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10+ Tasty Uses for Tahini (Besides Hummus)

10+ Tasty Uses for Tahini (Besides Hummus)

Tahini has to be my favorite seed butter because it gives any dish or sauce an excellent creamy, nutty and earthy flavor, making it surprisingly delicious in desserts and scrumptious in sautés. If you’ve ever made your own hummus, you know that tahini is an essential ingredient. But if you don’t know much about tahini outside of that, then you’re in luck. The Talents of Tahini will tell you everything you need to know about this wonderful ingredient. I’ve also included a quick guide below on how to integrate tahini into a variety of meals — dressings, desserts, entrées and more — and 10+ recipes to inspire you to make tahini a staple in your household.

Dressings/sauces:
When a small amount of water is added to tahini, the tahini becomes thicker rather than thinner, until the water to tahini ratio is far exceeded! Because of this helpful characteristic, tahini is a wonderful healthy thickener for any dressing or sauce. if you add too much tahini though, dressings can become bitter, so start with approximately one part tahini to two parts liquid (water, vinegar etc.) and experiment from there.  You’ll find three dressing recipes in this post to get you started!

Desserts:
Like any nut or seed butter, tahini can add a rich body and flavor to any creamy dessert. If you’re making your own vegan chocolate , fudge, or are simply looking for something yummy to drizzle over your frozen bananas, tahini can be a wonderful addition. At the end of this post, you’ll find three tahini desserts, including a raw fudge!

Soups:
If you’re looking to veganize a chowder or creamy soup, tahini may be the key. When blended with potatoes, squash, carrots or miso, it makes a wonderful base for any soup. I usually add approximately ¼ cup light roast tahini* for each six cups of water to begin a creamy broth. Don’t just dump the tahini in your soup and expect it to dissolve in the water though. Mix your tahini with a cup or two of soup and give it a whirl in your mixer before adding it back to the pot. You’ll be surprised how creamy and comforting the soup becomes with this simple addition.

Entrees:
Tahini is an excellent binder. It helps grain burgers stick together and adds extra oomph to an egg-less omelet. Tahini can help bind dishes together with as little as 2 tablespoons per 5 cups of ingredients, but there is no set rule so you have to play around. You’ll see examples of this in the entrée section of this post.

So let’s get cooking!

*The light roast tahini has a subtler flavor and lighter texture than a dark roast or raw tahini.

 

 

These three dressings are quick, delicious, and easy to make.

Quick Tahini Dressing in a Jar
great for traveling!

1/2 cup tahini
2/3 cup water
2 tsp. tamari or substitute
1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously or use a blender and give it a whirl.

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If you want a bit more tang to your dressing, try this citrus variety.

Lemon Tahini Dressing
yields 2 cups

1 cup water
3/4 cup tahini
4–5 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
1 large clove garlic
cayenne or fresh herbs (optional)

In a blender, blend all ingredients until creamy smooth.

——————–

This dressing is a creamy classic.

House Dressing
yields 3 cups

3/4 cup water
1/4–1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup tahini
2/3 cup tofu, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
3 Tbsp. mustard (stoneground)
1 1/4 tsp. salt-free herb seasoning (such as Herbamare’s salt free version)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. herb seasoning (such as Herbamare)

 

Just in case you haven’t experimented with making your own hummus, here’s a bonus recipe. Once you try it, you probably won’t go back to the store-bought variety.

Mediterranean Hummus
yields 5 cups

4 cups cooked chick peas, drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup water
4 Tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. herb seasoning (such as Herbamare)
1 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1–2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
lemon juice, to taste (optional)
fresh herbs and/or garlic (toasted) (optional), to taste

1. In a food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, whiz half of the chick peas with half of the seasonings. Stop intermittently to scrape the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula and continue to whiz until creamy smooth. Repeat with the other half of the ingredients.
2. Chill and serve. The consistency should be thick and somewhat soft as it hardens when refrigerated.

————————

Baba Ghannouj
serves 6

1 (1 lb.) eggplant
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup parsley, minced
6 Tbsp. tahini
tamari, to taste
herb seasoning, to taste (such as Herbamare)

1. Trim off eggplant stem. Pierce with a fork and bake at 350° until the skin is wrinkled.
2. Let cool then scoop out the inside and place with minced garlic in a bowl or a food
processor using the “S” shaped blade.
3  Mash or process with lemon juice, parsley and tahini. Season to taste with tamari
and/or herb seasoning. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

 

I included these soup recipes below as examples of how to substitute tahini in a recipe that calls for cream or in this case another nut or seed butter. Both of the recipes below call for cashew butter which is delicious, but can be pricey and not always easy to find. Here you simply exchange the cashew butter for tahini on a one to one ratio. If you are substituting tahini for cream you may want to do a ½ to 1 ratio to start with and add a bit of nutritional yeast and salt to complete the substitution.

Creamy Potato Soup
serves 6–8

3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 large onions, diced
6 cups potatoes, cubed
2 cups carrots, sliced
6 cups water
2 Tbsp. cashew butter*
1 Tbsp. herb seasoning (such as Herbamare)
2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped

1. In a blender, blend garlic with oil and water. Pour into a soup pot.
2. Sauté the onions in this garlic oil. When the onions are partially cooked, add the potatoes then the carrots. Add two cups of water and cover. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring frequently.
3. In a blender, blend two cups of water, cashew butter,* herb seasoning, tamari and one cup of cooked potatoes from the pot. Blend well. Pour back into the soup pot.
4. In a blender again, blend one cup of the cooked potatoes and two cups of water. Pour back into the pot. Add sea salt to taste, dill weed, pepper and fresh dill. Simmer for 15–30 minutes. Serve.

*This is where you would substitute the tahini in and blend with the other ingredients as the recipe dictates.

——————-

Coconut Curry Soup
serves 5–6

5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
1–2 large onions, sliced
2 cups carrots, sliced
3 cups potatoes, cubed
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. cashew butter*
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. (additional) tamari or substitute
2 tsp. herb seasoning (such as Herbamare)
1 cup broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

1. In a blender, blend the garlic with oil and two tablespoons of tamari. Pour into a large soup pot and sauté the onions in this garlic oil. When onions soften, add the carrots and potatoes with half a cup of water. Cover and simmer.
2. When the vegetables are softened, remove one cup of the vegetables and blend with two cups of water and the coconut milk. Pour this back into the pot.
3. Remove another cup of cooked veggies and blend with two more cups of water, cashew butter*, curry and remaining seasonings. Pour this blended mixture back into the soup pot.
4. At this point, add some cauliflower and broccoli or any vegetables in bite-sized pieces. Cook until these vegetables are soft. Do not boil.

*This is where you would substitute the tahini in and blend with the other ingredients as the recipe dictates. For this recipe I would use a light roast tahini with a subtler flavor.

 

Both of these entrées use tahini for its nutty rich flavor and as a binding agent. They can each be made into burgers or a larger grain loaf. I like these recipes because they are easy to experiment with and add your own flare to through seasoning or ingredients (mustard, turmeric, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)

Easy Carrot Grain Loaf
yields 1 loaf

2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
1 cup grain of choice, such as quinoa or millet (uncooked)
2 cups carrots, grated
1/2 lb. (1 cup) organic firm tofu, rinsed & drained
1/3 cup water
1–2 tsp. each:  garlic and onion powder
1 large onion, diced, sautéed
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tamari or substitute
1/2 cup tahini dressing (see below)*
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2–3 Tbsp. mustard (optional)

1. Cook grains and set aside to cool.
2. In a food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, blend all ingredients except grains,carrots and onions until smooth. In a large bowl, mix this into the grains and carrots.
3. Place into an oiled casserole and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden-brown.

Variation: Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and either spread the batter out flat or form it into patties to make burgers.

*Tahini Dressing
yields 1 1/2 cups

1 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
3 tsp. tamari or substitute
spices or herbs of choice (optional)

In a blender, blend all ingredients. (Use 1/4 cup less water for a thicker dressing to use in bakes and casseroles.) Keeps for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Variation ~ 1 tsp. curry powder may be added for a delicious curry-tahini dressing.

You can use this dressing for the burgers and your salad!

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I include this burger for those that are looking for a tofu-free dish that’s still hearty and protein packed. This burger uses tempeh (fermented organic soybeans) instead.

Millet Tempeh Burgers
yields 16 burgers

1 onion, diced
1 cake organic tempeh
1 1/2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4–1/3 cup oil
1 cup organic tofu, rinsed, drained and mashed
1 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. mustard (stoneground)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. herb seasoning (such as Herbamare)
6 cups cooked millet

1. Sauté diced onion in one teaspoon of oil, one tablespoon tamari and one tablespoon yeast.
2. In a food processor, use the “S” shaped blade to grind the tempeh into small chunks.
3. When onions are soft, remove from frying pan. Fry the ground tempeh with a small amount of tamari, oil and one tablespoon nutritional yeast.
4. In the food processor, using the “S” shaped blade, blend oil, tofu, tahini, mustard, remaining yeast and seasonings along with the sautéed onion.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked millet, tempeh and the blended creamy tofu mixture. Mix well.
6. Form into patties and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 20–30 minutes, until
golden-brown.

 

These three recipes are raw, rich and rather scrumptious. They all use raw tahini which is lighter in color and has a stronger seed flavor than roasted tahini. You can substitute in roasted tahini, but it may make the final product softer or looser in texture, as raw tahini is usually thicker than roasted tahini (if it’s stirred properly).

Coconut Cashew Balls
yields 12 balls

3/4 cup cashew pieces
6 dates, pitted (medjool)
3 Tbsp. maple syrup*
3 Tbsp. raw tahini
6 Tbsp. coconut (fresh), shredded

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend, using the “S” shaped blade.
2. Roll into balls and refrigerate or freeze before serving.

—————-

Carob Tahini Fudge
yields about 2 cups

1 cup raw carob powder**
1/2 cup raw tahini
2 dates, pitted, soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup*
1/8 cup water (from date soak)

Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a food processor. Freeze and serve.

** You can substitute in organic cocoa powder for the carob, but youll have to reduce the quantity and play with the amount of liquid and sweetener a bit.

  • Variation: Add cashew, almond or walnut chunks to the fudge after it has finished mixing in the food processor.

————-
Carob Chunkies
yields 8

1/3 cup raw tahini or nut butter
1/4 cup raw carob powder**
1/4 cup maple syrup*
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Drop by spoonful onto a plastic plate and freeze.

* To produce maple syrup, sap has to be collected and boiled down. During the boiling, a drop of lard, shortening or vegetable oil is sometimes added to prevent the sap from foaming up, and this ingredient is not listed on the label. When buying maple syrup, look for the kosher symbol, or call the company to see that they use vegetable-based defoamers.

** You can substitute in organic cocoa powder for the carob, but youll have to reduce the quantity and play with the amount of liquid and sweetener a bit.
Related Posts:

The Talent of Tahini

The Magic of Miso

What Does a Vegan Eat?

Vegan Sources of Minerals

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Desserts, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Health, Raw, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , ,

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

202 comments

+ add your own
5:25AM PDT on Aug 16, 2014

I saw a recipe for tahini shortbread somewhere.

10:55PM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Thank you!

10:54PM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Thank you!

6:04PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

I add a little tahini, coconut oil, and maple syrup to oatmeal- yum!

11:12AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Oh Heidi ! I wish I could invite you home, then you would not say tahini and hummus are flavorless ! Some recipe are just much, much better than others ! I hope you will someday taste a good one, because it is so yummy when it is well done !

11:09AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

Oh my ! So many great ideas for cooking ! I love tahini, and particularly in hummus ! Some of these ideas are totally new to me, thank you for refreshing my cook book !

10:09PM PDT on Jun 28, 2014

For me, Tahini and hummus are pretty much flavorless.

10:59PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

I am drooling

11:12AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Thank you :)

7:20AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Will try a couple of these-thanks!

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