Posts Tagged ‘sunflower seeds’

Tasty Tuesday: Roasting Seeds and Nuts

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

A Mom’s Milk Boutique Top Fan recently asked me what method I use for roasting seeds. This Top Fan has a little girl with various allergies which requires her to carefully read ALL food labels as well as make many foods at home from scratch. She thought her daughter might enjoy snacking on sunflower seeds and was wondering how to roast them herself. It’s actually quite simple and I am happy to share the method I prefer.

There are a few methods, although as usual I opt for the quickest and easiest route. I am in my kitchen A LOT and like to expedite the food prep process when/where I can. Plus any time I can get away with doing something on the stove top versus in the oven makes this Arizona home cooler and therefore happier! 🙂

First a few quick notes on seeds and nuts:

I buy all my seeds and nuts raw. Raw works best for many of the ways I use seeds and nuts. However for snacking, roasted seeds or nuts definitely have more flavor as well as an extra crunch to them. Rather than purchase both raw and roasted, it’s easier (and generally cheaper) if I just buy all raw and roast them as desired. Additionally I buy all seeds and nuts pre-shelled, because it’s a ton of work (and a bit of a mess) to shell them yourself in large quantities. The only exception is pistachios. The pre-shelled ones are outrageously expensive. Plus they are easy enough to shell and are consumed primarily in small snack-sized quantities.

If I am roasting seeds or nuts to add to a salad or other type of dish, I just do a quick dry roasting on the stove top. I simply heat a pan on medium heat, pour the desired amount of nuts/seeds in, and shake them around the pan for a few minutes. I don’t use any oil, salt, or other spices. You have to watch them super carefully because they seemingly go from being perfectly roasted to burnt in a matter of seconds.

If we are going to snack on the seeds/nuts, I like to roast them in oil and salt on the stove. I cover the bottom of the pan with a very small amount of oil. Really any oil will work, so just use what ever your family prefers. We prefer olive oil or coconut oil. Heat the oil on medium. When oil is heated, add the desired amount of seeds/nuts. You want them to be about single layer in the pan. Shake them around from time to time while roasting. They will only take about 5 minutes so be sure to watch them carefully and shake often. They burn very quickly so avoid walking away from the stove or getting distracted (yeah, easier said than done when you have kids, right?). Remove seeds/nuts from pan and allow to cool completely before enjoying.

That’s it! I love it when a healthy snack is that easy and quick to prepare. You can even mix roasted nuts and seeds with some dried fruit for a healthy homemade trail mix. Or you can get super creative with flavors by experimenting with spices. For example these spicy pecans are sweet with a nice little kick to them!

ENJOY!

Sarah

Cashew Nut Quinoa

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

This recipe for cashew nut quinoa is a quick, easy, and healthy dish. It can be served with a salad as a light meal or makes a wonderful side dish. It’s a favorite of mine to bring to parties, pot lucks, BBQs, and picnics as it is delicious hot or cold and ensures a substantial vegan option for my family. It also provides a nice gluten-free option for my many friends and family members who are gluten-free. This is also a dish that my kids will enjoy for lunch or as a late afternoon snack. I threw some together the other day and JJ kept impatiently asking me when it was going to be done. That’s when I know I have a winner with my kids! This is also my “go-to, last-minute, throw-something-healthy-together-dish” as I almost always have the ingredients on hand and it goes together super quick. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups water (or vegetable broth)

1 cup of quinoa

1 carrot, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup cashews, halved

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, shelled

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons of your favorite all-purpose seasoning

salt (or garlic salt) and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring water (or vegetable broth) to a full boil. Add all other ingredients, except for salt and pepper, and bring to a full boil once again. Lower heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and carrots are soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy served hot or cold.

TIP: If you plan to bring this dish to an event to share with others, I recommend you double or even triple the recipe above.

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Awesome Kale Salad

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

I was surprised when I realized I have not shared this Awesome Kale Salad Recipe with you all. It’s my very favorite salad…in fact I eat it pretty much every day. (I think I have mentioned my kale obsession before 😉 ) This salad in particular is full of yummy green goodness that your body will thank you for! Kale is a super-food that you definitely want to eat on a regular basis. Eating it raw keeps all the nutrients intact so you experience optimum health benefits. This salad literally takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and is a hearty enough salad to be a meal all on its own. The cayenne pepper gives it a bit of a kick as well as provides important health benefits. Actually each ingredient of this salad is chock full of pure goodness for your body…combined together this salad is simply awesome for you!

Ingredients:

One bunch of Kale, washed, de-stemmed, and torn into bite size pieces (I just use my hands to tear it away from the stem and into bit size pieces)

1 avocado, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

2-3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2-3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (without shells)

sprinkle of sea salt or himalayan pink salt

sprinkle of olive oil, to taste

juice of half a lemon

tiny dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:

Place Kale in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage the salt into the kale with hands. This helps soften it and improves the flavor. I usually do this first and then chop all remaining ingredients to give it extra time to absorb the salt. Add remaining ingredients and gently toss. This recipe is enough for two servings, but the salad is best eaten fresh so half the recipe as needed.

The more greens you eat, the more your body will to start to crave greens! So be good to your body and GO GREEN today!

-Sarah