The humble poppy seed


Good things really do come in small packages. Normally considered decorative, perhaps on a bagel or pretzel, poppy seeds pack a punch both in terms of flavour and benefits. Just 2 tbsp contain 3.4g of dietary fibre – 14% of a woman’s recommended daily intake and 9% for men. We all know that fibrous foods support a healthy gut, but interestingly, fibre also helps us feel fuller for longer.

Poppy seeds are also a significant source of copper and calcium. They offer a mild, nutty flavour that enhances other flavours in a dish rather than drowning them out. Next time you want to amp up a dish, poppy seeds might help. Here are just a few ways to include them in your cooking:

For breakfast. Add 2-3 tbsp of poppy seeds to your next batch of pancakes, along with the zest of one lemon and a squeeze of juice.

In a dressing.  Poppy seeds can add a lot to a leafy salad. For added nuttiness and some subtle texture, add them to your next homemade salad dressing. Furthermore, for an exciting twist on a classic, add poppy seeds and shredded apple to your coleslaw.

In pastry. Next time you make a fruit tart or a savoury cheese and tomato one, add poppy seeds to your pastry dough. The nutty, crunchy seeds add more flavour and texture and are of course, pleasing to the eye.

In bread. For an Indian curry night, sprinkle poppy seeds over your homemade naan just before cooking them. Poppy seeds do feature in Indian cuisine, so the texture and nuttiness compliments the food well.

With citrus. This is an obvious one, but lemon-poppy seed cake is a classic combination for a reason – the two work perfectly together. However if you can get it, blood orange is sublime.



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