Poppy seeds are not used lightly in most recipes that list them as an ingredient. It seems that to enjoy the flavor of these pin head sized seeds you must have a lot of them. Some of the sweet deserts will look black on top because the seeds are spread on by the handful. Poppy seeds have been used as a flavor in breads and pastries since ancient times.
There are two colors of of poppy seeds on the market, dark blue, and white. The dark blue seeds are the ones that you will find available in the European and United States markets while the white seeds are more available in the Middle Eastern and Indian markets. If of course, you are going to prepare a dish such as South India Eggplant (Aubergine) curry, then you want to visit an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store and purchase some white poppy seeds to stay true to the recipe.
The seeds are especially rich in oleic acid. Oleic acid, is a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, that helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. The seeds contain good levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Poppy seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins B6 and C.
Besides just using them when baking, try sprinkling them over pasta such are cheese raviolis or potato salad, even things like deviled eggs, or mix them into crepe or muffin batters.
Poppy seeds have a high oil content so it would be best to store them in the freezer if you have a lot that you won’t be using soon. If you have only a small amount, you can store them in a cool, dry place in a tightly sealed container, but keep in mind that they will become rancid and will not last too long in that condition.
As a side note, it is reported that this is a different poppy seed than the one used for opium production so there should be no problem passing a drug test. I like to believe that is true but if I worked somewhere that gave random drug tests I might think twice about eating a lot of poppy seeds.
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