Tahini - sesame seed paste
Tahini paste is made from crushed sesame seeds and has quite a nutty
taste. It is available in jars, cans and also in dehydrated form. Tahini
should keep in a sealed jar in the refridgerator for a number of weeks.
There are two main types of tahini, hulled and unhulled.
Hulled tahini does not grind the whole sesame seed and because of this
it does not contain as much calcium, protein and vitamins as unhulled.
Unhulled tahini is made from the whole sesame seed and it the most nutritionally
packed type of tahini. Hulled tahini is not as bitter tasting as the unhulled
Raw tahini contains more nutrients than roasted tahini.
Benefits of tahini
Tahini is a source of calcium, protein and B vitamins. Tahini is a good
source of essential fatty acids (EFA), these EFA's are used in helping
to maintain healthy skin.
Because one of the ingredients in tahini is sesame oil it has quite a
high calorie content. Because of this tahini should be used in moderation.
The good news is the majority of fats in tahini are unsaturated rather
Tahini is a source of vitamin E which helps to reduce the rate of ageing
in body cells.
Sesame seeds are also a good source of the amino acid Methionine. Methionine
is an important contributor to liver detoxification and helps with the
absorption of other amino acids.
Tahini is a frequently used ingredient for people on a raw
food diet. It can be used by itself as dip with cruidite or roasted
vegetables as well as being used as a spread on bread (it is commonly
quoted as being a 'peanut butter alternative' but can also be used as
a non dairy butter / margarine).
Tahini is also a key ingredient in Houmous / Hummus. Hummus originates
from the middle east and is a chick pea based spread. Hummus is made using
chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Hummus is now a
common part of peoples diet in Israel, Greece and Turkey. Hummus goes
very well with flat breads such as pitta bread.
Another middle east dish that uses tahini is Baba ganoush. This dish
uses roasted Aubergine (egg plant), garlic, ground cumin, lemon juice
1 cup chickpeas - thoroughly cooked
1/4 cup Tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
1 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Crush the garlic and mix with the salt, add these and the all the other
ingredients (apart from the lemon juice and olive oil) into a blender.
Blend and gradually add both the lemon juice and the olive oil. Hummus
can be used as a dip or a spread, try carrot and pineapple crudite, serve
with raw almonds and olives and warm pitta bread. This is delicous natural