Seeds like nuts have an excellent nutritional profile – they contain beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, good sources of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, calcium, iron and zinc. Because of their high oil content, seeds can go rancid quickly, so it’s best to store them away from direct sunlight in an airtight container
The two linseed (or flaxseed) – reddish brown or golden in colour are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (which helps reduce inflammation, the risk of heart disease and certain cancers) and have long been hailed as a functional food for their high fibre content (which helps prevent constipation, regulate blood glucose levels and cholesterol). Their only difference is in their taste. Reddish brown linseeds are nuttier whereas the golden ones are more neutral. It would be best to grind the reddish brown ones so that your body can readily absorb its nutrients and simply sprinkle over cereals, soups and salads. It is highly recommended to drink plenty of liquid when taking linseeds.
Sweet pumpkin seeds are flat and dark green with a chewy texture. Having a high source of protein and rich in polyunsaturated fats, zinc and iron, pumpkin seeds have been praised for centuries as a remedy for bladder conditions. Roasting and grinding them brings out their rich depth of flavor – simply drizzle over soups or use as a nutritious salad dressing.
Beige coloured oval shaped sesame seeds may be tiny in shape but are superloaded with protein, iron, calcium and fibre. They have been used for centuries in natural medicine to help protect us from hormone related cancers and cardiovascular disease and as immunity boosters. The hulled type, creamy white in colour, has lower amounts of calcium and iron but still as nutritious. Black sesame seeds, on the other hand are purely used as a sprinkle in Asian dishes. As with all seeds, toasting or roasting brings out their nuttiness like gomashio (ground toasted sesame seeds and salt) which adds flavor to many Asian dishes, or tahini, the main ingredient in Greek houmous.
Light grey slender sunflower seeds are high in antioxidants, especially Vitamin E, fibre, polyunsaturated fats and protein which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and cholesterol. Like all other seeds, they make a delicious snack and add extra nutritional value to bakes and grain salads.
Each seed offers a unique taste, texture and flavour that is not only satisfying but a finger-licking complement to any dish. Basic prep techniques add depth and nutritional value that will transform a simple packet into a delicacy.
Oven-roasting – Preheat oven to 125°C/GM1. Spread the seeds on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on size. Remove and cool.
A tasty snack – after roasting, sprinkle with shoyu and return to the oven for 1 minute more. Remove and cool before adding raisins.
Seed butter – After roasting and cooling the seeds, whizz in a food processor together with some good quality cold pressed seed oil until creamy. Keeps for a week in the fridge.