Little Seeds, Big Benefits!

Whatever I seem to read or hear about at the moment is SEEDS!!!!!  Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, chai seeds…. seeds, seeds and more seeds!!

Reason being is that they are not only full of essential fats but they contain heaps of protein and vital vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin E.  So it’s a good idea to try to introduce seeds into your daily routine for the whole family if possible, there are several ways to do this,  for example try adding a tablespoon of flaxseed to juices or smoothies, or chai seeds to cereal, or pumpkins and sunflower seeds to cereal or soups or hidden in pasta sauces.  You can also get cold-pressed oils that you can drizzle over steamed veggies or use in salad dressings.

But like most things that are good for you they can get boring quickly and the good that you try to introduce can easily fade out…. it’s happened to me too many times to count now, I start off with great intentions and before the month is out so is the intention!

I started eating just pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds a good few years ago in prepared bags from the supermarket, not daily but a few times a week and I have gradually started trying new types of seeds and using them in various ways and I am now at the point where I do have a good variety of seeds in my daily diet.  I generally have them in the morning, I always put a spoonful of flaxseed in my greens smoothie, I often have seeds of some kind on my cereal (either hemp, chai or pumpkin and sunflower).  I also always have a few oils to hand (at the moment pumpkin and hemp) for veg and salads.  I sometimes gently toast a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds and add to a simple soup.

The important thing to remember about seeds is that they can go rancid easily so be sure to keep them out of sunlight and in an airtight container.  I always buy a stash that lasts a few weeks but not longer to avoid this, believe me you will smell them if they go bad!!!

But even with all this variety I am always looking for new ways to enjoy these little nutritional gems so was over the moon when I was experimenting yesterday and came up with a fab snack idea.

So preheat your oven to a really low heat, mine was set at 100 degrees, you want to keep the heat low so they don’t loose their nutritional value which happens when foods are cooked at high temperatures.  Line a baking sheet with some greaseproof paper.

Add a generous handful of mixed seeds to a bowl, I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Add a tablespoon of Tamari sauce (you can also use liquid aminos or soy sauce) and coat all the seeds

Spread evenly over the greaseproof paper and bake for about 45 minutes, leave to cool then gentle scrape the seeds into a bowl or container and you have yourself a really delicious and nutritious snack to go that is quick and easy to do.

Here is a quick low nutritional lowdown…

Pumpkins Seeds

Rich in zinc for fertility, immune boosting and cancer protecting

Rich in Iron for healthy blood and to fight fatigue

Can help improve blood cholesterol

Good source of healthy heart and anti-inflammatory nutrients

They also contain omega 3 fats, vitamin E, folate and magnesium

Sunflower Seeds

Rich in Omega 6 fats

Very high in antioxidant vitamin E

High in plant sterols which have a cholesterol lowering effect

They are also nutrient mineral rich including iron, magnesium and selenium.

 

 

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