Tahini, the Ancient Sesame Paste


A crucial ingredient in hummus, it possesses numerous nutritional properties

Tahini, or sesame paste, has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years, but it actually has quite a long history. Its origins can be traced to India around the year 5,000 B.C., and it has long been an important ingredient in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Sesame was actually used as medicine in various ancient civilizations, like in Greece and Italy, where it was consumed for its nutritional properties. Nowadays, it is still consumed in many parts of the world, given that it is also an indispensable ingredient in dishes like hummus or halva, a Middle Eastern dessert made with sesame paste.

Sesame and Its Health Benefits

Sesame seeds are a very healthy product, given that they provide nutrients that are essential for the body’s proper functioning. To begin, they have high levels of fiber and protein: 3.5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per 30 grams of sesame.

These seeds also have high concentrations of Vitamin B6 and E, along with magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. They also provide plenty of antioxidants and properties that help to lower the body’s inflammation, something that helps with maintaining a strong immune system.

Uses of Tahini

Tahini can be used in a variety of ways, both in sweet and savory dishes, and it is very important for a number of cuisines. As mentioned, one of its most common uses is as an ingredient in hummus, which is made from the sesame paste and garbanzos. Additionally, baba ghanoush, an eggplant dip typical of Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines, is also made with tahini.

It is also possible to make a wide variety of sauces and salad dressings using tahini, or it can be used in place of peanut butter. When it comes to desserts, tahini combines very well with chocolate or Middle Eastern flavors, like rose water or dates. If you want to prepare a protein-packed breakfast, add a spoonful of tahini in with your fruit smoothie.

How To Make Homemade Tahini

It is increasingly more common to find tahini in a supermarket or health foods store, but it can also be made at home with ease. To make homemade tahini, you only need toasted sesame seeds, a little bit of oil, and salt.

In a food processor, mix 100 grams of toasted sesame, a teaspoon of salt and some neutral oil (vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.). Grind and add more oil, little by little, until you achieve your desired texture. The tahini should be smooth and creamy and without the presence of any whole seeds.

Aside from being incredibly healthy, tahini is a food that has immense versatility in the kitchen. It is so simple to make that including it in your daily diet is incredibly easy.

You can’t miss this our mini cauliflower pizzas, another healthy dish. Find the recipe here.

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