Sacha Inchi Seeds « Health Now, Wealth Forever

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By Marilyn, on November 7th, 2012

I found a new snack that is super healthy and tastes good.  It is slightly expensive, but when I compared the price of these seeds to a “super special granola bar” at the same price, I think the better deal is the seeds.

The kind I bought were called Savi Seed “Oh Natural” roasted with sea salt.  No sugar and very high in Omega-3 and proteins.  The one ounce of brand name, Savi Seed, has 13 times more Omega 3 than wild salmon. Savi Seed has three varieties, Karmalized, Oh Natural, and Cocoa.  Another brand, TerrAmazon found at Whole Foods, has two varieties Roasted Sacha Inchi and Tamari Sacha Inchi.

I looked these seeds up on the Internet to find out just what they are.  I had seen them a long time ago in a natural food store, but could not remember which aisle they were in and where I might look for them again.

These seeds are grown in the Amazon in Peru.  They have a long history for the indigenous people in this area.

Plukenetia volubilis, commonly known as Sacha Inchi, Sacha Peanut, Mountain Peanut or Inca-Peanut, is a perennial plant with somewhat hairy leaves.  The fruits are capsules of 3 to 5 cm in diameter with 4 to 7 points, are green and ripen blackish brown. On ripening the fruits contain a soft black wet pulp that is messy and inedible, so are normally left to dry on the plant before harvest. By two years of age, often up to one hundred dried fruits can be harvested at a time, giving 400 to 500 seeds a few times a year. Fruit capsules usually consist of four to five lobes, but some may have up to seven. Inside are the seeds, oval, dark-brown, 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter and 45 to 100 grams of weight. The cotyledons are open, similar to those of almonds, and covered with a whitish film. Raw seeds are inedible, but roasting after shelling makes them very palatable.”

“The seeds of Inchi have high protein (27%) and oil (35 – 60%) content. Its oil is one of the largest plant sources of the Omega family of fatty acids, an essential for human life. It contains Omega 3 (48%), Omega 6 (36%), Omega 9 (9%), and protein (27%). They are also rich in iodine and vitamin A and vitamin E.”

I found other interesting facts about these seeds.  They are great for vegans and raw food enthusiasts even though they are roasted.  They are inedible until they are roasted.  They are heated to a temperature that still qualifies them to be rated as a raw food.

On Wikipedia, there was also a note that the “Humanitarian group Oxfam and a group called SEPAR are collaborating to develop techniques for growing Sacha Inchi. Used as a cash crop, Sacha Inchi is bringing money to rural areas and allowing indigenous groups like the Ashaninka to stay in villages.”

Sacha Inchi oil production is increasing in the Peruvian Amazon and is gaining international recognition for its taste and health properties. In June 2007, Sacha Inchi oil won the Médaille d’or (Gold Medal) at the AVPA Specialty Foods Commodities competition. Sacha Inchi has been called a super food because of its high content of essential fatty acids. The oil has a mild flavour, not bitter, with a nutty finish. With new research emphasizing the health benefits of Omega fatty acids, interest in sustainable sources of Omega is increasing. Sacha Inchi oil is used in vegetarian diets to provide a plant source for Omega-3 fatty acids.