These tiny little seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrients and are a must on the Effortless Additions list. When I think of sesame seeds, the first thing I think of is “open sesame!” a secret password used many years ago, and this little seed does hide a secret not everyone knows…these little seeds are PACKED with calcium. Calcium is a mineral that builds strong bones and teeth, it keeps the nerves and muscles working and plays a role in keeping the heart healthy. More and more people are looking for alternative ways from dairy to get calcium into their children’s diet. Sesame seeds are simple to add to meals and snacks and most kids won’t mind them and will enjoy being able to sprinkle them on their own food. Sprinkle them on stir fry’s, salads, avocado, eggs, anything you can think of. Tahini is a spread made out of sesame seeds that can be used in a variety of recipes. Please note that hulled sesame seeds contain less calcium by about half.
Here are some great quick and effortless ways to incorporate sesame seeds into your family’s diet:
- Blend into your smoothies
- Sprinkle on top of cooked scrambled eggs or on top of toast (a favourite in my house is toast with avocado and sprinkled sesame seeds).
- Sprinkle on top of salads – green salads, pasta salads, etc.
- Sprinkle on top of stir-fry’s
- Blend with an alternative milk such as almond or coconut to add calcium. We like this recipe for Chocolate Almond Sesame Milk.
- Sprinkle on green beans or broccoli or any vegetable dish side.
- Use tahini and make dips such as hummus or dressings like this tahini dill dressing (great as a dip or used as a condiment on veggie burgers, etc.). Tahini makes an excellent base for salad dressings – say hello to nice creamy dairy and mayonnaise free dressing packed full of calcium!)
Something worth highlighting about adding sesame seeds to your diet is that they contain phytosterols. According to studies, phytosterols reduce intestinal cholesterol absorption, leading to decreased LDL levels and lowered cardiovascular risk. Furthermore, phytosterols can also inhibit cancel-cell growth. You might be familiar with cholesterol lowering “spreads” and other processed foods which have had phytosterols extracted from soybeans, pine nuts or corn and added to these foods (which in my opinion the risks far outweigh the benefits – get those phytosterols from whole foods!) Adding a few sprinkles of sesame seeds to your food as well as adding other phytosterol rich foods such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios and walnuts can provide a good whole food source of phytosterols plus countless additional nutritional benefits.
Other notable nutrients in this super little seed are: copper, mangnese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, selenium and fibre.
I hope some of these ideas make it to your table and your family enjoys these Effortless Additions as much as mine does.
p.s. If you are looking for tips or suggestions regarding introducing new foods or meals to your family, please check out my Family Consultation package that I offer. I would love to help your family on their journey!