Today’s power snack is more of a category than a particular snack. But that just means it comes with tons of options so you won’t get sick of it any time soon, and it is: SEEDS.
I’m talking sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and even sesame seeds, and the butters that are made by grinding seeds up into a paste.
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Seeds are the baby of a tree or a plant. They contain everything a new plant being needs to come alive and thrive. Which means they are PACKED with nutrition.
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in the minerals zinc, magnesium, potassium; the amino acids methionine and cysteine; healthy fats; protein; and B vitamins, including folate. Folate is something you want plenty of on hand because it is a primary ingredient in the methylation cycle, which is a biochemical processed used throughout the body. In detoxification and also, mega importantly, in the process that regulates which of your genes are turned on and which are turned off.
Sesame seeds are something that we don’t typically think of as anything more than a topping for bagels, but they are higher in calcium than dairy. How about that?
And flax seeds provide an awesome dose of omega 3s, fiber, and phytochemicals known as lignans, which have been linked to lower levels of cancer. Particularly breast cancer, in older women. Flax seeds are the HIGHEST SOURCE of lignans of any food. How bout that?
You may be thinking, am I supposed to just eat a handful of flax seeds?
How do you turn seeds into a delicious snack?
Well, of course, you can eat sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds on their own. They’re easy to keep a bag of in your desk drawer or work bag or glove compartment for those times when you need something on the go.
A great snack that I go on streaks of having pretty much every day is a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, a tablespoon of chocolate chips, and a little bit of sea salt on top. Lots of minerals, fiber, antioxidants and snacks in that blend. You could do dried blueberries or cranberries instead of chocolate chips. But, hey, cocoa is a super food too.
Sunflower butter is great on crackers, or celery, or in smoothies
Honestly I can eat it off the spoon, especially if you stick a few chocolate chips on top and the tiniest smattering of salt. Snack, dessert, 1-minute breakfast, very versatile I’m telling you!
While it’s not that easy to eat a handful of sesame seeds in the same way that it is with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, tahini is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds and is totally delicious. You probably know it as an ingredient in hummus but it has many uses beyond that.
I like making an easy dipping sauce out of it, the formula is 3-2-1. Three tablespoons tahini, two tablespoons miso (a salty soybean paste that’s fermented and thus, great for your gut health), and one tablespoon lemon juice. Thin with water to taste and them you’ve got an awesome dip for raw veggies–there’s something about it and cold cauliflower florets that is particularly delicious, although it’s good with whatever you like–broccoli spears, celery sticks, carrot sticks, pepper strips.
There are crackers made from flax seeds called, handily enough, flackers.
Now… aside from being crunchy, these probably don’t taste anything like you’d expect a cracker to taste. BUT, dip it in some 321 tahini dip, or put some sunbutter on it (with a chocolate chip and some sea salt because hey! Why not??). I will warn you, the crackers are about $5 a bag but I rationalize it by thinking of it as a combo food and supplement. There are many recipes online for making your own flax crackers, I just haven’t tried it, but they would be a lot more cost effective if you’ve got the time and the inclination.
Which of these seeds do you want to try? Want to give the 321 tahini dip a go? Or maybe throw some Flackers in your grocery cart the next time you’re at the store? Or buy some sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds to keep in your desk drawer?