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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Food of the Month - Sesame Seeds

If you haven’t noticed, here at Peas of Mind we LOVE food! We love to make it, eat it, talk about it and write about it.  We are constantly finding new foods that we are amazed by or finding new uses for some of our favorite foods.  That’s why we’re starting a Food of the Month club; where each month we’ll feature a new, nutrient packed power food!

This month we’re featuring the ever-versatile sesame seed.  We love sesame seeds because of their nutty flavor, the incredible crunch they can add to any dish and most of all because when sesame seeds are ground up, they  make the one and only tahini (tahini is the secret ingredient in most hummus as well as the base for an incredible sauce/dressing and is simply sesame seed paste)! Sesame seeds and tahini are both a must have in your kitchen not only because they are incredibly tasty and adaptable, sesame seeds are a nutrient rich power food that can do everything from lowering cholesterol and reducing anxiety.

Health Benefits of sesame seeds and tahini:
  • Rich in Mono-unsaturated fat, which can help lower “bad cholesterol” and raise “good cholesterol”
  • High in protein and amino acids
  • Contains B complex vitamins like B2, B1, B15, B3 and B5
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds (or 3 tablespoons of tahini) contains more calcium then a glass of milk  and is much easier for the body to digest
  • Tahini has been known to aid in digestion and help the body absorb nutrients
  • Sesame seeds and tahini are an incredibly rich source of iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium

Incorporating sesame seeds and tahini into your diet:
  • Tahini salad dressing (¼ cup tahini, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, add water to thin (about ¼ cup and salt and pepper to taste)
  • Add sesame seeds to marinades
  • Toast sesame seeds and sprinkle on salads, stir fries, toast and cookies
  • Hummus (you can make your own but most store bought hummus contains tahini…just read the ingredients)
  • Add to granola (get creative and make your own using sesame seeds AND tahini) for a nutrient packed lunch box treat
So when your little ones ask what the white specs on her cookies are, you can proudly explain that they’re SESAME seeds: Big bird’s favorite seed and the namesake for the street he lives on!

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