If you are a fan of hummus then you may not know it but you are also a fan of tahini. Tahini is a paste made from ground roasted sesame seeds and is a key ingredient in hummus. Tahini has a similar texture to natural peanut butter and is common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Use it with meat, fish and vegetables. Mix it with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings for a delicious salad dressing. Tahini is not sweet like nut butters but it has a strong nutty, earthy flavour and it can be a bit bitter. (If it is very bitter then chances are it is a bit too old and/or expired)
Tahini is low in calories and high in fibre, protein and various vitamins and minerals including copper, selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins B1 and B2. Tahini is also a good source of monounsaturated fats.
Tahini is a very rich source of copper containing 27% of your daily requirement in one tablespoon. Your body needs copper as it helps to absorb iron, control blood pressure, clot blood, and prevent anemia. The selenium in tahini acts as an antioxidant and helps to lower inflammation. Sesamol, a chemical found in sesame seeds has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits. Studies show it has strong anti-cancer effects. Sesame seeds also have more phytosterols than other seeds and nuts, which lowers cholesterol.
You can buy tahini already made. Since it has a lot of oil, it should be stored in the refrigerator once you open it.
Check out these recipes that use tahini:
Homemade Hummus: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-hummus-recipe
Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sesame-ginger-dressing
Tahini Cookies: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sesame-tahini-cookies-mamaleh-cambridge