Tahini is used in many middle eastern dishes, such as hummus and baba ganouj, as well as in salad dressings and desserts. It is a seed butter that kids can make from 2 cups ground hulled and roasted organic white sesame seeds and ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil. Tahini is heart healthy, easy to digest, fights inflammation, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, and fiber.
Salad dressing: In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup tahini, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp water.
Hummus (a chickpea dip): In the blender, pour a strained and rinsed can of organic chickpeas, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp cumin, 2 tbsp tahini, 1 chopped garlic clove, 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon, ½ teaspoon curry powder, and ¾ teaspoon sea salt and mix until smooth and creamy.
Baba Ganouj (an eggplant dip): Preheat oven to 400°. Bake 1 large organic eggplant on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper for 30 -35 minutes. In a medium bowl, mince 1 organic garlic clove with ½ tsp sea salt and work it into a paste. Stir into the garlic, the peeled, chopped, and baked eggplant with 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 4 tsp organic tahini, ⅛ tsp cumin, and ⅛ tsp cayenne. Pour the mixture into the blender and mix until smooth.
Tahini is also delicious as halva, a confection made with boiled sugar, that has been popular in the Middle East for thousands of years. Halva is a favorite kids snack. Tahini halva may be sweet, but it packs a lot of energy and nutrition, being rich in protein, calcium, vitamin E, and phosphate.