We've talked about how to roast seeds in our previous article, “Fancy in Disguise: Roasted Seeds” we talked about how to roast seeds at home. Unless you eat them for a snack (like I do) we're met with a small dilemma: You roasted all of those seeds but only use about a tablespoon at a time. What do we do with these extra seeds? Are there even health benefits to eating all these seeds? Which seeds can I eat to begin with?
Let's briefly address each question:
Which Seeds Could We Eat?
A lot of seeds are available in major retail stores or online. The containers can be as small as a 2oz “Snack Pack” or as large as a 5lb bag (and I really don't think you want that much all at once without a special project in mind). The most widely available seeds are:
Note: There are so many options out there! Go explore! Try new things! Or completely ignore that and stick to what you know and like to avoid any disappointment!
By the way, your home-made roasted seeds should last you at least two months. Keep them in a dry, airtight container, preferably in the fridge. Keeping seeds in the cabinet should last about 2-4 months, the fridge can keep them for about 4-5 months, and freezing them can extend their life up to a year. The best way to tell if a seed went bad is by taste. If you eat a few and they taste bitter: it's time to toss. Don't worry, a few seeds or a wee taste is not detrimental to your health.
What's so good about seeds, anyway?
It's no surprise that everyone's trying to find the next best health food; seeds are very overlooked for nuts in many cases. That's right; seeds have their own benefits for you including plant-based protein. There's also a wide variety of minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc, increased fiber, and sources/trace sources of B vitamins, depending on the seed and portion 1. There are some studies out there finding either causation, correlation, or both, linking to improving blood pressure, assistance with cholesterol levels, and GI function maintenance. Plant-sourced fat can improve your intake of mono and polyunsaturated fats, which can help with your cholesterol levels 2 (though, that doesn't change the fact that a gram of fat has 9kcal). Of course, if you plan to follow a strict diet regime, please be sure to consult an appropriate healthcare provider to assist and monitor you properly.
What can we do with these seeds?
The simple answer: Eat them. Then again, I can recognize when nobody wants a pantry of seeds that take ages to use up before you begin to loathe their existence after the 8th time you've shoveled a palmful into your mouth in attempt to use them up.
Here are a few ways to incorporate seeds into your eating, according to each seed:
• Pumpkin seeds
◦ great with salads, added to granola, and used as a soup topping.
• Sunflower Seeds
◦ Ground them up and make sesame seed butter! Eat it with toast, in oatmeal, or replace with peanut butter for some awesome baked goods.
• Sesame seeds
◦ Make some tahini (sesame seed butter) and use it for favorite hummus recipe, or make sesame cookies. There's a popular recipe here from The Spruce Eats.
• Poppy seeds
◦ Try incorporating then into a salad dressing, or some baking, like a lemon poppy cake!
• Flax Seeds
◦ Would be excellent in some bread or muffins, topping for your yogurt, or in a smoothie
If none of these ideas are viable for you, boy do I have a last-ditch effort: Trail Mix. Make yourself some trail mix and toss these seeds in for a crunchy surprise! I for one am a sucker for some sesame and pumpkin seeds in a home made sweet and salty trail mix. Yes, with raisins, because I am of the unpopular opinion of absolutely loving them. Bring them on your next hike with a bottle of water! You won't regret it!
Damien's Trail Mix:
• Mini pretzels (the little circle ones)
• Roasted and salted cashews (or almonds)
• M&M's (the mini ones work best)
• Raisins or Cranberry Raisins (“Craisins”); sometimes I use chopped dried apricots
• Toasted pumpkin seeds
• Granola clusters (I choose cinnamon flavored more often than not)
Mix every ingredient together in an equal ratio by volume, except the M&Ms (which is halved)
It's got some salty, savory, and sweet flavors with some crunchy, and chewy and crispy texture!
Damien Baghez of Long Island, New York, tends to view food as flavor landscape rather than a bomb of calories. Fantasy and foo
fuel their passion and are usually the root for all of their projects. A key principle in the kitchen for Damien is that “all food can be made delicious, you just have to figure out how”. In their free time you'll catch Damian in the kitchen trying out a recipe they found online (even if it means too many leftovers), playing the next video game on their never-ending list, or snuggling down with their partner over a cup of tea and a good talk about the last anime they binged together.