Sesame seeds contain a lot of fat, but no cholesterol. The aromatic oil of sesame is expressed and used in many Eastern dishes. Its essential fatty acids are beneficial because it helps solve the common problem of dry skin. Sesame oil is often added to food at the end of cooking.
The scientific name Sesamum indicum, lets us know that sesame came from India. It has been cultivated there as well as in other Eastern countries for thousands of years. Around the 18th century, African slaves brought sesame with them to America. This versatile food is still grown around the world for its oil, flavor, and nutrition.
In the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the magic words “Open Sesame” allows one to open a cave full of treasure. We now know that the real riches are hidden in the sesame seed itself. They contain an efficient mixture of proteins including metionine, an amino acid. It is said that sesame contains more metionine than any other food. To improve the quality of breast milk, which doesn’t have much metionine, mothers should make sure to add sesame to their diet. Sesame also has a large percentage of B vitamins and magnesium – both of which are necessary for a healthy nervous system. To prevent osteoporosis, eat sesame seeds. They are an excellent source of calcium. Moreover, they are rich in Vitamins A and E.
A delicious way to get all this goodness from sesame is to eat a paste called tahini. This is a versatile food from the East that you can spread on bread, make into dips or sauces, and add to other recipes. To make you own sesame paste just put a cup of seeds in a blender and process till smooth. The natural oil should be enough but if you wish, you can add just enough sesame oil and water to get a creamier consistency. Then salt to taste. Some people like to add a bit of sweetness as well. You can also make gomasio to sprinkle over your food. Check out the recipe section.
Sesame seeds contain a lot of fat, but no cholesterol. The aromatic oil of sesame is expressed and used in many Eastern dishes. Its essential fatty acids are beneficial because it helps solve the common problem of dry skin. Sesame oil is often added to food at the end of cooking. I like it best in Chinese soups and fried rice. Sesame oil can keep for years without turning rancid so if you find any on sale, go for it.
Sesame seeds don’t keep as well so purchase small amounts and refrigerate or store in the freezer. Alternatively, store in an airtight jar and keep in a cool, dry location. You can get the seeds many colors from white, yellow, red to black. Some people claim that the darker seeds have stronger flavor. Whatever color you prefer, a little bit goes a long way. Just a small amount of sesame in a dish gives it it’s distinctly delicious taste and aroma. Especially when toasted. Add sesame seeds to breads, cookies, stir-fries, or whatever you fancy. Among the many edible seeds, give me sesame any time.
Sesame seeds don’t keep as well so purchase small amounts and refrigerate or store in the freezer.