In the mood for something savory and crunchy? I’ve got you covered!
Check out these delicious and versatile bites of goodness – they’re gluten and grain free, totally plant based and packed with fiber and healthy fats.
And with only 5 ingredients, they are simple and easy to make any time you are in the mood for a crunchy snack or need a fun appetizer to serve that everyone will love.
I wanted to delve into some of the cool things seeds do for our health and that I learned about seed cycling from my friend Dr. Jolene Brighten, women’s hormone expert.
I found it fascinating to learn that different seeds can support your hormones through the different phases of our cycle.
When our hormones are in balance, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone work together in harmony. But many factors can throw them out of balance in our busy lives. We are too often bombarded with endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with our endocrine, or hormone system) from environmental toxins, the foods we eat, products we use, stress, poor sleep, and much more.
What I found so interesting about seeds was that by adding specific seeds into our diet at specific times, we can give our bodies the nutrients they need to replenish themselves and support our hormones.
If this is something you are interested in, I’ve delved a bit more into this below – but you can also eat these crackers at any time! They are a great, healthy snack regardless of seed cycling – and you’ll find the recipe below!
Introduction to Seed Cycling
Seed cycling provides your body the specific nutrients it needs to help support and rebuild your hormones no matter what stage of life you are in. It can also be helpful if you have really intense PMS or things like acne, bloating, and irregular periods.
In order to use seed cycling you need to know a few things first, such as the day you experience your period (the first day there is a flow). That is the day you begin the follicular phase which continues through ovulation, or the first 14 days of your cycle. After that you start the luteal phase which is when these crackers are really impactful!
Follicular Phase Seeds
During days 1-14 (the follicular phase) we need more estrogen to rebuild the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).
This is a great time to eat Flax seeds and Pumpkin seeds since they naturally balance your estrogen levels while also helping you metabolize it, to avoid going into estrogen dominance.
High levels of estrogen can lead to tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer. By balancing our estrogen levels, we can help prevent some of these from happening and decrease our symptoms (1).
Luteal Phase Seeds
During Days 15-30 (the luteal phase) women tend to experience low levels of progesterone which is the sex hormone that triggers your body to prepare for pregnancy.
Low progesterone levels can also lead to tender breasts, headaches, mood swings, anxiety and not being able to fall or stay asleep (4). By naturally supporting the body by including sesame and sunflower seeds, both of which contain zinc, we can encourage the production of progesterone reducing these side effects (5).
Sesame seeds can also balance your hormones during menopause and can help give you some relief (6).
Recommended Reading on Hormone Health from 3 of my Female Doctor Friends:
Dr Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor, speaker, and a best selling author of Beyond The Pill. She specializes in women’s hormones and is the leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome,
Dr Mariza Snyder is a women’s hormone practitioner, best selling author and a a passionate functional wellness practitioner. She is the author of The Essential Oils Hormone Solution as well as six other amazing books.
Dr. Anna Cabeca is a gynecologist, obstetrician and women’s health expert with over 20 years of experience. She is the author of The Hormone Fix, which offers women approaching menopause a revolutionary diet and holistic lifestyle program for easier weight loss, better sleep, diminished hot flashes, a clearer head, and a rejuvenated sex drive.
There are quite a few ways to add seeds to your diet but making seed crackers is one of my favorite ways!
This cracker recipe calls for flax seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds so I would recommend having them during the second phase of your cycle for optimal hormone benefits.
Regardless of seed cycling, these crackers, and seeds in general, provide your body with nourishment and nutrients that can be enjoyed at any time.
Simple Seed Crackers
Yield: 5 servings
You will need: measuring spoons, measuring cups, small mixing bowl, baking sheet, parchment paper
Key: T=Tablespoon; tsp=teaspoon
- ¾ cup flax seeds (½ cup whole, ¼ cup ground)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ – 1 cup water
- herbs and spices of choice*
- Heat oven to 325 F
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add ¾ cup of water, mix, and let sit for 10 minutes. You’ll want a dough that sticks together but isn’t too wet. If you need more water, add the rest and let it sit again for 10 minutes.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly until it is about 3-4 mm thick.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and lift the parchment paper with the dough onto a cutting board and cut to desired cracker sizes. I like to do mine about 1″x 1″.
- Lift the paper and crackers back onto the tray and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven once again and flip each cracker over before returning to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
- Once done, remove from oven and let the crackers cool.
- Store in an airtight container
*I made these with rosemary, garlic powder, and onion powder but the possibilities are endless! You can even do a sweeter version and season your crackers with cinnamon, nutmeg and a dash of cacao powder.
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1T fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
Enjoy,Rockstar! These crackers are tasty plain, but you can also liven them up with a variety of different spices. I like adding different flavors each time I make them to change things up a bit!
Made a sweeter version? Dip them in my homemade Healthy Nutella!
Let me know your versions in the comments below and any questions too, and as always feel free to share this with a friend who might like it!
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- Nowak, Debra A et al. “The Effect of Flaxseed Supplementation on Hormonal Levels Associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Case Study.” Current topics in nutraceutical research. 2007. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752973/
- Vaziri, Farideh et al. “Comparing the effects of dietary flaxseed and omega-3 Fatty acids supplement on cyclical mastalgia in Iranian women: a randomized clinical trial.” International journal of family medicine. 2014. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4147287/
- Goyal, Ankit et al. “Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food.” Journal of food science and technology. 2014. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152533/
- Ana Gotter. “Low Progesterone: Complications, Causes and More”. Healthline. 2016. Web. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/low-progesterone
- Habib FK, Maddy SQ, Stitch SR. “Zinc induced changes in the progesterone binding properties of the human endometrium.” Acta Endocrinologica. 1980. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7386123
- Wu WH et al. “Sesame ingestion affects sex hormones, antioxidant status, and blood lipids in postmenopausal women.” The Journal of Nutrition. 2006. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16614415