It’s that time of year when big salads and grilled vegetables take pride of place on our dinner table. When the temperature heats up it’s nice to keep the kitchen cool by preparing simple meals with fresh produce from the farmers market.
To keep things interesting — and to trick my husband into thinking that he’s eating something more indulgent than meat and salad for the third night in a row — I always have a bowl of this creamy tahini dressing in the fridge.
Tahini is a middle eastern sauce made from ground sesame seeds. You have probably eaten it in hummus (it’s one of the staple ingredients) but it is so much more versatile than that!
What Else Can I Use It For?
In addition to hummus and making today’s creamy tahini dressing, you can use this yummy ingredient in:
- A wide variety of dressings, spreads and dips (mix 1 tablespoon with 1/2 cup greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon for an instant dip)
- Asian noodle recipes, in place of peanut-based satay sauce
- Baked into cookies and cakes
- Drizzled over grilled vegetables
- And even added to smoothies or homemade ice cream
Why Is Tahini Good For You?
Sesame seeds are high in calcium, copper, and magnesium – minerals that keep your bones and blood vessels strong.
Sesame is also high in iron, one tablespoon provides almost 15% of the recommended daily intake, which is great if you are deficient in this essential mineral.
Tahini itself is much easier to digest than whole sesame seeds because it has been pulverized. This means that the body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the seeds and release the nutrients inside. Anything that offers health benefits while being gentle on the digestive system is ok in my books!
Some other tahini perks include:
- It’s high in protein
- Contains a wide range of B vitamins
- Offers a good dose of fiber
- As well as good quality fats like omega 3
The Fat Debate
You may have been told in the past that eating fat will make you fat. This is not true. Eating good quality fat at every meal, such as tahini, avocado, wild fish, coconut oil, grass-fed meats etc, are a vital part of a healthy diet and a healthy body. Here’s why:
Fat fills you up more than carbohydrates. This means you can eat less and stay satiated for longer. It also doesn’t cause the crash-and-burn effect of eating refined foods.
Many vitamins and minerals are fat soluble. This means they require dietary fat in order to be digested and assimilated in your body. They include Vitamin A, D, K and E, which are essential for brain health.
Fat is a fantastic, slow-burning, source of energy. It can boost your metabolism, balance hormones and reduce cravings.
How To Make Creamy Tahini Dressing
makes about 1 1/2 cups
A blender or small food processor is helpful, but not essential. I’ll often make this sauce with just a bowl, a fork, and a bit of arm work!
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic (crushed if making by hand)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, food processor, or by hand, until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more water to thin to desired consistency.
- Serve over your favorite salad, spoon over roasted veggies, or use as a delicious alternative to dips.
Tip: The sauce will thicken up when it’s chilled, but you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon or a little more water to thin before serving.
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
Have you tried cooking with tahini before? Are you willing to give it a go? Let me know by leaving a comment below.