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Try this: Sunflower seeds

Overshadowed by vogue-ish chia, affordable ‘plain Jane’ sunflower seeds are bursting with essential nutrients. Sprinkle them for added crunch, bake with them or grab a handful for a nutritious snack.

Spice them up

They have a mild nutty taste, but toasting sunflower seeds adds a depth of flavour. Tip a single layer into a non-stick heavy frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until they turn a light golden brown. For a spicy kick, dust with paprika before serving.

How to serve

Toss them into salads, sprinkle over healthy muffin and cookie recipes before baking or add them to your lunch wrap or a salad. You can also grind sunflower seeds into sunflower ‘butter’ and use as an alternative to peanut butter.


Nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, and sunflower seeds are no different at 50 per cent fat, mostly polyunsaturated. They can go rancid, just like an oil will, if not protected from heat, light and air, so keep them fresh by storing in the fridge in an airtight container.

The nutrients you get in a 3 tablespoon (25g) serve

  • 630kJ(150cal), protein and 2.7g fibre.
  • 13g fat, but only 1g of this is saturated. Plus sunflower seeds are naturally salt-free, making them a heart-friendly choice.
  • 69 per cent and 51 per cent of daily vitamin E needs, for women and men respectively, essential for healthy skin and eyes.
  • 50 per cent and 55 per cent of thiamin RDI for women and men respectively. Thiamin is one of the B vitamins that help convert carbs into fuel for our bodies.
  • 16 per cent and 9 per cent of zinc RDI for women and men respectively. Zinc is important for wound healing.
  • 28 per cent and 21 per cent of magnesium RDI for women and men respectively. Magnesium is essential for energy and managing blood pressure.

Start the day with sunflower and linseed porridge

Keep a packet of sunflower seeds to sprinkle over your breakfast cereals or stir through porridge, at home or on the go. Try our Sunflower and linseed porridge recipe, it’s low-energy and low-saturated fat, has 10g protein and 5g fibre… and takes just six minutes to make.

Date modified: 15 March 2018
First published: Apr 2018


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