Poppy seeds can be found inside the flower seed pod. However, only after the petals have fallen off and the seed pod has dried up and become the color gray. The poppy seeds will be ready to harvest approximately 3-4 weeks from the moment the poppy flowers have fallen. A good rule of thumb to follow is to gently shake the seed pods and listen for any seeds inside.
Simply cut the pods 'seed heads' from the stems and place them into a paper bag. Break open the seed pods over a second paper bag and place the bag within a well ventilated, cool space for the seeds to dry. Poppy seeds require a drying time between one week and one month, depending on the humidity in the room. A wire mesh colander may then be used to sieve the poppy seeds.
Poppy seeds are commonly known as Khus-Khus in many parts of the Asian Continent. Originally known as oilseeds, poppy seeds were brought to India and China from Ancient Greeks. Poppy seeds are native to Mediterranean regions and are presently cultivated in Germany, Isreal, France, Spain, Balkans, China, Asia Minor, India, Pakisatan, Canada, Turkey, Iran and Tasmania. Currently, the Czech Republic, Turkey & Holland are the primary producers of poppy seeds.
For a very long time, poppies have symbolized honor. Arabian and Islamic countries used the poppy plant as a medicine in the sixth century. Around the 17th century, Asians began discovering the medicinal properties that the poppy plant produced. In France, during World War I, beautiful red corn poppies covered the fields as a result of the battles fought on the land. Thus, the red corn poppy became a symbol for the soldiers who lost their lives during WWI.
Poppy seeds have been an admired addition to food since Egyptian times. The Greeks used the seeds to enhance the taste of their breads during the 2nd Century and the Medieval Europeans used them as well in order to increase the flavor and texture of their breads. In Turkey, Iran, India and many other countries worldwide, poppy seeds are considered to be a great nutritious food additive for baking bread or desserts.
In the country of Lithuania a traditional meal is served for their "Christmas Eve" dinner from poppy seeds. The poppy seeds are ground down and mixed in with water. Then the round yeast biscuits are saturated in the poppy seed milk and served cold.
In European and Middle Eastern cooking, poppy seeds are used to improve the taste of breads, rolls, cookies, and cakes. In India, poppy seeds are ground and applied to create heavy and concentrated sauces. Poppy seeds are also a popular ingredient of German, Slavic, and Jewish cooking. The seeds are mixed in with vegetables, fish, and noodles.
Furthermore, poppy seeds are also a wonderful food source of vital minerals for your daily diet. They are a fantastic addition to bagels, breads, cookies, strudels, pastry, crusts, gravies, cakes, muffins, waffle & pancake mixtures. Poppy seeds may also be used while baking and cooking vegetables and pastas. They add a distinct nutty texture, taste and aroma to a meal.
Poppy seeds can be roasted or eaten raw, sprinkled on salads and in salad dressings. Poppy seeds can be pressed to create a poppy seed oil which is also very useful in cooking. In addition, the poppy seed oil can be used as a carrier for oil-based paints as well as massage oil, soap, lamps and varnish.
Poppy seeds are a good source of carbohydrates that provide more energy into the body. The Omega 2 fatty acids found in poppy seeds help aid in digestion and are also needed to break down food in the stomach. Poppy seeds also include linoleic acid and oleic acid. Linoleic acid protects the heart from many heart diseases and conditions. Oleic acid has been proven to help prevent breast cancer.
One serving of poppy seeds provides the human body with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc which are required for proper functioning of all human organs. Poppy seeds have a considerably less amount of calories than other herbs and spices. The nutrition facts for one serving (one tablespoon) of poppy seeds follows :
Calories - 45.9
Calcium - 126 mg
Carbohydrates - 2.5 g
Magnesium - 30.4 mg
Potassium - 62.9 mg
Phosphorus - 76.1 mg
Protein - 1.6 mg
Sodium - 2.3mg
Nevertheless, Poppy seeds offer us many more health benefits. In China, poppy seeds are used to treat vomiting, toothaches, and nausea. Native Americans use the California poppy flowers and leaves for pain relief and other various health administrations.
Today, the California Poppy is used as a mild sedative. It has shown promise in treating behavorial disorders such as ADD and ADHD. California Poppy seeds are also capable of improving the memory of young children and the elderly. In additon, California Poppy seed can treat stress and anxiety as well as relieve headaches and insomnia.
Consuming one teaspoonful of poppy seed oil 'pressed seeds' may help an individual with insomnia. Fine ground powder made from poppy seeds may also be eaten to treat insomnia. Eating one half teaspoon of poppy seeds may help reduce the symptoms of asthma and whooping cough.
Always be sure to consult a qualified medical professional
Before treating any health condition
As the information listed above is for educational purposes only
Here is a fun 'Poppy seed' recipe that is simple to make & is convenient to use
Poppy Seed Butter
-You need 1 Tablespoon of poppy seeds, a small saucepan & 1/2lb butter '1 Stick'
-Preheat the saucepan on low-medium or low. Then pour poppy seeds into saucepan & allow them to warm up for about a minute.
-Add butter to the heated poppy seeds & let them cook together for about 3-5 minutes.
-Poppy seed butter is finished & ready to serve as soon as the butter completely melts & gives off a nutty scent.
-Simply apply 'poppy seed butter' to pasta, fish, vegetables or whatever...