Thursday, March 3, 2011

Open Sesame!

Lisa K. Beach, Ph.D.

Lately, I've been on somewhat of a sesame bender!

I have a strong affinity to Sesame Street stemming from my most enjoyable childhood mornings with my sister, and lately my nephew and I have been enjoying some of the classic episodes on DVD together. I recently learned that cookies are now a “sometimes snack” for Cookie Monster, but maybe if he added some sesame seeds to them (and upgraded the fat and sugar parts of his recipes), he could have them more often—it works for me!
In addition to my fondness for Sesame Street, I also happen to really like the taste of the sesame seed. Many Americans only associate sesame seeds with the ol’ sesame seed bun (two all beef patties, and so on). Recently, when I was asked about how to increase the calcium intake of a lactose intolerant child, promoting the calcium content of the sesame seed felt like an important idea to follow through on.
Sesame seeds are tasty and mild—and they’re even pretty cheap!
Sesame seeds:
High in manganese, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, B1, fiber, lignans, and zinc, Omega-6 fatty acids
These things help with: bone health, cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, some menopausal symptoms (like sleep problems), colon cancer prevention, osteoporosis, migraines, vascular health…and more.
An important aspect to note: You should try and consume unhulled sesame seeds as they yield much higher nutrient levels (especially calcium!).
You can buy a bag of unhulled sesame seeds. Here's an example from Arrowhead Mills, but there are many other brands too.
Sesame seeds have a very mild flavor and subtle (often unnoticeable) crunch.
Here are my ideas of what you can do with them to boost your nutrient intake:
Sprinkle on salad
Sprinkle on cereal
Sprinkle inside a sandwich
Add to hummus (Tahini is sesame seed paste, but is often made with hulled seeds, so check this before you buy/make it!)
Top any appetizer such as crackers and cheese, nut butter snacks, and more
Add to smoothies
Add to bread, cookie, or muffin batter
Sprinkle on cooked veggies (like broccoli)
Here’s what I did today:
Celery, hummus, and sesame seeds!
Sesame seeds on your snacks are delicious, easy, and kids will eat them too!

One caution to note: If you have a condition called Hypercalciuria, you’re already tracking your oxalate intake, and you should know there is a small amount in unhulled sesame seeds.


Behty said...

Yum! And growing up, we had sesame seed and honey candies, from the "Old Country" :). Delicious!

Thanks Lisa, great to hear about sesame seed taking more of the front seat.

Behty Harrison
Chair, BS in Health and Wellness
Chair, BS in Nutrition Science
Kaplan University

Kathleen said...

Lisa, thanks for the sesame seed reminder. I'm going to go to Earthfare today and buy some. Thanks for the heads up on tahini. How easy it would be just to use my champion juicer and make my own sesame butter.

Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness said...

Hi Kathleen,
I think the Champion is a twin gear juicer, isn't it? If so, it should be no problem to make sesame butter! I have a Greenstar juicer, and it works great with that one (I believe they are similar juicers).
I hope you let me know if you try it!


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Really for provide this. This is looking good. This food may be more healthy and would fit to my diet.

windows 7 video editor said...

I like sesame taste. In my house there are many item of sesame made. We also add it in many different item for its taste.

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Sesame ! Its sounds great. I think it is a good health provider. I would like taste it soon.

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