Friday, July 18, 2014

Tahini {and what to do with it}

I love Tahini. It's so multifunctional and I use it for pretty much everything. After Danielle Sasaki  {known as @ieat_irun to us IGers} asked me what I did with my Tahini, I realized that not many people are as familiar with this ingredient as I am. I then decided to throw together a quick blog post going over some of my favorite ways to use this miracle ingredient.

This is the brand I usually buy,
but I buy it in the 1 kilo jugs.

First off, Tahini is simply sesame seed paste. It's a great alternative to any nut butter and is generally much cheaper than sunbutter {which is made from sunflower seeds and is also quite delicious}. Sunbutter tastes very similar to peanut butter, and Tahini tastes very similar to sunbutter, so if you {or your children} have been missing peanut butter since going paleo, this is a much closer substitute taste-wise than something like almond butter.

It's also a super food. Tahini is full of vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins and magnesium {magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps, by the way}. It's also one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium which is awesome for people like me who can't have dairy at all. Tahini is a great source of complete proteins - even beating out most nuts for protein content! It's also reputed to be much easier to digest than nuts {I can personally attest to this being true, though some may have different experiences than me}.

So, that's why you should eat Tahini, now here's how you should eat it!

You can use it in recipes. My Chocolate Chip Scones, Cakies and Cookies all use Tahini, as well as my Chocolate, Coconini and Ginger Lime Fat Bombs. It just adds a touch of creaminess that can't be beat!

Smoothies, for example, take on a whole new level of awesome when Tahini gets thrown into the mix, such is the case with my Reese's Spinach Milkshake. You can also add a spoonful to your daily cup of coffee for a super indulgent tasting treat.

One of my favorite afternoon snacks to throw together had to be fruits or veggies dipped into Tahini. Sometimes I use plain Tahini, sometimes I mix it with equal parts of coconut milk to create a sort of creamy dip reminiscent of marshmallow-fluff {I got the idea for that from the amazing Alanna, of @planksloveandguacamole, who uses cashew butter in her recipe}.

Tahini is also a delicious pancake or crepe topping - just drizzle that shizz all over the fluffy goodness and revel in the nutty taste. My favorite fruit to use is banana, and my favorite veggie is carrot. Is delicious with pretty much anything though, so don't hesitate to experiment!

Another way to eat this sauce is to use it as such. Plain or mixed with other ingredients, Tahini tops off big ass salads wonderfully - especially chicken salads!

It's also the perfect complement to Asian-Style dishes. Plop a big spoonful onto your wok mix and you have an instant, paleo satay sauce!

Tahini just so happens to be a key ingredient in hummus. Every so often I indulge and eat real hummus made from chickpeas {no, this is not paleo, no, I do not care}, but paleo hummus can also be made using cauliflower as the base - Tahini really helps get you that authentic Mediterranean taste!

And lastly, Tahini is best when enjoyed like any other nut or seed butter: straight from the jar and by the spoonful! Enjoy!

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