Summer is a great time for fun foods such as salads and trail mixes. And nothing complements such summer dishes quite as well as a sprinkle of scrumptious seeds. Read on to discover some great seeds that belong in your kitchen.
Sunflower seeds are particularly rich in vitamin E and are also good sources of several other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1 and magnesium. They make for a wonderfully crunchy addition to this avocado and goat cheese salad. Or you can enjoy them in a nutty granola that is perfect for breakfast or an on-the-road snack.
Just a 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds provides you with nearly half your recommended daily allowance of magnesium and over a quarter of your requirements for iron. They tend to be at their tastiest when roasted. You can either buy them roasted at the store or easily roast them yourself at home.
Current research shows that incorporating flax seeds into your diet could lower your risk of heart disease and prevent some forms of cancer. The important thing to remember when it comes to flax seeds is that they provide more nutrients when ground than when whole. Because they are so tiny, it is difficult for humans to break into them through chewing, and their tough shells make it possible that if left unbroken, they will pass unnoticed through the body, thereby providing no nutritional value at all. To make the most of flax seeds, either buy them already ground or grind them yourself in a coffee grinder or food processor. For a healthy breakfast that even kids will enjoy, whip up a batch of walnut flax waffles. Or for a filling post-workout snack, make yourself a blueberry, banana and flax seed smoothie.
Sesame seeds are rich in oleic acid, which can help lower your LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels, and are also a good source of several essential minerals. Sesame seeds are often the unsung hero of recipes. Because they are small and relatively neutral in flavour, they tend to go unnoticed when sprinkled on such dishes as stir-fries or sushi for an added decoration and nutritional boost. Impress your guests with a toasted sesame snack mix at your next gathering, or work them into a side dish of snow peas. When ground, sesame seeds make a paste called tahini. Tahini is a key component when making healthy homemade hummus, which makes for a delicious appetizer or quick snack.
Don’t let their size fool you. These little round balls are loaded with dietary fibre, Omega 3, protein, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. They can easily be added to smoothies, energy bars and baked goods for a virtually indetectable health boost.