SeedsSmallinsizebiginflavour

Seeds: Small in size, big in flavour

April 24 2014

One food trend that is growing in popularity is using seeds and grains, as they are good for us and easy to implement into cooking. 

Writing for the Canadian Huffington Post, dietician Jane Dummer hails the properties and taste of three seeds in particular - quinoa, chia and hemp - and encourages them to be used more frequently. 

Quinoa

This so-called superfood has enjoyed an unprecedented rise in usage recently, with Ms Dummer claiming supply is barely meeting demand.

It has an "outstanding" nutritional profile, as it contains all the vital amino acids, important vitamins and minerals, and contains between 14 and 18 per cent protein.

Despite its high-fat content, she points out how one-quarter of this is oleic acid - "the good fat found in Mediterranean diet". 

It is easy to integrate into meal preparation, as it is "perfect" in a salad and a good option if you're looking to eat a meat-free dish from time to time. 

Coupled with its high-quality carbohydrates and fibre, it is no wonder this food came second in Restaurant Canada's 2014 survey of hot trends. 

Chia

Chia seeds were originally consumed by the Aztecs, but are now enjoying a North American revival. 

With a nutty, mild taste, Chia can be both eaten whole or used as part of a wider dish. They go well with yogurt and fruit smoothies, while you can use chia flour in your baking attempts, if you so wish. 

They're loaded with important nutrients, such as antioxidants, fibre and an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid. 

Hemp

Hemp can be used in a similar way to chia, as it also has a nutty flavour that can add an extra dimension to a morning smoothie or yogurt. 

It's got a creamy texture, meaning it can be used in baking and helps to increase the protein and fibre content. 

This seed's selling point is that it contains an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid, touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Given the fact ancient grains are listed as the number one up-and-coming trend, with non-wheat noodles or rice (such as quinoa) in tenth position, these foods are not to be underestimated.