When I first started exploring plant-based meals it was all about cashews!
As if it wasn’t enough that I absolutely LOVED eating them in their natural form, the fact they were even more enticing in all sorts of vegan creams and cheeses made the thought of them almost overwhelming. However, I soon discovered the amount I needed to prepare some of the things I wanted to could not always fit my budget, as 2 cups of cashews, for example, would be pricier than a dairy alternative that I used to use….
Then I discovered sunflower seeds!
They were a cheaper alternative I could use for some of the recipes and I was so thrilled about that I realized I have been totally overlooking seeds in my diet! This is why I decided to draw your attention to these little powerhouses that can bring even more variety into your diet!
Seeds, which include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds, are
Tiny storehouses of nutrients featuring protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Include them raw and unhulled because heating destroys much of their nutritional values.
Since seeds are subject to rancidity, purchase them from a store that sells them in large quantities and turns them over quickly and store them in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage.
Seeds of all varieties are easy to incorporate into the diet.
Here are 5 types of seeds and some ideas on how to use for nutritious budget-friendly meals:
are especially delicious sprinkled on salads, over cereals, and desserts. Sesame seed paste, also called tahini, makes a delicious tahini sauce when mixed with lemon juice, garlic, water, salt, and a dash of cumin. This sauce enhances grain dishes, bean dishes, baked potatoes, and even pita sandwiches. Tahini can also be made into a delicious salad dressing.
a dynamic source of vitamin E, selenium, and zinc, add crunch to salads, cereals, and cooked grain dishes. Combine them with cooked grains and turn them into delicious patties.
packed with zinc, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, are also delicious additions to salads. Pumpkin seeds can also be ground into a fine meal in the blender and used to thicken sauces and soups.
are one of the best plant source of omega 3 fatty acids and have high levels of magnesium, selenium, zinc, and iron. Since flaxseeds do not break down in the digestive system when consumed in their whole form, they should be ground into a fine meal in a small electric coffee grinder or purchased as flaxseed meal in natural food markets. Use them daily by sprinkling a tablespoon of flaxseed meal over cereals and salads and gain added fiber.
while still uncommon in chain grocery stores, can be found in natural food markets. Highly nutritious, hempseeds contain omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids and are an excellent source of calcium and iron. Sprinkle them over salads and cereals or use them in cheeses. Try this amazingly simple yet delicious banana sushi idea with hemp seeds.
Consider sprouting seeds for enhanced nutrients.
The sprouting process starts the cycle of creating a new plant from each seed – a process that increases the vitamin and mineral content many times over.
For sprouting, purchase organic seeds that are especially for sprouting use. These have not been sterilized and still contain a living germ. Try making your own alfalfa, red clover, radish, and onion seed sprouts. In their whole organic form sunflower seeds are fun to sprout. It’s a delight to see tiny sprouts emerging from their dark, tough, outer hulls.
I hope these ideas brought some new inspiration for your vegan creations! Sharing the magic of plant-based nutrition is the best way to inspire someone to give it a try!
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