Sunflower Spice Paleo Quick Bread

by Heidi on April 14, 2012

I’ve been trying to develop a Paleo quick bread recipe using Sunbutter instead of flour and oil with some  . . . well, let’s just say “interesting” results.  I finally had a break-through last week after finding a recipe on Elana’s Pantry for a Paleo breakfast bread that uses almond butter in place of the traditional flour and oil (warning: almonds are very high oxalate!).  A few simple adjustments in baking time and temperature and “wow” — my Sunbutter recipe worked!

Sunflower Spice Paleo Quickbread

Sunflower Spice Paleo Quickbread - A low oxalate bread perfect for breakfast or tea time (Sorry for the bad photo - I'll replace it as soon as I make another yummy batch!)

So, here it is: a grain-free, nut-free, low oxalate Paleo quick bread that’s perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea!  I like it best served warm with butter and a cup of tea, but Cameron loves it cold, too, with a frosty Banana Blueberry Dairy-Free Milkshake.  Yum!

Sunflower Spice Paleo Quick Bread

1/2 cup Sunbutter
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey (or 2 T honey, plus a half dropper liquid Stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional, see warning)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of Celtic  sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the Sunbutter in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until the Sunbutter is really creamy.  Add the eggs, honey, vanilla and mix a little more.  Add the baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon and mix until thoroughly blended (see note).  Put in a greased 8 x 8 ceramic or Pyrex baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for about 14 minutes.

Makes 12 small squares.

Note: It’s hard to get the baking soda to mix evenly in this recipe since you don’t have a flour to mix your baking soda into before adding the wet ingredients.  It works best for me to mix the baking soda with the spices and salt, then slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients  over the wet ingredients with a little mixing in between.

Warning:  (added on 4/19/2012) As one of my readers pointed out in the comments below, I forgot to warn you that the chlorogenic acid in sunflower seeds reacts with baking soda and turns green as your bread cools.  Yes, that’s right.  If you do not eat all of this bread within about three hours you too will have green bread, especially if you looked at my recipe and thought “No way is 1/4 teaspoon baking soda going to be enough” and put in 1/2 teaspoon instead.  Might be fun on St. Patrick’s Day!  Anyway, there are two ways to keep your bread from turning green.  You may reduce the baking soda to about 1/8 teaspoon, but it won’t rise very well.  You may also add about a 1/2 – 1 tablespoon lemon juice, which isn’t bad.

Low Oxalate Info:  Sunbutter (6.1 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoon), nutmeg (9.4 mg. per teaspoon) and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (9.5 mg. per 1/4 teaspoon) are medium oxalate ingredients.  All other ingredients are very low oxalate.  Sunflower Spice Paleo Quick Bread has about 4.6 mg. oxalate per serving when made without the cinnamon or 5.5 mg. oxalate per serving when made with the cinnamon.

Other Diets:  May also be appropriate for GFCF, gluten-free, Paleo, low carb and grain-free diets.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

DW April 14, 2012 at 4:06 am

This reminds me of Black Bean Brownies found here:

Of course, the brownies are out due to oxalates, but your recipe looks very promising! Great idea!


Heidi April 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thanks, DW. I checked out that recipe at Naturally Knocked Up and it made me think that I could probably create some baked goods using black-eyed-peas. You can buy black-eyed pea flour over the internet, but it’s pretty expensive. It would be nice to be able to make some goodies with just the peas which are readily available and cheap in North America at least.


Michelle April 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thank you! I tried sunbutter for the first time 2 days ago, and I can’t believe how much it tastes like peanut butter, I am over the moon, I missed it so much!! I cannot wait to try this recipe!! Your creations are so wonderful!!



Heidi April 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Thanks, Michelle. I was really jazzed when I found out about Sunbutter being lower medium oxalate, too! I like it spread on bananas and apples. Yum! And I’m enjoying playing around with it and coming up with other fun recipes. This quick bread is a pretty basic, no frills recipe, but it’s quite good and I’m pretty sure I can use it as a base to create other quick breads like zucchini bread or pumpkin bread. I’m going to try!


Michelle April 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

That is exactly what I was thinking! I have made a low oxalate zucchini bread with flax, potato starch and rice flour (surprisingly quite yummy and moist!) But I was thinking it would be a great base for other breads too. As well, there are peanut butter cookies with no flour, so you could also use it to make cookies. I am under the impression that flax is fairly low. I make a flax bread, no grain just roasted ground flax (costco) eggs, oil, water, baking powder and if you choose a bit of sweetener, it’s pretty good, does the job anyways, although there is room for improvement……it”s something to put my sunbutter on!!!


Heidi April 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm

That zucchini bread sounds good! I don’t bake much so I’m slow trying out new low oxalate baked goods, but I finally found a product on-line that’s got me really excited — check out this very low oxalate pumpkin seed butter (about 0.8 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoons.) (edit:4/19/2012 – this should read 2.2 mg. per 2 tablespoons, not 0.8. Sorry for any confusion). It’s ridiculously expensive and often hard to find in stock, but it would be great to have around as a special treat to spread on the occasional low oxalate baked item! Maybe it would jazz up your flax seed bread?


Michelle April 19, 2012 at 4:29 am

Wow 0.8mg per 2 tbsp!!! I thought pumpkin seeds were medium. Did re-testing show that they are low?? Could we not make our own pumpkin seed butter or is there something in particular they do to make it so low? I used to make my own pumpkin seed butter, I even made cookies out of it and they tasted like peanut butter cookies!!!!!!!

Hey my sunbutter bread turned green! (yes green!) I left it on the counter over night and in the morning it was green! I did put fresh ginger in instead of cinnamon, and I added a bit of flax, and ground chestnut. but I was just wondering if yours turned green? It tastes great, but they don’t look very appetizing at the moment!!!


Therese O. April 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

You came to my rescue! This recipe arrived in my email box just as I was searching for such a recipe! Thank you . I can’t wait to try it this weekend!


Heidi April 15, 2012 at 7:13 am

You’re welcome, Therese. Hope it works out well for you!


Heidi April 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

Oh, no, Michelle! I forgot to warn you guys . . . Since I have two piggy little boys, we rarely have left-overs, but a few times I’ve noticed some dark green flecks in my bread. In fact, Aidan thought I was trying to hide kale or collards in his bread and started to cry. One of my earlier flops had extra baking soda in it and turned an amazing bright green! Anyway the reason your bread turns green is that Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid and it reacts with the baking soda and eventually turns your bread bright green — usually just the insides and usually a few hours after it cools. The solution seems to be to reduce the baking soda (hard to do in this recipe), to add lemon juice or vinegar (might be okay) or just make a half or forth batch and eat it all before it cools . . . Here’s an article on why Sunbutter turns your bread green.


Heidi April 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

The oxalate values for pumpkin seeds have not changed. They are medium oxalate with about 6.2 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoons. My above quote was wrong. Sorry about that. I based it on a misprint in an older list I still sometimes use). Omega nutrition pumpkin seed butter has between 8.4 and 9.2 mg. oxalate per half cup. Since there are 8 tablespoons per half cup this means about 2.2 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoons. Still pretty low! Only a third of what most sunflower seed butters have. I beleive it is much lower oxalate than pumpkin seeds because you remove the hull when you make pumpkin seed butter and the hull is where grains/seeds tend to store most of their oxalate (e.g. brown rice or wheat bran is much higher in oxalate than processed white wheat flour or white rice).


Michelle July 15, 2012 at 7:56 am


I just wanted to tell you that this is my favorite cake! I always have some in the freezer and if you get it in fast enough there is barely any green. I decided not to put spices in mine I replaced the spices with a bit of ground roasted flax and I put in about 2 1/2 tsp of artificial almond extract and use maple syrup instead. It’s so yummy, I can’t thank you enough for this recipe!! I am going to try adding the chocolate stevia when I get it (unfortunately not thru the LOD store, I am in Canada and it appears they won’t ship anything to me here. Sorry I cannot support it).

Anyways, thank you thank you! There are so many things on this site I want to try, I just have not had time! Maybe in the fall when it cools down!



Heidi July 17, 2012 at 12:49 am

Thanks for letting me know, Michelle.
I’m glad you like it! Have you taken any good pictures of your creations? Ha Ha. Food photography is not my strong point and that picture above is still the best one I’ve taken. The almond extract and maple syrup sound fabulous! I’ve used maple syrup in this recipe, but hadn’t thought of the almond extract. Good idea! I’ve started playing with extracts in a lot of my other recipes and have been really happy with the results. I’m going to try your version.

Thanks for thinking about supporting my store. I hope to have an international version up this fall, but not sure if it will happen or not. I have lots of fabulous ideas, but have to put that pesky dissertation first. Oh well. I do what I can. It makes it worth it to know I’ve helped you find your new favorite cake!



mouf August 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

please, for the benefit of a UK subscriber to your site, what is sunbutter?


Heidi August 22, 2012 at 1:49 am

Sunbutter is a “nut” butter made out of sunflower seeds. It’s very good and can be used in almost any recipe that calls for peanut butter. I refer to Sunbutter in my recipes because it is the lowest oxalate of the three brands of sunflower seed butter that have been tested, but you could use another brand. Pumpkin seed butter is also low oxalate and can be used in place of Sunbutter in my recipes or peanut butter in most peanut butter recipes (baking, Thai foods, African foods etc.). If you are missing peanut butter it’s worth seeing if you can find one of these alternate seed butters in the UK. They are very tasty!


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