For those with a nut allergy or sensitivity, a simple swap with seeds is a great way to still include hearty flavors loaded with healthy fats.


What better way to enjoy life than to cook and share delicious, nourishing meals with others. Yet, for those who have someone in the family with food allergies, it can be overwhelming to know what to do and how to feed everyone in the family at once.

Feed a family food they could enjoy, without the fear of an allergic reaction…it’s a simple concept that many of us take for granted.

Luckily, a small food swap or addition can make a big difference for those who need to follow a restricted diet. Small changes provide variety and new flavors to those who need or want to expand the foods they eat. In fact, variety is key to keep food interesting and exciting.

For example, one way to switch up healthy fats from the common sources of nuts and avocado is by adding more seeds to your meals. With their mild nutty flavor, seeds are versatile to cook with and are flavorful meal additions. And for those with nut allergies or sensitivities, seeds are a nutritious swap that work well in many recipes that call for nuts.

For starters, these plant-based seeds are packed with nourishment in a tiny package. Eating seeds regularly can benefit many areas of health, and are known for the role they play in digestion and mitigating inflammation in chronic diseases.

There are a variety of seeds to choose from – each with their own flavor, texture and health benefits, such as:

  • Chia Seeds – Teeny, tiny edible seeds dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures.
  • Flax Seeds – These come from a pretty blue-flowered plant that’s grown in northern climates.
  • Hemp Seeds – Also called hemp hearts, these seeds come from a varietal of cannabis plant, with negligible amounts of THC.
  • Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower plants produce the sunny yellow flowers we love so much.
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Also known as a pepita, this is an edible seed from the pumpkin.

Whether you love pumpkin, flax or sunflower seeds, there are so many ways to incorporate these little gems into your meals.

  1. Crunchy topper – Seeds add flavor and texture to sweet or savory dishes like oatmeal, yogurt, or salad.
  2. Milk alternative – A nice swap for those needing to avoid dairy or simply want an alternative.
  3. Smoothie enhancer – A few teaspoons of sunflower seed butter adds a creamy element with a boost of protein, fiber and healthy fat to make a more balanced smoothie.
  4. Nourishing snack – Try hand-crafted snack bars that are made from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, or make your own chia pudding and top it from fruit.
  5. Creamy sauce – Seeds can be soaked and blended into dairy-free sauces, such as a nut-free Romesco Sauce.

It’s never been easier to seed your health for life.

Adapted from the original article.

Jessica Patel, RDN, LDN is a Chicago-based private practice dietitian who helps others connect with good food through simple, healthful cooking techniques. With a love for wholesome, natural food, Jessica uses a holistic-minded approach to nutrition to help her clients stay healthy through the healing power of nourishing foods. Visit her at Well Fed Nutrition.

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