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January 08, 2024 4 min read

Whether sprinkling them on top of your favorite bread and muffins, using them to add a delicious twist to pastries, or even mixing them into sauces and dressings for that extra zing, poppy seeds can make a real difference to your recipes. But, here's the thing: these tiny seeds are pretty tough, which means they usually need a bit of help to release their flavors. Most people end up using special poppy seed grinders or just picking up the pre-ground stuff from the grocery store.

But what if you're out of luck finding a poppy seed grinder or pre-ground seeds? No worries! You can easily grind them at home with some simple tools. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to do just that.

What Can You Do with Ground Poppy Seeds?


spoon with poppy seeds
Credit: Envato Elements/ Vikif

What can you use grounded poppy seeds for? Well, the possibilities are pretty exciting:

  • First up, baking. Think moist lemon-poppy seed muffins, crunchy on the outside and oh-so-soft inside. Or how about a poppy seed loaf that's just perfect with your morning coffee?
  • Ground poppy seeds can be used in dressings or sauces. Whether it's a creamy dressing for your greens or a thick sauce for your pasta, it's a simple way to transform your dishes.
  • Ground poppy seeds can also thicken up your stews and gravies. If you're looking for a way to get that perfect consistency without altering the taste too much, this is your go-to.

Why Should You Grind Poppy Seeds?


cake with chia seed filling
Credit: Envato Elements/ Omelnickiy

Here are a couple of reasons why grinding these tiny seeds is totally worth it:

  • When you grind poppy seeds, you're basically unlocking their full flavor potential. Whole poppy seeds have a mild taste, but once ground, they release a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that can really elevate your dishes.
  • Ground poppy seeds blend more seamlessly into your recipes. Whether you're baking or cooking, you don't want to bite into a whole seed unexpectedly. Grinding them gives a more consistent texture, making your dishes more enjoyable to eat.
  • Grinding poppy seeds can help your body absorb more of their nutrients. These seeds are packed with good stuff like calcium, fiber, and essential fatty acids, but our bodies can't access these nutrients as easily when the seeds are whole. Grinding them breaks down their tough outer layer, making it easier for our bodies to get all the benefits.

How to Grind Poppy Seeds Using Different Tools

Here’s how you can grind poppy seeds using a mortar and pestle, blender, or a coffee/spice grinder:

1) Mortar and Pestle


wooden mortar and pestle on blue table
Credit: Envato Elements/ Nikolaydonetsk

A mortar and pestle is a classic tool for grinding spices, and it works well for poppy seeds too. This method gives you complete control over the texture, whether you want a coarse grind or a fine powder.


  • Measure the desired amount of poppy seeds into the mortar or the mixing bowl.
  • Use the pestle to crush the seeds with a firm, circular grinding motion.
  • Continue until you achieve the consistency you want.

Tip:Start with a small amount, as it's easier to grind in batches.

2) Blender


empty blender on kitchen counter
Credit: Envato Elements/ seventyfourimages

A blender or food processor is a convenient option, especially for larger quantities of seeds. It's quick and efficient, but you'll need to watch closely to avoid turning the seeds into a paste.


  • Place the poppy seeds in the blender.
  • Pulse in short bursts to grind the seeds.
  • Check the texture frequently to ensure even grinding.

Tip:A high-powered blender works best for a finer grind.

3) Spice or Coffee Grinders


spice grinder with pepper corns around
Credit: Envato Elements/ gresei

A coffee or spice burr grinder is ideal for achieving a fine, even grind. It's fast and simple, making it a popular choice for many home cooks.


  • Add poppy seeds to the grinder.
  • Pulse the grinder in short bursts for just a few seconds until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Shake the grinder occasionally to distribute the seeds evenly.

Tip:Make sure the grinder is clean, especially if it's used for coffee, to avoid flavor cross-contamination.

Can You Grind Wet Poppy Seeds?

In short, it's best to grind poppy seeds when they're dry. Wet seeds tend to stick together, and instead of getting a nice, fine grind, you might end up with a paste. This isn't ideal, especially if you're aiming for a dry, powdery texture for your recipes.

If your poppy seeds are wet or damp, here's a quick fix: spread them out on a clean cheese cloth, dish towel, or baking sheet and let them air dry. You can also pop them in a low oven for a few minutes to speed up the process.

Can You Substitute Black Poppy Seeds With White Ones?

Yes, you can. While black and white/blue poppy seeds have slightly different flavors, they can be used interchangeably in most recipes. White seeds are a bit sweeter and less nutty, but they'll work just fine when you don't have anything else.

How Long Do Ground Poppy Seeds Last?

Ground poppy seeds don't stay fresh as long as whole seeds. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, and they should last for about 6 months. For longer shelf life, you can keep them in the refrigerator. If you're not sure if your poppy seeds have spoiled, you can check their taste. Old poppy seeds have a bitter and unpleasant flavor. Also, check for any unusual smell or moldy appearance.


Grinding poppy seeds is a simple yet crucial step in many recipes. Whether you prefer a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or a blender, each method has its unique advantages. It's all about trial and exploration to discover which tool aligns perfectly with your cooking style.

Speaking of perfection, let's talk about the Pepe Nero Mortar and Pestle. Crafted with precision and designed for durability, the Pepe Nero Mortar and Pestle turns your poppy seed grinding into an effortless and enjoyable experience. Use it to grind your poppy seeds for yeast dough, muffins, poppy seed filling, and cakes. Shop with us today.

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