These delicious morsels are nutritionally dense – packed with dried fruit, seeds, nut butters and warm spices. These are a great snack to tide you over until your next meal or a yummy treat for lunches or anytime of the day. One of the main ingredients is sunflower seeds which are rich in trace minerals and several vitamins important for good health.
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup dates
½ cup prunes or apricots/figs
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus an extra ½ cup to roll balls in)
¼ cup oats
¼ cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp almond butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cocoa
- Cut up dates and prunes and place in food processor. Add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, oats and half the maple syrup. Process until the mixture is as fine as possible (3 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly (may have to use hands!).
- Form into small balls, approximately the size of a walnut. Roll balls in coconut until completely covered. Place in fridge to firm up. Makes 20-24 balls.
There are hundreds of sunflower seeds in the center of each sunflower that open bright yellow towards the sun. Sunflower seeds have been used throughout history as a medicine (used as a diuretic, to avoid constipation, soothe ulcers etc.). For people with blood pressure problems, unsalted, raw sunflower seeds are high in potassium and low in sodium, which is a balance much needed by most of us with so many salty foods available – 1 cup contains more than 1,300 mg of potassium and only 4 mg of sodium.
It also has been used to enhance energy. Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E and are antioxidant rich. They are 25% protein, have good fiber content, rich in B vitamins and have good levels of zinc, iron and calcium. The vitamin D that gets stored in these sun-filled seeds helps the uptake of calcium.
Sunflower seeds are a nutritious addition to salads, cold soups, breads, cookies or casseroles, sandwiches and dressings. Soaking sunflower seeds overnight will make them more digestible and alkaline forming.