Seeds are an overlooked component of a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Though tiny enough to get lost in most recipes, seeds as a whole, according to Eating Well, “[d]eliver as much protein as nuts (and in some cases more) and [flax, hemp and chia] seeds deliver heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 fat…”.
Beyond general wellness, seeds can be used as targeted as natural solutions to dietary deficiencies and gaps. As mentioned above, flax seeds contain an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential component for growth and a tool thought to benefit the cardiovascular system. Likewise, seeds like hemp and pumpkin seeds provide shots of essential minerals like magnesium and zinc.
Here are 26 creative ways to incorporate more seeds into your life.
- Add ground flaxseed to smoothies. Layered between plain yogurt and blueberries, the slightly nutty flavor of flax won’t even be tasted. Grinding is the best way to eat flax, optimizing digestion and absorption.
- Add ground flaxseed to whatever you’re baking. A tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed to your batter or dough adds a nice, mildly nutty flavor.
- Sprinkle ground flaxseed into your warm oatmeal. You can sprinkle it on cold cereal too, if that’s your thing. It does get kind of clumpy in cold milk, though.
- Add sunflower seeds to your salad (Easy Whole Foods Substitutions article).
- Buy seed crackers like these, instead of Ritz.
- Add sunflower seeds to your pesto. It’s cheaper than pine nuts. (pine nuts arereally good for you, too.)
- Sprinkle sesame seeds onto sauted spinach.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds into your banana bread.
- Grind sesame seeds and use it as a crust for fish.
- Add toasted hemp seeds to rice or quinoa for a crunchy texture.
- Sprinkle poppyseeds or chia seeds on berries.
- Add sesame seeds to kale before baking kale chips.
- Make this chia seed pudding.
- Roast your own pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Roast your own pumpkin seeds with grated ginger and lemon zest.
- Roast your own pumpkin seeds with salt and pepper.
- Don’t forget to roast your butternut squash seeds too.
- Make creamy peanut butter crunchy by adding toasted hemp seeds.
- Make your own trail mix.
- Add ground flaxseed to soup.
- Add ground flaxseed to chili.
- Add ground poppyseeds to butter and spread on toast for a rich, fruity flavor.
- Sprinkle poppyseeds onto pasta dishes.
- Add sunflower seeds to chicken or tuna salad.
- Add sunflower seeds to guacamole.
- Make thesebanana sunflower cookies.