Today I have chosen the sesame seed as the tastebud in the spotlight. Such a small seed but with so many possibilities!
But first, let’s look at the seed itself. It is one of the oldest oilseeds crops known and nowadays the world’s largest exporter of sesame seeds is India. Japan is the biggest importer.
There are thousand of different varieties of the sesame seed. But in the shops we mainly see three different seeds depending how the crop have been treated: the white peeled one with a mild, nutty taste. This is the easiest accessible both in taste and in stores.
The second one is the unpeeled sesame seed. A dark yellow and grey seed with all its nutrients still in there like calcium, iron and healthy fats.
The last one is the black sesame seed, the healthiest and maybe the most decorative of them all. It is also the most difficult one to find in stores I may add…
You often find sesame seeds in Japanese and Chinese food but also in raw and macrobiotic food due to its fabulous nutrients. If eating raw, choose the unpeeled or black ones as they have not been heated up when preparing them.
You buy the seeds in big bags for hardly any money at all. The unpeeled version have a longer shelf life then the white, peeled one due to the fats it contains.
But what do you really do with it?
For this post I have prepared a sesame mylk (milk with Y instead of I is lately often used when talking about green alternatives to cow/goat/sheep milk).
The market for these alternative mylks have really exploded the last year and that is really happy news! Unfortunately many of these mylks are also filled with thickeners and/or sugar in different forms (mostly agave). I see the packages as a great alternative that sometimes makes it easier for myself to make a better choice when in a rush. However, the homemade mylk is the best and really so fast to make!
For one glass of white, creamy sesame mylk:
1 dl unpeeled sesame seeds (if you prefer, you can first soak them overnight)
3 dl cold water
If you prefer, a half a date, vanilla powder or a few drips of honey to make it sweeter.
A tiny pinch of sea salt
How do I do it?
1. If you have soaked the seeds, strain them and then add them to a mixer bowl. The stronger mixer you have, the better result but just a normal hand blender also does the work even though it might take a bit longer.
2. Add fresh water (if you have bleached water from your crane, please consider taking water from a bottle).
3. Mix it until you have a smooth mylk. Taste and see if you prefer to add some sweetener. Mix again.
4. Keep your mylk in the refrigerator, it will last approximately 2 days. Or just mix it up in a smoothie for a great snack.
I have also made a Gomasio, an easygoing mix of salt and sesame seeds. Sprinkle your Gomasio over your tomatoes, soup, sea greens or even on your sandwich etc.
The mix is also perfect if you like to reduce your salt intake, Gomasio even means kitchen salt in Japanese!
1,75 oz / 50 gram peeled sesame seeds
1-1,5 tsp Maldon sea salt
How do I do it?
1. Toast the seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop and have a fantastic smell. Pour over in a separate bowl and let it cool down slightly.
2. Add the salt and the roasted sesame seeds to a pester and grind it until you have a rough powder.
3. The Gomasio is the best fresh but surely good to go for another week if kept in an airtight container.
Further, I have bought a raw non processed Tahini (or Tahina), a sesame paste with no other ingredients added. You can easily make it yourself much cheaper but I turned a bit lazy…
If you buy it, note that there are two different ones. One with the white, peeled seeds and one made of the unpeeled seeds. You easily can see a difference in the colors. But maybe even more important, is that the taste is also very different from each other. The unpeeled is rather bitter and could need some time to get used to.
Tahini is a perfect base for dressing, smoothies and even candy (check this link to the blog Eartsprout for a fantastic recipe!) and ice cream. It is also an important ingredient when making humus with chick peas.
Remember to use boiling hot water when you would like to use the tahini. If you try it with cold water, you will be deeply punished with a stone hard paste looking more like concrete… Once you have mixed the two, you will have a creamy substance that easily can be mixed with other herbs or spices. You can also use this paste as a vegan alternative to sour cream etc. Once mixed, the paste can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two without getting hard.
Dressing with Tahini
2 tsp of white tahini
4 tbs boling water
2 tsp good olive oil
Just a small squeeze of Pomegranate molasses (not LCHF though)
A few drips of Tabasco
Salt and pepper
How do I do it?
1. Start with boiling the water.
2. Add the tahini to a bowl and add the boiling water to it. Mix with a spoon until smooth.
3. Add the other ingredients and mix it well.
4. Sprinkle the dressing over your green salad, avocado or maybe some sliced persimmon.
The last product on the photo is the sesame oil. An oil with a distinct taste that should be seen as an added taste sensation rather than oil in general. The oil can be cold or hot pressed and due to the roasting, also get a very different taste and color from each other.
Add a few drips to your stir fry when almost done to get a wonderful nutty taste. When combined with cilantro, fresh ginger and/or tamari (gluten-free soya), you are very likely to enter food heaven for a minute or two!
Once you really start to appreciate the slightly smokey taste of the sesame oil, try to add a few drips to your chocolate mousse. Taste sensation!