Also we call these goodies from black sesame “a rock-oil product” because of the deeply dark black color and oily consistency:)
Before 2019, I was, as many of us yet, the real gourmet of all those goodies from “imperative” cafeterias and bakery shops, knowing “what is really good and what is not”. Funny I was, thinking to navigate among refined sugar, refined flour, and a dozen of legal food additives with looong chemical names. Who cares…
These days, I am looking for more than archaic mixture of “sugar-flour-eggs” to satisfy the need of sweetness and prepare an extraordinary duet for a cup of tea.
- Black sesame, 1 cup
- Raisins, 1 cup
- Cedar nuts, shelled, 20 pieces
- Tonka bean, milled, ½ tsp (optional)
- Bourbon vanilla, milled, ½ tsp (optional)
How to make it:
- Soak black sesame overnight (or during 8 hours) in sufficient amount of water
- Drain it, spread in a thin layer on a pan and dry at the lowest heat (takes approximately 2 hours)
- Rinse raisins in warm water and dry with paper towel thoroughly or on a pan (at a lowest heat)
- Mill dry black sesame in a coffee mill
- Mince dry raisins in a blender (coffee mill usually not suitable for raisins to mill)
- Combine milled black sesame, minced raisins, tonka and vanilla by griping with the hand
- Form the balls with your clean beautiful hands or use molds
- Insert one cedar nut in each ball
- Put to a refrigerator for 1 hour to firm. Its ready!
The recipe contains coumarins (tonka bean). If you are allergic to coumarins – just skip tonka ingredient.
Soaking and further drying of seeds and nuts is important. The goal of this 2-step procedure is to: a) reduce the amount of phytic acid which is anti-nutrient for humans. It binds minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies*; b) keep the value of seeds with minimum undesirable changes by low slow drying. Plant seeds (nuts) contain valuable fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, and many others.
In commercial products, no soaking of seeds is used. More so, many many of “healthy” eaters do not soak their seeds and nuts at all, and at the same time are lovers of nut-based cakes, sweets, dressings and other goodies. Could one imagine the scale of mineral deficiency than?
Soaking seeds reduce the amount of phytic acid. It is the most important step before preparing the seeds for eating. After soaking, water content in seeds should be minimized as possible because it can cause spoilage. This is valid for specific food like non-baked sweets, tahini or non-baked cakes. Drying seeds (or nuts) after soaking is not necessary only if you prepare ready-to-eat food like smoothie, soup, baked sweets and cakes, other thermally prepared food or just simple nuts as a snack. Be careful while drying soaked seeds (nuts) on a pan or in an oven – heat should be as minimum as possible because high (or even higher) temperature would break down the natural oils in seeds (or nuts).
*Phytates and phytic acid by Ryan Andrews at https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-phytates-phytic-acid
*Phytic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know. Medically reviewed by Atli Arnarson, PhD — Written by on June 28, 2018 on https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/phytic-acid-101#section2
Photos by Dr. A. Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com