For this month’s recipe challenge of “What do we do with this?” I was working with the ingredient of Sunflower seeds. Spring is in the air, the blossoms are starting to appear, and rain was forecast so I was craving something light and delicious.
The candied sunflower seeds will keep for a long time in an air-tight container and make for a lovely treat when you are craving something sweet.
Likewise, the dressing will keep in a jar or air-tight container in the fridge and is also lovely on vegetables. So, this recipe has a few ways you can use it.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free!
Spring is in the air and I was craving something light and delicious. These candied sunflower seeds will keep for a long time in an air-tight container and make for a lovely treat when you are craving something sweet.
1 hrPrep Time
1 hrTotal Time
- ½ cup sunflower seeds soaked in water for two hours
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 large clove of garlic – peeled
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1 avocado – halved, peeled and sliced
- 1 punnet strawberries – tops removed and sliced
- ¼ red cabbage - sliced
- 3 radishes – thinly sliced
- Soak the sunflower seeds in water for minimum of 2 hours then drain
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
- Will keep in air-tight container in the fridge until ready to use
- Add water, sugar and sunflower seeds to pan
- Bring to a simmer and constantly stir until liquid reduces to a thick golden syrup and seeds are well coated
- Once all liquid is reduced pour coated seeds onto baking paper and allow to harden
- Finally you need to put your salad together. Start with a swoosh of dressing on the plate.
- Layer the red cabbage and avocado over the dressing
- Add the radish and strawberries and finally garnish with the candied sunflower seeds. Top with a little extra dressing if needed.
Sunflower seeds are the fruiting bodies of the sunflower plant. They are commonly also pressed for oil. They are increasingly used as a popular tasty and nutrient-dense treat.
However, they are more than just a snack. They are filled with incredible nutrients which include Vitamin E and B6.
They also contain various antioxidants, thiamine, sodium, magnesium, selenium, manganese and phosphorus!
Sunflower seeds have many health benefits, but it is probably important to note that they are quite high in calories because of their high-fat content, so naturally it is best to eat them in moderation.
Some of the benefits you will notice from consuming a small number of sunflower seeds regularly are as follows:
Skin Care: Vitamin E is known to rejuvenate the skin by increasing blood circulation and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. ¼ of a cup of sunflower seeds fulfils roughly 80% of your daily requirements.
Good for the brain: Various studies have linked the consumption of sunflower seeds to having a calming effect on your brain and uplifting your mood.
There is a high content of tryptophan in sunflower seeds which increases the brains’ ability to produce serotonin.
Hair care: Once again due to the Vitamin E content, sunflower seeds can have a positive effect on the texture and tone of your hair and have been proven to stimulate hair growth.
Increase energy levels: Sunflower seeds are a common snack for many athletes.
These seeds provide high amounts of protein and carbohydrates which can assist in the liver discharging glycogen into the bloodstream which means an extra boost of energy.
Help with mood and sleep:
Due to the magnesium content in sunflower seeds they have also been linked to easing the effects of anxiety or depression and improving the quality of sleep.
Courtesy of Lara Flanagan.
Lara is the author of My Notes from New England, a blog that takes a humorous look at the adventures of a single mum with two young twins who enjoys cooking, eating well, living in the country and travelling the world looking to inspire and be inspired.