Sesame bars, one of the favorite snacks of all the Mediterranean people! I long to try it and now that I did I think I would never buy again. There is no better sesame bar than the homemade, without sugar and glucose that the companies add for obvious reasons. The one I propose today is composed of sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, honey, and a little orange zest for flavor.
Sesame, the main component of sesame bar, has proven to have significant anti-aging and anti-hypertensive properties, because of the vitamin E and the action of lignans contained (sesaminol and sesamin, two sesame components with antioxidant properties that act against the aging process). Briefly, sesame helps fight cholesterol, the proper functioning of the immune system, prevent cataracts and manages diabetes, helps prevent atherosclerosis and contributes to the proper functioning of the liver.
100 g. sesame include:
- 19,8 g. protein
- 52,5 g. fat
- 15-20 g. carbohydrates (except fiber)
- 3 g. fiber
- 1.200 mg calcium
- 540 mg of phosphorus
- 10 mg of iron
- B vitamins
- Vitamin E
Proteins contained in sesame are highly nutritious. If they are combined with foods rich in lysine, such as legumes and nuts, proteins obtained are of high biological value and availability, as they approach the biological value of animal proteins such as casein. For these reasons sesame could, with the right food combinations, become a food of choice for people who avoid eating meat and meat products, such as vegetarians and those who are in a period of prolonged fasting, without this meaning that it can replace animal products in the diet.
The fatty acids are nutrients with the largest content in sesame. Are mostly unsaturated (45%) and polyunsaturated (40%), while saturated hold the lowest percentage in the composition of the food (15%).
The increased presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes sesame a highly nutritious food, as these acids the human body cannot synthesize, so it is considered necessary to be taken through food.
Sesame contains mainly B vitamins such as B1, B2 and niacin (vitamin B5). These vitamins are coenzymes of many metabolic systems and processes, which make them necessary for better health.
Sesame, and particularly its oil, contains adequate amounts of vitamin E, which has strong antioxidant properties.
Minerals and trace elements contained in sesame (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and selenium) are very important in human metabolism, being necessary for various functions, such as the composition of the bones and muscles (calcium), the metabolic reactions (zinc) etc. Particularly selenium, found in substantial quantities in sesame seeds, has been found in recent years that also has strong antioxidant properties, protecting against heart disease and cancer (particularly prostate cancer).
So, sesame bar, is an energy source with a high proportion of protein and fiber, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and significant amounts of minerals and trace elements, as stated above. It is worth noting that in the polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids prevail; essential fatty acids that the human body cannot synthesize, but are supplied by the lipids of the plant kingdom.
For pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, you can read the related article.
The recipe is very simple. Boil honey until it reaches the 125o C/ 260o F, add the seeds and stir. In this way, the sesame bar will become quite tight, although it doesn’t contain sugar. I must note that when you heat the honey at this temperature it dies loses some of its nutritional value. Personally, I like it tight and I chose to do so.
Alternatively, you can heat the honey over very low heat, just enough to melt, stir the seeds in it (and orange zest, if you use it) and let it cool. It will be quite soft, but much more nutritious. 😉
As for the flavor, besides orange zest you can add lemon zest, tangerine, a little bit of crushed mastic, or even finely chopped thyme, as Akis Petretzikis proposes (and I really want to try it).
- • 260 g. sesame seeds
- • 120 g. pumpkin seeds
- • 70 g. sunflower seeds
- • 450 g. honey
- • zest of 1 orange (optional)
- Heat oven to 150°C/300oF and roast all seeds for 10-15 minutes, until flavorfull.
- Heat honey and zest in a pan (not a small one, because it will rise a lot) and when it reaches 125oC/260oF * remove from heat and add the seeds. Stir well and pour the mixture into a 24X24 cm. pan, which you have paved with parchment paper and oiled slightly.
- Ensure that the mixture is spread evenly and let cool. Before completely cooled cut it into square pieces.
- * If you do not have a thermometer, have in mind that honey should boil about 5 minutes before adding the seeds.