Tag Archives: sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are your friends

My autocorrect turns the word sesame into seamen which sounds vaguely dirty. Who talks about seamen anyway? Why would autocorrect feel that talking about men at sea is more common than discussing small, nutritious seeds? I mean when’s the last time you ever heard anybody use seamen in a sentence?? Maybe in Alaska or fishing villages it gets more play: “The fish are running superbly this year. Let us pray the seamen return with a fine catch.”

So anyway. I want to tell you about brown seamen. Strike that; I want to tell you about brown sesame. If you’re anything like I was, you don’t give sesame seeds much thought. They are the little white things that fall off bread and collect on your plate, right? Turns out there is more to them. Turns out those little white things are hulled sesame seeds, whereas brown sesame seeds are unhulled and similar to brown rice and brown, i.e., whole wheat bread, more nutritious.

Here’s the nutrition breakdown from a bag of Bob’s Red Mill:

Fiber, Calcium, Iron, oh my!

Fiber, Calcium, Iron, oh my!

Not only are they better for you, they also taste like something, which is not generally true of white sesame seeds. Whenever I get a new product to try, I eat some plain, right out of the container. A spoonful of brown sesame seeds is dense and chewy – it takes awhile to chow down – with a somewhat nutty flavor. That said, I doubt many people eat them by the spoonful.

If you’ve ever bought sesame seeds from the spice aisle, you may have noticed they’re usually sold in a dinky container with a high price. However, buying larger portions (which I’ve found online) brings the price per pound down considerably. The way I figure, for spices, seeds, and such that I go through a lot of, it makes sense to purchase large sizes, freeze the bulk of it and pull portions out when needed to fill a small container. (For other examples, I buy big containers of cinnamon and basil because I go through both fast.)

I keep sesame seeds in the refrigerator (they should be refrigerated or frozen)

I keep sesame seeds in the refrigerator (they should be refrigerated or frozen)

So what to do with brown sesame seeds other than eat them by the spoonful? I put them into baked goods like breads and muffins, but their usefulness is not limited to people who bake. They are great additions to smoothies, blender drinks, cereals hot and cold, and homemade “icecream”. I found that once I started using them, it was easy to find foods to add them to (which is different than a nutritious additive like flax seed, say, which has bitter-ish taste and doesn’t go well with everything). There are also black sesame seeds – who knew?! – that have a nutrition profile similar to brown.