Thursday, February 21, 2013

Did you know you can fail a drug test if you eat too many poppy seeds?

Poppy seeds come from the same plant which produces opium and can carry traces which will show up as a false positive in a drug test.
So, competitive athletes should avoid them. And international travellers should avoid carrying them. 
The poppy seed used for cooking is the ripened, dried seed of the Oriental or opium poppy.  It doesn't have any drug effects remaining by the time it is harvested. 
 There are over a million poppy seeds in a pound!
Some of the poppies in our gardens (Papaver somniferum) are the same as the poppies used in confections.  Blue gray seeds are the best.  I read in a gardener's chat room that you can plant seeds from the jars in the grocery store, if they are fresh.  McCormick seeds become white, for example. 

According to the reference books, it takes over a million poppy seeds to make a pound of poppy seeds and there are 3,300 per gram. 
Poppy seeds are highly nutritious (magnesium, calcium and fiber) and less allergenic than other nuts.

I associate them with breads and pastries, but they are also in Eastern European pasta dishes, and Indian dishes. Lemon and poppy seeds is popular combination.
You should smell your poppy seeds before using them to be sure they are fresh, and not a bad batch, just like you would taste wine before using or drinking.

Poppy seed oil can also be used for cooking, and it brings a rich nutty flavor to foods. It is also used in soaps and paints. For example, it is an alternative to using linseed oil as a medium for creating oil paintings.

Some people say poppy seed oil can be used to treat insomnia. Take 1 tsp. before bed.
 I use them to make muffins.  Here's a recipe I made for our grandson's 1st communion brunch last year. 

This recipe breaks with tradition. You start with dry ingredients then beat in the wet ingredients.  Be sure to grease your muffin tin well.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
(adapted from Homemade by Ivy Vann)

Makes 12 extra large muffins

1/2 cup poppy seeds
grated rind of 1 - 2 lemons
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup yogurt
2 eggs
1/3 cup
3 T. lemon juice mixed with confectioner's sugar to taste

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly.  Beat in butter.  Combine eggs, yogurt, and 1/2 cup lemon juice.  Add 1/3 of egg mixture to flour and beat 1 minute.  Add 1/2 more egg mixture and beat 20 seconds, add remaining egg mixture and poppy seeds and lemon rind and beat 20 seconds.  Spoon into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately poke 6 to 8 holes in the tops of the muffins and spoon remaining lemon juice over them.  Remove from pans when lukewarm. 


P.S. -- Do believe everything you read on the Internet?  If so, I have a French model I can introduce you to. 

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