11 Aug 2010 What's in a seed?
There are many health benefits to eating seeds, so why not try this delicious (and extremely popular) seed loaf recipe.
Its quick and easy.
And best of all you don’t need to be a chef to make it. There are no fancy baking terms that need deciphering, and no fancy equipment required either. All that’s needed are the ingredients and some basic kitchen utensils and you’ll be good to go.
- 275g nutty wheat flour
- 50g light brown sugar
- 7ml salt
- 10g instant dry yeast
- 40g poppy seeds
- 40g sesame seeds
- 40g sunflower seeds
- 15ml olive oil
- 400ml Luke warm water
- Spray an average sized bread tin with Spray ‘n Cook.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the olive oil and water and mix well.
- Pour it into the tin and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. This normally takes about twenty minutes.
- Bake at 180˚C (350˚F) for 45 min in the bread tin.
- Remove from the tin and bake for another 15 min.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. (No really, leave it alone!)
Serve with a fresh green salad, roast chicken and huge dollops of butter.
Now sit back and smile graciously while your guests exclaim with gusto (and full mouths) about your incredible kitchen skills.
And if you still need persuading* here are some interesting seed facts.
*Seriously, have you looked at the photo at the top of the post?
Poppy seeds come from poppies, those luscious red flowers with the bad reputation. They’re a popular staple in most cooks’ pantries, but apart from adding a distinct flavour and taste to food, these seeds also offer many health benefits.
Poppy seeds provide the body with magnesium, zinc and calcium, which all play a part in the smooth functioning of our organs. Their fatty acids aid in digestion and the linoleic and oleic acids they contain protect against heart disease. Best of all, when compared with other herbs and spices, poppy seeds are relatively low in calories.
When taken in small quantities poppy seeds have been known to treat insomnia, alleviate asthma and significantly reduce whooping cough symptoms. They can also be used to treat diarrhea and other stomach related conditions.
The Latin name for the poppy is somniferum, which means ‘sleep inducing’. So if you suffer from insomnia eat a slice of mohnkuchen (that’s German for poppyseed cake) just before bedtime.
Sesame seeds are one of oldest condiment known to man, dating all the way back to 1600 BC. The well-known ‘open sesame’ most accurately reflects the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.
With their nutty taste taste and crunchy in texture, sesame seeds are a popular addition to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredient in tahini (that delicious sauce your shawarma is usually smothered in) and halva (that equally tasty Middle Eastern sweet).
Sesame seeds are a good source of copper, magnesium and calcium. This rich assortment of minerals translates into a number of health benefits. Copper offers relief from rheumatoid arthritis, magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health and calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS.
There you have it ladies. A perfectly acceptable reason to eat halva by the truckload.
Sunflowers are thought to have originated in Mexico and Peru, and are one of the first plants to ever be cultivated in the United States. Sunflower seeds have a particularly high oil content, making them an excellent source of polyunsaturated oil. They are a healthy snack alternative and will easily fill the gap between meals, while at the same time enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
Vitamin E is a great anti-Inflammatory and also provides cardiovascular benefits. Magnesium calms the nerves, muscles and blood vessels, as well as being a necessary component for healthy bones. Selenium aids in detoxification and cancer prevention and the phytosterols found in sunflower seeds’ lower cholesterol.