Out to purchase Tahini recently, left me gobsmacked – a small bottle was ridiculously priced, in my thinking, rip-off overpriced! So, based on the prices of sesame seeds which are relatively inexpensive, I decided to make my own.
Tahini is full of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium and sesame seeds are a better source of protein than most nuts, and they are rich in Vitamin B too and, is a high alkaline food, which makes it easy for your body to digest. It is a rich source of “healthy” fats (unsaturated fats), filled with the goodness of pure crushed sesame seeds.
Typically a Greek or Middle Eastern sauce or dip made from sesame seeds, Tahini is used in the making of hummus, to add the to the flavour of the nuts or veggie blends. In the absence of nut butters, I use Tahini to dip my fruit or veggies in when I have a craving for something savoury and also to add depth to a few of my home made sauces. Some will recall during my initial Paleo days, I mistook Tahini for nut butter, and that I quite fancied its’ taste, Tahini was introduced into my eating plan.
Tahini is simple and quick to make. The most important aspect is roasting or toasting the sesame seeds to release their natural flavours. Toasted in an oven or a non-stick frying pan on the stove top works well. You have to be cautious not to burn the sesame seeds as they brown quickly. If using an oven, set the auto cook function to turn off the oven and this works well to ensure that the sesame seeds don’t burn. If using the stove top, as I prefer, then the toasting involves keeping a watch on the process and stirring to ensure even browning on the seeds.
A food processor and /or a blender works well to blend the toasted seeds into a creamy paste, similar to nut butter making.
1 cup dehusked or hulled sesame seeds
¼ cup or a about 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Himalayan or Sea Salt to taste
- I used the stove-top as it affords more control over pan toasting the sesame seeds and creating the aromatic, golden brown toasted flavour I prefer. However, if you wish to use the oven then, preheat the oven to 180° Celsius and spread sesame seeds on a baking-paper-lined oven tray, and bake for about 6 minutes. Mix and spread the sesame seeds again, and return to the oven for 8 minutes or so more, or until the sesame seeds are fragrant and golden brown. Immediately transfer toasted seeds to a glass bowl to stop the cooking process.
- If using the stove top, add the sesame seeds to a non-stick frying pan and roast for a total of 10-12 minutes over medium stove top heat, continually stirring to brown the sesame seeds evenly. When fragrant and golden brown, transfer the toasted seeds to a glass bowl as in the method above.
- Add the sesame seeds to a food processor and pulse for two to three minutes, until the seeds are processed to a fine bread crumbs texture. With the food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil, and continue to process for about four minutes more, or until a smooth paste forms. If you find that the mixture is too dry, then add a little more olive oil, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Season with salt to taste. Pour the creamy Tahini into an airtight bottle, and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Use as preferred, as a dip for crudites, to thicken gravies and sauces, or with fruit too, especially apples.