Those who have ever made their own hummus will know the importance of tahini.
Made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, tahini is a preferred spread in the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean diet, making foods taste creamy, viscous and undeniably sumptuous.
While it is packed full of calcium, manganese and a healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, there is also a lot of fat in them. Granted, a lot of this is polyunsaturated fat, which is proven to help with muscle movement and gut inflammation.
However, when consuming tahini, moderation is key. In the same way you wouldn’t eat a whole bag of nuts for fear of fat overload, tahini needs to be consumed consciously.
If you’re eager to find a healthy alternative to tahini (or simply can’t find any in the shops!), then take a look below at our favourites, below.
If you’re going to trade out lovely tahini for nut butter, it needs to be all-natural no-sugar varieties. However, the taste will be distinctly nutty (rather than roasted, like tahini), so you may be surprised with the change in flavour. Who know, you could prefer it more?!
Make your own
Although it sounds difficult, making your own tahini is a fairly simple process. In fact, it’s just like making your own peanut or almond butter.
Just toast a quantity of sesame seeds in the oven for around 5 to 10 minutes. Leave to cool and then combine in a food processor with olive oil. Keep blitzing until you’ve got the creamy consistency you need. If you need more of a classic ‘tahini flavour’, then throw in some sesame oil.
Leave it out
For hummus recipes, you can leave out tahini and still make it taste great. Okay, so it won’t have the same full flavour, but it will be marginally healthier and much lighter. I always make my hummus without tahini and I find it still tastes great. With plenty of cumin and lemon juice you get a really impactful hummus with fewer calories.