Food –Breadsticks with seeds and Za’atar recipes!

One of the best foods, besides dates to go with your coffee or tea, are the wonderful breadsticks that the supermarket Danube makes. They are not greasy and have a wonderful selection of toppings. (Although just recently they have changed from making them in-store to getting them from Jeddah. Now they are sweeter and to me that is not a breadstick, sweet…but don’t worry, I’ll let the store know) My favorite are the black seeds. These seeds have health benefits also. If you would like to know how they can benefit your health, please refer to the information after the videos below.

When you buy them in the store, you can choose which ones you like. Here is my selection! Notice how nicely they do everything here…presentation!

Other breadstick toppings:

Sesame seeds have a warming effect on the body and are a source of protein. If you are eating bread which is a sugar food, then adding sesame seeds helps to make a balanced food.

Sumac is the red topping. It has a small kick to it, like spicy chili pepper, but in a more mild way. You will find it on cookies and other dishes here.

Cumin seeds I believe are the other topping that has a coating that seems to be brushed on. It can also contain Za’atar, a regional favorite that also has many health benefits. This is one of my son’s favorite foods! You can have a try making it yourself.

Making Za’atar is easy and there are many varieties of Za’atar spice mixes. Most include sumac, oregano, thyme, basil, sesame seeds…and when you want to activate it, olive oil. Meaning you can make this mixture and store it in a jar, and when you are ready to use, add the olive oil. There are two recipes I thought were well done and give you the flavor of this area. The first one is pretty much what you will find here in Saudi Arabia. The second I have not tried, but boy does it look good! I have to try it myself.

Check out the video of a chef preparing Za’atar bread for us in Medina at my blog post:

The information below is from the Saudi Gazette, written by Samia Rafi, 16 Dec. 2016, on the benefits of black seeds.

That herb is no other than black seeds also known as kalonji in Urdu, or habbah sawdah in the Arabic language.

As the saying goes “Tiny yet mighty,” these black seeds bring truth to this saying.

The health benefits that black seeds provide are many, and I will list a few.

1. Immunity: black seeds, also known as nigella seeds are touted as an ‘immunity enhancer’ and helps in treatment of conditions related to suppressed immunity, such as AIDS.

2. Brain: research has found that nigella seeds not only help improve memory and retention of information.

3. Hair: oil made from crushed black seeds can be very useful in hair growth stimulation by strengthening the hair follicles which result in strong hair roots.

4. An emmenagogue and galactagogue; black seeds taken by nursing women increases the production of breast milk.

5. A diuretic: it increases urine flow by ridding the body of excess water.

6. A carminative: it rids the body of gas from the intestines, helping to relieve of excess gas, abdominal cramps, and bloating.

7. A stimulant: it increases the flow of adrenaline, which means it can improve stamina and increase energy levels.

8. A vermifuge: it expels worms.

Above, only a few benefits have been mentioned, yet black seeds offer a treasure of health benefits.

Black seeds were even recommended by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is a prophetic herb.  

Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet’s close companion, narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Use this black seed regularly, because it is a cure for every disease, except death.” [Muslim]

Muslims have been using the black seed and promoting its use for hundreds of years. Recent research has shown its health giving properties. The black seed has also been in use worldwide for over 3000 years.”

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