Roasted lotus seeds: medicinal, healthy, snack recipe (foodie friday) – low histamine

Lotus seeds roasted in a pan with a wee bit of ghee, cinnamon, salt and ground Nigella sativa and fennel seeds. That’s a tasty crunchy medicinal snack. Food is good. This is a recipe  that would have made my friend Yasmina proud. (the photo, not so much – she would have made it stunningly beautiful!) This recipe is,  in fact, inspired by Yasmina. I have been thinking a lot about my friend and colleague since she passed. Her work was truly sublime and her generosity knew no bounds. I really miss her in that painful way that only happens when someone dies. Grieving allows us to see how we missed opportunities so that we can practice stepping more fully into our present moment now as we move forward into the ever-present now.

This recipe (experimentation) came about because since her premature passing, I’ve been hanging out a bit on Yasmina’s site, Healing Histamine a little more than usual while remembering and revisiting her. I reread old correspondence and found bits of wisdom I need now. She remains present in a big way through her work.

Anyway, back to the post at hand. I’ve been intending on adding lotus seeds and roots to my diet  for some years. The inspiration has always been Yasmina since she mentioned the roots in one of her early books with a recipe included. Finding the lotus seed and or roots has been a bit more challenging. Lately however I’ve been using a Chinese Medicine framework to better understand my body and that’s led me to find more herbs from the chinese apothecary. Long story short, I finally got a hold of a large bag of dried lotus seeds. Yasmina’s recipe calls for fresh frozen lotus root which I’ve not found. She does refer to using the dried lotus for tea but the fact is the roots and seeds can be cooked with and there are now lots of various asian recipes online.

From Healing Histamine:

selective focus photography of pink flowerMore than just a beautiful adornment, Asia’s revered lotus flower offers up several compounds with antihistamine, mast cell stabilising and anti-inflammatory properties. Best of all, the lotus is highly edible, tasty and fairly easy to find frozen or as a tea. 

Lotus seed is often used in Chinese Formulas for calming shen. It’s also eaten as a food in many Asian cultures. The root is likely to have somewhat different but also similar properties or ways of supporting the body from what I can gather. Whatever the case, trust your body whenever trying something new. It knows best and better than anything we can talk about. I didn’t tolerate most of the most important foods and herbs in my diet right now for many years as a result of the psych drug withdrawal syndrome etc. Learning to listen to the body remains part of my healing process.

I have found in my forays with Chinese medicine that it seems that a lot of the “shen calming” herbs are, indeed, also natural antihistamines. This is based on my own experience using them and feeling how my body responds to them. Chinese herbs are often in formulas with many herbs and they’re carefully balanced so that I’ve found I tolerate herbs in these formulas that I’ve not tolerated alone. Chinese medicine is great in that it’s got a sense of how plants work together in profound synergistic ways, hence the complex formulas with many herbs included.

I never found frozen lotus root available in our local Asian markets. I did find dried lotus seeds, however. They can also be found online sometimes.  I’m still learning about where to get the best and how to find about about growing practices etc. I try to buy all my food organic. So if anyone can recommend a really good and consistent brand, please do so in the comments.

This recipe is a variation on plain pan roasted lotus seeds. The spice mix can vary to your whim and pleasure. You can mix up all manner of other herbs and spice combinations and make both savory and sweet varieties…

I made a small amount as a experiment. Apparently a lot can be made at once and they can be kept in a jar as a snack. I will be doing that shortly because they’re DELISH.

1 cup lotus seed

1 tsp ghee (if you prefer a vegan option use coconut oil also more or less to taste)

1/2 tsp ground nigella sativa seed (an anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory herb and herb oil I’ve been using for many years now in my food as medicine collection)

1/2 tsp fennel seed  (an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, analgesic and antioxidant herb and food)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon is high histamine and I use it in both small and occasional doses because it’s also really good for all sorts of things and I now tolerate it in that way….you may not and I certainly haven’t always. If you have sensitivities proceed with caution or replace it with another lower histamine herb or spice … dried ginger and/or turmeric might be good, for example … I will be doing that at some point for sure)

roast on medium heat while stirring constantly. They will brown a bit. Experiment for your favorite crunch and texture. The texture is a bit hard and may not be good for very delicate teeth. My husband found them a bit too hard. I enjoyed them. Ideally something a little bit lighter would be nice…but chewing them well was indeed a nice crunchy snack too. ENJOY!


More posts on histamine issues on this site here

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