Edible seeds are nutrition powerhouses. Add them to your meals to put the fun in food instead of fixating on what to avoid.
Here are my favorite seeds and suggestions for how to use them:
If you’re a baby boomer, you may remember the “Ch-ch-ch chia” theme song for the popular “as seen on TV” product. Instead of making a paste of chia seeds to grow “hair” or “fur” on clay figurines, use them to top yogurt or oatmeal. Just two tablespoons give you 10 grams of fiber, plus protein and calcium. Their crunch makes them a tasty topping on yogurt or oatmeal. To make chia seed pudding, soak the seeds in almond milk overnight, add unsweetened cocoa and maple syrup or dates to sweeten. No need to justify eating this for breakfast or dessert!
Whether you roast your own as part of pumpkin carving or buy them raw or roasted, pumpkin seeds provide “good for your heart and muscles” magnesium. Add them to granola, salads or soup, or snack on them as is.
These jewel-like seeds (arils) are as healthy as they are beautiful. High in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants, about ½ cup comes in at about 70 calories. They add sparkle to a tossed, rice or fruit salad. They’re also good in fruit salsa or cereal. Check out YouTube for ways to easily remove the arils from the pomegranate peel.
Pronounced keenwa, this ancient Inca grain-like seed is high in protein and fiber and is gluten free. To remove quinoa’s bitter outer coating, rinse before preparing. Cook it similarly to rice and enjoy it as a delicious hot or cold cereal or to include in salads, soups or veggie burgers. Toast it raw and add to homemade granola.
From the flax plant, these seeds provide heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. To enhance their nutritional benefits, grind up whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder. Extend their shelf life by refrigerating or freezing. Sprinkle some on almond butter, yogurt or hot cereal or mix into quick bread batter.
These nutty, earthy tasting seeds have 10 grams of protein in two tablespoons and provide omega 3 fatty acids. They go well in a salad, casserole and hummus. Or enjoy a glass of hemp milk, delicious with a PB&J sandwich.
The beautiful flowers with the same name produce seeds high in vitamin E. Add them to a salad or trail mix or mix in homemade veggie burgers. For snacking, buy sunflower seeds with the shell on and crack them yourself. The time to open them slows down the eating process, and the shells are a visual reminder of how many you’ve already eaten.
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