A traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, tahini is a thick paste made by combining ground sesame seeds and olive oil. This rich, nutty spread is often found in Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus, baba ghanoush and falafel, but has recently become a mainstream ingredient. Gaining popularity for its versatility, health benefits and depth of flavor, here are some ways to incorporate tahini into everyday meals.
Trending due to its nutrition profile, tahini is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, which help improve brain health and bone strength. It’s also filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants and high amounts of magnesium, which help regulate blood sugar levels. Gluten-free and dairy-free, tahini makes for an excellent vegetarian or vegan source of protein.
Tahini is so versatile it can be used in everything from savory dishes to sweet baked goods. It’s also a great nut-free alternative to peanut butter. Replace peanut butter with tahini in smoothies, baked goods and protein bites. Use tahini to add creaminess to pancake batter; mix with avocado and spread over toast; or incorporate it into your go-to egg dish for a delicious, nutrient-packed breakfast. Full of flavor and nutrition, tahini adds a mouthwatering, nutty taste to sandwiches, roasted vegetables and meat and fish entrées. Enhance weeknight meals by marinating chicken or shrimp with tahini, or use as a topping for seared or roasted salmon. For a nutritious way to dress salads, slaws and stir-fries, combine tahini with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and turmeric. Tahini’s thick texture also mimics that of cream; substitute tahini for cream in pasta dishes, soups and sauces.