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July 28, 2019: Seeds

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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Big things come in small packages, and seeds are packing big nutritional value in an itty bitty space. Grains, beans, nuts and seeds all count as seeds, and they are the foundation of the food pyramid. This week, we’re going to talk about adding seeds to your diet for a major nutritional boost.


Flaxseed is a great addition to your diet because it's low in calories, but high in both soluble and insoluble fiber to keep you full longer. It also contains a large amount of mucilage gum, a gel-forming fiber that keeps food in the stomach longer and increases the amount of nutrients absorbed. It's even gluten free. Try these flaxseed-based cookies as a snack or even for breakfast.

Banana Oat Flaxseed Cookies

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • ½ cup ground flaxseed meal

  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

  • Pinch of salt

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the ripe bananas with a fork, add the remaining ingredients, and mix together with a spoon. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are another low calorie, high fiber food that will keep you full longer. They become gel-like in liquid because of all the fiber and expand in your stomach. Chia seeds have a balanced ratio of Omega-3, loaded with antioxidants and calcium. If you're lactose intolerant, chia seeds are an excellent way to get bone-healthy calcium. Try this chia seed pudding by Giada De Laurentiis that can be served for breakfast or dessert.

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 cup plain low-fat (2 percent) Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus 4 teaspoons for serving

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a medium bowl, gently whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the berries with the remaining 4 teaspoons maple syrup. Mix in the almonds. Spoon the pudding into bowls or glasses; mound the berry mixture on top and serve.

Hemp Seeds

Much like flax and chia seeds, hemp seeds are high in soluble and unsoluble fiber to keep you full longer and stave off cravings. But they are also a perfect protein, containing all 20 amino acids and 9 of the essential amino acids our bodies do no produce. They are high in the Omega-6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid which balances hormones naturally. High GLA foods are known to help with a variety of health issues, like PMS, skin allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This recipe from Oh My Veggies for pesto substitutes hemp seed for pine nuts, adding additional protein, and can be added to pizza or pasta for a delicious alternative to tomato sauce.

Hemp Seed Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts)

  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Kosher salt to taste (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon is a good amount)

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a familiar seed and contain an amazing amount of beneficial nutrients. Like the other seeds, they're high in fiber, but they also contain half of the daily recommended amount of magnesium, a heart healthy mineral. Pumpkin seeds have a high zinc content. Zinc is beneficial for immunity, sleep, mood, eye and skin health, insulin regulation and prostates. Pumpkin seeds are an easy on the go snack. They're versatile, so play with the seasoning to make it exactly how you want it. Try this version from Fine Cooking.

Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup large raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 1 tsp. olive oil

  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill

  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch cayenne (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Toss the seeds with the olive oil on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Spread in an even layer and roast the seeds in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 13-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately toss the seeds with the coriander, salt, dill, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a small serving dish or two and serve.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about summer fitness tips that will help you beat the heat in our hottest month while staying on track.

Want some expert help with reaching your health goals painlessly? Check out my programs! We’ll get everything taken care of in a way that fits into your current lifestyle so you never have to think about your health again.

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I hope you have a wonderful week,


Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona -

My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.