I’m never buying store-bought tahini again.
I’ve been on a little bit of a tahini bender lately. And I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to make my own. It’s so freaking easy!!
If you aren’t familiar with tahini, it’s a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s extremely versatile and can be used in cooking sweet and savory dishes. What I love best about this rich, creamy sauce is that it’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Tahini is relatively high in calcium and protein and loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc.
When you think about tahini, you may start thinking about hummus. But there is so much more that you can do with it. I use it to make sauces, dressing, and desserts. A few of my favorite recipes are Creamy Turmeric Dressing, Green Goddess Dressing, and No Bake Tahini Honey Granola Nut Bars. And of course, there is always my no bean Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus.
There are 2 types of tahini that you can make at home: hulled and unhulled. Hulled sesame seeds just means that the outside shell has been removed from the seed. Tahini made from hulled sesame seeds is lighter, creamier and and has a more subtle, smooth flavor. Tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds has a darker, richer flavor and contains more nutrients. It is slightly more bitter. It is also more nutrient dense. One tablespoon of unhulled sesame seeds contains about 88 milligrams of calcium, whereas one tablespoon of hulled sesame seeds contains just five to ten milligrams.
You can see that I’ve made tahini from both unhulled and hulled sesame seeds so you can see the difference.
This recipe uses one and 1/4 cups of sesame seeds and yields about a cup of creamy tahini, depending on how much olive oil or sesame oil you use. The amount of oil that you use depends on how thick you like your tahini. I prefer mine pretty runny because it makes it easier to incorporate into recipes.
Once you have your sesame seeds, you are ready to go. Simply lightly toast them in a skillet and process them smooth in your food processor. Like I said, you can use either olive oil or sesame oil. I personally prefer olive oil because #1 I have tons of good quality organic olive oil laying around and #2 I prefer the flavor when I use olive oil versus the sesame oil. It’s totally a personal preference.
Not only do I use it in the recipes I listed above, I also use it like any nut or seed butter. My current obsession is tahini and honey on a banana. I also love tahini and cacao powder in my smoothie. So may ways to use this stuff!
So are you ready to give it a try? I think you are really going to like it. It’s smooth, creamy and WAY better than the tahini I’ve been buying at the store.
LIGHTLY TOAST SESAME SEEDS
ALLOW SEEDS TO COOL
PROCESS UNTIL CRUMBLY (ABOUT ONE MINUTE)
ADD OIL AND PROCESS UNTIL CREAMY SMOOTH
- Toast sesame seeds by heating a large dry skillet on low-medium heat. Add sesame seeds and toast (stirring constantly) until fragrant and slightly golden (not brown) – about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large baking sheet to cool completely. Be careful as sesame seeds burn very easily.
- Once cooled, add sesame seeds to food processor and process until you get a thick, crumbly paste- about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and process until creamy smooth. Add oil one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
- Store in airtight glass jar for up to a month in refrigerator.
The amount of oil you use depends on the consistency that you like. I prefer mine quite runny, so I add 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more oil one tablespoon at a time until you get it just right.
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