The Universe of Seeds
What is a seed?
It is always enlightening to return to fundamentals when asking whence comes our food. A seed is actually the part of a plant that, in turn, will be sown. Flax, pumpkin, and hemp are plants that therefore produce seeds to ensure that the plant cycle continues.
Keeping that in mind and knowing that they are the basis of a future plant, it is safe to say that seeds are akin to nutrition bombs. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants... seeds have the honour to be found just about everywhere in our diet.
We all know that nuts and seeds are a significant source of calories. Because these foods are also high in fat – although good fats – the calorie count is proportional. It is best to consume them in moderation. A reasonable portion would be 1/4 cup (60 ml or 30 g), which is the amount that would fit into the palm of your hand.
Chia seeds are the new superstars of the breakfast world. They are a great source of Omega-3s - a single 2 tablespoon serving provides you with 100% of your daily requirement of these essential fatty acids. Chia is also a great source of protein, has a high fibre content that helps regulate intestinal transit, and is a source of calcium and iron. You can find white and black chia seeds, and there is no significant difference in taste and nutritional value other than the minimally superior antioxidant content of black chia seeds, due to its colour.
If you're looking for the perfect 2-in-1 wholesome breakfast solution, opt for PRANA's ProactivChia, an exclusive blend of organic black chia seeds and probiotic cultures. It's the perfect way to get benefit from the goodness of chia and probiotics at the same time. Beware however: you shouldn't cook ProactivChia since heat destroys the live probiotics.
Chia can be used in so many ways: mixed in with yogurt and oatmeal, sprinkled on granola and smoothie bowls, soups and salads, mixed into lemonades, dressings and sauces... the sky's the limit! You can also use it as an egg substitute in lots of recipes by soaking 1 tablespoon of ground chia in 3 tablespoons of water.
Flax seed is now a staple of our diet. Well known as a source of Omega-3, it's also a great source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Unlike chia seeds, you have to grind your flax seeds to make them digestible. We recommend grinding small quantities at a time: ground flax can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks, whereas whole seeds can keep up to 8 months in an airtight container.
You can use ground flax seeds everywhere: sprinkled on your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt and salads, in your baked goods and homemade crackers, blended into your smoothies!
Hemp seeds are an incredibly versatile nutritional powerhouse. They're rich in complete protein, packed with fibre and minerals. They're also one of the few plants that contain the perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which need to be balanced in the body for maximum benefits.
We sprinkle hemp seeds everywhere! On yogurt, cereal, and smoothies; in muffins and homemade cakes... Keep it in the fridge to prolong freshness and prevent oxidation.
Pumpkin seeds contain fibre and are a very good source of quality protein, but also zinc and iron. They also contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin, also referred to as "nature's sleeping pill". Our two main varieties are the European pumpkin seeds, harvested from ancient pumpkin varieties from Austria, and Chinese pumpkin seeds, smaller and paler. Both have a great nutty flavour and great crunch.
Pumpkin seeds are charming for their versatility. You can eat them raw or roast them with a bit of salt as a snack, use them in savoury dishes by adding them as a garnish on grilled vegetables or salads, sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal and yogurt, or mix them into your favourite homemade dessert and energy bar recipes.
When roasted, sesame seeds are a delicious addition to lots of different dishes. They provide a good deal of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium, as well as many valuable antioxidants. They're also rich in fibre: 1/4 cup of sesame seeds offers 5.4 grams of fibre, 20% of our daily recommended intake.
They also can be added just about anywhere: as garnish for Asian-inspired dishes, salads, in marinades, sprinkled on your energy bars and granolas, and much more!
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