SEEDS: Lots of Nutrition in a Tiny Package

Puritan's Pride SeedsI LOVE pepitas (and it’s fun to say.)

Mostly we eat raw nuts and seeds around here, but once in a while, roasted pepitas are SO good.

When my son and DIL recently visited, I arranged a healthy snack platter that included a little bowl of pepitas.

It was emptied in SECONDS, and I had to refill the bowl at least three times. My son couldn’t stop eating them — and that always makes me happy.

What ARE pepitas?

Pepitas are the green kernels from pumpkin seeds. The seeds are removed from the pumpkin and then dried.

They’re a good source of zinc and protein and they also provide iron, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, some B-complex vitamins, and dietary fiber.

Pepitas can be eaten as they are, sprinkled on top of cereal, added to salads, savory dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Seeds are often the forgotten sisters of nuts, but seeds have many amazing health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked, according to Kristin Schierenbeck, Director of Nutrition at Puritan’s Pride.

The good people at Puritan’s Pride sent me an amazing and delicious array of samples from their collection of wholesome foods.

See that one picture? I had to be quick as a bunny to snap it because my son packed EVERY SINGLE item to take home with him. That’s how much he loved them.

So much for me cooking and baking, but it’s even better knowing that he’ll have great sources of good nutrition.

Seeds contain protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and trace minerals.   Some other favorites:

Hemp Seeds:

  • Hemp seeds are one of the few vegetarian sources of a complete protein.
  • Hemp is one of the earliest known cultivated plants with a history dating back thousands of years.

 Chia Seeds:

  • Chia seeds are a good source of fiber.
  • Fiber helps to lower the glycemic index of meals and helps maintain blood sugar levels already within normal range.
  • Fiber also helps maintain healthy functioning of the GI tract and can support colon health.
  • Fiber promotes heart health and helps maintain cholesterol levels already within normal range.
  • Chia seeds provide Omega-3 in the form of Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) and Omega-6 as Linoleic Acid (LA) – vegetarian sources of these essential nutrients.
  • Essential fatty acids provide support for heart and skin health.

Sunflower Seeds:

  • Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E. One of tugboat man’s FAVORITE ways to eat sunflower seeds is sprinkled on salad. I’ll have to remember that before he returns, which better be soon!

Flax Seeds:

  • Flax seeds provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 – 2 essential fatty acids that can’t be produced in the body and must be obtained from diet.
  • The Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to heart health and provide an energy source for the body.
  • Flax seeds provide Oleic Acid, which contributes to nerve health.

My son throws the chia, flax, and hemp seeds in his daily protein smoothies and combines the pepitas and sunflower seeds with nuts and dried fruits for his surf trips to Santa Cruz.

I’ll be heading up to visit him in a couple of weeks and will finally be able to bake cookies and protein bars using all the seeds as ingredients.

I was provided product and no monetary compensation; the reviews are my own.

It’s #Sushi Night, Happy Valentine’s Day, and Au Revoir, Tugboat Man

This is true.

We were at Sprouts — kind of like Whole Foods, and I was over in the supplements section getting some chia seeds (which I love to toss in smoothies along with flax and wheat gras and a bunch of other stuff) and my tugboat man wandered away from me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was standing at a table of potted tulips festooned with Valentine’s Day signage.

After twenty+plus years, I can totally read his mind.

The wheels were turning, or in his case, the propeller was rotating.

I got the chia seeds and walked over to him.

He said, “Hey, look! Tulips! Want some for Valentine’s Day?”

I said, “Suuure. OK. I guess.”

He replied, “Good. Pick one. Now I’m done, right? Got VDay taken care of and they’re only $3.99.”

He’s a clever one, that tugboat man of mine.

Or so he thinks, wink wink.

Little does he know that as much as I love these soon-to-be-blooming tulips that I placed in a vintage cocoa pitcher, I’m not exactly sure that I’m quite done wanting prezzies.

Tulips and Bears

Check out the ball and chain on the little bear, ha ha.

After all, the week after V-day is our twentieth wedding anniversary and I deserve something HUGE to commemorate the date, right? RIGHT??

The problem is that I can’t think of what I need WANT. No, I mean NEED.  Never mind, I’ll think of something, I’m sure.

The reason why we’re even talking about Valentine’s Day a bit early is because my tugboat man is leaving, but only for a week. He’s going to an officer’s management seminar to I suppose help captains deal with crew issues.

He’s been home for a while; I know that soon he’ll be leaving for a long assignment, and it makes it even more difficult because I’ve gotten used to him being around. I don’t have that anxious feeling like when I know he’s only going to be home for a couple of weeks and then he’s off again.

A week is no problem. I can handle that, plus I’ve been jonesing for some shopping — you KNOW that’s what I’ll be doing!

That meant that Saturday night was our Valentine’s Day celebration.

The way to my tugboat man’s heart is definitely food-related; it’s easy to make him happy. A home cooked meal and a made-from-scratch dessert does the trick.

I made sushi and an apple pie. That’s not exactly the dessert that I would have chosen to pair with sushi, but it was his request, so there you have it.

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1970; I know I’ve been saying since 1971 for the longest time, but I actually did the math, and I stopped eating meat when I was sixteen years old and a junior in high school. For most of those years, I was a total vegan, then I started eating sushi because it was the trendy thing to do; also dairy products and eggs.

Now we’re weaning ourselves away from those animal products too. We agree that it’s meaningful for us to not contribute to harming any living creature.

This time I made vegetable sushi. I haven’t included any how-to recipes because there are already so many great online resources. Rolling the sushi takes a bit of practice, but it’s not at all overwhelming or daunting. I taught myself by watching sushi chefs throughout the years. The first few rolls were loose and fell apart; now they’re as tight and firm as…well, I was going to say something rude and inappropriate here, but I’ll just let you fill in the blank in your own mind, ha ha.

The real work is in the prep; once all the veggies are cut and the rice is cooked, dinner can be ready in minutes.

First we had a glass of wine by the fire.
Guess who’ll be cleaning out the ashes.
Yup, that would be me, Cinderella.

Fire in fireplace

Sitting down to lovely Valentine’s Day table decor.
Notice the little umbrella in the sliced pears.
VERY Martha Stewart, no?
P.S. I grew the flowers in my garden. Hub did NOT bring flowers.

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Sushi close up with a dot of Sriracha. We like it spicy.
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The bear will share a glass of champs, ‘cos we drank all the sake.

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It’s imperative to have wasabi and ginger!sushiwasabi2014-01-05 18.19.28Time to blow out the candles;
have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to leave for the airport.

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