The other day I bought a bag of roasted sunflower seeds and I’ve really been enjoying them. It got me thinking: would sunflower seeds be a good alternative to peanuts?*
They both share some positive similarities:
- They each have a good amount of protein. Peanuts have about 7 grams per ounce, and sunflower seeds 5 grams per ounce.
- They are inexpensive and frugal: I can generally buy 1 pound of either peanuts or sunflower seeds for $1.99-$2.50. Many other nuts such as almonds, cashews and pecans can easily cost $4-8 per pound (or more!).
- They both make good snacks and mix well with other nuts, dried fruit and chocolate.
Although peanuts are delicious, they are also famously problematic for causing allergies that can be very severe. I love the taste of peanuts but after much trial and error I’ve come to realize that I have a sensitivity to them but not a full-on allergy. When I eat peanut butter I start to quickly not feel quite right; not massively ill but I get indigestion and fatigue.
Because of this I’ve had to pretty much let go of peanuts, especially peanut butter. Not 100% but they are not an every day player in my diet.
The other tough thing about peanut butter for me is that if I’m not careful I will just keep eating it; and all of a sudden half the jar is gone. It’s not an ideal food with my eating disorder.
Which leads me to sunflower seeds!
So far sunflower seeds are looking good: when I eat them I feel fine, which is very nice. I appreciate that they make a good snack and are also frugal. They are available as a seed butter, but it’s not as common as peanut butter and is almost always more expensive.
I’d like to experiment more with using sunflower seeds in savory dishes, such as sprinkling them on top of stir fries instead of peanuts, and adding them to salads for extra crunch and depth of flavor.
To conclude, I’m all for sunflower seeds these days and will continue to use them as a healthy and tasty alternative to peanuts.
How do you feel about peanuts vs. sunflower seeds (or other nuts/seeds)?
*Of course if you’re allergic/sensitive to sunflower seeds please don’t eat them 🙂