Open Sesame!

I’m on a sesame bender.

I have a strong affinity to Sesame Street stemming from my most enjoyable childhood mornings with my sister—and recently, Matthew and I have been watching the classic episodes on DVD. Yes, I do know the old episodes are not recommended for today’s child, but so far it doesn’t seem any worse than Spongebob! …I also know that cookies are now a “sometimes snack” for Cookie Monster, but maybe if he added some sesame seeds to them and used coconut oil instead of butter 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. In the past, I only associated sesame seeds with the ol’ sesame seed bun (you know, two all beef patties and so on). Recently, when I was asked about how to increase the calcium intake of a child, promoting the calcium content of the sesame seed felt like an important idea to follow through on.

I don’t really want to get into why cow’s milk isn’t a good source of calcium for people (but I can’t help mentioning it briefly!). Instead, I want to tell you why sesame seeds are good and give you ideas for how you can eat more of them!  It’s easy—they’re 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. I like these from Arrowhead Mills, but I’m sure there are others.

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-Sesame Seeds

Celery plus hummus plus unhulled sesame seeds. Delicious, easy, and kids will eat it too.  It’s so easy, it almost feels like cheating!

Also, Mom and Matthew came over and I was thrilled that Matthew chomped on celery without me even asking him to (hey, it doesn’t take much to thrill me!). I introduced Mom to Sunbutter, and she was really happy!

Celery-Sunbutter-Sesame Seeds

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.

44 thoughts on “Open Sesame!”

  1. The other Lisa B

    I will have to try the Sun Butter. Hubby loves the organic Sesame Blues tortilla chips (Gardern of Eatin’). Not as healthy as your celery snax, but when you HAVE to have chips with your skinny girl margarita, these are low in sodium (90 mg) compared to reg corn chips and even has 3g of protein!

  2. The sunbutter is good…slightly gooey-er than peanut butter, and does have a couple extra ingredients. But compared to standard pb it’s a good choice! I might try and make it…not sure on that one.
    I love Sesame Blues! I should have mentioned them in the post—I can see how they would be perfect with a skinny girl margarita…

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