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Mary Carmody on Sunflower Seeds

As part of our ‘We Are Sure About Seeds’ campaign, we have collaborated with Mary Carmody Nutrition to bring you a serious of general health blogs. Mary is a qualified Nutritional Consultant, based in Cork with over 9 years’ experience in the health and wellness area working with Corporate
and Private clients.  Mary works from her clinic in Carrigaline but can be accessed worldwide through phone and Skype appointments.

In Mary’s last blog; she discussed Pumpkin Seeds now she tells us about the benefits of Sunflower Seeds and includes a quick and easy homemade Granola recipe!

Sunflower seeds – what’s the big deal?

Sunflower seeds are little creamy colour seeds which are an excellent source of vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy hair and skin and protects cells from damage, and has anticancer properties too. The seeds are an excellent source of B vitamins especially folate, which
helps support a healthy pregnancy an aids the immune system. They are rich in protein and heart-healthy fats.

How do I use them?

  • Eat raw.
  • Soak them in some water and then sprout them which produces a
    substantial microgreen which you can add to your salads or
    sandwiches and is very nutritious.
  • Dry-roast the seeds and add to stir-fries for extra protein and fibre!
  • Eat on their own as a snack.
  • Use in baking (scones, brown bread etc.) or in cooking.
  • As a soup or salad garnish.
  • Add to homemade granola.

What do I do now?

Now that you know just how great sunflower seeds are – head to the
supermarket or your local health store, and pick up a pack of sunflower
seeds and start using them and feeling their benefits! Try my homemade
granola recipe below for a healthy breakfast or breakfast topper!

Simple Healthy Granola

– Good for weight loss
– Nutritious with lots of vitamins, protein & fibre.

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil/coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of xylitol
  • 50g of oats
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp of chopped nuts e.g. macadamia or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tsp of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp goji berries (optional)

– Melt oil in the pan with xylitol, add the oats and stir around the pan for 3 minutes until they start to go golden and slightly crisp up!
– Add flaked almonds and chopped nuts and cook for another 2 minutes.
– Remove from heat and stir in the sunflower seeds, ground almonds, desiccated coconut and goji berries if you have some.
– Serving Suggestions: Enjoy with a dessertspoon of live yoghurt and berry compote or with milk and a handful of berries e.g. strawberries, sprinkle on porridge or add it to a smoothie!

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