Thanks to hummus tahini has entered the radar of non-Mediterranean eaters, but there are still those who don't know what tahini is, or worse still, those who do but don't know what to do with it!
A paste made of crushed sesame seeds, tahini is rich in flavor and nutrition. A tablespoon of tahini contains:
- 2.6 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fat
- 1.4 grams of fiber
- 64 mg of calcium
- 1.5 mg of iron
Tahini is an excellent source of minerals and heart-healthy fats and additionally, a versatile food that can be featured in every meal of the day, for five very good reasons.
1. Your heart
Sesame seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin, two powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free-radical damage and may prevent heart disease. They have been linked to heart health and inhibit the production and absorption of cholesterol. In a study, high-cholesterol patients who ate 40g sesame seeds per day for two months saw a significant decrease in their LDL cholesterol.
2. Your body
Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, like osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, dementia, and more. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in antioxidants and polyphenols can help fight inflammation. The healthy fats and nutrients in sesame seeds can calm inflammation: osteoarthritic patients saw improvement in pain and inflammatory biomarkers after ingesting 2 tbs of sesame seeds per day.
3. Your bones
Sesame seeds are among the best plant-based sources of calcium. Just two tablespoons of tahini contain 15% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, which not only strengthens your bones, but also promotes the healthy function of nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Especially if you avoid dairy products, tahini is a wonderful and healthy source of calcium.
4. Your skin
The healthy fats in tahini help the absorption of the fat soluble A and E vitamins, which promote skin health and have anti-ageing properties. In addition, tahini is rich in iron (especially important if you don't eat meat), known for its benefits for skin, hair and nails, as well as zinc, a key ingredient of collagen, the substance that makes our skin supple.
5. Your taste buds!
Regardless of its health benefits, tahini happens to be delicious! And there are so many ways to implement it in your diet. From spreading it on your toast (try it with our Cretan honey, our apple molasses, or traditional jams), to baking yummy cookies and cakes, making salad dressing, or of course popular dips like hummus and baba ganoush.
Anthos offers you some of the best tahini you can find in the US. The Matis family have been roasting sesame seeds and making tahini since the beginning of 20th century. Their tahini is 100% natural, without palm oil, made from highest quality sesame seeds in their state of the art facilities. It's offered in whole (un-hulled seed) or natural varieties as well as mixed with cocoa, pistachio, coconut, or raspberry.
Here are some recipes to get you going!
Greek tahini toast
Mix one tablespoon of tahini with a generous teaspoon of Greek honey. Sprinkle cinnamon and mix well. Spread on toasted bread and that's it!
A healthy, green tahini dressing to drizzle on your greens and veggies:
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) Matis tahini
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water, plus extra (depending on thickness of tahini)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey or apple molasses
- ½ cup (125 mL) fresh parsley leaves (you can also use basil, or cilantro)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a blender, combine the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, filtered water, agave syrup, parsley, green onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until it has a smooth, creamy texture. Add more filtered water if needed to make the dressing pourable. Check the seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Gluten-Free Tahini and Sesame Seed Cookies
Adapted from Anja Schwerin
- zest from 1 orange
Note: The recipe calls for natural tahini, but you can have fun with our tahini spreads. In that case you can omit the orange zest and add 1/3 cup coconut flakes if you use coconut tahini, chopped pistachios if you use pistachio tahini, or freeze-dried raspberries.
- Using a 1 1/2-inch scoop, scoop the dough into balls. Roll the balls in the sesame seeds, then flatten them with your palm. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets, arranging them so they’re about 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, until the bottoms are golden; shift the pans from top to bottom halfway through. Transfer the cookies to a rack and let cool before serving.