“Where do vegans get their calcium from?”
You know the drill. If you have been vegan for any length of time, there is no way you’d have escaped this question! Actually, there are numerous plant-based sources of calcium available (ever wonder from where do horses, elephants, rhinos, and hippos get their calcium? *hint: plants*)
Sesame seeds are amongst the richest sources of calcium (Google for more details). I like to add freshly ground sesame seeds to my smoothies, chilla batter, and roti dough.
Another enjoyable way of consuming the goodness of these little seeds is to milk them. Sesame milk can be used for smoothies, milkshakes, and for pouring over breakfast cereal. You can also make a delectable date shake—blend some date paste and a pinch of elaichi powder with a tall glass of sesame milk and ice. And yeah, sesame milk works great in cold coffee too!
Note: The milk is quite delicate, so I wouldn’t heat it up.
Preparation time: 10 minutes + soaking time*
Yields: 4 cups (around 600 ml)
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 4 cups water, plus more for soaking
- A pinch of salt
- Place the sesame seeds in a big bowl and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt. Soak overnight (6-8 hours).
- Drain and discard the soaking water and filter out the sesame seeds. Rinse well.
- Blend the sesame seeds with 1 cup of water until frothy and creamy. Add another cup of water and continue blending. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or porous cotton cloth.
- Repeat Step 3 with the residual pulp and the remaining 2 cups of water. Your sesame milk is ready! It keeps well in a cold fridge for up to 2-3 days.
The residual pulp can be added to smoothies, roti/parantha dough, cookie dough, etc.
*Why is it important to soak seeds and nuts in salted water before consumption?
Seeds and nuts are high in phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. Soaking seeds and nuts in salted water for a few hours helps break down the phytic acid so that the nutrients can be absorbed properly. Soaking also makes the seeds and nuts easier to digest. More on this here.