Super Seeds

Small in size, but packed with nutrition, seeds are nature's power foods. Family cooking experts share their favorite easy and delicious ways to add them to your family's diet.
Bob?s Red Mill seeds Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill

Courtesy of Bob?s Red Mill

Tiny but powerful seeds are some of the healthiest foods around. And, fortunately, adding them into your family's everyday meals is a cinch.

You'll find widely popular seeds like quinoa, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, and sesame in virtually any grocery store. Up-and-coming seeds such as hemp and chia are easily located in health food stores, online, and in more and more local markets. Brands like Bob's Red Mill are carried nationwide. Wherever you find seeds, use them often to give your family's diet a boost.

Quinoa Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill

Courtesy of Bob?s Red Mill

1. Quinoa
Though it's treated like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed, revered by the ancient Incans as a sacred crop. High in protein and naturally gluten-free, this South American staple is also packed with iron, magnesium, and fiber. Quinoa is widely considered a superfood by modern-day nutrition experts. It contains all nine essential amino acids, and research has shown that it is rich in polyphenols, which can reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

2. How to Eat Quinoa
"Quinoa is great for breakfast," says kids' cooking expert Cricket Azima, the founder of the Creative Kitchen and the Kids Food Festival, and the author of Everybody Eats Lunch. To make a creamy and delicious porridge, combine quinoa with oatmeal and top with fruit and syrup. For lunch or dinner, toss cooked, cooled quinoa with chopped vegetables, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, and a red-wine vinaigrette. Or serve a quinoa pilaf studded with dried cranberries and chopped pistachios.

Sesame seeds Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill

Courtesy of Bob?s Red Mill

3. Sesame Seeds
Delicate, nutty-tasting sesame seeds aren't just for bagels: The vitamin E-packed seed is used in many Asian cuisines, and sesame paste, or tahini, is the base of traditional Mediterranean dishes like hummus and baba ghanoush. Rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium, sesame seeds are also full of disease-fighting antioxidants. They have a high oil content, so it's best to keep sesame seeds and sesame oil in the refrigerator.

4. How to Eat Sesame Seeds
For an easy side dish, toss crisp steamed vegetables with a drizzle of sesame oil and sprinkle with lightly toasted sesame seeds, as in this recipe for Sesame Snow Peas. Sesame seeds add a welcome crunch and nutty flavor to homemade crackers or a family-friendly soba noodle salad.

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