As I started developing grain free recipes I needed to find an alternative to almond meal as I am allergic to almonds. Cashews are a good substitute, as are walnuts (walnuts are the must affordable) and pecans, however they can be very pricey. Not only that, but for those who need to be entirely nut free, they are not an option. It is important to use high quality, raw and unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds for this. For those with tree nut allergies this is a great alternative, plus it is very economical. It will add some more texture to your baked goods but not so much that you will mind it. Bear in mind that sunflower seeds will tint your baked goods a little green due to the chlorophyll in them. However it will not it make your baked goods too heavy. This can be used as a 1:1 replacement for almond meal/flour called for in any grain free recipe.
Where to source fresh unsalted, raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds? I source mine from Anthony’s Goods as they are batch tested for gluten and are organic and of the highest quality. If you are not celiac and not worried about cross contamination for gluten another excellent place is your local food co-op in bulk. Food co-ops typically stringently maintain the cleanliness and quality of their bulk section and source from the freshest, best sources.
Pulse the sunflower seeds in a food processor and whir them until they are a fine meal. Be careful to not over pulse or you will end up with sunflower seed butter.
Store in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.