There are so many uses for sunflower seeds that you might be missing out on. These little seeds are a wealth of nutrition, with protein, iron and vitamin E, so it makes sense to include them in your meal plan. You don’t have to eat pounds and pounds of them to benefit either. Just a handful is enough. Opt for the unsalted version to keep your sodium intake under control. Toss some sunflower seeds in your cart next time you get groceries and you’ll be all set to try one of these yummy uses for sunflower seeds.
1. Top a Salad
One of the best uses for sunflower seeds is to toss them into a veggie salad. They add a pleasing crunch and a nutty flavor that pairs well with many kinds of vegetables. A spoonful is all you need. They also work great on potato salad or macaroni salad to give it a nice crunchy texture. Yum!
2. Beef up Your Trail Mix
Adding sunflower seeds to trail mix is really easy to do and gives it a filling and hearty flavor that you’ll love. Pair them with dry cereal, dried fruit, raisins and pretzels for a snack that works any time of the day. This combination is great for hiking because it’s full of energy, but it will give you a boost anytime. Take it to work or school to keep yourself going when your energy flags.
3. Make Oil
Sunflower oil is a great thing to have on hand. You can use it to make marinades or salad dressings and it makes a nice alternative for canola or olive oil in certain recipes. You can make your own sunflower oil, but you’ll need to start with raw seeds. Use a presser or oil extractor to get the job done in no time. Now you have something yummy to cook with that you made yourself. Pretty cool, huh?
4. Add Them to Muffins
Sunflower seeds are a great ingredient to boost the nutrition in your favorite muffin recipe. You can toss them in without grinding because they are small enough to eat whole. Sunflower seeds are great in zucchini, banana, carrot or oat muffins. You can use the same technique for making sweet loaf breads too.
5. Stir Them into Yogurt
You’ve probably had granola in yogurt, but sunflower seeds work just as well and give you a different flavor to enjoy. Stir them into plain Greek yogurt, along with some diced fresh fruit and honey for a tasty morning meal or hearty snack to get you through the day. You’ll never eat yogurt any other way once you try it like this.
6. Make a Cheese Ball
Cheese balls are great for parties because they’ll serve several people and make a great presentation. Make your favorite cheese ball recipe, then roll the entire thing in sunflower seeds. Not only do the seeds perfectly complement the flavor of many kinds of cheese, but they also give your snack a nice crunch.
7. Put Them in Soup
No doubt you’ve seen soup with roasted pumpkin seeds in it. You can do the same thing with sunflower seeds. They are smaller than other seeds, but their flavor is mild enough to work with many kinds of soup. Try sunflower seeds in creamy potato or broccoli soups. They also work well in chowder.
How do you eat sunflower seeds? I hope this list has inspired you to try something new. It’s always fun to give a new food a whirl, isn’t it? What other ideas do you have for using sunflower seeds?