Who doesn’t love a smooth, chocolatey, nutty, sweet spread – one particular one brand springs to mind…  However, unfortunately the ingredients are, in order, sugar, vegetable oil, nuts and additives – not quite the healthy foods we’re after. Certainly not something we want to give to our kids on a regular basis.

But here is a great delicious alternative – as I say ‘there’s a healthier version of everything’!

This spread gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, it contains has no refined sugar, no vegetable oil, no emulsifiers, and no preservatives. Containing plenty protein and healthy fats, this is a guilt-free treat for all.  Ideal also for kids to take it to school as more and more classrooms are becoming nut-free!


2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (or alternative)



1. Toast sunflower seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Let cool.
2. Blend in a food processor until a fine powder.
3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy but not too thick. (add a little more milk if required)
4. Store in an airtight container for up to 30days in the refrigerator.

Check out this ‘homemade’ video that I made with the help of my artistic husband, to see what’s in the popular commercial nut and chocolate spreads you might buy in the supermarket. Compare these to what this healthy homemade spread offers.  Sunella Video.


Nutrition Notes

Cacao is rich in flavonoids, which contribute to a healthy heart. It also contains good saturated fats and the amino acid arginine, which helps protect against inflammation and high blood pressure. Choose 70% or higher to get the health benefits, as anything less can contain sugars and additives.

Sunflower Seeds, originating from such a vibrant energizing flower :), can only be full of goodness – protein, vitamin E, manganese and selenium – containing mainly mono-unsaturated fats, they are also high in fibre. They can be roasted in a dry skillet to add a nutty flavour to many dishes – and are great in homemade granola, protein bars and energy balls.

Liza Rowan

Holistic Nutritionist

When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys,  I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.

 You can follow me on one or more of the following channels:

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