I received free samples from 88 Acres, but all opinions in this post are my own.
There are few things I enjoy more in life than cooking and sharing delicious, nourishing meals with others. Back when I was a dietetic intern a family hired me to cook meals every week in their home. The Garrett family had two kids with one on the way, and on top of that they discovered their son had multiple food allergies. The two year old had to avoid soy, sesame, fish, shellfish, chickpeas, and eggs! His parents were overwhelmed with what to do and how to feed their growing family. As an intern, I worked full-time (unpaid) and attended evening classes, so I jumped at the chance to make a little cash and do something I loved.
I remember the look of gratitude and relief from Mrs. Garrett as her family all sat down to eat a meal together. How simple a concept, right? Feed a family food they could enjoy, without the fear of an allergic reaction. My experience cooking for the Garrett family sparked my desire to continue developing recipes and working with clients who had to follow restrictive diets. This is still at the heart of my blog and what I do as a dietitian. I love the light bulb moment when I suggest to clients, "Have you thought of simply using this ingredient instead of that?"
A food small swap or addition can make big difference when I work with clients who have to follow a restricted diet. Small changes provide variety and new flavors to those who need or want to expand the foods they eat. Variety is key to keep food interesting and exciting. Lately I've switched up my diet and instead of always eating healthy fats from my usual sources (nuts and avocado) I've been loving adding more seeds to my meals. With their mild nutty flavor seeds are versatile to cook with and are flavorful meal additions. For my friends with nut allergies or food sensitivities, seeds are an awesome swap and will work well in so many recipes that call for nuts. HOORAY!
Because they are starters for new plants, seed are packed with nourishment in a tiny package. Eating seeds regularly can benefit many areas health and are known for the role they play in digestion, and mitigating inflammation in chronic diseases.
There are a variety of seeds to choose from - each with their own flavor, texture and health benefits.
Chia Seeds - teeny, tiny edible seeds dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures.
Flax Seeds - these come from a pretty blue flowered plant grown in northern climates.
Hemp Seeds - also called hemp hearts, these seeds come from a varietal of cannabis plant, but have negligible amounts of THC.
Sunflower Seeds - sunflower plants produce the sunny yellow flowers we love so much.
Pumpkin Seeds - also known as a pepita, this is an edible seed from the pumpkin.
Whether you love pumpkin, flax or sunflower seeds there are so many ways to incorporate these little gems into your meals.
5 DELICIOUS WAYS TO EAT SEEDS
As a crunchy topper - seeds add flavor and texture to sweet or savory dishes like oatmeal, yogurt, or salad.
As a milk alternative - a nice swap for those needing to avoid dairy or just wanting an alternative. Good Karma flax milks are preeeetty creamy and yummy.
As a smoothie enhancer - a few teaspoons of sunflower seed butter (like this roasted maple flavor from 88 Acres) adds a creamy element with a boost of protein, fiber and healthy fat to make a more balanced smoothie. If you've caught my insta stories lately you know my go-to smoothie is blending sunflower seed butter with frozen raspberries, cocoa powder and almond milk. SO GOOD!
As a nourishing snack - try the hand crafted snacks from the brand 88 Acres like their seed bars & seednola are made from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. I love the Triple Berry SeedNola on yogurt and Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Seed Bars as a quick snack. You can also try my new recipe for Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Bars featuring a blend of different seeds.
As a creamy sauce - seeds can be soaked and blended into dairy-free sauces like this Nut-free Romesco Sauce from my friend Lindsey at Nutrition to Fit
What are your favorite ways to add seeds to your meals? Tell me in the comments!