Sunflower Meal A.K.A. "Sunflour" (Paleo, low-FODMAP + Whole30)

Alternative flours can take a while to get a handle on if you're use to cooking with wheat flours. Nut meals are usually the first thing people try once switching over to gluten-free lifestyles, but allergies can sometimes get in the way, since nuts are a common allergen and can make gluten-free baking a challenge. Seed flours can be an option, but should be tested cautiously if a nut allergy is present. I have found that most individuals who suffer from nut allergies and sensitivities can handle sunflower seeds. 

I have a simple recipe below that will turn organic sunflower seeds into a nice sunflower meal for around $3! I recommend soaking and dry nuts and seeds, but that step is not mandatory. Soaking nuts and seeds will help the nutrients in the nuts/seeds more accessible during digestion; this is a wise tradition passed down by previous generations and should be valued.

If nuts and seeds are too risky, or if you are on an autoimmune protocol, cassava flour is a nice alternative flour that is made from the whole yuca root. I always use Otto's Naturals


6 cups sunflower seeds

8 cups water

2 tablespoon sea salt

Gluten-free flour sunflower seed flour nut-free paleo organic alternative flour low-FODMAP


Soak sunflower seeds in water and salt for 4-6 hours. Soaking grains, nuts and seeds helps breakdown phytic acid, which can inhibit the bodies ability to absorb nutrients within those foods, mainly minerals. Enzyme inhibitors are also found in these foods; the soaking and sprouting process of certain foods can neutralize those inhibitors and will make them easier to digest, especially if an enzyme deficiency may already exist. Not only are enzyme inhibitors neutralized, but enzymes are produced during the germination process that aids digestion. Many cultures have been properly preparing grains, nuts, seeds and legumes for centuries; it is a wise tradition of our ancestors, not a new fad.

Set the oven to the lowest setting, 150-170 degrees. Drain the seeds and spread evenly in one layer over a lined baking sheet. Place the seeds in the warm oven for 6 hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so). The drying time will vary from oven-to-oven due to lowest heat setting. The time does not matter all that much, the end result should be slightly golden and dry sunflower seeds. I would start the drying process early in the day so it will be done before the next night. A dehydrator is a no fuss way to dry seeds and can be used as well. I line my dehydrator racks with parchment paper to prevent the seeds from falling through to the heating element. 

Gluten-free flour sunflower seed flour nut-free paleo organic alternative flour low-FODMAP

Once the sunflower seeds are dry, place a small amount (1/2 cup or so) into a vita-mix or a high-speed blender and blend until the seeds are ground to a fine meal. Small batches are needed to prevent the blade from becoming packed with seeds which will result in a sunflower seed paste, rather than a light flour/meal. A food processor works well for making flour, but if the processor is large it may not get as fine. You can make a coarse flour more fine by using a mortar and pestle (I know, I just went back to biblical times, but it is still an amazing kitchen tool). My advice, just use a high-speed blender like a Vita-mix or Ninja. Store the flour in an airtight container in the pantry for two weeks, or in the refrigerator if it wont be used within two weeks.

* The soaking process is not mandatory to make sunflower meal, but highly recommended for nutrition, flavor and digestion.

Prep Time: 4-6 hours

Cook Time: 6 plus hours

Yields: 7.5 cups flour