Crunchy Super Seed Clusters
I have a confession to make. I haven’t got my kitchen mojo back. The intention is absolutely there, the ideas are flowing and the fridge is finally full again. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself back into my regular cooking mode. Maybe it’s (recipe) writers block? I don’t know. Let’s just say it’s been a good 10 days of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese for dinner (not that I’m complaining)! Last night I branched out and actually pan-fried my own tempeh (a dinnery version of this Smokey BBQ Tempeh here). Anyway, the point is, I’m feeling a little bit lost, but hoping it all flows back to me ASAP!
My passion for consuming said foods, however, has not diminished. No siree, not in the slightest. So this week I thought we should make something that mirrored this strange juxtaposition of feelings. Easy to make, with only 10 minutes to prep and 3 ingredients, but (but!) still ridiculously tasty. And that would be perfect sprinkled over those store-bought salads you may have picked up on the way home.
Yes, these Crunchy Super Seed Clusters are fabulous for at least five reasons…
- As mentioned before, ridiculously easy;
- 3 ingredients (yes, just three!);
- Cheap, cheap as chips (because I know you want to save your almonds and cashews for this Orange Almond Cake here, and Cashew Cheese here);
- Made entirely of seeds, which means they’re happily welcome in even the most nut-free of situations; and
- Salty, crunchy, goodness, which tastes as good sprinkled over your next (store-bought) meal as it does from the jar.
Nuts vs seeds?
The two stars of these little crunchy beauties are of course sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. I’ve spoken in depth about the nutritional benefits of sunflower seeds before in my favourite Sunflower Coconut Milk here, while sesame seeds we’ve chatted about in these gorgeously dark and moody Midnight Black Sesame Tarts here. But what’s the difference between nuts and seeds in general?
Seeds are basically the baby embryo of a plant – and contain all the propagative information needed to grow that seed into a plant. All they need? Some water to start the germination and growth process (thus the benefit of soaking your seeds) and, later on, sunlight to help them grow.
Nuts meanwhile are actually the fruits of certain plants. They normally have a shell, and together this fruit and shell make up the “seed” for those plants (that can be planted to grow again). Again – water and sunlight is needed to germinate these fruits to grow a new tree.
What about peanuts? Well they’re actually legumes – a cousin of chickpeas, kidney beans, lentil etc. They’re therefore housed in a pod, like other legumes (with multiple legumes inside the same long pod – think of those fresh green peas you used to pluck from the pod as a kid).
Nutritionally, both nuts and seeds are fabulous sources of protein. You can check out a full protein breakdown of each in my Top 75 Sources of Plant-Based Protein post here, but pumpkin seeds come out on top with a whopping 30g of protein per 100g. Hemp seeds are actually slightly higher at 33g but, for the darnedest reasons, NZ authorities won’t sell them for legal consumption (more on that here) so they’re not that readily available to buy – or when they are, they’re labelled as ‘animal meal’! Hemp aside, peanuts are next up (a legume, I know) at 25g, and then our beloved and affordable sunflower seeds at 23g. All ahead of a standard chicken breast at 20g.
Overall, my philosophy includes aiming for a healthy blend of plant-based ingredients, but if you’ve been neglecting your seeds in favour of nuts – don’t! Although they may seem a little less exciting, they’re a wonderful and affordable addition to your diet, so I do recommend you include them where you can.
If you make these deliciously crunchy and oh so simple Crunchy Super Seed Clusters, share a pic with me with how you enjoy them! Sprinkled over salad or roast vege, or just out of your hand? I’d love to see your version on Instagram – share your pics and tag me @begoodorganics, #begoodorganics, and @begoodorganics in the image, and I’ll come say aloha! You can also share your pics over on my Facebook page anytime under my latest post here, or leave me a comment below. You know I love sharing your remakes on my social media feeds each week, so let me make next week’s reader-celeb feature YOU!
Let me know how you break out of cooking ruts, as well as how you’ve gotten into them! Reading comments is always a delight, and really makes my day.
And on that note – til next week, stay happy and well.
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Crunchy Super Seed Clusters
- 2 c sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp tamari
- Pinch chilli flakes optional
- Soak sunflower and sesame seeds in a bowl of filtered water overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain well.
- Pour in a bowl with the tamari and chilli flakes, stirring to combine well.
- Pour onto tray so they fall in lumps, with the pieces touching together – this is what will make your ‘clusters’ truly clustery.
- Pour onto a dehydrator sheet in a single layer and dry for 12-24 hours at 41°C (106°F) or until super crunchy and completely dry. Or put on an oven tray, and bake at 50°C (122°F) fan bake (if available) with the door slightly ajar for the same amount of time. Or at 150°C (302°F) for 15 minutes. See notes here on these three different methods, as well as power saving efficiencies.
- Once baked, wait to cool completely, break apart the sheets into clusters, then pour into glass jars to store.
- Make it soy-free: use coco-not-soy-sauce (otherwise known as coconut aminos), which you can buy from our online store right here!
- Feel free to mix this recipe up with your favourite seeds – subbing half the sunflower seeds with 1c pumpkin seeds for example is a personal favourite!
- If you want to change up the flavours, try adding a pinch of cumin, turmeric, or smoked paprika.
- If you’re not nut-free, then feel free to add in some nuts here too – cashews and almonds work particularly well with savoury flavours.
- I’ve made these in my dehydrator (I have the 9 tray Excalibur from our store here), which means the vitamins and minerals are all retained at the maximum (to read more about the benefit of dehydrating your nuts check out my post here). But, if you don’t have a dehydrator – no stress! Oven bake on low is totally viable and delicious too – in fact, you’ll get slightly more of a roasted taste to these which is possibly even more delicious!