- Author: Maureen Clark
The Black Sesame Plant
It's time! I just went out to the garden and harvested my Black Sesame Seeds. I'm excited that the plant did great in my vegetable garden this year. It was super easy to grow. The seeds are pretty expensive so, the money I'll save is wonderful.
The botanical name is Sesamum indicum. This plant has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. They grow to 1.5 feet - 3 feet. (mine grew to about 2.5 feet) tall). They are a drought-tolerant, annual plant. The flowers are a pretty, tubular, purple -lavender flower with a white throat. The seed pods are dehiscent and should stay on the plant for several months. Remember the old saying “Open Sesame”. Well, that's what you want them to do. They need to dry out and then burst open. Don't take them off the plant too early or they will not be dry and will go rancid quickly. There are couple ideas I thought of 1) Let the pods get nice and big, then wrap a small piece of frost cover over the pods and stem. This will help them stay warm and capture the seeds. 2) Remove the pods after 2 months, put them in a paper bag and keep them in the sun for several days. These methods will encourage the pods to shatter naturally (aka dehiscent).
The seeds are rich in Omega 6, Vitamin B, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Phosphorus. Polyunsaturated Fats, Fiber and Zinc are other helpful benefits.
The Sesamin in the seeds helps protect the liver. The seeds are good for digestion, anti-aging properties, strong bones, constipation, reduce anxiety, healthy skin, respiratory and vascular health.
The seeds have a rich nutty flavor. Grind them or soak them overnight (better health benefits) to make them easier to digest. Fun to use in a variety of ways, such as Tahini, smoothies, yogurt, rice, vegetables, noodles, popcorn, coatings for sushi rolls, bread, meat, and fish, mixed with honey and roasted into candy, or sesame cookies. Yum! Ok, are you hungry now? Because I am. Time to get a cookin'!