Cultivated for thousands of years, sesame seeds have been an integral part of culinary cultures of civilizations spanning between the Middle East and the Far East. Whether whole, husked, black, white, or ground, these seeds add a light nutty flavor and crunchiness to foods and are good for your health. They are an excellent source of nutrients and trace elements.

Sesame seeds can be bought from organic food stores and Asian grocery stores. The choice included whole or hulled white or golden sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds. In certain cases, the seeds may already be toasted. However, it is more difficult to find dark brown sesame seeds. Choose whole sesame seeds, because they contain more nutrients than hulled sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds should be ground to enjoy the benefits of their nutrients. Toasting them in a dry pan will give add crunch and a light nutty taste to your dishes.

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled over a carrot puree, mixed salad, or over pan-fried vegetables. They add crunch to cookies and add extra flavor to cakes and fruit mousses. They can also be used to make crumb coatings for chicken or salmon. Sesame seeds are crushed to make tahini. This cream can be used to make eggplant (aubergine) caviar, and to flavor cake batters and vegetable cream soups.

Sesame seeds should be stored either in their original packaging or in an airtight container away from light and moisture.

Sesame seeds have a high dietary fiber content and are an excellent source of calcium (particularly whole sesame seeds), phosphorous, and magnesium.

Black sesame seeds are a variety used mainly in Asia, unlike white sesame seeds, which is preferred in the Middle East. Black sesame seeds have a stronger flavor.

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