28 October 2012

Two ways with seeds

I think most of us these days know that seeds are good for us. They're vastly cheaper than nuts, with more or less the same goodies in them. I buy them in bulk from the Bin Inn, then put them into jars or containers to keep them fresh. Here are two of my favourite ways to use them.

In both cases it's much less work to do large batches and store them in jars until you need them.

Ground seeds

I use a mixture of linseed, pumpkin and sesame seed and grind them in a coffee grinder. I used to include almonds also, but they kept jamming the coffee grinder and burning out the motors (I went through a few before I learned my lesson - including a specialty nut grinder!).

I know you can buy a similar pre-ground mix (LSA, for linseed, sunflower and almond), but the oils in seeds go rancid very easily once the seed is ground. By doing it at home, and immediately transferring them to glass jars for storage in the fridge, you always have healthy fresh oils.

The ground mixture goes really well with breakfast cereals and porridge - about a tablespoon or two a day.

You can add them to cooking or baking, but the heat will break down the good fats.

To get any goodness out of linseed (flax seed), it needs to be ground, otherwise it just passes straight through us.

Tamari seeds

Years ago I tried a tamari roasted seed and nut mix at a market and loved it. I can't believe it took me until last week to get around to trying to make them myself. It is incredibly fast and easy.

I just tip a mixture of seeds - this time pumpkin, sesame and sunflower - into our preheated cast iron fry pan (no fat/oil added).  Then I splash in some tamari, which quickly bubbles then dries up, and I stir everything around for a couple of minutes. I use a medium heat. I've never measured the tamari, but I'd recommend underdoing it rather than overdoing it - try 1 Tbsp to start with.

When you first tip the seeds out of the frypan into a bowl, they'll be soft, but they'll quickly become crisp. Once cool, they can be transferred to a jar for storage.

I'd just use soy sauce instead of tamari, I suppose, but it's not gluten free and I have to think about that at the moment. I'm not sure what difference it would make, but I do know that soy sauce is better than tamari on sushi!

These are great in salads - consider mixing them into a roast root veg salad. Tomorrow I plan to try them in a sandwich and I think I'll be impressed.

The oils in them won't be as healthy as the ground seeds. But when you've tasted them you won't care.

I shared this post at Frugally Sustainable.

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