Toasted Sesame Seeds
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Cultivation and uses
Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds, which come in a variety of colors. The small, cream-white sesame seed is used whole in cooking for its rich nutty flavour (although such heating damages their health-giving poly-unsaturated fats), and also yields a cooking oil. Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the top of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds are baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks.
Japanese cuisine uses sesame seeds in many ways. One is to make goma-dofu, which is made from sesame paste and starch. Whole seeds are found in many salads and baked snacks as well. Chefs in tempura restaurants blend sesame and cottonseed oil for deep-frying. Tan and black sesame seed varieties are roasted and used for making the flavoring called gomashio.
The seeds are rich in manganese, copper, and calcium (90 mg per tablespoon for unhulled seeds, only 10 mg for hulled seeds), and contain Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and Vitamin E (tocopherol). They contain powerful antioxidants called lignans, which are also anti-carcinogenic. They also contain phytosterols, which block cholesterol production. Sesame contains one lignan unique to it called sesamin. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground or pulverised before consumption. Size: 3 oz