Star Ingredient: Sunflower Seeds

Toasted sunflower seeds

I love sunflower seeds! They’re totally delicious and go well with so many things, both sweet and savoury. You can eat them raw or slightly toasted, which really brings out their nutty flavour.

Sunflower seeds come from sunflowers (no surprise there), and are naturally encased in a gray or black shell, which sometimes has stripes. If you want to grow sunflowers or sunflower shoots (which by the way are also delicious and nutritious), you will need them in their shells.

I buy them raw, shelled and by the kilogram from my local nut and seed supplier, Yellow Submarine, which is a lot cheaper than buying a small packet from a supermarket. You can also buy them ready-roasted at some retailers if you can’t be bothered to toast your own.

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Date, Fig and Nut Bites

Date, fig and nut bites

These bites are both delicious and good for you – always a winning combo!

Although I’ve seen many variations of this recipe, after much playing with different combinations and quantities of the ingredients, this one is my favourite. Feel free to change up whatever you like though to suit your own tastes.

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Nasturtium Pesto

Nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium pesto might sound a bit strange, but if you like the slightly bitter taste of nasturtium leaves (or rocket/arugula, if you’ve never tasted nasturtium leaves), you’ll love it. In fact the basic recipe is very similar to that of traditional basil pesto, only we’re varying the leaves.

Traditional pesto can be pricey though, which is not surprising given some of its original ingredients – parmesan cheese and pine nuts, neither of which is particularly cheap. Luckily, you can create something that tastes quite similar using more reasonably-priced ingredients, in this case, cheddar cheese (leave this out if you want a vegan or pure paleo version) and toasted sunflower seeds.

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Beetroot, Avocado and Feta Salad

Beetroot, avocado and feta salad

Yes, it’s autumn (nearly winter) here in South Africa and some people may feel that salad is only for summer. I completely disagree – salad is delicious and nutritious any time of year! I will say though that varying what you put in your salad at different times of the year makes sense. As soon as the starchy veggies, like beetroot and butternut, start to make an appearance, it’s officially classified as an autumn/winter salad (according to me).

In this very simple and delicious recipe, beetroot and avocado are the stars, complimented by a few other ingredients that add pizzazz.

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Seed and Nut Crackers

Serve with toppings

As I don’t eat much bread, I like to have savoury biscuits on hand for a quick meal or snack – it’s so easy to grab a few and throw something yummy on them.

If you’ve never taken the time to read the ingredients of mass-produced, shop-bought savoury (or sweet) biscuits though, I really recommend you do so. If you’re anything like me and/or even vaguely health-conscious, you’ll probably be horrified by what’s in them.

So I decided to come up with my own variation of savoury biscuits, made entirely of healthy ingredients – seeds, nuts and herbs. This recipe is a combination of several versions I came across when I was researching how to go about it, and I personally love it. It’s high in nutrients and fibre, with no gluten in sight. The biscuits feel like clean food when you’re eating them and in my humble opinion, they taste better than shop-bought.

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