Intro and Recipes
Why seeds are a great addition to a diet
Organic seeds are a great source of minerals, especially iron, magnesium and zinc, and are high in polyunsaturated fats and calories. For protein, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are best. Pumpkin seeds are good for the omega-6 and 3 fats, while sesame seeds are a great source of calcium. Sunflower seeds score highly for vitamin E. With some of the smaller seeds, for example, linseed and sesame seeds, a couple of seconds in a grinder is not a bad idea, just to break them up a bit and prevent them from just 'passing right through'. After all, if you are buying the best organic seeds, you need to get the most out of them!
Don't forget, not only are seeds really good for you in themselves, but they can bring extra texture to your cooking. You can add them to stews, salads, casseroles and, of course, your breakfast cereal.
Seeds should be part of your everyday healthy diet. They can be easily incorporated into cooking, and if you buy a larger pack size, cost is not a major problem.
At Naturally Good Food we like to offer a full range of organic seeds, most of which are to Soil Association Organic Standard. We pack many of the seeds ourselves, and can offer various size combinations, with a standard 10% case discount.
We have anumber of recipes on our blog site related to seeds: click on the link to see them.
Organic seeds to eat from Naturally Good Food
- Alfalfa - alfalfa seeds are high in protein, calcium and other minerals, and in vitamins C, E and K and those from the B group. Our alfalfa seeds are organic. We offer small bags, or, for an added saving, a large 2.5kg bag, or even a 25kg sack, for the ultimate organic alfalfa seed experience! Our organic alfalfa seeds are nutritious and rich in vitamins. You can use sprouted alfalfa in salads, sandwiches, casseroles and stir-fries all year round. The sprouts are ready in 4-6 days, when they are 1-4 cm long and green leaves have appeared.
- Broccoli - grow your own continuous supply of broccoli sprouts - highly prized for their potent antioxidant properties. Some 500g of broccoli seed is enough to grow up to 5kg of broccoli sprouts. Broccoli seeds are easy to grow and have a milder flavour than mature broccoli (part of the brassica family). Our organic broccoli seeds, once sprouted, can be used in sandwiches. They are ready in about six days. With a large bag, you can have a continuous supply of sprouted organic seeds.
- Chia - chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Chia seeds are rapidly becoming one of our major seed lines. A 100g serving of chia seeds is a rich source of the B vitamins, thiamine, and niacin (54% and 59%, respectively of the daily value (DV)), and a good source of the B vitamins riboflavin and folate (14% and 12%, respectively). We are also seeing chia seeds as part of the ingredients list in some Orgran products.
- Flaxseed/Linseed - flaxseeds are a rich source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids and very low in carbohydrates. To get the most out of flaxseeds, don’t forget to grind them before use. Flaxseeds can be added to many dishes, including smoothies and shakes, fruit and yoghurt, or mixed into a pancake or muffin batter (you may need a little extra water, due to their high fibre content). I usually add flaxseeds as a sprinkle over my breakfast fruit, ground with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Our organic linseed can also be used to great effect to decorate bread, giving a warm 'seedy' feel to home-made bread. Availability: our flaxseed/linseed comes in ground form (labelled flaxseed) and whole (labelled linseed). We stock linseed in a variety of sizes. We also stock flaxseed oil, which can be used as a dressing.
- Hemp whole hemp seeds are approximately 34% carbohydrate, 31% fat and 25% protein. The fat is in the form of 75-80% polyunsaturated oil, in a balance of 3:1 omega 6 to omega 3 (a really good balance). Hemp protein also contains all 20 known amino acids. Use: hemp seed oil can easily be added to many dishes. Availability: we sell organic hemp seeds in a variety of sizes, up to 25kg.
- Pumpkin - pumpkin seeds contain most of the B vitamins, together with vitamins C, D, E and K. Pumpkin seeds also boast the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin and phosphorous. Organic pumpkin seeds are best eaten raw, but they will toast very well in a cast-iron pan, and are especially good with a little soy sauce. During the autumn, when pumpkins are in season, you can dry your own seeds for use in various dishes. A tea can be made, by pouring boiling water over 2 tsp of pumpkin seeds and letting it stand for ten minutes. Foods rich in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, may offer protection from osteoporosis. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between low dietary levels of zinc and osteoporosis found in the hips and spines of men aged 45-92 years. Use: pumpkin seeds can, of course, be eaten raw or sprinkled on cereals. They are also good roasted and added to soups and salads; this brings out their nutty taste, but has the downside of destroying the fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil can be used as a salad dressing in combination with honey and olive oil. Availability: we sell organic pumpkin seeds in a range of sizes, from 100g to 2.5kg. If you can't see the size you want, please contact us.
- Sesame - sesame seeds are a good source of copper and manganese and a great provider of calcium for those avoiding cow’s milk. Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, thiamin (vitamin B1), zinc and dietary fibre. Sesame seeds contain lignans, including the unique sesamin and sesamolin, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground or pulverised before consumption, as in tahini. Sesame seeds work particularly well with chicken and other meats and in warm salads and salad dressings. They also bring a distinctive flavour to stir-fried and rice dishes.Use: sesame seeds can be used to add texture and flavour to bread, rolls, crackers and salad dressing, and sprinkled on to some forms of sushi. Ground and processed, the seeds can also be used in sweet confections. Availability: we sell organic sesame seeds in a variety of sizes, up to 2.5kg.
- Sunflower - sunflower seeds are one of those unsung heroes of the nutritional world; they are cheap, readily accessible, available all year round and immensely nutritious. Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, as well as magnesium and selenium. To top it all off, they are a great provider of dietary fibre, helping the digestive system do its job. Use: organic sunflower seeds make a good healthy snack - you can toast them if you like. They go well with tuna and chicken, and can be added to a green salad.Availability: we sell organic sunflower seeds in a variety of sizes, to suit all needs. Organic sunflower seeds can also be sprouted.
If you are interested in seeds, you may also want to consider some sprouting seeds. The Sprouter's Handbook has some good ideas and tips. Our full seed range is contained on this page: just scroll up for the product range and down for a quick guide to the various seeds on offer. If you just want to see our bulk range of seeds.
Below you will find some of blogs on Seeds and Healthy Eating
For the latest in seed news, from Naturally Good Food!
Try sprouting organic seeds and beans
By sprouting, we don't mean Brussel sprouts - but that particular stage in the life-cycle between being a seed and a plant. The seed is fooled into sprouting by simulating the conditions favourable to seed germination.
Organic sprouting seeds: a high-value food
When a seed is sprouting, it must have enough energy and nutrients to transform from a seed to a plant. It must feed itself and be self-sufficient. If you eat seed sprouts, then you are getting that nutrition.
What do we find in sprouted seeds?
Reasons to sprout organic seeds
If you have never tried sprouting organic seeds or beans, then now is a good time to start. It is really easy, with lots of different tips and hints on the web - or you can buy the 'Sprouting Book' from us. Armed with some sprouting trays, off you go! There are lots of different reasons to sprout your own organic seeds:
- You get the freshest sprouts possible, direct from your sprouter to your plate.
- It is much cheaper to sprout your own seeds.
- You can always have the sprouts you want, when you want them.
- You can maximise the benefit of your organic seed purchase.
- Your food miles can actually be measured in inches - the best possible option for the environment!
- There is minimum packaging, with no trays or bags to throw away.
- It's fun and educational, and if you have children, it's a great way to introduce them to growing their own food.
- It's quick and easy, and you can do it in your own kitchen.
- Remember: sprouts retain their maximum flavour and nutrition when eaten raw. If you want to include them in cooked dishes, it is best to put them in at the last minute.
How to sprout seeds
There are a number of basic steps involved in sprouting seeds. In summary, you need to:
- Soak your seeds for the correct length of time.
- Drain your seeds, rinse, and drain again.
- Transfer the seeds to a sprouting container (spreading them evenly across the container).
- Cover the sprouting container to prevent the sprouts from drying out.
- For the required time, rinse and drain the sprouting seeds every morning and evening, to prevent the formation of mould.
- Harvest your sprouts at the correct time.
- Rinse the sprouts with fresh water.
- Eat immediately for full nutritional value, or store in the fridge for a few days.
If you get any mould in your seeds, you need to throw the sprouts away immediately, thoroughly wash your sprouter and then rinse with vinegar, which helps to stop mould forming. Mould can form for various reasons:
The sprouting environment is too wet.
The sprouting environment is too hot.
The sprouts haven’t been rinsed frequently enough.
A good environment for seed germination is one that is:
- neither too hot nor too cold
neither too wet nor too dry
neither too bright nor too dark
at a room temperature below 22C.
Seeds to sprout
We sell organic seeds in larger pack sizes specially designed for sprouting. Included in this range are:
- Broccoli seeds: highly prized for their potent antioxidant properties. These resealable bags of seed come with home-sprouting instructions. They are suitable for sprouting in a sprouting jar, as well as in a 3-tier sprouter or other home sprouter. Just 500g of broccoli seed is enough to grow up to 5kg of broccoli sprouts.
- Chinese rose radish: grow your own delicious, spicy, radish sprouts, with attractive green leaves and a mild spicy flavour. They add a peppery zest to salads and sandwiches. These seeds are packed in strong, resealable bags, with home-sprouting instructions included. They are suitable for sprouting in the 'Bio Snacky' sprouting jar, a 3-tier sprouter or other suitable home sprouter. They can be grown in combination with alfalfa sprouts for a milder flavour combination.
- Beetroot: grow your own attractive, red beetroot sprouts - fantastic with salads, sandwiches, meat and fish dishes, or as a spectacular garnish. These seeds are suitable for sprouting in a sprouting jar, a 3-tier sprouter or other home sprouter. Just 500g of beetroot seed will grow up to 3kg of sprouts.
In addition to sprouting organic seeds, we also supply organic grains for sprouting, including:
- Barley grain: organic barley grain is ideal for growing your own fresh, nutritious, lush, barley grass for home juicing. This grain comes in strong, resealable bags, with home-growing instructions: 5kg is enough to grow approximately 10 to 15 trays of fresh barley grass.
- Organic spelt grain: spelt is an ancient species of wheat that has not been bred for its starch or gluten properties. We believe that organic spelt grain produces the best lush green wheatgrass - perfect for juicing. We sell 5kg of organic spelt grain in strong, resealable bags. One 5kg bag is enough to grow ten trays of organic wheatgrass.
Organic wheat grain: this is an alternative to organic spelt grain for those who prefer wheatgrass grown from wheat grain. It comes in strong, resealable bags, with home-growing instructions. The 5kg supplied is enough to grow approximately 10 to 15 trays of fresh wheatgrass.
Sunflower Pumpkin Sesame
Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds
These are some of our most popular seeds, and for good reason: they're all easy to incorporate into your diet, have a great taste and are really versatile.
If you're new to eating sunflower seeds, try them as a snack to start with. They're great gently toasted in a pan and then sprinkled with soy sauce. As you can guess, thinking about sunflower oil, a great deal of the sunflower seed is actually oil. However, this oils is good oil, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and principally linoleic acid. Additionally, the seeds contain phytosterols, which may contribute toward lower levels of blood cholesterol.
At Naturally Good Food we offer a huge range of sizes of seeds, from 100g to 25kg. Sunflower seeds are high in iron, fibre, vitamin E, thiamin (vitamin B1), zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium.
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc: the World Health Organization recommends them as a source of this nutrient. At Naturally Good Food we stock pumpkin seeds in a range of sizes, from 100g to 25kg. If you eat these seeds on a regular basis, our economy packs offer significant savings. These are available as 1kg and 2.5kg bags.
We would suggest that pumpkin seeds are roasted for no more than 20 minutes to maintain the 'good fat' balance in the seeds.
A few pumpkin seed ideas
Pumpkin seeds can be served as they are or can be chopped or ground. You can also:
- Add pumpkin seeds to a healthy stir-fry
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads
- Add ground pumpkin seeds to a salad dressing made with olive oil, lemon and fresh garlic
- Chop the seeds and add them to your favourite hot or cold cereal
- Add the seeds to your favourite flapjack recipe or homemade granola
- Add ground seeds to homemade burgers.
Sesame seeds grow in hot climates; they're a very small seed with a high oil content and a rich, nutty flavour. They're widely used across the globe. Wikepedia states that 'sesame seeds (whether roasted or just dried) are rich in calories (565 kcal), providing an excellent source of essential nutrients as part of the Daily Value (DV). While containing high amounts of protein, dietary fiber, and total fat (mainly as linoleic acid and oleic acid), sesame seeds are also particularly rich (> 20% DV) in B vitamins and the dietary minerals manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.'
As sesame seeds are such a small seed, it does make sense to run them through a grinder - or they may just pass through the body. If you're allergic to peanut butter, these seeds, in the form of tahini, make a great alternative. As well as buying this, you can make your own tahini. Sesame seeds also make a great topping for bread and rolls. They're widely used in sushi dishes too. We also stock a number of sesame oils: the toasted oil has a particularly distinctive flavour.
At Naturally Good Food we stock lots of sizes of sesame seeds, from 250g to 25kg.
Chia Flax Hemp
Chia, flax and hemp seeds
Chia seeds have become incredibly popular in recent years, with amazing properties ascribed to them. Like many other traditional Latin American foods, they've now been 'discovered' by the West. Chia is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It was cultivated by the Aztec people in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested that it was as important as maize as a food crop. At Naturally Good Food we stock both white and black chia seeds. They're almost identical in terms of their stock of omega-3s, protein and fibre, but the darker chia seeds are thought to contain more antioxidants, especially in the form of quercetin.
One of the great things about chia seeds is that they're really easy to add to your diet. They've got a mild flavour and are gluten-free, making them perfect for those with coeliac disease.
Flaxseed has been grown for some 5,000 years (it's also known as linseed).
Whatever name is used, a 100-gram serving provides some 530 calories and contains high levels of protein, dietary fibre, several B vitamins and dietary minerals. Flaxseed is especially rich in thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.
Flaxseed also contains:
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids: 'good' fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8g of plant omega-3s.
- Lignans: these have both plant-oestrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
- Fibre: flaxseed has both the soluble and insoluble types of fibre.
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a flour, sprouted or made into dried sprout powder. They can also be made into hemp milk, in a similar way to soya milk.
As with many seeds, hemp seeds are notable as a high-protein food source, providing 73% of the recommended daily value (DV) in a 100g serving. Hempseed's amino acid profile is comparable to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score values (PDCAAS), which measure the degree to which a food for humans is a 'complete protein', were 0.49-0.53 for whole hemp seed, 0.46-0.51 for hemp seed meal and 0.63-0.66 for dehulled hemp seed.
In terms of trace elements, hemp seeds are a rich source of the dietary minerals magnesium (160% DV), zinc (77% DV) and iron (53% DV), and a good source of dietary fibre (13% DV).
For more information, see our blog 'Hemp - is it just a load of old rope?'.