Every week, I make sure to whizz at least, one jar of pesto, hummus or a good nutty paté made with almond and pumpkin seeds or walnut and sunflower seeds. How well does that sound! A vegan and dairy-free paté without any liver 🙁 no offence but I do not like chicken liver paté. I’ll happily stick to my seeds and nuts here.
Having a jar of these nutritious yet delicious dips or spread goes a long way especially when trying to prepare a quick meal. The kids love it as a dip with crackers or veggie sticks. However, I prefer it as a salad dressing or with my homemade burgers.
It can also be used as a pasta sauce or on a thick sourdough toast with a creamy avocado slice.
Last Sunday I made a bigger batch than usual and served it with some roasted veggies for the kid’s lunches all week. It saved me a whole lot of time. If making for kids lunch box make sure the school is not a ‘nut-free’ school like mine. If so, use pumpkin and sunflower seeds instead of the nuts.
You can use any combination of seeds and nuts to make your own version such as:
Play around and work out the texture you prefer. Swap the basil for parsley or coriander. Or add the juice of 1 lemon and some water to loosen the mixture into a pesto to use as a pasta sauce.
Do you have a favourite pâté recipe to share?
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed in a child’s and grown-ups diet:
Pumpkin seeds can be given to a toddler who has teeth strong enough to chew on usually the age of 1 1/2 to 2 years. If you are worried that your child won’t be able to chew then grind it and make a spread like this one.
OMEGA 3: Pumpkin seeds are full of omega 3 and omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for brain development in kids and adults likewise. Omega 3 fatty acids are also an anti-inflammatory element.
TRYPTOPHAN: Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which helps in producing serotonin and this, in turn, gets converted into melatonin. This hormone helps in getting us better zzzzz. If your child or you have sleeping issues, start eating some pumpkin seeds, especially a few hours before sleep.
ANTIOXIDANT: Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of antioxidant which helps from various kinds of damage to the cells and tissues.
MAGNESIUM: Magnesium is good at relaxing the nerves, therefore again helps sleep. Magnesium also helps with bone formation and food synthesis. If you have a hyperactive brain like mine you have to get your daily dose of magnesium through food.
POTASSIUM: Potassium helps regulate sodium in our body. It also acts as an electrolyte. If you are a regular with junk food which is high in salt, you want to increase your potassium intake.
- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1 clove of garlic
- Generous handful of basil or other herbs
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- About 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly grounded black pepper to taste
- Use a high speed food processor and start blitzing the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. It doesn't have to be too fine. Next add the garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and basil and blitz again.
- Slowly add the oil till a spreadable paste is formed. Add more water or oil to loosen the mixture as required.
- Serve as a spread, dip, salad dressing or pasta sauce.