Health & Medical Eating & Food

A Brief Guide on Tahini

Definition: What is tahini? What is tahini made from?

Tahini is made from sesame seeds, with a little bit of oil mixed in to make it the right consistency, and usually nothing else. Tahini is a ground sesame seed paste, similar to peanut butter. It is a creamy, oily, and smooth nut butter rich in calcium.

Nearly all grocery stores carry tahini, if you know where to look. Look for tahini in a glass jar or a sometimes a can in health food stores, or in the ethnic foods aisle of your regular grocery store.

You can also find fresh tahini in the refrigerator section next to the hummus in larger well-stocked grocery stores. Occasionally, I've seen tahini in a powdered, dehydrated form that you can just rehydrate with water. Of course, fresh is always best.

Like natural peanut butter, the naturally occurring oils in tahini will separate, so plan on stirring your tahini quite a bit when you first open it.

Tahini is an important ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and several other ethnic cuisines, including Greek, North African, and Turkish cuisine. It's a central ingredient in recipes such as hummus, as well as many vegan salad dressings, such as goddess dressing. Many Middle Easter restaurants serve tahini alongside falafel, or, if you order a combination appetizer or vegetarian platter, it'll likely be one of the saucey dips that come along side your falafel, pita, and hummus.

You can also make your own tahini using sesame seeds and oil.

Wondering what to make with tahini? Here are some easy recipes using tahini:

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