Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birds of a feather...

Have you ever seen the food that comes out of a bird feeder? Lots of small black speckles, browns and greys- maybe a touch of red all mixed inside that tiny tube of seeds. I like when my cupboard looks like a bird feeder. Mekenzie and I have nick named our seeds, nuts, grains- bird food. It’s the best kinds of add-in’s to oat meal and the perfect snack in the after noon. I love bird food more than any other human! And I can promise you that at any given time I will have a container full of nuts and seeds and at least 3 different kinds of super seeds. I'm growing more and more obsessed with these earthly supplements but I started to wonder, “Which one tastes best and is really best for me? ”
So here I am! Coming to you with the latest taste test experiment. Similar to my coconut water taste test, I picked a variety of seeds, grains and nuts- and included some information on how they taste and more importantly what they do for your body.

*Warning this could quite possibly turn you into a bird food addict.*
Chia Seeds: richest plant source of Omega-3 (more Omega-3 than salmon!), they absorb 10x their weight in water (or almond milk!) which helps aid in weight loss because you feel fuller faster and longer; high in fiber, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.
-Tasteless; adds little to no texture to food (maybe a slight crunch); easy to add to almost anything.
Flax Seed: 3 main healthy components- Omega-3s; Lignans- which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant components, about 800 more lignans than other plants foods; Fiber- both in soluble and insoluble types. 
-Wheaty flavor, best if ground so that it can be easily added without effecting the texture of the food you are topping it with. 
Hemp Seed: Highest protein seed, contains all 9 of the essential amino acids, great balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, contains a good amount of vitamin E. Richest know source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. 
-If you’re a vegetarian, this is a great source of protein because it is said to be easily digestible. 
-Rich and nutty in flavor. Unlike flax or chia, the small nuts are flavorful and creamy enough to eat on their own.
Petitas (pumpkin seeds): Abundance of nutrients! Amino Acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and the majority of vitamins and minerals. Rich in beta carotene to support eye health. One ounce contains 9 grams of protein; Anti-inflammatory seeds that supports liver health. 
-Light crunch, green in color and mild nut flavor. Does not have pumpkin flavor at all. 
-Great on salads, oat meal and trail mix. 
Pistachios: Lowest calorie nut, tied with almonds at 6g of protein per one ounce, great source of vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. It’s an antioxidant powerhouse and one serving contains about 12% of your daily recommended fiber. 
-Strong flavor, creamy in texture.
Farro: Oldest cultivated grain in the world. Very popular in biblical times.  Protein packed grain. 9g per serving. Loads of fiber. Helps maintain low blood pressure, and low blood sugar levels. 
-Wheaty flavor, easily takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with- spices, herbs or mixed with agave and cinnamon for a morning meal.
Moon Beets: Pre-packaged, organic snack from Whole Foods. Contains, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, carrots- all held together by beets, raw honey and some cinnamon. 
-Great flavor! Perfect post workout snack. Contains 10 g of protein and high in fiber. 
My body feels good just reading all the health benefits of the bird food that I am packing into my body. These nuts seeds and grains are so versatile that it is easy to introduce at least one of these into a meal or snack everyday. Try it, your body will thank you! 
This winter I worked at 6 am everyday, so I needed something healthy, but easy to take to work for breakfast. Below is my overnight oats recipe that I have eaten almost morning for the last, 4 months! I’m still not tired of it because it’s that delicious! And of course it contains lots of bird food add-ins. Enjoy my little bird. 

Over Night Oats:
1/2 c. Old Fashioned Oats (Quick Oats turn too soggy)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seed
1 Tablespoon Flax
1/2 Tablespoon Hemp Seed
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
1/2 c. Almond Milk (or Milk substitute, coconut milk, rice milk or soy)
Mix the above ingredients before you go to bed in a sealable container. 
In the morning, top with fruit (strawberries, blue berries, black berries, etc.)
This can be eaten cold, or hot- which is how I prefer it. 
Optional add-ins: shredded coconut, nut butter, pecans, walnuts, agave. 

~ Erin

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