Her baby nurse failed to show up that morning, so Maya came with her gorgeous--then newborn-- baby girl in tow. We were all in awe and there was this aura of serenity and softness around Maya and the baby that made the attendees and the hostess (my dear, dear, dear friend C) feel very zen and maternal. A lovely kitchen scene!
Since then on, Maya and I remained friends, shared recipes, tips, ideas, questions and information. She started her own blog, GourMaya, last year, and in it she shares clean eating recipes, and the experience of feeding her family, while balancing a busy career, healthy meals and beautiful aesthetics. In her own words: "Super Foods for Supermoms."
Not long ago, she came over to bake. We had a great time, and I didn't want her to leave! Since there are some allergies (mainly nuts and soy) in her family, we made Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies, which were given thumbs up in her home. The recipe was so well received, that Maya created a filling for them, turning them into lovely clean cookie sandwiches. Click here to get Maya's recipe and to check out her blog.
This cookie recipe is one of my most favorite ones! It's fast, easy, vegan, gluten free, nut free, and also free of refined sweeteners, cane sugar, white flour and gums. And...it's full of sunflower seed goodness.
For some reason, sunflower seeds are a very underused ingredient, and that's a shame, as they are high in vitamin E (just 1/4 cup supplies 90% of the recommended daily allowance), a very important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that protects our body against disease.
Sunflower seeds also contain selenium, which together with vitamin E promotes DNA repair. They are rich in magnesium, fiber, vitamins B1, B5 and folate, copper, selenium and phosphorous, all nutrients needed in different pathways of our metabolism.
They are a good source of protein and good fats. They are inexpensive and relatively easy to find. So I know I just convinced you....
To obtain the maximum nutritional benefits of these seeds (and most seeds and nuts), it's best to purchase raw ones (unsalted, of course) and soak them overnight in water, to make their nutrients more available to our bodies. Just drain and rinse before eating them.