Unexpectedly Delicious: Tahini


This year with our Unexpectedly Delicious series we’re going to introduce you to an ingredient each month of the year! Check our Food 101 category each month for your new ingredient, why it’s healthy, and some recipes of ways to enjoy it!

Open sesame! Or more like… smash blend and puree sesame! Tahini is like peanut butter only it is made with sesame seeds. This seed butter is common in Middle Eastern, North African, Turkish and Greek Cuisine. In fact, tahini is a main part of what makes up that delicious savory hummus that you dip your pita chips or veggies into! You will find tahini also commonly incorporated into baba ganoush, a puree of roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.

The sesame seeds are roasted to different levels to form a variety of tahini pastes. Raw ground sesame seeds form a more bitter thick tahini paste compared to a light roasted and hulled tahini past which imparts more light sweet and smooth flavors. Take inspiration from Middle Eastern cuisine and experiment with tahini as a condiment on your meat and vegetables!

Why Should You Eat It?

2 tbsp. tahini contains:

  • 5g of protein
  • 3g of fibre
  • 20% of your daily requirements of Zinc, Copper and Manganese
  • 25% daily intake of magnesium
  • 30% of your daily Thiamin (vitamin B1) requirements

Since Tahini is a good source of protein, calcium, zinc and iron, it is an ideal component to include in a vegan style of eating. This paste contains sesamin and sesamolin, polyphenol lignans that act as antioxidants and may help to lower cholesterol.

Tahini is also a wonderful source of zinc — an essential mineral involved in building strong bone mineral density, immune system function and wound healing.

The Wonders of How to Enjoy It:

Store your tahini in a air tight container in the refrigerator. You can make your own tahini sesame paste by blending lightly toasted sesame seeds on high in a blender or food processor until creamy. For added creaminess add in a couple tbsp. of sesame seed oil!

Recipe Ideas:

    • Make a salad dressing with tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and fresh turmeric
    • Mix it into a stir-fry with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic
    • Mash it up with some avocado to make a dip
    • Blend it with some garlic, chickpeas and spices to make a delicious hummus
    • If you feel like a sweeter option try the Tahini Power Ball recipe
    • Mix it into a cookie batter instead of using butter!
    • Blend it with cooked root vegetables (potatoes, squash, carrots) to make a wonderful creamy yet dairy-free soup base
    • Drizzle over frozen bananas as a satisfying nutritious dessert

Did you know that…
Sesame seed oils (also present in tahini) are highly valued for their exceptional resistance to going rancid!

January 1, 2015