Love spreads and butters? Did you know that because sunflower seed butter is not made from a nut but from a seed, it is school approved? (Sometimes. Check your school or daycare!) There is nothing like the convenience of a spread that provides satiating high protein and multiple vitamins and minerals. How do you think peanut butter got so popular? Some of the alternatives use soy which is also high on the allergenic list but sunflower seeds fare much better.
Sunflower seeds are mildly anti-inflammatory due to their high mineral and anti-oxidant content and good balance of omega fats. The better formulas don’t contain sugar, so feel free to add a touch of raw honey, maple syrup or jam to sweeten on a sandwich.
Work sunflower seed butter into after-school snacks and boost the nutrients of that all-important meal. Kids are hungry and cranky at this time and will often fill up on whatever is put in front of them. All too often it is dinner-killing white flour and white sugar that get the job done. Don’t fall into the trap!
Try these ideas instead:
- Spread sunflower butter onto a banana with some honey to provide a balanced snack
- Dip dried fruit into a tablespoonful of sunflower butter
- Use in place of peanut butter in cookie recipes, you will not notice the difference in taste
- Add to smoothie recipes to bump up protein and good fats
- Use in place of tahini for making hummus
Each time you add a different food, you are adding different nutrients and your body needs a wide range of every kind. Go beyond wheat crackers and try quinoa or brown rice crackers to balance out the amino acids. Pairing a nut or seed with a whole grain makes a complete protein.
About the Author:
Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com