In Part 1, we took a closer look at the nutritional benefits of seeds. Here, I’ll continue sharing my top 5 must-eat seeds. 

2. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of manganese, with ¼ cup providing up to 75% of your daily requirements.

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This quantity of pumpkin seeds will provide 16 – 57% of your daily requirements of other nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc, protein and iron.

Five ways with Pepitas

1. In trail mixes – mix with walnuts, cashews, coconut flakes and sultanas

2. With yoghurt – mix 1 tbsp pepitas with your yoghurt and some berries

3. In crackers – add to cracker mixes for extra flavor and texture

4. In baking – muffins or breads love pumpkin seeds on top

5. In salads – pumpkin seeds – raw or roasted – are a delicious, nutritious addition to a simple salad.

3. Sesame seeds

Compared to other seeds, sesame seeds are particularly rich in copper, with ¼ cup providing 163% of your daily requirements. They’re also a great source of calcium.

This quantity of sesame seeds will also provide 23-45% of your daily requirements of other nutrients including manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, selenium and vitamin B1.

Five ways with Sesame seeds

1. In dukkah – a delicious mix of pistachios, sesame seeds and dried herbs is bliss!

2. In stir frys – Asian recipes simply love sesame seeds

3. In crackers – add to cracker mixes for extra flavor and texture

4. In baking – muffins or breads love sesame seeds on top

5. In soups – toasted sesame seeds mixed with garlic, salt and herbs – what an amazing soup garnish!

4. Sunflower seeds

Delicious sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, with ¼ cup providing 82% of your daily requirements. They’re also a great source of copper.

This quantity of sunflower seeds will also provide 20-43% of your daily requirements of vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate.

benefits of seeds_2Five ways with Sunflower seeds

1. Vegetarian ‘cheese’ – soak (4 hours), drain and puree sunflower seeds with a little oil, salt and lemon juice for a creamy cheese substitute

2. With breakfast – sunflower seeds, ground with almonds and flaxseeds, makes the famous ‘LSA’ topping that adds a nutrient boost to your porridge or muesli

3. In crackers – add to cracker mixes for extra flavor and texture

4. In dips – soaked and drained sunflower seeds blend well with other ingredients to make tasty dips (e.g. blended with cashews, lemon juice, thyme and parsley)

5. In salads – toasted sunflower seeds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to salads.

One more I have to mention:

5. Chia Seeds

These are particularly useful for treating constipation! Related to spinach, chia seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linoleic acid), calcium, manganese and phosphorous, fibre and protein.

They have an omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio of 3:1 which is important for reducing inflammation.

Five ways with Chia

1. In a smoothie – blend 1 tbsp with cacao powder, almond milk, stevia, greens, blueberries

2. In bars and balls – puree with dates, macadamias, maca, cacao powder and vanilla extract

3. In pudding – mix 1 tbsp chia with 10 tbsp water, juice, coconut water or milk, berries…set!

4. In soups – grind and stir through any soup after cooking, to add beautiful thickness

5. As an egg substitute – grind 1 tbsp chia seeds in a coffee grinder, add 3 tbsp water. Voila!

How to store healthy seeds

Seeds are high in healthy fats, and it is generally recommended that you buy whole seeds rather than ground, because the fatty acids in ground seeds are more prone to oxidation (rancidity).

Even better, buy your seeds unshelled from a whole foods store.

Seeds of all types are best refrigerated to prevent the fats from spoiling.

Whole seeds will generally last 6-12 months in an airtight container in a dark, cool and dry place, or up to 2 years if refrigerated.

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