Food That Brings Us Joya: Tahini

tahini dip
To see things in the seed, that is genius.
 

- Lao Tzu

Tahini:

Minerals, Protein, Fibre, Healthy Fats, Heart Health

 

If you’re familiar with The Joya Life, then you may have noticed our slight obsession with tahini (like in hummus and cookies and popsicles — the list goes on). Tahini is similar to a nut butter with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour, and with the right consistency it can be added to pretty much everything. We don’t just love tahini because of its delicious flavour or versatility, but because it’s truly a superfood.

 tahini squares

(Photo from May I Have That Recipe?)

Tahini is a nutrient-packed spread made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — aka, healthy fats that have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases (1, 2). Polyunsaturated fats may also help to decrease bad cholesterol in the body. All in all, tahini is one heart-healthy food — not to mention a nice protein boost. Two tablespoons boasts over 5 grams of protein, which is more protein than almond butter!

Tahini is also chockfull of dietary fiber and minerals. The same two tablespoons bursting with protein also gets you about 12% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. Unlike some other high-fiber foods that you really have to chew (hello beet greens and all-bran cereals), tahini is silky smooth and still supports digestion. As a mineral source, tahini is high in magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc. Getting enough of these minerals is integral to support a healthy body, and tahini makes it so easy with just a few scoops. 

 tahini recipe

(Photo from Will Frolic for Food)

Our shameless obsession with tahini means that, over the years, we’ve tried our fair share of different brands. And like any food product, not all tahini is made equally. However, the wrong brand can seriously limit your ability to use this superfood. Tahini that’s too thick with a dry, pasty texture and taste is not what we’d recommend. A runnier consistency allows for greater versatility in your cooking, and often indicates a higher quality sesame seed. Check out our favourite tahini brands here!     

How to enjoy:

As a dip or salad dressing, in hummus, drizzled on falafel, stirred into soup, mixed into baked goods or halva, or blended into coffee beverages and hot chocolate.

 

(Header image from Molly Yeh)