Healthy Snacks

Why seeds make a healthy snack choice

No, they’re not just food for the birds – seeds make a very healthy snack choice for your kids.

Instead of chips or crackers, why not give them seeds to munch on for snacks?

Having bowls of seeds on the table, or packing a small box of seeds for lunch, guarantees your kids will learn to reach for a healthy snack when they feel hunger coming on. Having a boost of nutrients in between meals will curb the munchies and stimulate digestion, actually helping kids eat more calmly at meal times.

The seed family includes nuts, beans, grains and sprouts, as well as what we normally call “seeds.” All seeds make a wonderfully healthy snack choice that is portable, small and fun for kids.

Just remember – always choose seeds in their raw form over the deep fried salty seed snacks!

RECIPES FOR HEALTHY SNACK CHOICES

So… your kids don’t want to eat plain old seeds straight from the bag?

Then here are some creative and truly delicious ways to incorporate more seeds into their diets!

PUMPKIN SUNFLOWER TRAIL MIX

Mix pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins or goji berries, and your choice of nuts.

For a twist, coat the mix in a bit of olive or flax oil, sprinkle with paprika, cayenne, sea salt and onion powder (or your favourite spices).

If your kids crave something sweet, try coating the seeds with some honey and cinnamon!

SUNFLOWER FLAX “BREAD” RECIPE (RAW)

3/4 cup sunflower seeds, finely ground in a coffee mill
3/4 cup flax seeds, finely ground in a coffee mill
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup oil (flax or olive)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Braggs liquid aminos (a popular ingredient in raw food, made from soy and available from health stores) or salt water (use sea salt)

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.

You now need to dehydrate the mixture, preferably using a dehydrator if you have one. If not, spread the mixture on a baking sheet and sit in the oven set at the lowest possible temperature, with the door open – to retain the maximum nutritional benefit, it’s best to keep the temperature below 115 degrees F. We find that setting up a box fan in front of the oven keeps a good flow of air going and stops the oven getting too hot.

Dehydrate overnight, then cut into little squares for a portable snack, or top and serve as a sandwich.

Tastes yummy with avocado, sprouts, tomato and herbs, as pictured, and LOOKS good too, to help tempt your kids!

SESAME GRANOLA BARS

1 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 cup honey dates, chopped and mashed with a fork
1/2 cup raisins or goji berries
1/3 cup raw honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup of your choice of flax seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

Mix all ingredients.

Let your kids help you shape the mixture into bars, using a cutting board to flatten and square them.

Dehydrate overnight or longer, using a dehydrator or the method described in our flax bread recipe (above).

Alternatively, you can bake the bars, but this will lead to the loss of some of the enzymes.

FLAX CRACKERS

1 cup of flax seeds, soaked in 3 times the amount of water
1/2 lemon, juiced
finely chopped celery rib, small chopped bell pepper, small chopped onion or all three
sea or rock salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding minced fresh herbs or spices for more flavour.

Pour onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate overnight, or dehydrate in the oven as described in the flax bread recipe above.

Break into small crackers and either eat them plain, or serve with avocado or healthy dip.

HEMP SEED DRESSING

Use this tasty dressing to add flavour to cut up veggies and salad!

1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 to 2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 cup fresh basil
sea or rock salt to taste

Simply blend all ingredients. Add some water if the mixture is too thick, or add more basil for to create a dip or pesto!

CHIA TREATS

CHIA LEMONADE

Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds in one glass of water and allow to sit for at least an hour, until the seeds have formed a gel. Add a squeeze of lemon and a tsp of agave nectar or raw honey.

CHIA GEL

Mix 2 or 3 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1/2 cup of water and leave overnight. The seeds should expand about to about 4 times their size. Serve them with nut milk and honey, add some berries… let your imagination guide you and get creative!

Seeds make a healthy snack choice and should be seen as an integral part of a healthy diet, along with other goodies such as vegetables, sprouts, fruit and whole grains.