I chose sunflower seeds for “S” more to push myself than for any other reason. We all fall back on our staple ingredients, and sunflower seeds are not one of mine. Cashews, almonds and more recently, hemp seeds, are my most used nuts/seeds, tending to overshadow the humble sunflower seed. After this month I hope to take heed of my advice and make the most of the variety in my pantry.
As well as being just as versatile and nutritious as other nuts and seeds out there, sunflower seeds are one of the cheapest. A particular bonus for someone like me, who likes to think of themselves as rather frugal…!
Over here sunflower seeds are normally seen hulled but I know that in other countries they’re especially popular roasted in their shells, salted, and eaten as a snack.
The way I normally eat them is as a salad-topper for a little crunch and a nutrition boost and came up with a simple side or starter salad for today’s post.
I knew I wanted to include apple in my salad since we were given these gorgeous ones from a neighbour. The same kind neighbour who gave us the plums!
Aren’t they pretty? I love how pink they are, even the flesh has a pinkish hue as if the colour from the skin has somehow seeped into it.
This is really quick to put together so ideal for when you want a salad to go with your main meal but more than just some unadorned greens. I used a mix of baby leaves for the base, added some very thinly sliced red onion, slivers of apple and a generous handful of sprouted sunflower seeds. I like to sprout seeds and legumes as I like their fresh, crisp taste and it also makes their nutrients more bio-available (see here for more info and a handy guide to sprouting) but toasted, or even just raw seeds would still be tasty.
I dressed the salad with a miso-lemon dressing which was a nice slightly salty, tangy contrast to the sweet apple.
Babyleaf, Apple + Sunflower Seed Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing:
2 Generous handfuls of Baby leaves (or mild greens like spinach or pea-shoots)
1 Medium dessert apple, thinly sliced
3T Sunflower seeds (sprouted, toasted or raw)
1/4 Red onion, very thinly sliced
1T Lemon juice
1/2T White miso
1/2T Olive oil
Whisk together the lemon juice and miso until completely smooth then add the other ingredients and whisk to emulsify.
In a large bowl toss the salad leaves with as much dressing as it needs (add it slowly as you don’t want it to be soggy and you probably won’t want all of it)
Plate the salad: Place a layer of leaves on the plate(s), then scatter over the red onion and seeds. Finally, arrange the apple slices on top.
As usual, I’m sharing some of the sunflower seed recipes I’ve come across which appeal to me or that I’ve made an enjoyed:
Firstly something sweet from The Kitchn: Sunflower-Date Raw Cookies
This Broccoli Raisin Sunflower Seed Salad is a favourite
Sunflower seeds are soft, so, after a soak, blend up well. They are a nice, cheaper alternative to cashews in vegan, creamy sauces like this Creamy Herb Sunflower Dressing/Dip. This recipe also uses them, along with cashews, to make a sour cream of sorts, then swirled into black bean soup. I’ve made this one and can vouch for its yumminess!
I am loving Vegan MoFo but it’s leaving me no kitchen time at all for trying all the wonderful creations from other bloggers and my cookbooks. The creativity around the blogosphere this month has been so phenomenal that I’m amassing a rather overwhelming number of recipes too!
Have you picked up any great recipes, tips or info this month?