“Hi. The story of our tasty little toasted treats goes way back to my granny whose toasted two seed blend started it all. It was her way of getting us kids nibbling on something nutritious and keeping our hands out of the cookie jar!
We still adore toasted seeds; they’re thoroughly scrummy, and every last seed is crammed with natural goodies like protein, fibre, iron and zinc. Sprinkle them over breakfast or lunch, stir them in to a soup or casserole or just nibble away for a nutritious snack. You choose.
All our toasted seeds are gluten, wheat and yeast free and contain no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. They are all suitable for vegetarians and we have five products that suit a vegan diet too.
Founder aka “Mrs Munchy!”
Where did Munchy Seeds start and who came up with the idea?
It began over 25 years ago in New Zealand actually, by my lovely mummy and sort of me! I had been demonstrating stainless steel Swiss potato peelers at exhibitions around the world for 8 years and came home when the family farm was sold. I had seen many different products being sold at various exhibitions and I knew we could come up with a product of our own that we could put our own personal, friendly, happy stamp on and bring it successfully to the market – of all the lovely recipes we have in our family – Granny’s roasted two seed mix was to prove to be the most perfect of all.
To begin with we roasted Granny’s seed mix in the kitchen at home and took them to the local Saturday Flea Market in Nelson NZ, encouraging folk to try the seeds sprinkled on bread & butter (because honestly who can resist white bread & butter!) And it just kind of took off…! As the seeds became more and more popular, my parents started taking them off to shows and exhibitions around New Zealand. Never did it occur to us that they would become so popular and that 10 years later my husband, Crispin (boyfriend at the time!) and I would have the same level of success here in England.
What are your first memories of your Granny’s concoctions?
Like all granny’s, my grandmother’s cooking was wholesome and honest; her fridge was laden with cold meats from the farm, salads and fresh veggies, homemade mayo, jams and sauces; the pantry was filled with cakes, slices, nuts, fruits and seeds.
Granny had to learn to cook super-fast as a young wife on her husband’s family sheep farm. She cooked for the whole workforce including the Maori shearers (a ‘gang’ of 6 to 8 men and women who came in each year to shear the 2,000 odd sheep). The shearers delighted in setting nets in the lake on the farm, catching whopping great big eels for her to boil up for them (yikes)! Some of the eels they pulled from the lake were over 6ft long! In truth, they never ate the big old ‘grand-daddy’ eels (as we kids referred to them), because they were the breeding stock for the future and could live to be over 80 years old.
Another odd ‘delight’ Granny used to boil up for the men, was the incredibly fatty, native Mutton Bird, that nested in holes in the muddy banks of the lake. (If you want to try this rather rich, fatty delicacy today, you would have to travel to the bottom of New Zealand – jump on a little boat and brave one of the roughest stretches of waters to get to Stewart Island where the local hotel still serves them up!)
As small kids we spent the hot summers roaming across hills and flats (fields) in bare feet, catching insects, lizards, rabbits and little cocker-bullies (small fish) caught from the streams. We went everywhere with our glass jars with screw-top lids, turning and lifting stones and logs seeking out creepy-crawlies to bring home to show Mum, Dad & Granny (and any unsuspecting poor visitor who happened to pop in!)
Granny’s roasted seeds were just a part of our normal everyday diet, nothing very special at the time – but then again neither was smocked eel, mutton bird, homemade mayonnaise made with mint and condensed milk – it was just a part of a very happy, healthy lifestyle that my siblings and I were lucky enough to share.
Were Munchy Seeds holiday treats or day-to-day munching (sweetie jar avoidance!)?
Munchy Seeds – or ‘Granny’s seeds’ (as we referred to them) were eaten like fresh cherries, grapes or sweets – we would just have them as a treat or ‘when Granny had remembered to roast up some more’! So they were quite special I guess. When we were sent off to boarding school we kept them in big biscuit tins for our tuck. They were brilliant because they lasted for ages and massively filled us up! (Except all our friends used to nick handfuls of them!)
Have you any hints and tips that were passed down to you that you follow even today?
Munchy Seeds are delicious on white bread and butter! Well, that’s 100% fine if you are a little kid roaring around the countryside, madly burning up energy, as children do! But when you hit your 30’s and 40’s, perhaps it’s a little wiser to eat them sprinkled over more respectable items such as salads, soups, stews and stir fry’s (to name a few of the usual suspects…) Thank goodness Munchy Seeds taste as delicious as they do, especially as they can help to disguise some of the more dodgy veggies out there (did I mention boiled cabbage?) Try sprinkling Munchy Seeds and a splash of both sesame oil and soy sauce over steamed cabbage or broccoli and it will improve those green veggies no end!
NB if you are trying to ‘con’ the kids into eating something healthy like seeds, then seriously; try sprinkling any of our savoury mixes on white bread & butter, guaranteed 100% hit rate every time.
How are your own kids now enjoying your seeds?
Both our children grew up munching seeds! In fact Claudia used to practically live in the factory when she was a baby, at 6 months old we would plonk her (position her carefully!) on the work bench in her little bouncy seat beside us, as we hand-filled the tubs. She would help herself to fistfuls of seeds and loved them. I might add – she’s 13 now and won’t touch them for love nor money (which we all think is hilarious!) Wait until she’s a student with little cash!! She and her friends will be very grateful to receive her parents’ free Munchy Seeds!
Oscar, being a 9 year old boy, will eat almost anything (within reason – as long as it’s not broccoli!) He is forever ‘fueling up’ – especially now he’s started playing rugby. Refreshing orange segments served at half time with Honey Seeds aren’t a bad combination for a lad burning up energy in the mud and rain!
How long has Munchy Seeds been going and what have you enjoyed most?
My parents have been roasting their Munchy Seeds in NZ for over 30 years now, Crispin and I have been flat out roasting seeds in the UK for the last 15 years – it’s been a fun, full-on ride. One of the most exciting things for me is when young mothers come up to me at a show, with a child on their hip, and exclaim how their own mothers had given them Munchy Seeds when they were growing up. They’ll usually be grinning from ear-to-ear watching their own little ones stuffing seeds into their mouths flat-out – just as they used to! Full circle…
Between us, we produce a fun, quirky little product that was given to us when we were carefree children by our special Granny and now we have the good fortune to be able to share that little bit of fun and wholesomeness with others!
Honestly, Munchy Seeds are for all ages and stages and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but just enjoyed anyway, anyhow and with whomever you like!
Cheers, Lucinda – Aka Mrs Munchy!