With the rise of companies like Graze, the war on sugar waged by Jamie Oliver and the World Health Organisation (WHO) dropping the recommended allowance to help cut obesity, seeds and nuts are becoming more and more popular. Traditionally supermarkets and shops had chewing gum and chocolate at the tills, but these are commonly being replaced by unsalted peanuts and mixed seed varieties.
Seeds are packed with nutrients and there is a wide variety to choose from including Chia, Flax, Pumpkin, Sesame and Sunflower. Most include high levels of vitamins and minerals such as Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Vitamins B and E. as well as impressive amounts of fiber, Omega 3 Fatty Acids (the good fat) and surprisingly, protein.
No matter how popular seeds have become, eating a sufficient amount is not easy to ‘chug’ down, especially if you are washing them down with the recommend amount of water rather than fruit juice! So how can you get more seeds into your diet? Here are my 6 tips to help get you started…
1. Bake better with no Butter!
Shocking I know… but did you know that a tablespoon of Chia and Flax seeds is equivalent to a tablespoon of butter? Since they are high in healthy fat they can be used to replace the butter in many baking recipes, such as cakes and muffins. Why not try these delicious Carrot, Apple and Chia seed Muffins on the Tesco Real Food website.
2. Go Dairy Free!
Due to their high protein content and structure, seeds can also be used to replace Eggs! This is fantastic if you are allergic or just wish to replace diary products in your diet. Add a tablespoon of Chia or Flax seed to 3 tablespoons of water and leave to sit for 10 minutes. As you mix, you will find that the liquid consistency is very similar to an Egg and will bind with the other ingredients just as well. Perfect for ‘eggless’ cakes and pancakes.
3. Sprinkle on EVERYTHING!
Pumpkin, Sunflower and Sesame seeds can make stir fry dishes, salads and porridge more exciting as well as boost the nutritional content of your meals. Seeds are naturally crunchy and flavoursome which helps to improve the texture and flavour.
4. Truly Seedy Jam
Seeds are a fantastic source of fiber, so combing them with your favourite fruits is a great way to make healthy jams and spreads without Sugar. Boil the fruits and Chia or Flax seeds in water until the mixture gets thicker and resembles a jam.
5. Blend them UP!
Chia and Flax seeds mix well with protein powder as they do not change the flavour and profile of your drink. This is probably the easiest way to incorporate seeds into your diet. Place them into your blender with a good protein powder (we recommend KREED Nutrition’s Pea Protein), and blend with water until smooth
6. Replace your Crisps
Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame, Tahini and Apricot seeds can work wonders for your health and are a delicious and nutritious snack. So why not ditch the crisps and grab some seeds. However like with all snacks, moderation is key as seeds can be quite calorie dense and we all know what too much fiber can do!
Hopefully these 6 tips will help you to enjoy the ‘seed’ craze as well as continue to incorporate them into your daily diet. If you have any other tips, please do share with us, so we can share with our readers! Happy ‘seeding’