Vibrant, Bright and Beautiful. That’s how a Sun Flower is described worldwide. While the plant is recognized for its cheery annual blossoms, it is also an important food source.The sunflower oil is healthy vegetable oil, and the Sunflower Seeds are healthy & nutritious, making for a tasty snack and a nutritious ingredient to many foods.
Sunflower seeds not only make a healthy snack, but they are also packed with vital vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, which are required by the body for optimal functioning. So, if you want to stay healthy, fit and have a glowing complexion, sprinkle some sunflower seeds on your cereals and salads.
Sunflower oil is high in oleic acid and linoleic acid. These fatty acids reduce the LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol decreasing the chances of coronary artery disease. Phytosterols have been found in high amounts in sunflower seeds which are efficient in reducing cholesterol, increasing immunity and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
- Sun Flower Seeds are Anti-inflammatory
- Contains vitamin E, preventing asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Promotes healthy clear skin and regular consumption slows down the ageing process
- Promotes Bone Health - Rich in magnesium and calcium, which are both bone-healthy minerals.
Different ways of including Sunflower seeds in your food/Diet:
1. Roasted Seeds as a Snack:
Make sure you buy a graded quality of sunflower seeds and toss them on the pan without any added oil. Roast them for a bit, add some spices (cinnamon powder), salt and pepper an store them for a healthy to-go snack.
2. Add them in the eggs to give a crunchy flavor
A quick scrambled egg can fix any meal to be a hearty and whole meal. Why not toss in some chopped roasted sunflower seeds for an extra crunchy taste. One can add some spinach leaves in the eggs too to make them even better. It’s a loaded protein bowl and makes for a perfect after-gym meal.
3. Add the roasted nuts to cereal with milk
Muesli, Oats or Honey Loops…added nuts can make any cereal better. Along with your regular Almonds and walnuts, add some Sunflower seeds for a healthier nutty punch. Makes an extremely nutritious breakfast!
4. Make nutritional Sunflower Laddos
Laddos are everyone’s favourites and who says you can only have laddos in the festive seasons. As long as one can make a laddo nutritious, there's no stopping from having a laddo every day.
Make the laddos nutritious and healthy by making them with natural sweeteners like dates. Add some chopped dates, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes and other nutty delights; Mix them & roll them all together to make bite sized balls.
5. Grind it to flour and add in making Rotis, Tortillas, Cakes, muffins, etc.
Yes! You heard it right. You can flour the sunflower seeds and mix the flour with any regular flour to make muffins, cakes, Rotis or tortillas.
To make gluten-free, mix sunflower seed flour with almond flour/ coconut flour/ ragi flour or buckwheat flour
6. Toss on the Salads for a crunchy texture
Whether you are making a Healthy Spinach salad, a Grated Carrot salad, Waldorf salad or a Caesar salad, toss some Sunflower seeds, and no-one will even know about your secret ingredient.
7. Sunflower seed Butter
Crazed on the Peanut Butter and Almond Butter? Ever heard about the Sun Flower seed butter. Yes! It is a thing, and you can even make it at home.
Just Roast the seeds for a while and grind them in a food processor until it makes a smooth oily paste. Add a pinch of salt and honey to the butter and store it in an air-tight jar. Spread on toasted bread or mix it in your Oatmeal. Makes for a healthy natural Spread.
8. Grounded Sun Flower seeds in place of Flax seeds or chia seeds in the Puddings & Parfaits
Tired of your regular Chia seed or Flax seeds. Here’s an alternative. Ground the sunflower seeds to make a meal texture and store them in an air-tight jar. Use as you please on your puddings and parfaits.
9. Chopped seeds in Granola & Trial Mixes
Make your trial mixes with roasted coconut flakes, roasted sunflower seeds, roasted nuts like almonds, pecans, and cashews and bind them all together with honey or pack them all loose to carry around as your travel snacking buddied. You are sure to relish them.
10. Nut Cookies
Next time when you make a cookie batter, sprinkle those sunflower seeds sparingly on the cookies just before they go into the oven. The freshly bakes goods taste even much better with the golden and crunchy seeds on top. Call them your nutritional delights.
Buying the best quality of Sunflower Seeds:
No matter how creative you get on your culinary skills, the most important thing to note is the quality of ingredients. Sunflower seeds come either shelled or unshelled.
They are usually available in pre-packaged. Make sure that the Packages are sealed and has a date as you want the seeds fresh.
Unshelled seeds should not be broken or dirty and be firm and not limp.
Shelled seeds can quickly go rancid. So, make sure they do not have a yellow color. If you are getting them from a bulk bin, smell them to find out if they are fresh.
Storing the seeds:
It’s best to store them in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Since the cold temperature will save the flavor and texture.