In Part 1 of our blog on seeds, you learnt about what are seeds, the different types of seeds and why to include them. In this concluding part on seeds, we share with you which seeds to use, how to use and some common FAQ about seeds to clear the confusion.
Which seed should I use from the numerous options available?
All seeds are good seeds. It doesn’t matter which seed you eat, as they are all power-packed with nutrients. We recommend that you choose on availability, the season, your budget and taste. Instead of spending hundreds of rupees on a tiny packet of imported quinoa, you can opt for locally grown millets. It’s beneficial for your budget, the economy, as well as the environment.
We recommend that you use a mixture of seeds to get all nutrients and to add variety to your diet.
Seed FAQ Corner:
Are Chia and Sabja Seeds the same?
No. Sabja seeds are native to India and are the seeds of sweet basil. Chia seeds are from Mexico. Though Chia seeds also belong to the basil family; it’s a different plant.
Chia seeds are a mixture of black and white tiny seeds, while Sabja (also known as falooda seeds) are jet black.
1.Should I soak seeds before eating them?
Soaking seeds has many benefits – easier digestion, unlocks nutrients, improves flavour and texture, makes them easy to digest and chew. While it’s recommended that you soak seeds, you can continue eating them occasionally, even if you have forgotten to soak them overnight.
2. How Many Seeds Should I Add to My Food?
Remember, moderation is key. Since seeds are tiny; it’s easy to go overboard while munching on them. Since these foods are energy-dense, the body needs to spend more energy on digesting them compared to veggies and fruits. Keeping seeds, dry fruits, and nuts to 5% of your daily diet is sufficient to meet your daily nutritional needs.
3. Can I eat roasted seeds?
Roasted seeds are not as good for health as soaked seeds because they are no longer ‘live’. They are ok on occasion to just sprinkle on your salad for the extra crunch. Avoid using salted seeds as they are addictive and causes one to overeat.
4. How to buy and store seeds?
Try to sources your seeds from good brands and make sure they the expiry date is not over. Seeds especially the oil seeds get rancid fast so it is better to store the seeds in your fridge. Buy in small quantity and try to use within a few months
5. Can I use the seeds from produce at home instead of buying from the market?
Yes, you can. Remove the seeds of gourds, melons, cucumbers etc. Wash them with water and discard the pulp. Pat them to remove moisture and dry them for a few days and they are ready.
Natural Health Tips: Ways to Add Seeds to your Diet
Soak and sprout – Soak seeds overnight, and eat them raw. You can add seeds to your salads, soups, and vegetables for a satisfying crunch.
Have them as a snack – When munching on seeds as a snack, avoid flavoured seeds available on the market, as it is full of additives. Keep it raw. Or you can bake or dry roast seeds. Baking seeds at mild temperatures bring out the flavour in it.
Extract Seed Milk – This is a great nutritional and flavourful alternative to dairy milk. Soak seeds at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the water and rinse the seed several times. Put the soaked seeds in your blender and pulse on high. Use the milk as it is, or you can filter it if you prefer a smoother consistency.
Make Seed Butter – Dry roast your seeds in a baking pan, till it gives an aroma. Then, let them cool down. Add it to a food processor with an “S” shaped blade. Grind in small intervals, till it reaches a smooth, buttery consistency. Your seed butter is ready.
Add it to Rice, Chilas, Tikkis or Dosas – Grind seeds to a fine flour and mix it with warm rice for a filling meal. You can also add this flour to Rotis, Chilas, Tikkis and Dosas.
Make Desserts – This is an energy-packed nutritious evening snack. Place a mixture of seeds – flax, sesame, hemp, etc. in a food processor. Add some jaggery and a small amount of coconut milk. Pulse until well blended. Shape them into balls, dust with coconut gratings, and your snack is ready.
Chia Seed Pudding – Soak seeds in a liquid of your choice (almond milk, coconut milk, etc.) for six to eight hours or overnight. Top it with cut fruits for a filling dessert. You can also add it while preparing raw fruit jam.
Add To Drinks – Add Sabja seeds (Falooda seeds) to homemade Sharbaths, nimboo pani, fruit smoothies, green smoothies, or nut-milks, to make refreshing and nutritious drinks.
Before seeds became popular as superfoods, Indian households have been using seeds in our diet. It was a common practice to dry seeds of muskmelon, watermelon, pumpkin on terraces during the summer and make seed powders, which were added to curries, rotis, rice, etc. Jackfruit and Mango seeds were dried and added to sambhar.
Check with your parents or grandparents to know more about traditional edible seed usage practices and revive them.
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