Sesame seeds, though tiny, are mighty powerful. They have wide medicinal benefits and are referred to as the queen of seeds as they are exceptionally high in the mineral. They contain a nice dose of vitamin B, fiber, and fat. Having high content of fat in them, they can go bad.
Rancidity and mold formation leads to the deterioration of sesame seeds. Rancidity is due to the presence of unsaturated fatty acids in sesame seeds. Mold formation also contributes to sesame seeds spoilage, and Mold usually occurs due to moisture and air exposure. So, these two factors are involved in making sesame seeds go bad.
How to store sesame seeds?
Most of us store seeds and nuts in the pantry. That’s how we grew up doing it, although that’s probably not the best way to keep seeds.
As they can spoil, they can go rancid. Like other seeds sesame seeds, spoilage is generally due to the oxidation of fats present in them. Some storing methods can help increasing sesame seed’s shelf life.
Storing sesame seeds in air-tight jars
Sesame seeds usually come in sealed packets after opening to keep them fresh, and same in taste place sesame seeds in vacuum-sealed jars. Sealed jars don’t allow direct contact of sesame seeds with air. Air containing oxygen and spores can lead to oxidative rancidity and fungal growth, respectively.
Placing in a cool and dry and dark place
After placing them in clean air-tight jars, most of us take transparent glass jars; if you don’t go through sesame seeds quickly, it is better to take amber color or dark color jars.
Amber bottles protect sesame seeds from ultraviolet rays of sunlight that lead to oxidation. You can keep amber color sealed jars at room temperature in the pantry. Keep in mind to put the jar away from moisture and heat while keeping them in the pantry; make sure you don’t put the jar near the oven where it is exposed to heat.
Similarly, don’t keep the pot away from moisture and humidity as fungus thrives on moisture. Storing sesame seed jars in cool, dry, and dark places can help to keep them super fresh and full of taste, even for months.
Another best way to store sesame seeds is by refrigerating them. The main reason sesame seeds turn bad is oxidation due to humidity and a warm environment. Keeping sesame seeds in the fridge can slow down the process and act as a preventive measure to avoid rancidity, so placing them in a vacuum-sealed jar and putting the jar into the refrigerator can help you preserve sesame seed somewhere about three to six months.
Can you freeze sesame seeds?
Freezing is the method commonly recommended to increase the shelf life of food. Freezing sesame seeds is an excellent way to make them last up to a year. Fill the air-tight jar with sesame seeds or use a zip lock bag for this purpose.
After filling jars with sesame seeds, label them with the due date. Wrap the jars with fabric or bubble wrap because when your jars are going in freezers. They will be more fragile once they freeze, and if you have got them stack next to each other can cause the jars to smack against each other. Wrapping prevents jars from getting slammed, and it provides an extra covering to jars.
How long do sesame seeds last?
Sesame seeds usually come with the best before date. An unopened package can last six to twelve months in the pantry and up-to one year in the freezer.
If stored properly, open ones can last three months in the pantry and six months in the fridge or freezer. Holding them properly plays a pivotal role in extending the life of sesame seeds. You can stretch sesame shelf life by storing them under favorable conditions i-e away from sunlight, air, moisture, and humidity. Vacuum sealed bags or jars must be used for preserving sesame seeds, not allowing air to let in.
Exposure to air leads to rancidity due to the high-fat content present in seeds. Any food that has fat in it reacts with oxygen oxidized, giving the products that spoil the food. Refrigeration, freezing, and vacuum packing are the techniques that can prevent your food from getting rancid and help to make them last for a longer period.
How to tell if sesame seeds are bad?
The reasons that can make sesame seeds go bad can either be rancidity or mold formation. Rancidity is usually due to the oxidation of fats and oil in sesame seed resulting in a bad smell or taste.
Mold formation generally occurs due to moisture or placed sesame seeds in a place where they are directly in contact with humidity. As sesame seeds are used in several recipes, if you have used bad ones, it will ultimately result in the spoiling of food. You can tell t either the sesame seeds lying in your pantry are bad or good to go.
- Use your olfactory sense by smelling the seeds. If they smell bad, usually due to the breaking of polyunsaturated fat present in them, don’t risk using them.
- Taste it as if it tastes like the oil in it is spoiled due to rancidity. It’s best to discard them.
What does Sesame Look Like?
The plant of sesame normally grows around 50 cm to 100 cm tall. The leaves are located opposite to each other with dark green color. The size of each leaf falls between 4 cm to 14 cm. The leaves grow along the margin. While it is also filled with tabular flowers. The size of flowers ranges between 3 cm to 5 cm. Each flower has a four-lobed mouth. Their colors may vary, while the most prominent colors are purple, white, and blue. When it comes to sesame seeds, the seeds are available in either black or white colors, while the shape of both seeds is the same.
Where does Sesame Come From?
Sesame seeds came from east Africa and Asia. However, in ancient times, these seeds were largely used by Egyptians. They used both whole and ground forms of this seed. While Chinese also has a wide history of using sesame seeds which dates back to around 5000 years. Moreover, ancient Romans also used sesame seeds. They used these seeds for making bread spread.
How is Sesame Made?
Sesame’s production begins with the plantation of sesame plant. So, your first step should be planting the seeds. Then, once the plant grows and gets ready for harvesting, you can begin taking out the seeds. But how do you know when is the right time? The flower pods on the sesame plant contain the seeds. So, once the plant gets ready for harvesting, the pods burst open. Then, you should remove the hulls because it has a bitter flavor. Besides, if you want sesame seeds, then you can press the seeds to get the oil. While for getting ground form, you have to dry the seeds and then grind them using a spice grinder.
What Does Sesame Taste Like?
The taste of sesame differs slightly based on its type. The white sesame seeds are more delicate in flavor. It gives a combined flavor of nuttiness and sweetness. You can also toast the seeds to get a better aroma and flavor. While the black sesame seeds are a little bitter. It has a richer taste with a stronger aroma.
How is Sesame Used in Cooking?
For cooking, it is better to toast the seeds before using them in the recipe. You can follow three different toasting methods. In the first two methods, you can toast the seeds dry by either baking them in the oven or stovetop. While in the third method, you can simply spread the sesame seeds on whatever dish you are cooking.
What Types of Cuisines Use Sesame?
Sesame seeds are used in different cuisines. The few most-liked cuisines are sesame soups, stir-fries, and salads. In these cuisines, you can just sprinkle the seeds. While most people also use them in cookies, cakes, bread, and other baked items. Pastes and sauces made of sesame seeds are also very common in most regions.
What is a Sesame Substitute?
For substituting sesame seeds, you can use roasted almonds, pine nuts, flax seeds, tahini paste, sunflower seeds, sesame oil, and roasted pistachio. All of these make good substitutes for sesame seeds.
Where to Buy Sesame?
Sesame is a common seed. It is easily available in almost all stores, and you can buy it from any nearest grocery store. However, if you are searching for high-quality products, your selection may get a little tricky because these seeds have many brands, and knowing the top ones might be a little difficult. But don’t worry because we have done the work for you. We have listed some top products below.
- Anthony’s Organic Hulled Sesame Seeds, 2 lb, White, Raw, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Keto Friendly
- Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Hulled Sesame Seeds, 2 Lbs – Perfect for Tahini | Gluten-free | Raw
- Simply Organic Whole Sesame Seed, Certified Organic | 3.7 oz | Sesamum indicum L.
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