What popular bird food can calm your nerves?

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By: Leanne Ely

 

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s focus is on: SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Sunflower seeds are a staple in my house. I sprinkle them over my salads, toss them in my smoothies and I even add them to my eggs sometimes to change things up a little.

Sunflowers were one of the first plants to be cultivated in the US. Over 5000 years ago, Native Americans were using sunflower seeds (the fruit of the sunflower) as a food source and using the stems, roots and petals for dyes and other purposes.

When I’m talking about eating sunflower seeds, let’s be clear that it’s what’s inside of those black and white tear-shaped shells I’m talking about. Please be kind to your gut and don’t try eating those outer coatings. Yikes!

Not only are sunflowers a wonderful quick snack, but they are one of the most nutrient-dense seeds you can find.

Have you ever seen a stressed-out chickadee? Me neither. Maybe that’s because they eat so many sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, which regulates muscle and nerve tone, lowers blood pressure, reduces the severity of asthma symptoms, and helps prevent against heart attack, stroke and even migraines.

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of selenium and Vitamin E. Sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, and they can help lower cholesterol as well.

Now that you’re ready to fight the birds for that serving of sunflower seeds, it’s time for your Trick:

If you’re harvesting sunflower seeds from your garden (I see no other reason why you would get them in the unshelled form), save your fingernails and husk them the easy, painless way. Simply grind the whole seeds in a seed mill, and then dump the works in a bowl of cold water. The shells will float to the top. What? You don’t have a seed mill? Pulsing with an electric mixer, coffee grinder or in the food processor will do the trick. Just don’t pulse until the seeds are completely pulverized.

Your Tip:

Finely ground sunflower seeds make a wonderful, tasty alternative to wheat flour in breadings for chicken or meats.

And your Recipe:

Everything Chicken Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 free range chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3 hardboiled organic cage free eggs, peeled and diced
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup black olives
1/4 cup mayonnaise made with olive oil
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Put in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Serve with a small fruit salad for a complete meal.

It’s easy to get addicted to sunflower seeds! These little seeds are mentioned all the time in our private Saving Dinner 30 Day Paleo Challenge Facebook group as a Paleo-friendly snack and excellent source of healthy fats and minerals. I’d love you to join us over there in that private group and if you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the time to act! Our Spring 30 Day Paleo Challenge is almost GONE!

Sunflower seeds

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