A few days ago I stated on facebook that I could see a lot of tahini in my future. And, it’s surely becoming true.
-Tahini is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine.
-Tahini is an excellent source of copper, maganese and the amino acid methionine.Tahini is a source of the healthy fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.
-Tahini made from raw sesame seeds is lower in fat than tahini made from roasted seeds.
-Tahini’s relatively high levels of calcium and protein make it a useful addition to vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as to raw food diets when eaten in its unroasted form. Compared to peanut butter, tahini has higher levels of fiber and calcium and lower levels of sugar and saturated fats.
Tahini is commonly known as one of the ingredients in hummus. I like to keep a large jar of tahini on hand for the odd occasion I make hummus. I prefer homemade humus over store bought, it tastes so much nicer and you can season and flavour it to your own preferences. However, this post is not about hummus, it is about tahini. If you, like me, have a jar of tahini in your cupboard that you would like to make good use of with other deliciousness, then read on.
1) I replaced the olive oil for tahini in my salad dressing. Super yum! By using the seed butter instead of oil, the healthy fats in it helps your body absorb the micronutrients in the vegetables 10x more then eating them separately! Talk about an easy and delicious nutrient booster!
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or any vinegar of your choice)
1 tsp grainy mustard or dijon
1/2 tsp agave or honey (or to taste)
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced (optional)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced (optional)
1-3 tbsp water, to thin as needed
Place all ingredients, except only 1-2 tbsp water, in a small mason jar or container with tight fitting lid and shake until it’s all mixed. Add more water for desired thickness. Makes 1-2 servings or approx. 4-6 cups salad fixings. Pour dressing on salad fixings, toss until combined and enjoy.
4 cups baby spinach
2-4 thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
1 peeled, grated or thinly sliced carrot
1 sliced celery rib
1/4 sliced cucumber
1 sliced green onion
Additional salad add-ins: 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/2 tomato, chopped or grape tomatoes, sliced pears or apples, sprouts, grated beets, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, switch the spinach for arugula or mixed baby greens or a combo of all and any of the above.
2) Last night when I got home from teaching 2 yoga classes shortly after 9pm, I was hungry! Not the kind of hunger where your famished but just enough that I needed something in my stomach so I could fall asleep. And for some strange reason I had a craving for molasses (??), seriously, who craves molasses? I didn’t feel like eating anything, as well, I’ve been trying to cut back on my sugar snacking so that ruled out ginger cookies. I decided on warm milk with (you guessed it) tahini and molasses. It worked perfectly, it satiated my hunger and as common treatment as a relaxant before bed it helped me doze off and provided my body with important nutrients as a vegan, like iron in the molasses.
Hot Tahini Milk
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
1-2 tsp agave or honey, optional**
Mix all ingredients in small saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot and everything dissolves in the milk.
*both tahini and molasses have a strong taste, start with the lesser amounts and work your way up to 1tbsp. Also you can adjust the amounts according to your personal preference.
**if you use sweetened milk, you might need additional sweetener. Taste test before adding.
3) My final input for today’s tahini post is in the form of a smoothie. I love a delicious smoothie, a meal you can drink. I love my food and I love cooking so I’d never give them up but the ease of throwing food in a blender and drinking your meal can’t be beat. Also, my father is a restaurateur and growing up in a restaurant I had my fair share of milkshakes! With a smoothie like this it makes me feel like an indulgent kid again! And I was still craving molasses.
1 frozen banana, in chunks
2 tbsp ground oatmeal
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp agave or honey
1/2-3/4cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
Add all ingredients to the blender and mix at highest power until smooth. Pour into glass and enjoy!
*You can sub peanut butter for the tahini for a sweeter smoothie.