Who would have thought you could make a calcium rich milk from sesame seeds?
It never crossed my mind until I started experimenting with different nuts and seeds to see which ones are best tolerated by my digestive system, since I was dealing with lots of digestive issues. Nuts and seeds have quite a bit of fiber, which might irritate a sensitive digestive tract.
I determined that the easiest way for my body to digest nuts is by making milk from them. This way my stomach doesn’t have to work hard to breakdown the nuts and seeds to extract the nutrients. The other day while making almond milk, I thought what about making sesame milk following the same procedure as almond milk?, so I did, and the result was surprising. Sesame seeds yield a very creamy, mild nutty tasting milk. The consistency is light and works great as a smoothie base or straight up for a refreshing milk-like drink.
Benefits of sesame seeds?
Sesame seeds might be small, but they hold a lot of nutrients inside; specially minerals. Copper is the most abundant mineral in sesame seeds, followed by manganese, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Only one quarter cup of sesame seeds provides with 35% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.
Copper is important for its antioxidant protection, bone and tissue integrity, and is required in manufacturing collagen, a protein that keeps your skin tight, and your hair strong, and healthy. Copper also helps incorporating iron into the red blood cells, thus preventing anemia.
Manganese is a trace mineral, which is generally not as well known, but that is just as critical to our health. Manganese is crucial for bone production, and skin integrity. If you eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit you will likely meet your daily requirement of manganese.
Calcium, Apart from its role in bone structure, is used to help control muscle and nerve function, as well as to manage acid/base balance in our blood stream. It is believed that we don’t need to eat dairy foods to get the calcium we need in our diet. Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and sesame seeds are a good source.
Before making the milk……
There is a crucial step before consuming nuts, seeds, legumes and grains that can really make a difference in digestion, and absorption of nutrients. This step is soaking and/or sprouting. Why?
Because nuts, seeds, grains and legumes contain something called Phytates or Phytic Acid. This compounds are nature’s way of protecting the seeds until the best conditions are present for it to grow. Phytic acid is not harmful in itself, however, it has some negative effects in the human body; they bind to other minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and manganese, and once bound, they are eliminated as waste, and not absorbed as nutrients.
Nuts, seeds, grains and legumes also contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent the production of enzymes that break down proteins and carbohydrates in our digestive tract. So, all in all if we choose to consume these foods, we need to reduce the amount of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that go into our digestive system, so we can get the most nutrition out of them without compromising our health.
This is particularly important if you already suffer from any digestive disorder or ailment, where your gut flora is compromised, and your mineral levels are already low, then you definitively want to properly prepare nuts and seeds before you consume them, and limit consumption according to how you feel.
If you eat a balanced diet and enjoy a healthy digestive system, the negative effects of the phytic acid in your body will be much lower or even nonexistent. In either case, like with everything else, moderation, and balance are key. It all depends or where you are at with your digestion and health.
We can easily reduce the amount of phytic acid, and unlock more nutrients by soaking/and or sprouting nuts, seeds and grains. It takes a bit of planning and preparation, but in my opinion the satisfaction of giving your body the best nutrition you can is worth every effort.
In the case of sesame seeds, their content of phytic acid is considerable, so soaking is definitely recommended because we want to be able to access the many nutrients in the seed. I like to soak sesame seeds for at least 12 hours in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. If time permits I like to sprout the seeds to unlock even more nutrients and make them easily absorbable. After soaking the seeds for 12 hours you can sprout them by rinsing and draining 2-3 times a day for 2 days. As my digestive system is still healing, I need to help it as much as possible by making nutrients accessible without so much digestion involved.
And now, the Sesame milk recipe:
Now that we have brought our sesame seeds back to life by soaking and/or sprouting, we can make a nutritious, creamy milk with them.
- 1 part sesame seeds ( pre-soaked for 12 hours, then rinsed and strained) ( 1 cup will yield about 1 liter of milk)
- 3-4 parts filtered water (depending on how rich you like the milk, i would suggest starting with 3 parts and then adjust to your liking)
- Soaking: place 1 part sesame seeds in a glass container, add 3 parts warm water. for 1 cup of seeds add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. leave seeds to soak for at least 8 hours, preferably 12.
- When you are ready to make milk, simply rinse thoroughly and strain seeds through a tight mesh.
- Place the seeds in a high powered blender with 3 parts filtered water, and blend for about 1 minute or more depending on your blender, until a creamy white liquid is created.
- Strain the milk into a glass container through a cheese cloth or nut-milk bag.
- Keep in the refrigerator for a about 2- 3 days.
- Reserve the pulp left in the milk bag. it has valuable nutrients and can be used for baking. you can place in the oven to dry at low temperature and store in the freezer for future use. drying it will help preserve the nutrients longer.
- Give sesame milk a try! It is a real treat.