Tahini is a butter or paste made from ground sesame seeds. While it was traditionally used in Middle Eastern, North African, Iranian and Greek cuisines, it’s quickly becoming a popular pantry staple that’s making its way to the table for many different reasons. I’ve been a longtime fan of tahini, particularly after I developed a sensitivity to most nuts. Here are my 8 reasons why you should eat tahini.
8 Tahini Benefits (Why You Should Eat Tahini)
So what are tahini benefits, and what are other reasons why you should give this food a try? Let’s take a look.
- Better than peanut butter. It’s a wonderfully decadent, smooth and in my opinion, healthier option than peanut butter.
- The uses are endless. Thinking that tahini is only used in hummus is sooo 2010. Sure it makes a wonderful hummus recipe, but there are so many ways to incorporate this simple yet nutritious food. Use it as a base for a creamy, nutritious salad dressing. Slather it on toast, crackers or cooked sweet potato rounds for a simple nutritious snack. Blend it into your smoothie and up the protein profile, or skip the mustard and mayo and slather it on your sandwich.
- Helpful for hormone balancing. Seed cycling is a method that involves eating ground & raw flax or pumpkin seeds for the first half of your cycle in an effort to give you an estrogen boost. Post ovulation, and for the second half of your cycle, the goal is to have a progesterone boost, from sesame or sunflower seeds (ground) – this is where tahini can be used and is a wonderful supplement. The goal of seed cycling is to minimize PMS symptoms and help balance hormones. Personally speaking, it was helpful in getting my cycles back to a regular schedule so I’ve followed it for years!
- One ingredient is all it’s got. Check the label and you won’t find any funky foods included – just ground sesame seeds. I’m a believer in eating simple foods with ingredients that are familiar and which you can pronounce. Tahini is a simple, healthy option,
- Healthy for hair. Tahini is full of B vitamins, iron, zinc and protein, all which promote strong, healthy hair.
- A strong nutritional profile. Offering vitamins E, B2, B1,B15, B3, and B5, being high in unsaturated fat (the good kind), tahini is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and a 20% complete protein, which is higher than most nuts. It’s plant-based which is desirable even for those who don’t follow this dietary preference.
- An iron-rich food. As a former vegetarian, I know how important it is to keep those iron levels up. Since red meat is such a common source of this nutrient, finding a vegetarian (or vegan) option is crucial. In addition, most women of childbearing ages need to watch their iron levels as they can dip throughout the month. Tahini is an ideal source that’s convenient, quick and easy.
- Allergy-friendly. For those with allergies and/or sensitivities to peanuts and tree-nuts, tahini can provide a safer solution that can be used interchangeably in many ways.
Ways to use tahini
Tahini is a major ingredient in hummus, baba ganoush and halva, but there are so many other ways to use it, too. Here are some ways to eat tahini.
- Drizzle it onto roasted vegetables
- Spread it on toast and top it with dried coconut, fruit or jam
- Make a salad dressing out of it
- Use it in baking
- Add it to your smoothie for a satisfying, nutritional boost
- Make healthy energy bites – see recipe below
About Tarazi Tahini
Though I’ve been a longtime tahini fan, a few months ago, I discovered Tarazi. Tarazi is made of 100% premium sesame seeds. No additives, no chemicals, no preservatives, and no salt are added to their products, leaving them 100% Natural and Kosher Certified. Their organic tahini is a staple in my pantry and I’ll be sharing fun recipes in upcoming posts – so be sure to be on the lookout for more ways to incorporate tahini into your diet! In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with this simple tahini recipe: these are simple chocolate tahini bites. Roll them in coconut or leave them as is; either are wonderful!
Raw vegan chocolate tahini bites that are a perfect pop of energy and super for pre- or post-workout.
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1/2 cup tahini I used Tarazi
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp raw honey can sub maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
Process all ingredients in a food processor on high speed until a sticky crumbly mixture forms.
Roll into bite sized balls, store in the refrigerator and enjoy!
If the batter is too sticky to roll, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes and try again:). Store in an airtight container.
Look for more recipes including tahini coming soon – and in the meantime, let me know if you are already a fan of this food!