Sesame: Consider the Source

I received a comment from John Grey about my post on Eat More Sesame. Based on the link he provided, I’ll be eating less tahini and more freshly ground sesame seeds. The information below is from

Tahini is a refined food, don’t use it. It’s made from ground peeled sesame seeds, the bran is missing. Sesame butter is made from ground whole brown sesame seeds. It’s a whole food, but not freshly made. Make your own sesame spread, fresh, by blending whole raw sesame seeds with water. If you do use sesame butter, be sure not to get the toasted kind. Sesame oil is a refined food, don’t use it. Beneficial substances are lost when oil is made: fiber, minerals, IP-6, etc. Chinese sesame oil is a refined food made from toasted sesame seeds, don’t use it. Use uncooked fresh whole foods.

Buying sesame seeds.
There are three types of sesame seeds: Brown, black and white.

White sesame seed is a refined food, similar to white rice. It starts out as whole brown sesame, then the outer
bran layer is removed. Don’t use it.
Brown sesame seed has a milder flavor and less antioxidants than the black seeds.
Black sesame seed has more antioxidants and a richer flavor. Black sesame has a reputation in both the Ayurveda and Chinese traditions as an anti-aging food.

Find a natural food store or co-op that sells black or brown sesame seeds in bulk. Buying from the bulk bins saves you money, and reduces consumption of throwaway plastic packaging. The black seeds are best, brown is next best.

Using sesame seeds.

Grind the seeds fresh shortly before using them. You can dry grind them in a blender, on the ‘Pulse’ setting. It only takes a few seconds. If you hold the ‘Pulse’ button down for too long, the ground seeds will cake together. If you put too many seeds in at once, they may cake together.
You can use a coffee grinder (but not one that’s been used for coffee, the taste will get in the food).
Hand-operated spice grinders are similar to a pepper grinder, but with a small glass jar on top.
Mortar and pestle is a traditional low-tech tool for grinding and blending.
Sprinkle the ground seeds over cereals, vegetable dishes, or fruit.