Tested: Nature’s Harvest Sunflower Kernels
I love having sunflower seeds for a snack, but I never thought too much about them. If I could find a bag of sunflower seeds that said “unsalted,” that’s all I cared about.
After finding Nature’s Harvest Sunflower Kernels, things changed! Now I’m spoiled – not only do these seeds come in multiple varieties, they’re cheaper than the other brands I used to buy!
I just happened to find these one day while walking through a local Wal-Mart. There was a special display with all sorts of dried fruit and sugary trail mixes… and… sunflower seeds! Going by the look of the bags, I figured these must be $5 per bag, organic, fair-trade sunflower seeds. Lo and behold, the bag was fancy, but the price was standard – $2.68 per bag.
It gets better still. Normally I’m lucky to find two types of seeds, but here there were three! Roasted unsalted, Roasted and lightly salted, and Honey roasted. Oh boy!
Health and Nutrition Inspection
The ingredients are no secret, but to be thorough…
Ingredients: Sunflower seeds, Peanut oil and/or Sunflower oil and/or Cottonseed oil.
That’s the roasted unsalted variety. Obviously for the lightly salted variety, they add salt, and for honey roasted, they add sugar and honey.
Total Fat 18g
Total Carbs 4g
Again, those stats are for the roasted unsalted variety. What are the differences in this case?
Most obvious would be the salt content. The lightly salted variety jumps from 0mg to 90mg sodium. That’s not bad at all considering other brands contain more than double that amount of sodium! (Honey roasted only jumps from 0mg to 45mg.)
Then there’s the sugar content. The honey roasted variety contains 4g sugar per serving, rather than 2g; this also bumps total carbs up from 4g to 7g. Oddly enough, fat, fiber, and protein content drop, only making matters worse.
But for the most part, each variety would make a healthy snack. Sure, the unsalted variety is the clear winner, but even the honey roasted variety isn’t bad (they’re on par with honey roasted peanuts.)
Now, they just have to pass the taste test…
My Sunflower Kernel Taste Test
These all looked delicious and the price was right, so I bought a bag of each variety.
Roasted Unsalted: Very good flavor, nice and crunchy. Light and dry, no salt or oily residue anywhere. They taste fresh, so they’re not overly roasted, which I hate – sometimes roasted seeds get a burnt flavor and it sucks, but not these ones. I will be a repeat customer for these!
Roasted and Lightly Salted: These must have been barely roasted, because they were rather pale. Tasted straight out of the garden almost! Lightly salted is an apt description. It’s just the right amount to get some extra flavor without going overboard on your sodium intake. Very tasty.
Honey Roasted: These are impeccable! Wow. It’s just like the coating on honey roasted peanuts, but very thin, so you get enough flavor without too much sugar. I’m very pleased. I could probably eat these fairly often without ruining my diet since the coating doesn’t add too much extra sugar.
The problem is, that little bit of sweetness is enough that I can’t stop eating them! I’m satisfied with one serving of the other ones, but if I open the honey roasted bag, I’m probably eating four servings! At least! (And yeah, there’s that one time I ate the entire bag in one sitting…)
That means it’s almost a blessing in disguise that these are hard to find! I have only seen these in one Wal-Mart location, and the honey roasted ones are often out of stock.
Ranch: Not just crispy and salty, but with ranch flavor! These are awesome. They’re a little like nutty Cooler Ranch Doritos. The taste is like a ranch seasoning you could put on microwave popcorn. If you look closely, you can see a few green specs amongst the grains of salt.
These are nearly as good as the Honey Roasted, and since they contain less sugar, they’re my number one choice.
[A new flavor! I first found the Ranch ones in November of 2013.]
I believe these are just bags of sunflower kernels by Amport Foods, with a “Nature’s Harvest” label created specifically for their stuff sold to Wal-Mart. So they might be in other stores. And a nearly identical snack is available in NatureBox!
(If you happen to know any other good sources of honey roasted sunflower seeds, please post a comment or e-mail me!)
My final verdict is…
Though high in calories, sunflower seeds make excellent snacks. With a winning combination of tantalizing flavors and low price, these Nature’s Harvest kernels are my #1 recommendation in sunflower seeds! These will be a staple in my diet, especially if I’m doing low carb or slow carb. If you shop at Wal-Mart, these should be on your list.
Official website: www.AmportFoods.com
Company: Amport Foods
Product: Nature’s Harvest Sunflower Kernels
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-11-12
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.
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