5 Best Substitute For Poppy Seed Will Make You Surprised

If you enjoy healthy eating habits, then various seeds like fennel seeds or chia seeds may be no stranger to you already. However, what about poppy seeds that have an awful background of coming from a drug-like plant? Do you consider it to be less healthy than its siblings?

Here comes the list of substitute for poppy seeds that you will find helpful in the future in case you don’t want to eat the poppy seed or run out of it! Check out this article right now for a cool list full of poppy seed substitutes!

What Is Poppy Seed? 

Poppyseed is the outcome of obtaining oilseed from a plant called Papaver somniferum. These seeds are incredibly small in size, with signature kidney-shaped branching in trees. It takes up nearly 3500 poppy seeds to make up one gram with such small volume and weight. 

Poppy seeds can be mostly found in European and Asian regions, where they are grown and harvested legally as food. In European and Asian cuisine, poppy seeds are baked and used as a dessert to make the dish chewier and more vibrant in visuals. 

Farmers harvest poppy seeds for the sake of harvesting oil as well. By pressing against poppy seeds with high pressure, they can produce poppy seed oil, which has many great health benefits for humans.  

Poppy seeds contain a great amount of nutritional value. Within 100 grams of poppy seeds, it includes 550 calories, with many essential minerals like zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus. These seeds are also a great source of water, healthy fat, and protein, making them a great choice for people on a diet. 

How To Use Poppy Seeds?

Since many of you may not have been familiar with poppy seeds enough, let’s go through how you can use poppy seeds in your dining routine for a thorough understanding.

When it comes to flavor, people often neglect the flavor of poppy seeds and wonder “Do poppy seeds have a taste?”. However, you can easily recognize the poppy seed taste when eating poppy seeds alone in large amounts. So, if you use poppy seeds to spice up a nut-flavored dish, it can be a great choice for both flavor and appearance. 

For that reason, poppy seeds are used in savory dishes and vegan dishes due to their nutty profile. Chefs normally influence poppy seeds in roast lamb, salad, vegan soup, or dining dishes.

Other than that, the flavor counts and poppy seeds are mainly used for decoration and versatility in sweet content recipes. Its natural nutty flavor gets more sweetened when you use it in a sweet recipe. So if you are looking for some decoration that counts the flavor, poppy seeds are a selection to go for. 

These seeds can balance the sweetness of your dessert while giving a gentle nut taste and a good-looking cake appearance. You can use them in decorating birthday cakes, cheesecake, ice cream, and more to impose a slight nut flavor. 

The most famous recipe of sweet treats that implements poppy seeds is the lovely lemon poppy pastries that kids all love and adore. Poppy seeds can be used as fillings to make your filling’s content more interesting and fun to eat. The poppy seeds give a fun-to-bite atmosphere, making it the star of your recipe!

5 Ingredients Used As A Substitute For Poppy Seed 

substitute for poppy seed

Base on the similar flavor and texture, there are list of 5 best fit alternatives that highly recommended:

  • Black sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Nigella seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds

Let discover the details each kinds now

1. Black sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds are the best substitution for poppy seeds you can find on the market. About the texture, black sesame seeds are larger when considering poppy seeds vs sesame seeds, so if you replace poppy seeds with this kind of sesame seeds, it gives a more noticeable crunch when you bite the seeds.

Other than that, the shapes are similar, and the color remains the same, so you don’t have to worry if black sesame seeds look too different from poppy seeds. 

About the flavor, sesame seeds substitute can please you at substituting poppy seed as these seeds are also known for having a gentle nutty flavor. If you roast sesame seeds or buy roasted sesame seeds, you will see the similarity more clearly as roasted sesame seeds impose a greater nut content. If the nut scene is more important to you and you don’t want the roasted flavor to outshine the natural nut scene, you won’t have to roast sesame. 

With the resemblance in the nutty flavor like poppy seed and the appearance and texture, black sesame seeds can be used to replace poppy seed in an equal ratio of less than a bit. The best dishes to substitute poppy seed are cakes, sweet treats, or pastries where you want to add extra crunchiness. 

Besides black sesame seeds, there are also white sesame seeds. 

White sesame seeds have the same taste as black, but they tend to have a lighter nut note. That is a reason why if you use white sesame seeds to substitute poppy seeds, you must roast them to get the bold and coarse flavor that resembles poppy seeds. If you don’t roast white sesame seeds, they cannot substitute poppy seeds effectively in flavor. 

In the end, it’s up to you to choose which kind of sesame to substitute poppy seeds, depending on your desired flavor and appearance. Either you choose black or white sesame seeds, you can purchase them in any market or supermarket. Its availability will make your substitution easy and approachable. 

2. Chia seeds

Can you substitute chia seeds for poppy seeds? Yes you can! Other great seeds that can be used as a poppy seed substitute are the organic friend – chia seeds. If you are looking for a healthy alternative to use instead of the regular poppy seeds, purchasing and using chia seeds in your recipes will be a smart choice. 

Chia seeds are well-known in the healthy-eating industry as they contain many unipersonal vitamins and minerals to humans’ bodies. In substituting for poppy seeds vs chia seeds, it is a great choice with the same seed texture and crunchiness. 

About the texture, chia seeds resemble poppy seeds of having a dark, round-shaped appearance, which offers chia seeds excellent crunchiness. That is the reason why chia seeds are commonly used in drinks and desserts, as they provide an extra fun-to-bite experience, and they can be even more crunchy than poppy seeds themselves. 

Substituting poppy seeds with chia seeds will give your dish a healthy, rich-fiber, low-calories content. 

However, there are some notices you should bear in mind when substituting chia seeds for poppy. One special characteristic of chia seeds is that they absorb liquid. Whenever they are thrown into a liquid or moisturized environment, they will form a gel substance around the seeds like an egg fish. By this point, they will not be crunchy like poppy seeds anymore but instead becoming chewy. 

Because of this specialty, you should only substitute ha seeds for poppy seeds in dry dishes and desserts to refrain the chia seeds from blowing big and destroying your dish’s context. 

Another thing to notice is that chia seeds won’t have the nutty flavor as with poppy seeds, so if you are using chia seeds for extra flavor replacement, it won’t work satisfactorily. 

However, above all that, chia seeds can last for a long time under great storage, so you can use chia seeds to substitute poppy seeds anytime, as long as you handle the difference between these two seeds well. 

If you ask “Can I substitute chia seeds for poppy seeds?”, the answer is yes. Chia seeds are best to substitute poppy seed in dry dishes as a topping or a garnish. However, it cannot be used in wet dishes and provide a nutty flavor as poppy seeds. 

3. Nigella seeds

Another plant seed that you can use to substitute poppy seeds is nigella seeds. These blueish-black flowery seeds are wonderful alternatives for replacing poppy seeds as they have the same herbal background with similar taste and appearance. 

However, Nigella seeds can be out of your reach as they are commonly eaten in Indian cuisine only. These seeds will be the best option to hit if you are in Indian as you can find them right away in the local markets, along with caraway seeds, or make Indian dishes. 

The extraordinary flavor of Nigella goes well with Indian curries, bread, and dals. You can taste quite the onion flavor from Nigella seeds, so we recommend substituting it for poppy seeds in sweet dishes. 

If you want to substitute nigella seeds for poppy seeds, use the same intended amount without changing cooking time or temperature.

4. Hemp seeds

Another choice you can consider when looking for a poppy seed alternative is hemp seeds. Compared to poppy seeds, hemp seeds may not have the most similar appearance or texture, but with proper cooking adjustment, you can make the hemp seeds’ flavor identical to poppy seeds.

The secret of having hemp seeds as a poppy seeds substitute is by grinding. Ground hemp seeds will have a roasted taste which is incredibly similar to poppy seeds. So if you want to have poppy seeds’ flavor but not its appearance, you can choose to have ground hemp seeds. 

All you have to do is take a pestle and mortar and grind the hemp seeds until they go dark, then use them as fillings. The substitution ratio is 1:1 as well, so take the equal amount of hemp seeds to use compared to the number of poppy seeds.

5. Flax seeds

Like chia seeds, flax seeds are a healthy contestant if you search for healthy criteria. They provide great nutrition, even more than poppy seeds, and they are tasty as well. However, they do not share the similarity in appearance with poppy seeds, and their flavor is quite flat and sweet but not coarse. 

So, the best scenario is to use flax seeds to exploit their crunchiness in your recipe or use them as fillings. The flavor similarity won’t be counted much, but you will receive a lot of crunchiness adorned in ice cream or cakes.

The amount of flax seeds to use depends on how much poppy seeds you use, making the substitution ratio 1:1. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we substitute for poppy seeds in savory dishes?

Poppy seeds are mainly used in savory dishes to boost the nutty flavor and be a crunchy, fun-to-bite garnish. If you want to substitute for poppy seeds in savory dishes, the alternatives must have the nutty content or crunchiness if these two criteria matter in your dishes.

For example, black sesame seeds can provide a nutty content, while flax seeds can boost crunchiness. By either way, the substitute we listed above can all be used to substitute poppy seeds in savory dishes, as long as you know what you are looking for when making the changes.

Are poppy seeds good for you?

Poppy seeds include a great source of protein and fiber, along with essential minerals and vitamins. As for their healthy characteristics, poppy seeds are commonly implemented in healthy diets and clean-eating. However, over-consumption of poppy seeds may cause your body to be ill. As long as you control how many poppy seeds you are digesting in one day, these seeds will provide you numerous beneficial nutritional values.

What is the difference between white poppy seeds vs black poppy seeds?

Like sesame seeds, poppy seeds have two kinds: white vs black poppy seeds. White and black poppy seeds have the same texture but the difference between white and black poppy seeds lies in their color and how they would be used in cooking. 

Black poppy seeds are common in Mideterrian and European cuisine because of their bold, nutty flavor. On the other hand, white poppy seeds are consumed and implemented because of their gentle mildness in Indian cooking and baking. 

The Final Word

And that’s everything you need to know about the substitute for poppy seeds. We hope this article is helpful for you to determine what is the best substitute for poppy seed dressing to select for your cooking and baking. Thank you for reading this article, and enjoy experiencing different kinds of seeds. See you soon!

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