Almond sunflower spread in a dish with some crackers

Almond Sunflower Spread

Almond Sunflower Spread - Almond Sunflower Spread


Dips and spreads are hugely popular.


They go well with so many other foods such as sandwiches, vegetable sticks, toasted baguettes, crackers or I even throw a dollop or two in my salads and toss well. For those who like to massage their raw kale first with something like an avocado before making a salad, drip using another dip or spread for variety.


It’s true that nuts and seeds contain protein but we’ve probably done ourselves a disservice with overly simplified messages such as calling legumes or nuts and seeds as “protein”.


Those foods are not concentrated sources of protein like meat, fish, poultry, eggs or dairy are. In fact, legumes (pulses such chickpeas, lentils, dried beans & peas) get 70% or more of their calories from carbohydrate. That’s why they behave more like carbohydrates when it comes to raising blood sugar and insulin release. They are protein-rich plant foods, yes, but they’re really a carbohydrate.


Nuts and seeds are the same. We call them “proteins” and they are grouped into the protein category like legumes in the new Canada’s Food Guide, but they get 70% or so of their calories from fat.


Never the less, they help contribute to your total protein intake but are not protein in and of themselves.


One ounce (28 g), or 23 almonds, pack a lot of nutrition in only 165 calories including fiber, 6 g protein, fat, vitamin E (37% of requirements), magnesium, managnese and only 2.5 grams of net carbs, a.k.a. as digestible carbs. In other words, very few carbs to raise your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Sunflower seeds

Like almonds, sunflower seeds are nutrition superstars too. One ounce (28 g) has 163 calories, fat, protein (5.5 g), only 3.5 g net carbs, fiber, vitamin E (37% of requirements), B3, B5, folate, zinc, copper and a decent amount of manganese and selenium.

Is mayo dairy free?

Since dairy foods include milk and foods made from milk (this does not include eggs), most mayo doesn’t contain milk. However, confusion remains about this and mayos are mistaken for dairy foods.


Mayo, homemade or store bought, typically contain egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, oil and a mix of spices. This spread is suitable for dairy free folks.

Almond Sunflower Spread

Almonds and sunflower seeds are a great way to get some much needed vitamin E. This spread is savoury and can be used as a snack with crackers or as a spread in a sandwich in place of butter, mayonnaise, or mustard if you’re looking for a change. Like most spreads, it also goes well with raw veggies.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword almonds, nuts, phytonutrients, seeds, sunflower seeds, vitamins
Prep Time 8 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 small carrot finely grated [optional]
  • juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup
  • water
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tamari sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. marjoram


  1. Place almonds and sunflower seeds in a medium-sized bowl and cover with water.
  2. Allow to soak at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours to soften them thoroughly.
  3. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  4. In a food processor, blend almonds and sunflower seeds for 30 seconds.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and chill before serving.

Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health.  Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Photo credit: teentinyturkey