Whether you eat them raw, toasted, or in a salad, sesame seeds are a great source of essential nutrients. They are also tasty and can be added to pastries, meat dishes, or ground into tahini, the main component in hummus. Toasting sesame seeds improves their flavor. One way to achieve this is by using a microwave.
How do you toast sesame seeds in a microwave? Rinse the sesame seeds, then spread them onto a flat microwave-safe plate or pan in a single layer. Microwave on high (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for one minute, then remove and stir. Reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit at one-minute intervals until the seeds attain a golden brown color.
This article will teach you all you need to know about microwaving sesame seeds. We will also look into the step-by-step process of how to toast sesame seeds in a microwave and cover some valuable tips to remember. Finally, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions related to this topic.
What are sesame seeds?
Produced by the Sesamum Indicum plant, sesame seeds are tiny edible seeds that grow in pods. They exist in black, red, white and brown colors, which vary very little flavor-wise.
Four varieties of sesame seeds most commonly used include white, hulled, unhulled and back sesame seeds. White sesame seeds are frequently used to top pastries such as bread and buns and are the most widely used variety. Black sesame seeds are considered the most nutrient-dense and are commonly used in salads, rice and noodle dishes.
Hulled sesame seeds have their husks removed, while unhulled seeds are consumed with the husks on. Both black and white sesame seeds can be categorized as husked or unhusked.
Why sesame seeds are great for your health
Sesame seeds are jam-packed with healthy oils, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them promotes heart health, good digestion, bone health and oral health and boosts immunity and metabolism. They may also improve your skin and hair, reduce inflammation, help form blood cells, and contribute to thyroid health. Overall, sesame seeds are very nutritious and contribute positively to healthy living.
People with peanut allergies can also use sesame seeds to substitute for peanuts.
Uses of sesame seeds
When incorporating sesame seeds into your diet, you have many options. Eating them raw or toasted is one option. You can also sprinkle them over your favorite salad or soup to incorporate that crunchy, nutty flavor and enhance the nutritional value. They are also commonly used on bread, buns, muffins and crackers. Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, is also the main ingredient in hummus.
Can you eat raw sesame seeds?
Yes, you can eat raw sesame seeds. Raw sesame seeds are safe to eat, and they have a slightly bitter and nutty taste. Toasting rids them of the bitter taste and also makes them crunchier. If you wish to eat them raw, ensure that you wash them properly by soaking and rinsing. This will remove any dirt present. Washing also removes phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that inhibits your body’s absorption of certain nutrients.
Before eating the washed seeds, it’s good to let them dry completely to maintain that pleasant texture and taste.
What happens when you microwave sesame seeds?
Microwaving sesame seeds results in deeper, golden brown color and enhanced flavor. The seeds also become more fragrant, nutty, and crunchy.
Toasting sesame seeds in a microwave causes the seeds to expand, and some may even get unhusked. Therefore, microwaved sesame seeds bear a different appearance from raw seeds.
Microwaving sesame seeds is a fast and convenient way to toast them. It is beneficial for situations where you cannot access a microwave or stovetop but crave that toasted sesame seed goodness.
Can you microwave sesame seeds safely?
Yes, you can safely microwave sesame seeds. Ensure that you use a microwave-safe plate or pan and spread the seeds in a single layer.
Do not pile them on one another so that they all get heated evenly.
Microwaving at one-minute intervals is another safety measure you should apply since sesame seeds easily burn when overheated. Keep the temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and stir at each break to prevent burning.
Why should you not toast sesame seeds in the microwave?
Toasting sesame seeds in a microwave is not as efficient as using a stovetop or oven because they do not get as toasty. Using a microwave also limits the number of seeds that you can toast at a time. If you need a big batch of toasted seeds, you should consider using an oven or a stovetop. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time toasting them in small batches using a microwave.
A Guide to Toasting Sesame Seeds in a Microwave
Toasting sesame seeds in a microwave requires precision and expertise because they can quickly get burned. Follow this step-by-step process for the best results:
Step 1 – Rinse sesame seeds under cold water
Place sesame seeds in a strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. This will clean the seeds.
It will also remove phytic acid, a bitter-tasting chemical that prevents the absorption of certain nutrients by the body. If your seeds are store-bought, they may have already been cleaned during processing, so you should confirm this from the packaging. Rinsing sesame seeds increases the cooking time and makes the seeds less likely to burn when toasting.
Step 2 – Dry Sesame seeds
Dry sesame seeds by gently pressing them against the strainer using your palm or a wooden spoon. Pressing out excess water after rinsing will reduce cooking time.
Step 3 – Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate or pan
Spread out the seeds in a single layer microwave-safe plate or pan without overcrowding or piling them on top of each other. Using a microwave-safe plate is a crucial safety procedure when using the microwave. Spreading in one layer allows even distribution of heat throughout the seeds.
Step 4 – Microwave on high for one minute
Microwave the seeds on the highest heat setting for one minute. The ideal temperature to use is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not exceed one minute because this can cause them to burn.
Step 5 – Remove and stir
.Carefully take out the seeds and stir them before putting them back into the microwave. Microwaves tend to have hot and cold spots, so mixing them prevents uneven heat distribution and overheating some seeds.
Step 6 – Reheat at one-minute intervals until well done
Repeat the toasting process at high heat at one-minute intervals. Stir at each break so that they get toasted evenly. When the seeds turn golden brown and become more fragrant, this is a sign that they are done. They may also look slightly expanded and have popped out of the shell.
Additional Tips When Microwaving Sesame Seeds
As you follow the recommended step-by-step process, here are some additional tips to ensure you get the best-toasted sesame seeds using a microwave:
- Keep an eye on the seeds to prevent burning. Sesame seeds are small and light, making them vulnerable to burning at high temperatures. Therefore, you should take advantage of the transparent microwave door to check for signs that the seeds are getting overcooked. Once the seeds attain a golden brown color and fragrant smell, they are ready.
- Use a little butter to speed up browning. You can coat the seeds with melted butter to help them brown faster. This step is unnecessary, but it can enhance the flavor (especially if you love butter) and speed up cooking time.
- Do not exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As stated before, sesame seeds can quickly burn when exposed to high temperatures. Some microwaves may exceed these temperatures when set to high, so it would be helpful to confirm the specific calibration from the instruction manual.
Faqs On How to Toast Sesame Seeds in a Microwave
Can sesame seeds go in the microwave?
Yes. You can use a microwave to toast sesame seeds or microwave foodstuff containing sesame seeds. Always use a microwave-safe plate or pan when heating sesame seeds in the microwave. Microwave at high heat at one-minute intervals until the seeds turn golden brown and produce a fragrant smell. Stir the seeds during breaks to ensure even heat distribution.
What is the best way to toast sesame seeds?
Using an oven is the best way to toast sesame seeds. While you can toast the seeds in a microwave or stovetop, a range gives you the tastiest and most crunchy results. Additionally, it is primarily hands-free, unlike a stovetop which requires you to keep stirring to prevent overheating. An oven also provides steady heat and allows you to set precise temperatures because it is well-calibrated.
Do you need oil to toast sesame seeds?
No. Since sesame seeds are rich in natural oils, you do not need to add oil when toasting. Some people prefer coating them in butter before toasting to incorporate that buttery flavor. Covering the seeds in oil or butter also speeds up the browning process, shortening cooking time. Adding oil or butter will increase the seeds’ calorie count, which can be counterintuitive for people trying to lose weight.
How do you toast sesame seeds without burning them?
To prevent burning, use temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Toast at one-minute intervals, and stir at each interval. Always use microwave-safe or oven-safe plates when toasting, as they can withstand high temperatures. Once the seeds turn golden brown, do not toast any longer because they could burn.
How do you make toasted sesame seeds in a microwave?
To microwave sesame seeds, spread out the rinsed and dried seeds in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Set heat to high, and toast for 1 minute. Carefully remove the plate and stir the sesame seeds. Reheat at one-minute intervals until they become golden brown and produce a fragrant smell. Another sign that they are ready is when they slightly expand and begin to pop from the husk.
Are toasted sesame seeds healthy?
Yes. Toasted sesame seeds are healthy because they contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They have several health benefits such as improving heart health, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, and improving bone health, to name a few.
It is a great substitute for people with peanut allergies, as they can get the great nutty flavor and numerous health benefits from sesame seeds. The seeds help people with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar levels.
Please note that people with gout are advised against eating sesame seeds as it can worsen the symptoms.
How long do toasted sesame seeds last?
Toasted sesame seeds last 6 to 12 months. When stored in a freezer, they can last up to a year. If kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dark area, toasted sesame seeds last six months. The key to a longer shelf-life for toasted sesame seeds is proper storage, sealing them completely air-tight and storing them in a cool, dark place.
Why can’t you make toasted sesame seeds in a microwave?
If you need a large batch of toasted sesame seeds within a short time, you cannot make them in a microwave. Using microwave limits the number of seeds that you can toast at once since you can only toast them in a single layer on a relatively small plate or pan.
Can I make toasted sesame seeds without a microwave?
Yes. You can use an oven or a stovetop to make toasted sesame seeds in the absence of a microwave. They will be just as good, and perhaps even toastier, especially when using an oven.
Using a microwave to make toasted sesame seeds is safe and convenient.
Microwaving on high at intervals, and stirring during breaks will prevent overheating. Keep a close eye on the seeds to notice any changes in color and smell, which indicate that they are well toasted.
Toasted sesame seeds are healthy and full of essential nutrients, and are great for snacking or incorporating into other pastries and dishes.