Sesame seeds are one of the oldest oil seed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesame is a flowering plant which is an annual herb with foxglove-like flowers that produce pods containing the edible sesame seeds. The pods burst open with a pop when the seeds are mature. The hulls are removed as they contain oxalic acid, which gives a bitter flavour. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and the seeds have a rich nutty flavour.
Sesame seeds are a good source of energy due to the high fat content. They contain healthy fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6. They also contain fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that helps boost energy levels.
Despite the fact that the seeds can be eaten raw, they are best served toasted as their nutty flavour and crunchy texture is enhanced. The seeds can be used to garnish bread, biscuits and pastries, they also work well in chicken recipes and form the main ingredient in tahini.