The nutrition fact for this week include the super food, seeds.  These are referred to as a super food because it is a nutrient-rich food that is considered to be beneficial for our health.  There are many types of seeds, but we will discuss only a few such as hemp, poppy, nigella, sunflower, and mustard seeds.

Hemp Seed: This seed is one of few non-meat sources of food that include all nine amino acids, the building blocks of protein.  Thus, it is full of protein!  10 grams per ounce of serving in fact.  This seed is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, a “healthy” fat.  Hemp seeds can be used as a garnish or for making salad dressings such as vinaigrette.  I like using hemp seeds for smoothies 🙂

Poppy Seed: Can often be seen on breads or paired with lemon or beets.  Poppy seeds are rich in calcium, iron, contains 5 grams of protein, and 6 grams of dietary fiber per ounce.  A very yummy and one of my personal favorite uses for poppy seed is a Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin.

Nigella Seed: Also known as charnushka. Common to South Asia, this seed has a dull black appearance.  This seed has the highest amount of dietary fiber (10 grams per ounce).  It has a bitter, smoky aroma and a nutty, peppery flavor.  Good to use on top of Middle Eastern, Eastern European, or Indian breads.

Sunflower Seed: Most commonly eaten seed.  This seed is found inside black and white striped hulls.  One ounce of sunflower seeds is rich in vitamin E and folate.  Sunflower seeds are the source of sunflower oil, which can be used in cooking and salad dressings.  Sunflower butter can be used as an alternative to peanut butter.  However, sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten during baseball games.

Mustard Seed: Although it is considered a seed, it is the world’s most heavily traded spice.  Mustard seeds can come in yellow, brown, or black.  One ounce of mustard seeds contain 7 grams of protein and are a rich source of selenium.  The most common use of this seed is grounded into mustard, but can also be used for pickling.  Vegetables that can be pickled include cucumbers, beets, cabbage, and peppers.

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