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Sesame Seeds | Soaking and Drying

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Ever have one of those nights when you are tossing and turning (join me) when you go to bed or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t surrender to sleep again? “Hi, my name is Amie Sue, welcome.”  Because trust me you’re not alone.

Want better Sleep?

Both black and white sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in tryptophan, which the brain uses to build sleep-inducing substances (relaxing neurotransmitters) serotonin and melatonin. (1) All of which can be helpful if you’re having trouble getting to sleep.
sesame-seeds-in-a-wooden-bowl

Hulled vrs. Unhulled

Hulled sesame seeds have had the outer covering (hulls) removed during the manufacturing process. Unhulled sesame seeds are those which have their husk or hulls intact.  Pretty straightforward.

In the nutrient department, sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B1, selenium, and dietary fiber. (source)
One of the differences between the two is the amount of calcium and iron that they contain. One tablespoon of hulled sesame seeds contains 0.7 milligrams of iron and 11 milligrams of calcium, while the unhulled seeds (hulls remain on the seeds) contains 1.3 milligrams of iron and 88 milligrams of calcium.  Although the hulls provide more calcium per tablespoon of seeds, the calcium found in the hulls appears in large part to be found in the form of calcium oxalate. This form of calcium is different than the form found in the hulled seeds, and it is a much less absorbable form of calcium. So, there is a question about how much more calcium would actually be usable. Flavor-wise, non-hulled seeds  have a much more bitter taste

the-importance-of-soaking1

Why must we go through all this trouble? I find soaking nuts a very important step when it comes to my digestion. When nuts/seeds are soaked and/or sprouted in water, the germination process begins, in which the active and readily available amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids begin to be activated. 
Nuts and seeds contain phytic acid and enzymes inhibitors which make it quite hard on the stomach and digestion. This simple process can make all the difference in how you feel after consuming them and how your body assimilates them.To read more about the importance of why our bodies benefit from soaking nuts and seeds, click (here).

close-up-sesame-seedsIngredients:

  • 4 cups raw unhulled sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 8 cups water

Preparation:

Soaking:

  1. Place the sesame seeds and salt in a large glass or stainless steel bowl along with 5 cups of water.
  2. Leave them on the counter to soak for 8 hours.
    • Loosely cover with a clean cloth, this allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.
    • If you think that it will be longer than 8 hours before you can get to them, place the bowl in the fridge, making sure to change the water every so often.
  3. After they are done soaking, drain and rinse them in a colander.
Dehydrator method:
  1. Spread the sesame seeds on the non-stick sheet that comes with the dehydrator.  Place the mesh sheet on top to prevent them from going air-born while drying.
    • Dry them at 115 degrees (F) until they are thoroughly dry and crisp.  Make sure they are completely dry.  If not, they could mold, plus they won’t have that crunchy, yummy texture you expect from nuts and seeds.
    • The dry time will vary due to the machine you own, the type of climate you live in and how full your dehydrator is when drying them.
    • Expect anywhere from 4 + hours.
  2. Allow them to cool to room temperature before storing.
  3. Store in airtight containers such as mason jars.
    • Use within 1-3 months – store in the fridge
    • Use within 3-12 months – store in the freezer.

Oven method: (no longer raw)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. Spread the sesame seeds on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    • Bake until the seeds brown and become fragrant.
    • Don’t leave them unattended, due to their high oil content, they will continue to roast after you remove them from the oven.
    • Good idea to stir them around a bit throughout the process.
  4. Cool for about 1 hour.   Make sure that they are cool before storing.
  5. Note ~  You can also attempt to dry the seeds in the oven and keep them raw but this is tricky.  You will need to set the oven on the lowest setting, keep the door ajar and hang a thermometer in the oven to watch the temperature.  Nothing is impossible.  With this method… good luck and do your best.

Do soaked nuts and seeds have to be dehydrated?

If you are unable to dry the nuts or seeds, it is best to only soak an amount that you can be sure will used within two or three days.  As with any live food, mold tends to set in within days if you’re not careful. They will need to be stored in water, sealed tight and placed in the fridge.  It is important to rinse them twice a day with fresh water.

4 thoughts on “Sesame Seeds | Soaking and Drying

  1. Sam says:

    HI, I think your awesome!!!! I’ve made many of your recipes. I’ve been raw vegan for a year and a half and you are my go to for yummy delights. Should I soak and dehydrate the hulled sesame seeds as well as the unhulled ones. And also on another subject are there any substitutes for almond pulp?thanks so much

    Sam

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Sam,

      So nice to hear from you and thank you for all the kind words. It is much appreciated. :)

      Regarding soaking sesame seeds, I would soak both. I tend to only use the hulled seeds because I find the others too bitter in flavor… but we all have different tastes.

      Almond pulp… I can’t give a straight forward answer, it depends on the recipe. Do you have one in mind?

      Blessings and enjoy your day! amie sue

  2. Heather says:

    When I soak sesame seeds in preparation for toasting, sometimes they float. Are they ok, or are they too old?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Heather. That is totally fine. Because of their fat content and being so small, they often float or suspend in the water. Have a blessed day, amie sue

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