You’ve seen almond milk, soy milk and oat milk slowly start to creep into your local hipster café – but here’s one you’ve probably never heard of before: sesame milk. And if the rise in the popularity of plant-based milks is anything to go by, sesame milk will be mainstream in no time, too. So, to get you up to speed, here’s everything you need to know.
What exactly is it?
Most of the recipes available online suggest combining one part sesame seeds with three or four parts water (either plain or coconut), blitzing it with dates or honey, vanilla and salt and then draining it through a nut milk bag.
What are the pros and cons?
The basis of sesame milk is super nutritious. Much like nuts and other seeds, sesame seeds provide a dose of healthy fats to support your liver and heat, and plant-based protein for muscle maintenance and repair.
Based on one part sesame seeds and four parts water, you’d get about 30 grams worth of sesame seeds per cup of sesame seed milk – which is the perfect portion when we’re talking fats. This amount of sesame seeds contains roughly 190 calories, 6.7 grams of protein, 16.7 grams of fat (the vast majority of which is the healthy, unsaturated kind) and 1.9 grams of carbs, plus 3g of gut-loving fibre.
In terms of micronutrients, sesame seeds really give you nutrient bang for your buck. If you’re a female between the ages of 19-50, 30 grams of sesame seeds provides you with:
- More than 100 per cent of your daily adequate intake of the disease-fighting antioxidant Vitamin E
- Approximately one third of your daily magnesium requirements
- 20 per cent of your daily zinc requirements
- 9 per cent of both your daily folate and iron requirements
But, here’s the catch: if you’re straining the mixture before you sip, you’re not consuming the whole sesame seed, so you’ll only get a fraction of the nutrients outlined above.
What’s more, if you’re replacing good old cow’s milk with sesame seed milk, you’re missing out on the many valuable nutrients that cow’s milk provides. The most obvious one that springs to mind is calcium, which is crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Others include Vitamin B12 for blood and nervous system function and Vitamin A for eye health.
What’s the verdict?
Sesame seeds are super nutritious, but when they’re ‘milked’, they aren’t as nutrient dense as the real deal. It’s worth mentioning, however, that if you’re allergic, intolerant or just don’t like the taste of dairy, sesame seed milk could be used as an occasional alternative (but there are better dairy-free options that are fortified with calcium). On the flip side, sesame seeds are a potent allergen themselves, so sesame seed milk could pose a serious threat if it infiltrates coffee shops and cafes.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.
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