There are many nutritious and delicious seeds for summer salads. I love seeds and I sprinkle them on pretty much everything: Soups, porridge, scrambled eggs. Yes, I know they have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth so you need to invest in some dental floss, but it's so worth the extra 5 minutes spent de-seeding your chops! Don't let their size fool you. These minute foodstuffs pack a nutritional punch and sprouting certain seeds means that their starch is transformed to a slow-release carbohydrate and also means they are more readily absorbed into the system. Seeds can be sprouted in a special sprouting jar, which makes it super simple! Seeds are amazing for so many reasons, for example they promote healthy skin and hair and protect the heart and blood vessels. Here are my favorite sprouts and seeds for your summer salads so as well as entertaining your friends, you will be contributing to their health and well-being!
1 Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are brilliant seeds for summer salads. They are a great source of Vitamin E and therefore are amazing in terms of improving the skin and helping the heart and nervous system. They are also high in calcium, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Sesame seeds are of the super seed variety in that they are so versatile. They can be used in stir-fries, baking and they can also be ground for dressings and spreads. Open sesame!
2 Sunflower Power
Another vitamin E powerhouse, not only are these seeds great for maintaining healthy skin but they help keep hair healthy and shiny too. They are an antioxidant so they help protect the body from damage. I love adding sunflower seeds to salads and have a bowl by my desk ready for that afternoon energy slump!
3 Pumpkin Seeds
These seeds are great for all you men out there who have unwittingly picked up your partner's phone and are reading All Women Stalk...welcome! But seriously, these seeds are great for boosting male fertility, so any ladies looking to propagate the race, sprinkle some dry-roasted seeds on his salads to help those fellas along.
4 Alfalfa Seeds
Every time I hear this I think of George and Lennie's dream of feeding alfalfa to the rabbits. That’s what seven years of teaching a text does to you. I suspect they were talking about the alfalfa hay which is fed to rabbits rather than the seed or sprout variety, but Steinbeck aside, these seeds are packed full of nutrients and are a great detoxifier. They are a natural diuretic so can help maintain water balance - perfect for that time of the month. They are also great for blood circulation and helping with digestion so you can add them to any meal.
5 Chia Seeds
I love these seeds, which are great for maintaining a healthy gut, bones and heart. Another all round wholesome seed, they are high in bone-improving calcium and magnesium and high in omega 3 to help lower those nasty heart-disease and stroke contributing fats. To get the most of these seeds, soak them for an hour to release the fiber or leave them to sprout, after which time you will be able to benefit from their bowel regulating powers!
6 Red Clover Seeds
These seeds are perfect for women who may be battling hot flushes, suffering from water retention and generally dealing with all the other unpleasant menopause symptoms. Another source of calcium, they are great for promoting that all-too important bone health, particularly when reaching that 'certain age.' These are similar in taste to alfalfa seeds and should be sprouted before consuming.
7 Hemp Seeds
The hemp plant is part of the cannabis family. Before you get excited and rush out to get high on a hemp salad, don't bother as you have more chance of getting high from a pumpkin and chia seed muffin. Heart-helping hemp is what they should be known as, with their blend of omega fatty acids, protein and fiber, which make them perfect for boosting heart health. They are great for skin and joints too, so eat them either in their seed form and sprinkle them over salads and anything else you fancy, or sprout them and add to your baking. Yummy.
The great ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus is reported to have said, "From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow." I think what he actually said was, "From a small seed, an amazing and nutritious salad will be served to one's friends and family," but he was probably misquoted. What are your favorite seed-incorporating recipes?
Sources: Neal's Yard Remedies: Healing Foods