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Why Sunbutter Turns Your Cookies Green

 I added SunButter to my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and on the second day after baking the inside of the cookies were bright green. The taste still was good. What turned these cookies green?

 Aren't you the adventurous little eater to pick up a bright green cookie and put it in your mouth? Others might have erred on the side of caution. They might have thought, "hmmm, this cookie was brown yesterday, but now it's bright green. I'm going to mull this over a little before I eat it."

But not you! No sir-ee! You just thought, "hmmm, this cookie was brown yesterday, but now it's bright green. I'll just pop it in my mouth, and if I live to see tomorrow, I'll ask the folks at Ochef why I'm still here and why my cookie turned green."

Happily in this case, there was no danger.

SunButter is the brand name of a sunflower-seed spread, made by SunGold Foods, a division of Red River Commodities, a group that specializes in sunflower products for people and birds. SunButter is processed in plants that have never seen a peanut, so it's claim to fame is that it is a peanut-butter substitute that will not cause adverse peanut reactions. (It may contain soy lecithin, however.)

Now, about that green thing. All plants contain chlorogenic acid, mostly in the stems and leaves, but sunflowers also have it in the seeds. A spokeswoman for Red River Commodities says that SunButter does indeed turn cookies and other baked products green as they cool. The solution, she says, is to reduce the amount of baking soda or baking powder in your recipe by almost half, which balances the acidity of the ingredients and keeps them from changing color. Whether your cookies will rise adequately with half the leaven is a good question, but she says some people who have gotten in touch with the company say they don't notice any difference. Adding a bit of lemon juice to your dough or batter can also help maintain expected colors.

The Red River spokeswoman also says there are a number of recipes at the company site that have been engineered to be delicious and color-appropriate, including an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie that will not turn green.

Sunbutter is available in creamy, crunchy, honey-crunch (actually sweetened with cane juice, not honey), natural, organic, organic unsweetened, and pumped with Omega-3 versions.

If you cannot find SunButter in your local supermarket, you should be able to convince the manager to order it for you. It can also be ordered directly from the manufacturer.

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