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Substitute For Sunflower Seeds: 9 Delicious Swaps

Do you need a substitute for sunflower seeds? There are some crunchy and tasty options for a range of recipes.

I adore sunflower seeds, so I know how aggravating it is to run out or find out they’re not accessible. No worries, though!

I have some tasty, healthful sunflower seed alternatives you can have at any time.

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What are sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds – Helianthus annuus – are edible flat, elongated seeds with hard, grey or black shells. Salted or raw sunflower seeds are a popular snack.

They are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus, and taste nutty and sweet.

Sunflower seeds give texture and taste to salads, cereals, bread, and other baked items.

Substitute for sunflower seeds: best ideas

Four types of seeds | Girl Meets Food

Let’s have a look at some sunflower seed substitute ideas to find your perfect option.

  • Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the closest food to sunflower seeds in taste and texture. They’re an excellent source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats and taste nutty and sweet. For crunch, sprinkle them on salads, yogurt, or cereal.

I recently made sunflower seed brittle using roasted pumpkin seeds and was pleased with the candy’s nutty flavor and crisp texture. I’ll try it again!

  • Almonds

Vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium are all found in abundance in almonds, and they also taste great. They make food more delicious by adding a nutty sweetness. They’re great in cereal, smoothie bowls, and almond butter.

Almond butter is a delightful, nutritious alternative to sunflower seed butter. I like adding it to smoothies for extra creaminess, protein, and healthy fats.

  • Sesame seeds

If you like a fuller taste, sesame seeds are a good option for roasted sunflower seeds. Asian cuisine uses them for their calcium, iron, and healthful fats.

You can sprinkle them on stir-fries or rice, or make tahini, a Middle Eastern sauce produced from sesame seeds.

  • Cashews

Cashews are a crunchy-creamy snack. They include healthful lipids, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

You can roast them and sprinkle them on veggie dishes, or make vegan cheese.

If you like cashews, these cashew alternatives might be useful for your future recipes.

  • Poppy seeds

In some recipes, poppy seeds can replace sunflower seeds due to their crunchy texture and mild nutty flavor. They’re significantly smaller than sunflower seeds, therefore the dish’s texture may change. 

Poppy seeds taste fantastic in baked foods – muffins, pastries, and bread. They also enhance many savory recipes.

Poppy seed rolls and strudels are popular in Eastern European and Jewish cuisine.

  • Peanuts

Peanuts have the nutty flavor and crispiness of sunflower seeds. Nonetheless, peanuts have a distinct taste that may not complement every dish.

Those with peanut allergies, who are actually rather prevalent, should not eat them either.

  • Chia seeds

Superfood chia seeds provide fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They can thicken smoothies and puddings and replace eggs in any meal with their mild, nutty flavor. Adding milk and sugar to chia seeds makes delicious pudding.

My vegan pesto recipe was revolutionized when I swapped out sunflower seeds for cashews. I couldn’t get enough of the rich, savory pesto made with basil, garlic, and cashews.

  • Hemp seeds

When it comes to nutrition, hemp seeds are hard to beat. They go well in salads and stir-fries and make a tasty snack when combined with dried fruit.

They make a delicious and healthy sunflower seeds substitute. For example, you can use them as a topping for cereal, yogurt, and smoothie bowls.

  • Flax seeds

Flax seeds are a crispy and nutty sunflower seed replacement. Flax seeds taste harsher than sunflower seeds, so use sparingly.

Fiber and omega-3 fatty acids actually make flax seeds healthier than sunflower seeds.

Substitutes for sunflower seeds FAQs

A bowl full of sunflower seeds on a wooden bowl | Girl Meets Food
How many calories are in sunflower seeds?

One cup of sunflower seed kernels (140g) contains 818 calories.

What’s the flavor of sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds are nutty, sweet, and earthy. If roasted and salted, sunflower seeds can taste somewhat salty. Depending on how the seeds are treated and seasoned, the flavor might differ.

What’s healthier than sunflower seeds?

Pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, poppy seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds are all healthier options than sunflower seeds.

What are some sunflower oil alternatives?

Canola oil, olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are all healthy alternatives to sunflower oil.

What’s the best substitute for sunflower seeds in broccoli salad?

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent choice for broccoli salad.

Why are sunflower seeds so inexpensive?

Sunflower seeds are affordable since they’re readily available and easy to grow. They’re a popular snack and easy to cultivate in many regions.

Is sunflower seed flour good for you?

Yes, sunflower seed flour is good for you. It’s a pleasant and nutritious alternative to wheat flour. It’s rich in protein, fiber, and good fats. Gluten-sensitive folks can sunflower seed flour because it’s gluten-free.

Are you looking for more gluten-free flour ideas? Check out these alternatives to buckwheat flour and corn flour substitutes!

BOTTOM LINE: There are several tasty and healthful sunflower seed substitutes. Pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, and chia seeds fulfill cravings and give nutrition. When sunflower seeds run out, choose one of these snacks and enjoy!

Which alternatives to sunflower seeds do you like the most? Share your favorite crunchy seeds in the comments!

I’ve written several other articles about substitute ingredients. For example, you can learn how to replace butternut squash in your recipes, how to replace persimmons or how to substitute for barley.

There are plenty of options for any taste!