Ingredient Intelligence

Mighty Tiny, Mighty Crunchy: Poppy Seeds

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For something that seems specially designed to become wedged in our teeth after eating, we sure do love our poppy seeds! Maybe it’s because they make muffins and loaf cakes so very pretty. Or because of the delicate crunch they give these foods. Or maybe we don’t need a reason to love them at all! Are you a fan of poppy seeds? How do you use them?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Ever wonder what poppy seeds looks like, up close and personal? Take a look at the photo above!

Poppy seeds do indeed come from the seed pods of poppy flowers, and they do indeed contain a bit of the same compound used to make opium. But never fear: the seeds themselves don’t contain enough of anything to make you loopy!

These seeds can be used in all kinds of ways in the kitchen, mostly for decoration and crunch, but secondarily for their mild woodsy flavor. Add them to baked goods like the much-loved lemon poppy seed muffin, as well as bundt cakes, scones, and sweet rolls. Brush the tops of bagels, buns, and crackers with egg white and sprinkle poppy seeds on top for extra crunch. Poppy seeds can also be ground into a paste and used as a filling for cookies and other pastries.

What are your favorite ways to use poppy seeds?

Recipes to Try: