First a little clarification on seeds and nuts, here is a science link . Whole grains, seeds and nuts, have been on our agenda now for quite some time. Yet, after well over ten years in not too shabby restaurants overseas and some intense times as the crackerman, I feel almost every day brings something new. Just a few weeks ago I talked to the bulk food buyer of our preferred purveyor and he offered me unhulled organic sesame seeds. While nuttier, richer in fiber, vitamins and minerals, these seeds need to soak overnight just the same as the pumpkin, sunflower, golden and dark flaxseeds. They come from all corners of the world, Guatemala, Greece, Bolivia and as far as India, always certified organic and kosher. Now I tend to look at the labels and their provenance, and slide into a dreaming mode imagining what the fields might look like just before harvest, think about the people caring for the soil, and how the cleaning of the seeds is organized, how the workers live, imagine the houses, wonder what kind of weather this grain needs, visualize the transport to warehouses, a packaging plant, container ships traveling to get the grains over to the ports on our side of the pond. I wonder how big a shipment it takes to fill the innards of a cargo ship, how many hands have touched my particular bag.
It often occurs on me, the local sourcing of ingredients, a principle we strongly promote, does not always work, especially in the Florida summer, where not even a tomato blooms, because it is just too scorching hot and humid.
Talking about heat and moisture: They are the reason we keep our seeds in cold storage and recommend doing the same at home, in case there is no air conditioning available. Seeds should be stored with access to air, but not in air tight plastic bags and they do not do well if they are vacuum packed. A reason for this is the high oil content of the seeds which makes them go rancid more quickly.
Nuts and seeds should not be ground in a high speed grinder either. The heat of the blade makes the oils go rancid quickly. A solution to this problem could be to use the pulse mode and grind up small amounts only . Here are some more links covering the nutritional values of some nuts and seeds:www. vegetarian society or www.whfoods.com