Seeds seem to be everywhere these days, from chia seed pudding to hemp seed muffins to seed granola. But why are the seeds in the spotlight this moment? And what’s so special about seeds other than that they’re baby plants? In this article, we will look at some of the most fashionable seeds, their nutritional value and how you can use them in your recipes.
What are seeds?
The seed is the germ of a plant surrounded by endosperm (food for a small plant) and a seed coat for protection. The amazing amount of things we eat are seeds: nuts, legumes, beans, peas, coffee, nutmeg, rice, wheat, corn, oats and barley and many more. We will focus on five seeds that are now in trend: pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia.
Why do seeds have a moment?
The popularity of seeds in recent times may be due to several major trends in food:
1. Alternatives to milk without dairy products – Alternative “milks” in the U.S. began in the 1950s with soy milk and then switched to almond milk. Now alternative milks are made from a variety of nuts, grains, seeds and legumes. In particular, hemp and flaxseed milk contribute to the reputation of seeds as a universal food.
2. More plant foods – According to the Institute of Good Food, in 2020, sales of plant products grew twice as fast as total food sales.
3. Growth of hemp production – Hemp is widely used in a wide variety of fields such as fiber for clothing and building materials, oil extracts for CBD and of course seeds for food.
What are the nutrients of interesting seeds?
The seeds are nutritious. Make sure that this tiny package should support the growth of the new plant until it is able to produce food from the sun and soil. The seeds are high in protein, healthy fats and fiber. In addition, the seeds are high in nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Each of our presented seeds has a special superpower:
• Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which boosts immunity.
• Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins B and E and selenium, an antioxidant.
• Hemp seeds are rich in vitamin E, potassium and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
• Flax seeds are high in lignan, which is an antioxidant that helps maintain health.
• Chia seeds are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which is good for the heart.
Prepare from seeds
When I grew up, the seeds my mom used to cook with were pretty simple: mostly sesame seeds. She also used some seeds for seasoning such as poppy, cumin and fennel. But the seeds in today’s recipes weren’t in my mom’s cookbooks.
Although my mom didn’t use these seeds in cooking, their use in food is ancient. Here is a little history of each of our submitted seeds and some tips on how to easily incorporate them into your cooking routine:
Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds have been used in food in America for thousands of years, ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 years ago in modern-day Mexico. Pumpkins were grown in this area thousands of years before corn and beans.
Consider roasted shredded pumpkin seeds as a coating for fish or fried meat, or use as a side dish to soups and salads. Pumpkin seeds add to such a good crunch. Chop the roasted pumpkin seeds in a food processor with a little oil, honey and salt to make a smooth oil from the pumpkin nuts.
Sunflower seeds – Sunflower was domesticated as a monocotyledonous plant by Native Americans at least 3,000 years ago, and they bred plants for a variety of seed colors. Native Americans pounded the seeds into flour for culinary use, and ground the seeds to obtain a rich oil.
Sprinkle raw or toasted sunflower seeds on a salad or add to granola. Replace sunflower seeds with pine nuts on a creamy version on a traditional pesto. Mix sunflower seeds and garlic with roasted roots to get a wholesome and delicious side dish.
Hemp seeds – Hemp seeds are the same ancient food as pumpkin seeds, which date back to Mesopotamia about 8,000 years ago. Fibrous stems were used for making ropes, fabrics, ceramics. Hemp spread around the world and was widely grown in Lancaster in the 1700s and 1800s, hence the name of the school district of Hampfield.
In its raw form, hemp seeds are a crunchy addition to cereals and yogurt. Replace hemp seeds with bulgur wheat in tabula for slightly nutty options. Add hemp seeds to your favorite vegetarian burger recipe to give it extra nutrition.
Flax seeds – Flax originated about 5,000 years ago in an area stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India. In Egypt, the cloth used to wrap mummies was made of flax, and today flax is used to make linen cloth. Flax seeds are pressed to produce flaxseed oil, which can be edible or industrial. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate flax seeds, including as a sweet treat mixed with honey.
Flax seeds are not fully digested, so before using them you need to grind or grind. You can also buy flaxseed meal or ready-to-eat oil. Flaxseed flour is easy to add to almost any pastry, especially pancakes and muffins. Another way to add flax seeds to your diet is to mix crushed flax seeds with oats when making hot oatmeal.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds were a staple food of the Maya and Aztecs about 3,500 years ago. The Mayan word for chia is “chiabaan”, which means “strengthening”. A small light bag of chia seeds warriors could carry with them over long distances and provide enough food to maintain their strength for days.
If flax seeds are difficult to digest, then chia seeds are soft. Just mix chia seeds with a liquid of your choice and they will become soft and gelatinous. This makes chia seeds an ideal candidate for puddings, smoothies and breakfast bowls.
Light pudding for breakfast with chia:
Mix in a bowl:
½ cups of chia seeds
2 glasses of milk of your choice (preferably unsweetened)
2 tablespoons sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix thoroughly, cover the container and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, sprinkle with fresh or dried fruit and sprinkle with toasted hemp or pumpkin seeds for crunch. Serves six.