflower seeds in a colander. Spread sunflower seeds onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate between 105 to 150 degrees until crispy, 12 to 24 hours. Alternatively, dry on baking sheets in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours.

 

 

Grind sunflower seeds in a carefully cleaned coffee or spice grinder until fine, about 15 seconds. Grind in batches. This seems like it would be time consuming, but it only takes me about 5 minutes to grind 2 cups of flour! Grind until very fine. It’s okay if it starts to get clumpy, that just means it is finely ground and you can fluff out the clumps with a fork.

soaked sunflower seeds for sun-flour

You will get approximately 1 cup flour for every cup of sunflower seeds. Store your sun-flour in a jar in the refrigerator or freezer, and use within a few months. Substitute for almond flour in recipes!

 

 

 












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Comments

  1. Alicia says

    Thanks for the great idea! Sometimes it is hard to find raw almonds, but I can find sunflower seeds easier!!! Thank you…I never thought of doing this!

  2. ROBIN says

    What a blessing! I have IGG allergies to almonds, apples, lemons, green beans, eggs, dairy, wheat, etc. and am tearing my hair out trying to avoid these items and find substitutes. Thanks so much for this recipe, I can start baking again!

  3. Nancy says

    This is so great! My daughter and I were talking about how expensive almond flour is. But sunflower seeds are really reasonable. Also in the past when I have baked with sunflower seeds the baked goods would later turn green on me. The taste wasn’t affected but I really didn’t like the color. Have you had any problems with your baked goods turning green? Thanks again for such a great post!

    • says

      Previously, I used homemade sunflower butter for baked goods and I couldn’t figure out why they would have little green spots the next day! So yes…I do have that issue, and I think it is the sunflower seeds. But, like you said, it doesn’t affect the taste so I don’t mind.

    • Heather says

      Hey! Just a little tip from a passer by and professional baker with food allergies; sunflower seeds react to the aluminum in baking soda. The best way to thwart it? Get aluminum free baking soda (which is better for you anyways!). (:

      • says

        Interesting! And I always use aluminum-free baking soda. I’ve also heard that sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, which reacts with the baking soda in a warm environment (like an oven).

  4. says

    I do use Almond Flour. I really appreciate that your post including step by step pictures for the Sun flour. I can’t wait to buy some sunflower seeds and try baking with it. Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Jen! It’s hard for me to compare, because I don’t use almond flour due to a sensitivity. I have mostly just used this in my experimental recipes, and not other recipes that call for almond flour. But I am just about to bake this almond flour cake using sun-flour instead and I will report the results!

  5. Tammy says

    Help… I need advice… This is off topic from this post but I just started gaps intro and I’m in sooo much pain. I’m on week two and before I started intro I introduced broth for a month and cut out all grains. Was not hard as I was already dairy, gluten, sugar and yeast free. I have a lengthy history of candida and adrenal fatigue. When I had my first baby it all got better. Then I had a second two yrs ago and very long sad story short she is totally fine but did die for 5 mins and was chilled on ice for 3 days. They expected she would not live but she’s here and strong. I however am far from it. I had a couple issues with my bowels after my son, three times where I felt like I was in labor but all three times was when I had Alfredo sauce so I just didn’t have it and life was good. After my daughter I have a lot going on, post partum, post traumatic stress, yeast infections that don’t go away easily, bladder pain, adrenal fatigue, suspected pyroluria ect… I started intro two weeks ago, had a bad initial die off but nothing I couldn’t handle. Then I had a few good mental days where I was really pretty clear. Now anything I eat I feel like I’m in labor with colon spasms within 20 mins…. I just ate cauliflower Nd broccoli soup and it happened. I introduce tomatoes, avacado, mushrooms just to give me additional foods. Ithe first week my BMs were normal, then three days constipated and yesterday was horrible runs. Today fine again but still the pain. What is this???? I’m so scared I’m going to give myself chrones or something…. I can’t be on my knees in the bathroom with two little ones. I do the detox baths and am on a probiotic that I stayed on as I’ve been on it for some time. I can’t take any enzymes as the ones I’ve tried give me a yeast infection within a day..

    I was ready to go vegan two months ago to try and get better Nd I don’t care what diet I do I just need it to work.

    Any advice would be awesome

    tammy_robyn@yahoo.ca

  6. Rob C says

    Does anyone know of a source for sunflower seeds that aren’t cross-contaminated with nuts? All the packages of sunflower seeds I’ve seen locally have a warning like “may contain tree nuts” or “manufactured on shared equipment with tree nuts.”

    • Marci says

      Trader Joe’s are from a sunflower only facility, other resources are Gerbs or Sunbutter seeds, both can be purchased on Peanut Free Planet

  7. says

    Just found your blog from CCC and your caramel sauce which I can’t wait to try!! Just an FYI baked goods with sunflower seed flour or Sunbutter will turn green (getting deeper with time) when mixed with baking soda…..works great for Christmas cookies!! It’s due to a change in ph, sunflower seeds and a few other things are sensitive to it and will change color. Looking forward to exploring your blog!

    • says

      Christi, thank you so much for solving the mystery of the green sunflower baked goods! I didn’t know it was the baking soda combination. How interesting! And LOL about the Christmas cookies –that is a creative solution to the issue! I hope you enjoy the caramel sauce, and thanks for visiting!

  8. Candance says

    This is a great post, thank you for sharing. I am currently dealing with many food sensitivities due to leaky gut and I can’t wait to try this :) I have used coconut flour but sparingly because of the high fiber content. Do you know if the sun flour is high or low in fiber?

  9. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Lauren! So many great gluten-free recipes call for almond flour, but it’s on my no-go list. :-) Love that you give instructions for dehydrating the soaked seeds in the oven as well (since a dehydrator is still only on my wish list).

  10. says

    I don’t eat grains, and I can’t have almond flour… and there’s only so much coconut flour I can handle, so this is a great alternative. Thanks!

  11. Andree says

    Hi,
    I love your devotion to health and feel an connection to all plant food as you do. I do have a lot of almond meal left over from my milk I make every three days and I freeze the solids for further cooking, but I have to throw out some as it gets too much. Any ideas on what to foo with home made almond meal? Thanks for all your recipes.

  12. Susan P says

    I know Kelly at the Spunky Coconut posts lots of recipes for almond meal (or she used to). I think she uses Bobs Red Mill which is much coarser than for instance Honeyville almond flour. The textures are different. Elana’s Pantry also uses some almond flour. You could try those bloggers for recipes off the top of my head.

    I’m interested to try sun-flour (ha!) but am concerned about any strong flavors. Almonds to me are pretty neutral. I also don’t have a dehydrator so would have to attempt the oven. My DH would have a cow if I brought home one more piece of kitchen equipment! (at least until we get our pantry room put together)

    Thanks for posting this though. I’m going to print it off and save it for future use. I appreciate all you do, Lauren!

  13. Victoria says

    Can you please make a muffin or cookie recipe with sun-flower, I’m allergic to nuts and coconuts. :(

  14. says

    Lauren,

    The SproutPeople site is excellent for finding soaking and sprouting times for various enzyme-inhibited foods (nuts, seeds, beans, grains, vegetables). They say sunflower seeds only need 30 minutes, and pumpkin seeds as little as 1 hour. This is good info for those in a hurry, or with a spontaneous sweet tooth (assuming people don’t mind using wet seed mash, rather than dehydrated and ground). Visit Sproutpeople to get info on anything you want to soak to remove phytates. http://sproutpeople.org/sunny.html (It’s not my site)

    Where did you get your info on adding salt to soaking seeds? I’ve never read that before (I used to be a big sprouter).

    Isn’t all baking soda aluminum-free? I thought it was baking POWDER that you had to watch out for.

  15. Pamela says

    Thanks for this interesting post about sun-flour; it’s nice to have another option. Have some soaked sunflower seeds dehydrating right now! A note about Omega-6 PUFAs. According to Mark Sisson’s website (www.marksdailyapple.com), 1/4 cup of almonds has 4.36 g Omega-6 PUFAs, while the same amount of sunflower seeds has 12 g – nearly triple that of almonds. (He does not specify if that is for hulled or unhulled seeds.) If I were not allergic, it seems that almonds would be a healthier option for the occasional baked good. (Better yet, coconut flour, as you’ve previously posted!) Blanched almond flour reduces the anti-nutrients to a significant extent. However, you are right to point out the caloric density of these alternative flours. Incidentally, the lowest Omega-6 nut (among those we consume here) is macadamia (0.5 g per 1/4 cup). I’ve tried grinding macadamias with almonds in my food processor for various baking projects, and it’s been wonderful. I substitute about 1/4 macadamias for some of my almond recipes – works great in cookies. Can’t use them 100%, though, due to their oily nature.

  16. drea says

    I recently tried making my own sun flower for mini burger buns before finding this post. We are just starting paleo and the wee ones love bread. Can you use a food processor instead of the coffee grinder? Maybe chill the seeds beforehand would help?

  17. says

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering
    problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  18. Sharon V. says

    According to Heidi @ lowoxalateinfo.com, the way to not have your sun-flour or sunbutter not turn green is to add lemon juice. Didn’t see in this thread where anyone actually gave a solution to that issue. She has some recipes and explains it there.

  19. says

    Greetings, There’s no doubt that your blog might be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it’s got some
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  20. Kathleen says

    Thanks for this site. So informative. I thought we should watch how much omega 6 I get so confused with so many various what’s healthy and what is not . I am trying to go more with a low carb diet because it made sense for me with metabolic syndrome. I am also sensitive to dairy. I experienced my first diverticitis attack this past year. … Not fun. Anyway any suggestions as to which flours are best for my situation. I was using among flour but your post makes sense plus I was wondering if the high fat content is good for you if you have no gallbladder. I would like to loose 15 lbs. but I agree with you healthy gut first and hopefully belly fat will disolve in the process.

  21. elisa says

    Hi, do you know if I can just soak the sunflower flour instead of dehydrating them first and then turning them into flour? I don’t have a dehydrator and don’t like the idea of having the oven on for 24 hours.

    • says

      Yes! I am always learning and this was one of my earliest posts, before I learned that almond flour and all nut/seed flour should be used in moderation and never heated. I am going to update this post with that info!

  22. Alice says

    I mistakenly bought lots of almond flour (bulk buy) – is there a way to remove the phytic acids in them after they’ve grinded – or is it too late?

    If I make them into a yoghurt – will that remove the phytic acid?

    I don’t want to throw away my almond flour! Cost me over £100! But at the same time don’t want to hurt my already stressed out and sensitive body (lots of health issues including digestive). I also don’t want to give it to others because I don’t want to hurt other people.

    Please advise!
    Thanks

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