Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are nutrition bombs.

  • Flaxseeds are the seeds from the flax plant that has the scientific name Linum usitatissimum, which is from the family Linaceae, a family of flowering plants.
  • Flaxseeds can be eaten cooked, raw or ground, and are often used to flavour dishes and baked goods as well as breakfast cereals, and oil can also be extracted from them.
  • Flaxseeds are typically brown, red brown, yellow, tan or gold in colour, and white, black or green seeds can be obtained, however they are either immature, or over mature, and it is best to avoid them.
  • ‘Flaxseeds’ are also known as ‘flax seeds’ and ‘linseeds’, and are best ground and consumed with water to make them more digestible.
  • Flaxseeds have been used medicinally, primarily in Austrian folk medicine, for infections, colds, fever and problems with eyes and respiratory areas, among others.

Flaxseed, Red, Seed, Grain, Ten Random Facts, Linseed, Culinary, Flavour, Red

  • Ground flaxseeds require refrigeration unless consumed quickly, as they can go rancid in short periods of time – as quickly as seven days, if left at room temperature, although raw unground seeds have a much longer storage life.
  • Flaxseeds and their oil can cause an allergic reaction in some people, and symptoms include itchy skin and nausea.
  • In 2011, Canada was the leading producer of flaxseeds, with 368,300 tonnes (406,000 tons) of the world production of 1,602,000 tonnes (1,765,900 tons), and China ranked a close second.
  • Flaxseeds have been used as a food for thousands of years, particularly in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.
  • Flaxseed nutrition varies slightly depending on their colour, however, they are very high in fibre, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, and notably, omega-3, as well as being high in copper and phosphorus, and they also contain many other vitamins and minerals.
Bibliography:
Flax, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax
Flaxseeds, 2014, The World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81

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Sesame Seed

Ever heard of the phrase ‘Open Sesame’? It is said that it is a reference to the way sesame seed pods open to reveal their seeds.

  • Sesame seeds are oilseeds from the sesame plant Sesamun indicum, that comes from the Pedaliaceae family, the family of sesames or pedaliums.
  • Sesame seeds are extracted from a pod approximately 2 to 8 centimetres (0.8 to 3.15 inches) in length on a plant that grows 50 to 100 centimetres (1.6 to 3.3 feet) in height.
  • Sesame seeds are generally 3 to 4 millimetres in length (0.1 inches) and can be a variety of colours including cream, tan, black, grey, red and gold.
  • Sesame seeds have been harvested since 4000 to 2000BC in ancient civilisations including Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and other Middle Eastern civilisations.
  • Once sesame seeds have been extracted from pods, the seeds are often sorted for quality and colour using a type of scanner.

Sesame Seeds, Black, White, Assorted, Ten Random Facts, Small,  Food, Culinary

  • In 2010, Burma, in Asia, was the largest producer of sesame seeds in the world, with 0.72 million tonnes (0.79 million tons) of the 3.84 million tonnes (4.23 million tons) produced worldwide, while India and China ranked second and third respectively.
  • Sesame seeds can cause a severe allergic reaction and an anaphylactic response, with symptoms include swelling, hives, hay fever and throat problems.
  • Sesame seeds have a nutty flavour, evident once cooked, and are often used to flavour bread items, and can be added to main meals, as well as breakfast cereals.
  • Sesame seeds contain numerous phytosterols that can lower cholesterol levels, reduce the likelihood of specific cancers and increasethe performance of the immunity system.
  • Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, iron, copper, manganese and magnesium, and contain many other vitamins and minerals.
Bibliography:
Sesame, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame
Sesame Seeds, 2014, The World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84

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Poppy Seed

Do not eat your poppy seed bagel before a drug test.

  • Poppy seeds are small seeds of Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, used primarily in cooking.
  • Poppy seeds are a kidney shape, and have a length of around 1 millimetre.
  • Poppy seeds have been historically used in medicine and there have been superstitions associated with the seeds, like turning oneself invisible.
  • A gram of poppy seeds is approximately 3,300 seeds, and an ounce of the seeds is approximately 93,500 seeds.
  • In 2011, Turkey was the leader in poppy seed production, with 45,077 tonnes (49,689 tons) in 2011, of the world production of 106,419 tonnes (117,307 tons).

Poppy seeds, many, lots, black, grey, white, bowl, Ten Random Facts, whole spice

  • Poppy seeds are used as a paste, oil, thickener, spice and decoration, particularly in baked items, although they are used in other dishes.
  • Consumption of poppy seeds can cause drug tests to be false positive due to the content of opium alkaloids, that are also present in the illegal drug opium.
  • Selling, eating or holding poppy seeds in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Singapore, will result in punishments or arrests.
  • Poppy seeds have a flavour of nuts and are typically blue-black in colour, although white or grey poppy seeds are sometimes used.
  • Poppy seeds are a good source of manganese and calcium, and rarely cause allergies among people.
Bibliography:
Poppy seed, 2010, Olde Thompson, http://www.oldethompson.com/spice-details.aspx?SpiceID=27
Poppy seed, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy_seed

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Chia Seed

Teensy little chia seeds.

  • Chia seeds are generally small ovular shaped seeds that are brown, black, grey or white in colour.
  • Chia seeds are said to have the most omega 3, fibre and protein of all plant based food, and are also a good source of manganese, phosphorous, and calcium.
  • The scientific name of chia seeds is salvia hispanica, and they grow on a blue, purple or white flowering herb from the family of Lamiaceae, which is the family of mint.
  • Chia seeds are a traditional ingredient that comes from Mexico and Guatemala, where the plant is native, and in the south west of the United States they are also commonly consumed.
  • It is suggested that a small quantity, a tablespoon for an adult and a teaspoon for a child, of chia seeds be eaten each day, because of their source of nutrients.

Chia seeds, Brown, White, Seeds, Focus, Large, Pile, Ten Random Facts, Australia

  • The word ‘Chia’ comes from the native Mexican language, from the Nahuatl word ‘chian’, which means ‘oily’.
  • Chia can be eaten whole in its raw form or milled, or can be added to foods such as bread, drinks, cereals, muesli bars, baked goods, or yoghurt.
  • Chia seeds do not have much flavour so they do not change the flavour of foods that they are combined with.
  • Chia seeds are 1 millimetre (0.04inches) in diameter but the chia herb grows to 1 metre (3.3 feet) in height.
  • Chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement, as the seeds form a gel-like substance which thicken and combine with other ingredients.
Bibliography:
Salvia Hispanica, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica>
Seeds of Goodness, 2013, Life & Style, <http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/blogs/chew-on-this/seeds-of-goodness-20130429-2inue.html>

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Almond

Versatile almonds!

  • The almond nut grows on a deciduous almond tree which fruits in Autumn.
  • The fruit of an almond tree is called a drupe, which contains the seed – the edible almond nut.
  • The almond nut is native to Mediterranean areas of the Middle East.
  • The USA produced 1.41 billion kg (1.41 million tonnes) of almonds in 2010, followed by Spain with 0.22 billion kg ( 0.22 million tonnes).
  • An average almond nut measures 3.5-6 cm (1-2 inches) in length.

Almonds, Brown, Nuts, Ten Random Facts

  • Normally, one almond nut is found in an almond drupe, but sometimes there can be two.
  • Almond nuts are usually eaten roasted or raw or can be ground and used for baking purposes, often as an alternative to wheat flour.  Almond butter, almond milk  and almond oil or other products produced from almonds.
  • Almond nuts are a high source of vitamin E.
  • Almond nuts absorb smell easily.
  • Almond nuts contains 28 nutrients.

Bibliography:
Almond 10 December 2012, Wikipedia,  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond>

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