If you caught my black sesame smoothie bowl post, you already know a little bit about this wonderful flavor and how much I enjoy it. I promised you a recipe for black sesame ice cream, and here it is! Just five simple ingredients, and you have yourself a bowl of something refreshing, delicious, and healthy!
You may recall, I wanted to share with you some health benefits associated with black sesame seeds. I think you will find them quite interesting. In traditional Chinese Medicine, black sesame seeds are considered one of the best anti-aging foods. Along with nourishing the scalp and stimulating hair growth, black sesame seeds can promote melanocyte activity to produce melanin. This is the pigment responsible for hair and skin color. With a rich nutty flavor, sesame has one of the highest oil content of any seed. They come in different varieties such as black, brown, red, or tan. The nutritional composition of all sesame seeds is quite similar. However, black sesame seeds have exceptionally high amounts of antioxidants and anti-aging benefits. Some research indicates that the antioxidants in black sesame seeds can counteract the effect of free radicals that damage cells and contribute to aging. This would include gray hair, hair loss, and wrinkles. Now maybe you understand why I wanted to start with this particular health benefit- so cool, right? This bit of knowledge makes me want to sprinkle those little black seeds on everything I eat!
Unfortunately, osteoporosis runs in my family. So obviously, bone health is of great importance to me. This is another reason I was extremely happy to learn that black sesame seeds are a good source of bone-forming minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. One tablespoon of unhulled seeds contains about 88mg of calcium. That is more than a glass of milk! In addition to that, the high zinc content increases bone mineral density. I just love learning about new ways to promote good bone health!
Black sesame seeds can also help you get a restful night of sleep. These seeds contain the stress-relieving minerals magnesium and calcium. But they also contain the amino acid, tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin. This helps bring balance to your mood and helps you sleep better by restoring the normal sleep pattern. If anemia is something you struggle with, you may be interest to know that black sesame seeds have a higher iron content than other varieties, so they’re definitely recommended. If you are looking to improve or protect your cardiovascular health, the lignans present in sesame seeds are believed to reduce and prevent high blood pressure. Also, magnesium and calcium are important essential minerals that help regulate blood pressure. Another benefit that spoke to me was how black sesame seeds can improve your eye health. I've been struggling a bit with that over the past couple of years, so anything I can do to maintain healthy eyes is definitely something I am interested in doing. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the eyes are closely related to liver healthy. When the liver is affected, the eyes become tired, dry, and your vision may become blurred. Black sesame seeds are a natural tonic for liver, which in turn is believed to nourish and support eye function.
Lastly, black sesame seeds are thought to improve your digestive health and relieve constipation. This is due to their high fiber content and unsaturated fatty acid content. The oil found in the seed can lubricate your intestines, while the fiber in the seed helps in smooth bowel movements. Grinding the seeds or soaking them overnight can help make the seeds more digestible. Phew! That's a lot of information to digest, but it's all good stuff, right?
So know that we know the potential impact that black sesame seeds could have on our health, incorporating them into our daily diet is fairly simple. I already shared with you my black sesame smoothie bowl. And of course you could blend them into any smoothie, sprinkle them on just about anything such as fruit or salads. But how about making some delicious ice cream? Yeah, now we are talking! Because you all know what a sucker I am for a nice, big scoop of ice cream. This recipe could not be easier. If you aren't used to using black sesame paste, that may be the only ingredient you need to purchase. Trust me, it's totally worth it! Once you try this ice cream, you will be hooked on this unique and delicious flavor.
1. Place all ingredients into your high speed blender. Blend until smooth and well combined.
2. Transfer the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the contents into a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid and place in your freezer until your desired consistency has been reached.
3. When ready to eat, scoop your ice cream into serving bowls and garnish with some coarse sea salt. Enjoy this Asian inspired treat!