A reader asks the following question:
“I love your red pepper hummus recipe but it calls for tahini and I don’t know what that is?”
Please join this discussion and post your comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Here’s what I think . . .
Tahini – Ground Sesame Seeds
Don’t let a cool name keep you from this nutritional powerhouse. Tahini is a paste made from ground up sesame seeds. Just like almond butter is made from ground almonds. Tahini can also be referred to as sesame paste or sesame butter. Most health food stores now carry tahini or you can purchase it from online retailers.
If you haven’t tried tahini previously, there are many options available. First, you will find tahini from roasted or raw sesame seeds. Raw is more nutrient rich and there is very little difference in flavor.
There is also hulled or unhulled options. Unhulled is much higher in nutrient content but it can be a little more bitter. Normally you will see this referred to as sesame butter.
Look for tahini that has no added oils. Sesame seeds have plenty of oil when ground. Additional oils is just to make a cheaper product. Purchase the higher quality here.
Finally, since tahini is just ground sesame seeds this is definitely a product you will want to purchase certified organic. Pesticide residues will be ground into the product otherwise and then ingested. This potential health hazard isn’t worth the cheaper price.