Crack, Spit, and Enjoy: How to Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are a popular snack around the world. They are healthy, delicious, and easy to find in grocery stores. Sunflower seeds come in two different varieties: those with shells and those without shells. The shelled seeds are known as sunflower kernels, while the seeds with shells are called in-shell sunflower seeds. In this blog, we will discuss how to eat sunflower seeds, their types, benefits, and more.
- Types of Sunflower Seeds
- In-shell Sunflower Seeds
- Sunflower Kernels
- Benefits of Eating Sunflower Seeds
- Incorporating Sunflower Seeds into Your Diet
1 Types of Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds come in two main varieties: in-shell seeds and shelled kernels. In-shell sunflower seeds are the whole seed encased in a hard outer shell. Shelled kernels are seeds without the outer shell.
In-shell sunflower seeds require a bit more effort to eat because you have to crack open the shell to get to the seed inside. Some people enjoy the process of cracking the shells open with their teeth, while others prefer to use a tool like a nutcracker. In-shell sunflower seeds come in a variety of flavours, including salted, unsalted, and flavoured.
Shelled kernels are much easier to eat because they don’t require any additional effort to remove the shell. Shelled sunflower kernels come in a variety of flavours as well, including roasted, salted, unsalted, and flavoured.
2 In-shell Sunflower Seeds
In-shell sunflower seeds require a bit of extra work to eat, but many people enjoy the process of cracking open the shells with their teeth. Here are the steps to follow when eating in-shell sunflower seeds:
Step 1: Buy the right kind of seeds
When buying in-shell sunflower seeds, look for a brand that is known for its quality. Avoid seeds that have a lot of broken shells or seeds that are discoloured. The best seeds will be plump and have a uniform colour.
Step 2: Choose a method for cracking the shells
There are several ways to crack open the shells of in-shell sunflower seeds. Some people prefer to use their teeth, while others use their hands or a tool such as a nutcracker. Choose the method that feels most comfortable for you.
Step 3: Start cracking
Once you have your seeds and your cracking tool, it’s time to start cracking. Hold a seed between your teeth or in your hand and apply pressure until the shell cracks open. Spit out the shell and eat the seed inside.
Step 4: Spit out the shells
As you eat in-shell sunflower seeds, you will accumulate a pile of shells. Make sure to spit them out into a separate container or a trash can to avoid making a mess.
3 Sunflower Kernels
Sunflower kernels are much easier to eat than in-shell sunflower seeds because they are already shelled. Here are the steps to follow when eating sunflower kernels:
Step 1: Buy the right kind of seeds
When buying sunflower kernels, look for a brand that is known for its quality. Avoid kernels that are discoloured or have an off smell. The best kernels will be plump and have a uniform colour.
Step 2: Choose a flavour
Sunflower kernels come in a variety of flavours, including salted, unsalted, roasted, and flavoured. Choose the flavour that you prefer.
Step 3: Eat the kernels
Once you have your sunflower kernels, simply eat them like any other snack. If you’re eating salted or flavoured kernels, be aware that they may be high in sodium or sugar.
4 Benefits of Eating Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack that offers several benefits:
- Rich in nutrients: Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, fibre, healthy fats, and several vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.
- Promotes heart health: The healthy fats in sunflower seeds can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the high levels of antioxidants in sunflower seeds may help protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals.
- Supports weight loss: The fibre and protein in sunflower seeds can help you feel full and satisfied, which may help you eat fewer calories and lose weight. Additionally, sunflower seeds are relatively low in calories, so you can snack on them without worrying about consuming too many calories.
- Promotes healthy skin: As mentioned, sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin E can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to premature ageing.
- Boosts energy: Sunflower seeds contain several nutrients that can help boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. They are a good source of magnesium, which is important for energy production, and they also contain several B vitamins, which are important for maintaining energy levels.
5 Incorporating Sunflower Seeds into Your Diet
There are many ways to incorporate sunflower seeds into your diet. Here are a few ideas:
- Snack on them: Sunflower seeds make a great snack on their own. You can buy them in bulk and keep a small container at your desk or in your bag for a quick and healthy snack.
- Add them to salads: Sunflower seeds add a nice crunch to salads and are a great way to add some extra nutrients to your meal.
- Use them as a topping: Sunflower seeds can be used as a topping for oatmeal, yoghurt, or smoothie bowls. They add a nice crunch and some extra protein and healthy fats.
- Make sunflower seed butter: Just like peanut butter, you can make sunflower seed butter by blending shelled sunflower seeds in a food processor until they form a smooth paste. Use it as a spread on toast, in smoothies, or as a dip for fruits and vegetables.
- Bake with them: You can use sunflower seeds in baking as well. Try adding them to muffins, bread, or granola bars for some extra crunch and nutrition.
Sunflower seeds are a healthy and delicious snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer in-shell seeds or shelled kernels, make sure to choose a high-quality brand and flavour that you enjoy. Eating sunflower seeds regularly can offer several health benefits, so don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your diet.
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