Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is versatile adding both a nutty flavor, and a smooth consistency when blended with beans. Most are familiar with tahini through hummus. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals!
There are two main types of tahini: hulled and unhulled. Unhulled tahini is best as it’s made from the whole sesame seed, leaving its nutritional value intact. Hulled tahini is stripped of many of its nutritional benefits.
There are also roasted and raw varieties of tahini. Raw (non-roasted) tahini is sufficiently higher in nutrient content, and a better choice for your body. Some manufacturers add additional oils to their tahini. We recommend purchasing tahini with no added oils so that the tahini is made only from pure ground sesame seeds. Organic is preferred.
Health benefits of tahini:
- Rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- GREAT source of calcium.
- Good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- High in vitamin E and the B vitamins and it helps to promote healthy cell growth.
- Great source of protein.
- Easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
Tahini has many uses…
- Make a salad dressing with tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and fresh turmeric
- Mix it into a stir-fry
- Mash it up with avocado
- Blend it with some garlic and chickpeas to make a delicious hummus
Best to keep tahini in the fridge after opening. If your tahini sits for an extended period of time the oil and solids may separate and become difficult to stir. Turn the container upside down for a few hours and then try stirring. Mixing set tahini can take some muscle, but it is completely possible to do. If you are unable to stir them back together use a blender and remember to use it more often so it does not separate.
Tahini is a terrific binder and thickener.
If you’re looking to veganize a creamy soup, tahini may be the answer. Blend with squash, carrots or miso, and it makes a wonderful base for soups. Usually add approximately ¼ cup tahini for each six cups of stock to begin a creamy broth. Mix your tahini with a cup or two of soup outside the pot and give it a whirl in your mixer. Add the mixture back in to your recipe.
Tahini is also a great binder in quinoa burgers.
Try this wonderful kale salad with dressing inspired by my dear friend Jackie Foster
- 1 Bunch of Tuscano Kale
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- 2-3 Apples of your choice
- 1-2 pinches of Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt if you have it.
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- ¾ Cup Tahini
- 2 inch of Ginger
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- a pinch of Cayenne
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Juice of 1 Lemon
Make the salad:
Preheat the oven to 400
Wash and chop the kale leaves and slice the apples thinly and place in a large bowl. With the skin on, slice the sweet potato and then cut the slices into thin “fries”. Melt 3 tbsp of coconut oil and pour over the the sweet potatoes and toss with the spices. Spread evenly over a baking pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minute until just cooked. We like them still raw crunchy! It is important to not overcook them as they turn to sugar and loose their “raw” benefits. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool.
In the meantime, place all dressing ingredients in your high speed blender and blend until a smooth consistency. Add a little water or tahini to adjust consistency.
Toss sweet potatoes with the kale and apples and toss with just enough (usually about ½ cup ) of the dressing to coat the salad. The left over dressing should last for about a week.
Header Photo courtesy Mark Seton