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Edible Seeds -- Perfect Gluten Free Vegan Food

Updated on August 1, 2013
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Sandy Dell shares her challenges with gluten and dairy intolerances and shares recipes and info for others.

Edible Seeds for a Gluten Free Diet

Seeds are an excellent addition to a Gluten Free Diet. Rich in vitamins and minerals, seeds can be added to lots of recipes and dishes.

According to Wikipedia, "A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat". Seed includes three basic parts: an embryo, a supply of nutrients for the embryo, and a seed coat. Of course, the seed has much stored nutrients to aid the seed to grow into a plant.

Not all seeds are edible in their raw state, but listed here are a few common seeds that we eat regularly.

Chia Seeds

Edible Seeds - Chia seeds
Edible Seeds - Chia seeds

Chia/Salba Seeds

... a little seed with a nutritional punch!

Chia seeds, often called Selba seeds, have been a part of the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans where they were considered to be as important as maize or corn. The Aztecs ground them into flour and made bread to take on their hunting and trading expeditions.

Today, chia is grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Australia, and Guatemala. Recently, Australia was the world's largest producer of chia!

Chia seeds provide protein, fats, and fiber. The little seeds are super-rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids

Chia seeds can be used as the following:

**A topping to be sprinkled on salads, stir-fired, cereal and soup

**As a thick gel, by combining 1 part chia with 4 parts water -- for thickening gravies or soup -- and even as an egg substitute

**Used in baked goods such as biscuits, breads or cakes

Gluten Free Seeds -- Chia
Gluten Free Seeds -- Chia

Gluten Free Granola is a tasty and nutritious breakfast or snack food -- add chia seeds and increase the nutrition even greater!!

The following recipe is listed on Food.com: http://www.food.com/recipe/gf-cinnamon-coconut-gra...

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 25 min
  • Ready in: 35 min

Ingredients

  • 4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup organic raw almonds
  • 1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup organic virgin coconut
  • 3/4 cup raw honey (may also use organic Grade A maple syrup for vegans)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Be certain to thoroughly coat all ingredients with coconut oil and honey. Prep a large baking sheet or cookie sheet with coconut oil (or line with parchment paper for quick clean up). Spread granola mixture onto pan in one level layer and place in oven for roughly 35 minutes. At 30 minutes, start to peek at it often because it will burn quickly at the end! Granola is ready when lightly browned and your home smells like cinnamon goodness :).
  2. Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/gf-cinnamon-coconut-granola-467681
Cast your vote for Cinnamon Coconut Granola

Flaxseed

Edible Seeds - Flaxseeds
Edible Seeds - Flaxseeds

Flaxseed ...

.... the ancient grain

Flax is one of the oldest cultivated crops going back to the Egyptian times. The slender plants grow as tall as 4 feet and are sometimes used as an ornament plant in gardens. Canada is current the largest growers of flax.

Flax is also grown for its seeds which are often processed to make linseed or flax oil. Seeds are grown in two varieties: brown and yellow seeds. High in dietary fiber, they also contain a very high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids and can taste slightly spicy.

Flaxseed can be eaten whole, cracked or ground. Once cracked or ground, they should be eaten within a week to avoid becoming rancid, or refrigerated for up to six months.

Uses for Flaxseed:

**Added whole to breads or topping for cereal or salads

**Ground and added to breads or muffins

**Ground and added to water as a replacement for eggs in baked goods: 2 ½ tablespoons flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of warm water will replace one egg.

**Pressed into oil

Edible Seeds - Flaxseeds
Edible Seeds - Flaxseeds

Crispy Sesame Flaxseed Wafers

Flaxseed, like many other seeds, makes wonderful tasting crackers. Following is a recipe I found in my favorite cookbook: Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook: 150 Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free Recipes, Many with Egg-Free Variations

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup soy flour
  • ¼ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup untoasted flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • ½ cup coconut oil or butter substitute
  • ¼ cup granulate sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine flour and seeds in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Cream butter substitute and sugar in a separate bowl. Add water and beat well. Slowly add dry ingredients.
  3. Drop small spoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Flatten with the bottom of glass. Bake at 325 degrees for 13 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring crackers to rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Hemp Seed

Edible Seeds - Hemp Seed
Edible Seeds - Hemp Seed

Hemp Seeds ....

.... a newer nutritional grain

Hemp has been used for centuries for fiber, but today the seeds are a source of food for people and animals. It is grow in numerous countries around the world including Spain, China, Japan, Korea, England, France, Africa, North Africa, Egypt and Ireland. Currently, China is the largest producer. Unfortunately, the US considers hemp a drug (plant leaves are used as marijuana), so hemp seeds are imported to the states.

Hemp seeds are high in protein, fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber and iron. The seeds have a very nutty flavor -- similar to sunflower seeds.

Uses for hemps seeds:

**Sprinkled on top of foods such as stir fries, cereal or salads

**Blended into baked goods for extra crunch

**Ground into flour and used to make pancakes, muffins, breads, cookies and bars

**Made into dairy free milk

**Made into oil

**Sprouted and added to salads and other dishes

Edible Seeds - Hemp Seed
Edible Seeds - Hemp Seed

Raw Hemp Corn Chips

Corn Chips, using hemp, sounded like a fun recipe! The recipe calls for a dehydrator, but I would think you could use your oven on real low heat.

I found this recipe at http://www.food.com/recipe/hemp-corn-chips-raw-350...

Ingredients

  • 6 cups corn (kernals-fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 10 cups sunflower seeds (soaked -- 6 cups before soaking)
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups flax seeds (ground into a meal)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons celtic sea salt
  • Juice of one lime

Instructions

  1. 1 Puree corn in a food processor until creamy. Place in a mixing bowl.
  2. 2 Puree sunflower seeds with water until creamy and add to the mixing bowl. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well.
  3. 3 Spread 2 1/ 2 cups of the batter on a 16" dehydrator tray covered with a Teflex sheet.
  4. 4 Cut into desired shapes: triangles, squares, circles, etc.
  5. 5 Dehydrate for 24-30 hours at 105 degrees until crispy. Remove the Teflex sheets after about 10 hours.
  6. Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/hemp-corn-chips-raw-350204#ixzz1sk6D2BYR

Poppy Seeds

Edible Seeds - Poppy Seeds
Edible Seeds - Poppy Seeds

Poppyseeds ...

...tiny, but full or nutrition

Poppy seeds, according to history, have been cultivated for at least 3,000 years. They were first referenced in Mesopotamian (Iraq) medical literature, and later in Egyptian and Minoan (Crete) civilizations.

Interesting to note, Poppy seeds are the mature variation of the opium harvest: Poppy seeds are harvested when they are ripe, after the seed pod has dried; whereas, opium is harvested while the seed pods are green and their latex is abundant, but the seeds have just begun to grow.

Poppyseeds are high in protein, fat, thiamine and manganese.

Uses for Poppy Seeds:

**Sprinkled on top of bread, roll and other baked goods

**Added to cakes and cookie where they complement lemon and orange flavors

**Used to salad dressings to add crunch

**Ground or crushed and used as a flavoring in Turkish and Indian cuisine

Gluten Free Grains -- Poppy Seed
Gluten Free Grains -- Poppy Seed

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon - zest of
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine oil, almond milk, honey, vanilla and lemon zest.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine almonds, flours, cornmeal and salt.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into the oil mixture, followed by poppy seeds.
  5. On a rice-flour dusted surface (or between sheets of wax paper), roll dough out to ¼" thickness and cut out shapes with your desired cookie cutter or small glass.
  6. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets.
  7. Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/gluten-free-lemon-poppy-seed-cookies-476045?oc=linkback

Pumpkin Seeds

Edible Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds
Edible Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds

... sometimes called pepita: "little seed of squash"

Pumpkin seeds have been used in folk medicine for many years. More recently, they are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Often roasted and salted or marinated, they are becoming a popular snack food.

The seeds, which are packed with fiber, are also good sources of protein, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. They also contain a high oil content and should be refrigerated.

Uses for pumpkin seeds:

**Eaten as a snack

**Can be added to soups, casseroles or breads

**Added to granola or snack mixes

Our favorite way to eat pumpkin seeds is on top of a salad for extra protein!

Edible Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds
Edible Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds

Carrot-Apple Slaw With Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds

Cook Time

Total Time: minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice -- divided
  • 1 granny smith apple --unpeeled cored and shredded
  • 1 lb carrot -- peeled and shredded (about 4 large)
  • 1/2 small red onion -- thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine dried cranberries and 1/4 cup orange juice in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. 2 In a large bowl, toss apple with remaining 1/4 cup orange juice. Mix in carrots, red onion, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.
  3. 3 Drain cranberries, reserving juice; add cranberries to apple-carrot mixture.
  4. 4 Whisk reserved orange juice and olive oil; pour over slaw and toss well. Season to taste with black pepper.
  5. 5 Serve cold or at room temperature.
  6. Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/carrot-apple-slaw-with-cranberries-and-pumpkin-seeds-163383?oc=linkback

Sesame Seeds

Edible Seeds - Sesame Seeds
Edible Seeds - Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds ...

... oldest seeds known!

Sesame seed is considered to be the oldest seeds known to man, probably because sesame is very drought resisted and can be grown virtually anywhere. Records show that sesame seeds were domesticated well over 5000 years ago.

Most sesame seeds sold in the US are from Mexico and Central America -- although some seeds are purchased from China.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed, so should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They also are high in protein and Omega 6 oils and add a rich nutty flavor to dishes.

Uses for Sesame Seeds:

**Added to breads, rolls and crackers for add texture and flavor

**Ground into paste referred to as Tahini

**Used in various dishes for texture and flavoring

**Pressed into oil

Edible Seeds - Sesame Seeds
Edible Seeds - Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seed Salad Dressing

Serving Size

Serves: Makes 1-1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toaster sesame seeds -- ground
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic --pressed

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine ingredients in jar and shake well.
  2. 2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Works great poured over green salads!
  4. Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/sesame-seed-salad-dressing-60178?scaleto=1.25&mode=null&st=true&oc=linkback

Sunflower Seeds

Edible Seeds - Sunflower Seeds
Edible Seeds - Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower ....

.... most common to the United States

Sunflower seeds are very well know in the US as a snack food -- shelled or unshelled -- and more recently, roasted in various seasonings.

Even though they are so popular in the US for growing and eating, the top grower of sunflower seeds are Russia and the Ukraine.

Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E and several B vitamins.

Uses for sunflower seeds:

**Snack food

**Added to baked good

**Sprinkled on salads

**Pressed for their oil

Edible Seeds - Sunflower Seeds
Edible Seeds - Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli, Grapes, Sunflower Seeds Cold Salad

I have also made this recipe and used half broccoli and half cauliflower. Raisins are also good as a substitute for the grapes.

Recipe courtesy of Food.com: http://www.food.com/recipe/broccoli-grapes-sunflow...

Serving Size

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli -- chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion -- chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup seedless grapes -- cut in halves
  • Optional: 1/2 Bacos bacon bits or 1/2 crumbled bacon (omit if vegan)
  • Sauce: 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. 1. Chop broccoli, red onion, and grapes.
  2. 2. Transfer to large bowl.
  3. 3. Add Bacos and sunflower seeds.
  4. 4. Prepare sauce and add to bowl.
  5. 5. Stir and serve or refrigerate.
  6. Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/broccoli-grapes-sunflower-seeds-cold-salad-127270?oc=linkback

Which seeds are your favorites to eat and cook with?

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Did I miss any edible seeds?

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