New Year, New Habits, and Baby Steps. Pimp Your Gomashio!

by Jacqueline Church on January 3, 2013 · 2 comments

Gomashio will be familiar to those who enjoy Japanese food. Goma- is sesame, shio-  is salt. The seasoning usually consists of sesame seeds and salt ground together, and is sprinkled on things such as noodles, salads, broiled fish or tofu.

DIY Gomashio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Japanese kitchens will have a grinder that looks like this one, where Americans would have a salt shaker or pepper mill.

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I often mix Gomashio with Shichimi and top edamame with the blend, like so:

 

gomashio edamame

A tasty snack.

As a firm believer in “baby steps” I’m sharing one of my favorites with you today. “Pimp” or upgrade your gomashio to enhance your foods – Asian and not – and add nutritional benefits of flax seed. Either in a spice grinder, or a Suribachi, (a Japanese grinding bowl with unglazed ridged interior, used as a mortar and pestle) you must grind the flax to enjoy the benefits of them (otherwise they just sail on through). If you don’t have a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, you can buy flax seed already ground but know that it is prone to turning rancid pretty quickly so you may want to store in the freezer and just put a small amount in a shaker near your S&P.

Mix ground flax with water before adding to recipes and after it sits a few minutes, you’ll see it become sort of gooey. That is the result of the soluble fiber, one of the chief benefits of flax.

Benefits of Flax

Mounting evidence shows flax may help reduce your risk of:

  • heart disease,
  • cancer,
  • stroke and
  • diabetes.

Rich in alphalinolenic acid (a form of healthy omega-3 fatty acid), and lignans (phytoestrogens that function like antioxidants), ground flaxseed are often recommended in anti-cancer diets. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. Flax is a good source of Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin and Manganese.

While many of us might not have thought about eating flax, you can easily incorporate it into many of our familiar foods. There seem to be enough reasons for us to do so.

Check vegan recipes especially, which often rely on flax to replace egg as a binder. Recent studies have dispelled the belief that flax seeds lose their nutritional benefit when exposed to heat. Go ahead and bake away!

Other ways to add flaxy-gomashio:

  • top grilled, stewed, or baked vegetables
  • sprinkle on roasted potato
  • sprinkle on hummus
  • sprinkle on a salad

To add simple ground flax:

  • stir into oatmeal or sprinkle on cereal
  • grind and add to baked goods
  • add to smoothies, waffles, pancakes
  • make flax crackers or even Monster Cookies from Robin Asbell’s Big Vegan.

 

Read More about Flax:

 Learn more about how I can help you Shop, Cook, Eat – Better.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

robin January 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I was excited to read about gomasio, and remembering that hemp seeds are a traditional garnish in Japan, which makes them a perfect ingredient to pimp your gomasio. Thanks for mentioning my cookies, it makes me want a big cookie!

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Jacqueline Church January 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Robin – thanks for your Big Book and Big Cookies = Big Inspiration.
I am intrigued by hemp and know little about it, in Japanese cuisine or non. Off to research~!

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