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Shelf Life of a Poppy
Poppy is notoriously known as the flower that forms the basis for certain opiates and is used to make morphine. If you take a look at the nutritional benefits of the seed, it is more surprising than its reputation. A hundred gram serving of poppy is around five hundred and twenty calories, most of these from fat.
The protein content in a hundred grams is eighteen grams per serving while the carb content is twenty-eight grams per serving, twenty of which is dietary fiber. Gaining weight is easy with Poppies as it is low in cholesterol, with healthy fats and protein that builds muscle. Poppy seeds are part of a seasoning blend or if stored whole will stay fresh for two years – that is, if no moisture gets in.
Purchasing Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds have three colors: white, blue, and gray. The lighter the color, the sweeter tasting the seed is. The sweet taste comes from the larger fat content in the white seeds and is more potent than their darker counterparts.
Poppy seeds don’t give off an aroma, and any odor is an indication of the seeds losing freshness. The seeds are packaged in vacuum sealed packets; as soon as the packet is opened the seeds have to be refrigerated to conserve the freshness. A small packet of poppy seeds can be from fifty to one hundred and twenty-five grams.
Storing Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds have a shelf life of two years if stored in the right conditions. If you live in a cold area, you can store the seeds in a jar away from sunlight. Normally it is best to keep the seeds in the fridge. Do not simply throw the open packet in the fridge; condensation is just as bad as moisture exposure.
Keep the seeds in an airtight container. Now if the seeds start to cluster together but don’t smell rancid they are salvageable. Pour the seeds into a cloth and place them near sunlight – never directly under – and dry them out for half an hour. Keep an eye on them as heat can take away the freshness.
How to Handle Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds that are not soaked can be transferred from one container to another with no clean up needed. If you crush the seeds using a pestle and mortar washing will be needed. As the seeds break open, they release the oily fats that can form a stiff layer once dried. Since poppy seeds have a nutty flavor, there will be residual taste on items that were used with crushed or paste from poppy seeds. A good scrub with some elbow grease will clean up the mess and leave you worry-free.
Cooking With Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds can be used as a spice for both savory dishes and desserts. The seeds have a nutty flavor tone making them perfect for confections. The seeds are used as one of the main ingredients in Khus Khus Halwa. The term Khus Khus is used to refer to poppy seeds. The use of poppy seeds in cooking is more noticeable in Indian cuisine.
Another popular dish made with poppy involves cooking fish in a gravy made from yogurt and a combination of spices – poppy being one of them. The use of poppy in cooking is to give the dish a warmer feel sort of like a comfort food. The high-fat content makes it filling and calorie rich.