As a vegan, constantly experimenting with different ingredients to pair up together in your diet to maximize your flavor profile as well as nutritional components is a common occurrence – and that’s especially true when it comes to the inclusion of popular vegan delicacies such as hummus in your diet.
Hummus is widely regarded as the staple in a vegan diet and is extremely versatile in that it can be used as a companion for snacks or even with your vegan mains.
However, another extremely versatile counterpart of hummus is one of its ingredients, Tahini. Here, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the nutritional benefits of Tahini and how you can include it in a vegan diet – as well as an extremely easy-to-follow recipe on how to make your own homemade vegan Tahini sauce.
What is Tahini?
Yet another gift that the Middle East and the Mediterranean have to offer in terms of cuisine is Tahini. If you’re someone who makes hummus frequently to use as a dip with virtually anything, then you must have heard of/made Tahini before.
Tahini is best known as an ingredient included in hummus. Still, it has a myriad of purposes other than giving hummus its nutty and earthy texture, without which it wouldn’t be as delicious. Tahini can be used as a sauce, a dip, a condiment, or even as cookie batter for making Tahini cookies. Making Tahini is fairly simple and only requires three simple ingredients.
What is Tahini Made Of?
As promised, Tahini is essentially made of three ingredients. The main ingredient that makes Tahini so nutty and delicious is sesame seeds. Toasting sesame seeds and blending them can give you a full bowl of Tahini that you can use for any purpose.
Many vegans prefer adding oil to their Tahini as well, such as nut oil or olive oil. Some even prefer adding salt to their Tahini, but it’s not a strict requirement. Essentially, all you require is sesame seeds for making Tahini.
Is Tahini Vegan?
Since hummus is often fussed about as being of the most delicious vegan contributions, the same can be said for Tahini. As for the question of “is Tahini vegan,” the short answer is yes; it is indeed vegan.
Since the main ingredient in making Tahini is sesame seeds derived from sesame plants, it is 100% vegan and can be incorporated into any vegan diet. As for the aforementioned oil and salt, they’re fully vegan as well.
Is Tahini Gluten-Free?
Tahini is largely gluten-free in addition to being vegan. This is mainly derived from the fact that Tahini is made with ground sesame seeds only – which are also gluten-free, making Tahini gluten-free.
However, there are varieties of store-bought Tahini that have traces of gluten for the purposes of thickening the sauce before consumption – something that can be avoided by making your own Tahini.
Health Benefits of Tahini / Is Tahini good for you?
Surprisingly, Tahini can have many health benefits since they’re chiefly constituting of sesame seeds – hence being full of all of the nutritional properties of sesame seeds.
In terms of lowering cholesterol, Tahini can be especially helpful owing to its unsaturated fats, subsequently preventing heart disease and other heart-related conditions.
It can also work wonders for your hormone system and your immune system while working towards strengthening bone density. The consumption of Tahini can help in the prevention of bone-related conditions such as arthritis due to its high magnesium content.
In terms of benefiting your hormone system, the consumption of Tahini can also serve in reducing the risk of various types of cancers that are hormone-related.
Nutritional Value of Tahini
Tahini has an impressive nutritional profile and can bring all-important nutritional components to your plate while cutting down on calories.
While being high in terms of protein content and unsaturated fats can greatly help heart health, it also displays a high amount of fiber and other necessary minerals and vitamins.
|Nutritional Component||Amount Present in Tahini|
|Calcium||5% of daily value|
|Copper||27% of daily value|
|Phosphorus||9% of daily value|
|Iron||7% of daily value|
|Zinc||6% of daily value|
What Tahini is Used For?
While every vegan may know Tahini only as of the chief ingredient in hummus, Tahini can be used for a variety of purposes other than being added to hummus. As a condiment, Tahini can be used as a sauce, a dip, and even as a dressing in your salad.
It can be paired with some vegan falafel as a nutritious and creamy dip while also acting as a quick spread for your toast to add that extra bit of flavor to your loaf.
You can even try mixing a spoonful of Tahini into some soup in order to add that earthy and creamy texture to it while also acting as an ingredient in other Mediterranean classics such as Baba Ganoush.
Homemade Vegan Tahini Sauce Recipe
After reading about Tahini, you may be tempted to make your very own batch at home and wondering how to make Tahini sauce – especially considering how simple and quick it is to make. With a cooking and prepping time of around 15 minutes, you can have your jar of Tahini sauce ready to dip in at the earliest.
However, before you set yourself to gather your ingredients to make your very own homemade vegan tahini sauce with completely vegan ingredients – which hopefully answers the question of “is Tahini sauce vegan.” It is important to know what you should use your Tahini sauce for before you’ve made it.
This is an especially useful tip considering that the shelf life of Tahini is actually not that long – similar to peanut butter; Tahini too is subject to separating once it has been sitting in the refrigerator for long enough. It is best to plan out your usage with Tahini so that you’re not wasting any.
Tahini is quite versatile and can be utilized with almost anything in your kitchen in terms of being a sauce. As mentioned before, it is quite the staple ingredient when you’re making Mediterranean classics such as Baba Ganoush and hummus – however, that’s not where the versatility of Tahini ends.
You can use Tahini sauce in anything from salad dressings to spread on a slice of toast to even soft serves if you’re experimental with your desserts.
For a quick snack, you can even dip your raw veggies in some Tahini sauce in order to get in the nutritional value of the veggies and the Tahini while not compromising on the flavor.
Now that you know what to do with your Tahini sauce once you’ve made your own batch of Tahini right at home, here’s the recipe for Tahini sauce that is completely vegan and gluten-free – and of course, extremely easy to prepare as well.
How To Make Vegan Tahini Sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup Tahini
- ½ tsp fine salt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 6 tbsp ice water
- some ground cumin
To make Tahini:
- Before you head down to making your Tahini sauce, you’ll need to have some Tahini prepared beforehand. Quite simply, you’ll need to take some sesame seeds and then roast them.
- Once this is done and the seeds have cooled down, you can stick them in the food processor and process them until they resemble a somewhat crumbly texture.
- After they’ve become sufficiently crumbly, you can add in the oil of your choice (most vegans prefer olive oil for its high nutritional content) in order to make your Tahini as creamy as possible.
- Around four to five tablespoons should be sufficient in order to make your Tahini especially creamy - and there you have it, your very own Tahini. Now that you have your Tahini handy, it is time to use it as an ingredient to make your own Tahini sauce.
To make Tahini Sauce:
- Firstly, you’ll need to let the cloves of garlic sit in the lemon juice for some time - approximately ten minutes, so as to let the lemon juice absorb the flavor that garlic brings with itself.
- Next, you’ll have to strain this mixture into a larger bowl once it has been sitting for some time. Here, attempt to squeeze the garlic for its juice as much as possible.
- Once this is done, add your Tahini, cumin, and salt to the larger bowl that has the lemon and garlic mixture. To combine all these ingredients, you’ll need to whisk them together.
- While you’re whisking this mixture, continue adding a couple of tablespoons of water every now and then to make the mixture smoother. Once you have put in six tablespoons of water, the mixture may have become perfectly smooth and resembling a creamy Tahini sauce.
- And with that, you’re done with your very own homemade Tahini sauce. You can then go on to use this sauce as a dip with veggies or some pita bread, or you can attempt to make the sauce even lighter by continuing to add water if you’re considering adding this vegan Tahini sauce to your salad as a dressing.
- Additionally, you can also choose to add more lemon juice if you like your Tahini sauce to be tangier - it all depends on what your taste buds prefer.
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As you have seen, there is no end to the number of benefits you can get with the consumption of Tahini – even if you’re a vegan on a keto diet, you can find immense dietary advantages to the inclusion of Tahini in your diet.
Being a powerhouse in terms of preventing heart-related health issues, strengthening bone density, and regulating hormonal fluctuations, it is a no-brainer to prepare yourself some Tahini sauce at the soonest with the help of the concise vegan Tahini recipe above that takes only a matter of minutes in order to prep and make.
Go ahead and explore the many flavorful possibilities with your Tahini sauce!