With the rise of nut allergy awareness, many people are turning to seeds for that roasty flavor so imperative to foods like granola, cookies, butters, and muffins. People have even begun getting super creative due to the interesting properties of some seeds. Ever tried making pudding without milk? It’s hard. I’ve broken down the health benefits and even included some recipes to help you get the benefits of these seeds in your diet without feeling like tossing it to the birds.
Chia seeds– The crowning glory of the seed world, in my opinion (yes, this is a thinly veiled Chia Pet reference). Is there anything these little guys can’t do? Other than make something similar to peanut butter, anyway. They’re packed with fiber and calcium, and they gel up nicely in liquid. If you’ve ever had a Mamma Chia drink, you’ve tasted that in action. They can also be put into cookies and muffins to act as egg substitutes. For a homemade version of the chia drink, I put two tablespoons of chia seeds into 10 oz of water, stir thoroughly, and leave over night covered on the counter. The next day, I add a 10-12 oz of mango nectar and 10-12 oz of coconut water for a great post workout rehydrating drink. You could do it with any juice that tickles your fancy, though. Imagine the possibilities! For pudding, simply put 1 cup of whatever dairy milk substitute you prefer into a bowl, 3 Tbsp raw honey or sweetener of choice, and add 4 Tbsp chia seeds and a dash of vanilla extract. Cover and shake, or stir vigorously. Chill for 20-30 minutes and eat cold.
Flaxseed– Flax is a favorite of mine, and not just for the huge amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in a single ounce of these babies as well as blood sugar regulating fiber and possibly even able to help lower bad cholesterol! Flax can also be used as an egg substitute because it does gel somewhat, though not as intensely as chia seeds. Flax meal can also be used in recipes that call for things like bran. I never make granola without flax seeds (check out my recipe!). I sprinkle the seeds on oatmeal and include them in muffins and cookies too, for an extra healthy boost.
Hemp seeds– I’ve been using hemp protein for awhile in my morning smoothies, but had no idea it was secretly helping with my inflammation problems! You can get this awesome benefit, too, but if you’re loyal to your protein powder, try sprinkling hemp seeds onto the top of your smoothie, salad, or oatmeal, or even include them in pesto as a sub for pine nuts. It’s got a ton of amino acids, too! For pesto, just blend fresh basil with some olive oil, garlic, hemp seeds, and spinach in a food processor for a great sandwich spread, baked chicken seasoning, or a cool summer spin on pasta, hot or cold.
Pepitas, or Pumpkin Seeds– With twice the protein of black beans and a bunch of zinc, pepitas are always a good idea. These are another essential seed in my granola. After all, if I’m eating what is essentially honey-toasted carbs, I’d better get some good health benefits from it, and protein is a must. They’re a great snack, too.
Sesame seeds– My go-to use for these little beauties is toasted and sprinkled liberally on my homemade sushi. They’re loaded with iron and can help lower bad cholesterol, too. One of the first recorded “dessert” recipes in the ancient times was straight up sesame seeds and honey. They’re also used liberally in Asian-inspired marinades since they add that toasted nuttiness that really rounds out the sharper flavors of soy sauce and rice vinegar.
Sunflower seeds– My dad’s all-time favorite snack. “Spits”, as we call them, are essential to camping, road trips, and sitting around a fire in the back yard. Good thing, too, since they’re loaded with Vitamin E and selenium. I love them sprinkled on a salad, in carrot muffins, and in cowboy cookies. Blended up, they’re a popular substitute for peanut butter, too.
Coriander seeds– Heavily used in Chinese, Indian, and European cooking, coriander seeds pack quite the nutritional whallop. Antioxidants, omegas, B vitamins, minerals, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and it helps lower cholesterol. Usually used in ground form, they’re fantastic in stews, breads, and even some sweets.
Pomegranate seeds– Pomegranate juice is widely popular for its health benefits, but what about the seeds? Pomegranate seeds provide roughly 20% of your daily value of vitamin k and a healthy dose of vitamin c. They’re also rich in polyphenols, which may help prevent cancer. If you’re looking for weight management, these little seeds are low in calories but rich in fiber.
Black cumin seed– Also known as Roman coriander, black sesame, black caraway, and onion seed, this tiny little seed has benefits for over 40 different health conditions. It’s even antibacterial against MRSA! It’s known to be pain killing, anti inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral, among other things.
Want to incorporate some of these “superfood” seeds into your diet? Here’s an easy way I’ve been boosting my fatty acid (omegas) and antioxidant intake without nasty fish burps! Coromega non-GMO superfood oil blend contains organic coconut oil, organic avocado oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic black cumin seed oil, and chia seed oil. It’s got a sweet, grassy, coconut-chia taste that makes it easy to take plain, but you can also boost your morning smoothie for on-the-go nutrition! Sweetened with non-GMO pure cane sugar, it’s easy to introduce into your children’s diet as well. I was given a packet of this to try and I even brought it on vacation with me because I love how I feel when I take it!
Use code “bright” at www.coromega.com to get $2.00 off! Also explore their website for even more information on the health benefits of coconut oil, avocado oil, and the seed oils!
For a FREE week’s worth sample and a coupon code or $3 off, click here!