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Pasta With Sunflower Kernels

8 ounces tomato, spinach or plain spaghetti pasta
3 parsley sprigs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup roasted sunflower kernels

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a small skillet, heat parsley, garlic and lemon peel in oil one minute. Add salt and pepper. Pour over pasta; add Parmesan cheese and sunflower kernels. Toss lightly.

Oven Roasted Sunflower Kernels - Servings: 1 cup

1 cup raw sunflower kernels

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Evenly spread 1 cup of raw sunflower kernels over a jelly roll pan or large roasting pan. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool and store in airtight container. May be frozen for up to 1 year.

Artichoke Sunflower Dip - 22 servings of 3 tablespoons

Great party fare served with baked chips or crackers and yet hearty enough for a pita sandwich filling.

1-15 ounce can cannelloni or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 garlic cloves
1-15 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1-2 ounce jar diced pimentos
teaspoon salt
juice of one lemon or lime
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels

Puree beans and garlic in a food processor; empty into a mixing bowl. Stir in artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, pimentos, salt and lemon juice. Turn into a Pyrex pie pan and sprinkle with cheese and sunflower kernels.

Broil 4-6 inches from heat for 5-7 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm with crackers, pita or toasted bread.

Nutrition Facts - Calories: 75; Total Fat: 3.8 g; Carbohydrate: 7 g; Sat. Fat: 0.3 g; Dietary Fiber: 0; Cholesterol: 4.5 mg; Protein: 3.4 g; Sodium: 168 mg; Calcium: 43 mg

Sunflower Cheese Balls

4 ounces Muenster cheese, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2/3 cup roasted, salted sunflower kernels

Combine cheeses, blend thoroughly. (Use food processor, if possible.) Add Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and red pepper; blend. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Roll in sunflower kernels immediately. Refrigerate cheese balls 2 hours. Serve with whole-grain crackers, bread sticks or miniature bread slices. Makes 25 cheese balls .

Flax and Sunflower Seed Bread - Servings: 15

This is a great bread for seed lovers, one of the tastiest I've tried.

1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Place all ingredients (except sunflower seeds) in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select basic white cycle; press start. Add the sunflower seeds when the alert sounds during the knead cycle.

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166, Total Fat: 6.1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 174mg, Total Carbohydrates: 23.9g, Dietary Fiber: 3.6g, Protein: 5.3g

Apple and Sunflower Seed Salad - Serves 5

This sour apple salad is both nutritious and delicious - it contains fruit, vegetables and seeds. You can use any type of dressing and lettuce in this recipe.

2 green apples - washed, cored and cubed
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 head romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and chopped
2 dill pickles, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup ranch-style salad dressing

In a large bowl, mix together the apples, sunflower seeds, lettuce, pickles and tomato. Pour dressing on top, toss and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257, Total Fat: 20.1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 573mg, Total Carbohydrates: 17.1g, Dietary Fiber: 5.1g.

Sunflower Chicken Salad - Serves 4

Sunflower seeds and cheese distinguish this chicken salad from the rest. Tossed with grapes and celery in a basic mayonnaise dressing.

2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast meat
1 cup cubed Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine the chicken, cheese, sunflower seeds, celery, grapes, mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and serve on rolls or lettuce leaves, if desired.

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving: Calories: 531, Total Fat: 43g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 421mg, Total Carbohydrates: 6.7g, Dietary Fiber: 1.3g, Protein: 30.3g

Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower.

The seeds are an excellent source of linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, calcium and zinc.

* Sunflower Seeds are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
* Sunflower Seeds are low calorie.
* The seeds can be sprouted and eaten in salads.
* Sunflower butter can be used like peanut butter.
* Sunflower seeds are favorites for wild birds.

Sunflower Oil is produced from oil type sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance and supplies more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. It is a combination of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels.


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