Move over nuts! Seeds are the holy grail of plant-foods. They’re tiny, shy and little – easily over looked and ignored – or at best, used as a salad garnish.
Most people prefer nuts (I guess because of their more seductive taste and bite-sizedness). But, let me shout from the hilltops my friends…
“Seeds are some of natures best superfoods”.
In the true use of the term superfood, they are nutrient packed powerhouses, concentrated, with some of nature’s finest sustenance.
Seeds are actually big plants, all tucked up in a shell. Say what!?!!
Yes, it’s true – that little seed you are looking at is actually a massive plant in disguise.
Think about it – one tiny sunflower seed grows into a giant sunflower. One tiny pumpkin seeds can create a whole lot of big pumpkins. You see, as you probably already know – a seed is designed (with a bit of water, sunlight and soil) to grow from a tiny unassuming, little treasure, into a huge plant that produces leaves, flowers and infinitely more seeds than the one, tiny, humble seed that started to whole process.
The power of seeds is a force to be reckoned with.
A bit about that ‘shout from the hill tops’ goodness…
All seeds are high in essential fats. In this recipe, the flax and hemp seed come up top for omega-3 – an essential fat that is excellent for heart and brain function, often in short supply in most diets. Hemp seed also has the ideal balance of omega 6 -to- omega 3, which is considered to be optimal by health experts.
Protein and essential amino acids
The seeds in this recipe, ensures that you receive a good dose of all the essential amino acids. Using a balance of different seeds in your diet, like this, will also ensure a great supply of protein.
As well as protein, these energy balls are jam-packed with other nutrients. We’re talking, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K and anti-oxidant rich vitamin E (and more). All essential for supporting health on multiple levels.
Excellent source of fibre (yep, that’s how we spell fibre here)
Like most plant based foods, seeds are naturally full of fibre. Fibre is good for blood sugar control, helping to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates and absorption of sugar. It is also great for promoting healthy bowel movement, heart health and weight-loss management. Fibre is not really an issue on the sort of food we recommend here at Trinity’ Conscious Kitchen, but thought I’d add it in the list of benefits anyway.
Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
Seeds (to varying degrees) possess important cholesterol-fighting fibres known as lignans. Flax seeds contain exceptionally beneficial levels – more than most other foods. Studies also show that this beneficial action from seeds can in turn lower blood pressure.
Antioxidant Rich Seeds
All seeds have a beneficial level of antioxidants, whilst some seeds are absolute powerhouses full of the stuff. Flax, is one of the highest rated antioxidants amongst plant foods, coming up top for polyphenols, which are super stars in the antioxidant world.
Read more about the benefits of seeds here: Importance of Seeds for A Healthy Diet
- 75g sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds (25g)
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (30g)
- 100g dates (pitted) - (2/3 cup approximately)
- 3 heaped tablespoons raisins
- 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind sunflower seed, hemp seed and pumpkin seed in a food processor until coarse. If you have a powerful food processor, this will only take a few seconds. You don't need it 'finely ground' - but you do want it broken down into tiny pieces (sort of rustic looking).
- Add the dates and raisins and then process until everything starts combining together and the dates/raisins are well broken down.
- Add the coconut, flaxseed, cacao and vanilla extract.
- Process until everything is evenly combined.
- It should stick together nicely if you compress between your fingers.
- Take small chunks with a teaspoon and roll together into balls.
- Pop into the fridge to chill and firm up (should keep for a few days) or enjoy them right away.