I am a total tahini addict – more than peanut butter. It’s that serious. I love it on a salad, on my eggs for brekky, on crackers for a snack, and in all sorts of desserts…I even just love it straight out of the jar. You can also use it in baking. It’s such a versatile product and is so good for you too!
So what is it? Tahini is a paste made simply by grinding up sesame seeds until they release their oils and form a smooth spread. You will commonly find two versions of tahini in the shops – hulled and unhulled. The hulled version is the more widely available one, and is created with the inner part of the sesame seed only, i.e. the “hull” (outer shell) has been removed. The unhulled version is my preferred tahini, because it retains the nutrients found in the outer shell, making it a better source of vitamins, minerals (especially calcium), and fibre. I also like to purchase organic tahini so I know that the sesame seeds were not sprayed with anything nasty before being turned into a spread.
Now let’s turn to a quick rundown on the health benefits of tahini.
- Tahini is loaded with healthy fats and has a decent protein profile, especially for a vegetarian/vegan-friendly food; it’s actually a better protein source than most nuts. This is because tahini contains some “complete” protein i.e. it contains all of the essential protein components (amino acids) needed by our bodies.
- It is a source of B vitamins (important for maintaining energy levels and various metabolic functions) and vitamin E (an antioxidant, which scavenges free radical compounds in the body and is important for healthy skin and detoxification).
- Tahini is also a source of the essential minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, selenium and calcium.
- It is rich in lecithin, a fatty substance that aids in the transport of fats around the body and can assist in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body.
So what do you think? Are you a tahini fan? Share your favourite ways for using tahini! xx