Sunflower seeds. Perhaps they were a part of your childhood. Did you grow up watching baseball games with your folks while splitting these seeds in your mouth? Did you secretly suck on them during a boring class at school? Maybe you have used them as a way to keep your mouth busy while you quit smoking. Whatever the situation, sunflower seeds are an American favorite! But here’s the problem. The majority of sunflower seeds available for purchase are loaded with salt, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. This essentially takes away the nutritional value of the seed and creates what I consider to be a junk food. Well, not anymore! I introduce to you…Chinook Seedery!
Chinook Seedery launched at Natural Products Expo West in 2013 by Mark, his fiance Jana, and her brother Bret. These three visionaries understand that sunflower seeds are more than just a yummy snack. They are a powerful super-food loaded with nutrients to help you look and feel your best. That’s why they have gone the extra-mile to ensure that their seeds are non-gmo, gluten-free, and all natural. In their bags of seeds, you won’t find any MSG, trans-fats, artificial coloring or flavors. It’s just good ol’ sunflower seeds with a twist of flavors like dill pickle, hatch green chile, and parmesan & pepper! If you aren’t into these delicious but fancy flavors, no worries! They have original sunflower seeds, just like the kind you enjoyed as a kid!
So why should you eat sunflower seeds? First of all, they are an amazing source of vitamin E. In fact, they have six times the amount found in peanuts! Vitamin E plays an important role in promoting healthy skin and keeping the immune system strong. Sunflower seeds are also packed with protein, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Studies have shown that the phytochemicals found in sunflower seeds help to promote cognitive functions while lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body. It has also been shown that naturally occurring chemical compounds found in these seeds can inhibit the growth of cancer cells to help fight certain types of cancer. How cool is that?
Be sure to visit the Chinook Seedery website at www.chinookseedery.com and check them out on Facebook here. Right now, they have an “Opening Day Giveaway” happening to celebrate the start of Major League Baseball on April 6th. You could win a year’s worth of sunflower seeds! Be sure to get your entry in for that…your taste buds will thank you for it!
I have always been a big fan of including chia seeds into my diet on a daily basis. When I started using my Ronco Dehydrator, I thought it would be fun to make homemade chia seed crackers. After my first batch, I was hooked! This little crackers are super easy to make and loaded with nutrients to help you look and feel your best. You can add your favorite spices and sea salt to the crackers, depending on your preferences. Here is how I made mine:
STEP 1: Add 1 1/2 C chia seeds to a bowl of 2-3 C water.
STEP 2: Stir the mixture while the chia seeds gel into a thick “paste”. Add about 1/2 C of sprouted sunflower seeds to the mixture and stir.
STEP 3: On a sheet of parchment paper, spread the mixture out until it is flat and even. Set the dehydrator temperature to about 135 degrees Fahrenheit and let dehydrate for about 8-12 hours.
STEP 4: Remove the sheet of chia seed mixture. It should be hard and not at all moist. Break the sheet into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy the crackers with your favorite hummus. Delicious!
Sprinkling seeds on your food (or even munching on them plain) is a great way to load up on health-promoting nutrients. Sunflower seeds are excellent for promoting digestive health due to their content of soluble fiber. Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber in addition to their brain power boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Sesame seeds are high in zinc and selenium, important antioxidant cleansers. Pumpkin seeds help wound healing and are traditionally associated with prostate health. Eat some of your favorite seeds today!