Culture

Sesame Seeds in Eastern Cuisine from Japan to Lebanon!

Feb 10, 2015

Benefits

Sesame seeds have been utilized for over 5000 years. It is one of the most potent, nutrient-dense medicinal foods used today. Once you discover the health benefits of sesame seeds, you may just find yourself stocking up on this ancient condiment.

Rich in vitamin E, sesame seeds bring taste to the most ordinary of plates and are a great source of fiber. The sesame grain contains a lot of minerals, such as magnesium, zinc and iron. These minerals contribute to good health of bones and teeth, tissue regeneration and the immune system.

Sesame seeds contain a large amount of antioxidants, which are very helpful in protecting the body from illnesses like heart disease and stroke, some cancers and other diseases in relation to aging. Age gracefully by including sesame seeds in your cuisine.

Ways to use it

Sesame seeds are very popular in the Middle East. They use sesame seeds to make tahini, which is essentially, a sesame purée. Tahini is often used in baba ganouj, hummus, sauces, bread and halva. It can be used in a variety of ways, and also in desserts. You can eat it with honey, pekmez, molasses or even as the people in Montreal do, with maple syrup!

You can even use ingredients you probably already have at home to create a simple sesame dressing to be poured on cooked spinach. Steam spinach and remove the water. Once cooked, chop the spinach and place on a plate. For the dressing, puree some grilled sesame seeds in a blender and add a few tablespoons of honey, some soy sauce and dashi broth. Generously pour over the spinach and enjoy!

And here is a delicious recipe from chef/author Anissa Helou for a Lebanese breakfast manqousheh using toasted sesame seeds – http://www.anissas.com/zatar-2/#more-10699

You can also use sesame oil as a healing product. For people, particularly children with colds and sniffles (especially at this time of year), sesame seed oil swabbed in the nose can protect against air borne viruses and bacteria.

There is a multitude of ways to use sesame oil and sesame seeds in our daily routines. Try one today and see why they call sesame oil, the queen of all oils.

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