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I bet I caught you off guard with the name of this bar, didn’t I? This bar is part of my Long Haul™ series that I have created and dedicated to my dad who is a truck driver. I have shared a few of the recipes that I have made for him so far… the Long Haul™ Trail Mix Bar and Long Haul™ Banana Apple Granola Bars. You can read over those recipes and gain an understanding why I created this line of bars. Dedicated Run refers to a driver pulling freight for one specific shipper week after week, with same pick-up and drop-off points. My dad has hauled darn near everything, cows, oil, fish, you name it!
My goal with this bar was to make it nut-free and packed full of nutrients and it all started with sesame seeds. Even though this bar has o wonderful flavors, the taste of sesame seeds is prevalent to me. The seeds add a sweet, rich, nutty flavor. When toasted they take on the flavor of roasted peanuts with unique overtones. I have read that toasting the seeds can actually release more of their nutrients but I am still researching this. Raw is wonderful (!) but in the end, I aim for getting the most and best nutritional value from all the foods we eat.
I LOVE sesame seeds so I had to begin my journey by learning how they grow. If I had my way, I would travel the world to see how every food is grown and harvested. It is just that fascinating to me. The sesame seed plant grows to about 5 feet tall ( I see we have something in common hehe) and have bell-shaped flowers that vary in color; white, pale yellow, purple. The pods contain white, brown, or black seeds depending up on the cultivar type, arranged in rows inside. Each pod (2-5 cm in length) is a long rectangular box like capsule with deep grooves on its sides. A single pod may contain up to 100 or more seeds. Now come on, you have to admit, that is pretty darn cool. Most sesame seeds are still harvested by hand due to their fragility. The plants are cut into stalks with the pods intact and the leaves are removed. After being bundled up, the stalks are left in a dry area until the pods go brown. At that point the pods are crushed to gather the seeds. Ok, which one of you out there has a sesame seed orchard? I want to come visit.
Sesame seeds are chocked full of zinc , which is an essential mineral for producing collagen and giving skin more elasticity. Zinc also helps damaged tissues in the body to repair. Sounds like I need to bathe in this stuff. hehe Along with zinc, sesame seeds are high in copper which is a mineral that is important for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems.
Sesame contains unsaturated fats so they should be stored in airtight containers to avoid turning rancid. Properly stored dry seeds generally stay fresh for several months. Store hulled “white” seeds always in the refrigerator. Avoid old, offensive smelling (rancid) seeds. Now to make the bars and enjoy them!