Blue Poppy seeds are nutritious oilseeds that are used in cooking to provide additional flavour and texture. Although the seeds are obtained from the dry fruits (pods) of the poppy plant (opium poppy), they are entirely free from any harmful side effects of other poppy plant products such as opium poppy. Poppy seeds have been cultivated since the 6th century, they are tiny seeds that are kidney-shaped and blue-grey in colour.
Not only do blue poppy seeds add great flavour and crunch to foods, but they also provide some important health benefits. Blue Poppy seeds contain good levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Copper is utilised in the production of red blood cells. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development and aid digestion.
Poppy seeds have a nutty taste and can be used as a spice or as a decoration in and on top of many baked goods such as bread and rolls. They can also be ground down in to a paste using a pestle and mortar and used as a filling in pastries such as croissants and cakes.
Other options from around the world:
- In India and Pakistan, the seeds are popular as “khus khus,” gently fried poppy seeds are ground in a mixer to prepare a thin paste which is then added as a thickening agent in dips, curries and sweet dishes.
- In South India, poppy seed milk is used to prepare a sweet recipe popular as kuskus payasam with added milk, coconut milk, cardamom, raisins and sugar.
- In Central Europe, especially in Austria and Hungary, the seeds are used in popular sweet pastry dishes such as Strudel and Germknodel.
- In America the seeds widely used in confectionery like stuffing, rolls, bagels, sweet bread, biscuits, and cakes.