It’s All About Tahini

It should be obvious from the title of this website that I love tahini. Before I chose to become a vegan I didn’t even know tahini existed. Looking back, I really wish I had discovered tahini sooner. I just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff! Unfortunately, tahini is very expensive and Tim and I shop on a budget. When I find myself scraping the last teaspoon of tahini from a jar, I get pretty sad. It is incredibly versatile: sauces, breads, baked treats, dressings, spreads, straight from the jar (no, not really!!)…

I finally decided that the cost of tahini wasn’t worth it (like the cost of maple syrup). Tim and I have tried unsuccessfully to make our own tahini twice. Today was the third attempt, and as the saying goes, it was the charm! I found an awesome recipe for homemade tahini, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. The best part? It is very inexpensive!!! There are only two ingredients: sesame seeds and canola oil (EDIT: I am pretty sure this recipe would work without oil. If you try it, let me know!). The hardest part was transferring oven toasted sesame seeds to my food processor. Let’s just say that the inside of my oven and pretty much the entire kitchen have traces of the wee seeds hiding out (waiting for bare feet to trample them and transfer them elsewhere around the apartment).

Click the link above for the recipe and start making your own tahini!!! My end result yielded about 20 ounces, which is a generous amount. And, because I love tahini so much, I am asking readers to leave a comment with their favorite recipe using tahini. I will randomly pick a comment, and that person will receive a few handmade reusable bulk food/produce bags!!!! How exciting right? The cutoff for the contest will be February 10th at 11:59 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. I will also make the winning recipe and feature it in a future post. I have my favorite tahini recipes, and now I want yours!


A big jar full of homemade tahini

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31 thoughts on “It’s All About Tahini

  1. have you ever tried using a coffee grinder to make only a small amount of tahini at a time? I did and it works beautifully! the only problem is it can be a PITA to clean the grinder, but thumbs-up to not having to add extra oil.
    your tahini is looking fiiiiiiiiiiiine.

  2. What fabulous looking tahini!! Must try it. I also go through massive amounts of the stuff (it’s very high in calcium–a great reason!). I love to bake with it or make halvah. But I think my all-time favorite recipe is for these raw bars that are both high in calcium AND protein–portable, long-lasting (2 weeks in the fridge) and delish any time. Thanks for having the contest (I’d love one of those bags!) :)

  3. We just recently discovered tahini (especially since we’ve been trying to find good replacement for nut butters), and although it is slightly bitter on its own, it is really versatile and delicious! In fact, we just enjoyed an apple butter tahini sandwich on homemade oat bran sourdough bread for lunch today! We’ve also been enjoying tahini in Asian/Thai dishes for a great nutty and creamy addition. Is there any way you can make homemade tahini without added oil?

  4. I need to try and make my own tahini. I love making into a sauce with some lemon and tamari for a creamy rice and bean dish. I always have a sneak a little spoon straight up though.

  5. I SO have to try to make tahini! I think my woussy food processor won’t cut it, though. I can’t seem to make any nut butters at all with it. Sadfish, nutbutters are so damn horribly expensive!
    My favourite tahini recipe? Huh. The one I make the most is hummous, but that’s not very original, is it? I also really like “Dan’s meatless balls” from Jessy’s Happyfaced blog. But I don’t like dan’s, well, you know!

  6. i would have never thought to make my own tahini, Amy! how awesome! you rock so hard! that’s even more awesome that it wasn’t expensive to make! yay! (i can imagine all the stray little toasted sesame seeds finding their way around your apartment…always happens with me whenever i make quinoa! argh!)

    i think my favorite recipe for tahini really isn’t much of a recipe. i love to combine tahini with lemon juice, parsley, sea salt, and cumin to make a tasty dressing for falafels. mmmmmmm!

    20 ounces of delicious, delicious tahini. hoooooooray!

  7. that recipe looks amazing! i’m going to have to give it a try… although the tahini i buy is about $5, and i’m not sure how much bulk sesame seeds are here. still, making my own would be fun! i’m trying to think of my favorite recipe containing tahini, but the only thing i can think of right now is making a sauce of it + lemon juice to go over kale. it’s also in my favorite cheeze sauce, but i’m not sure how much the 2 Tbsp of it adds to the flavor.

    …wait! i just thought of one! i make quinoa and add spinach, diced tomatoes, about 1/4 cup of tahini, some nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, and it is amazing!

  8. Homemade tahini?! What will the world come up with next! I love it. I’m pretty unadventurous with tahini, I must admit. I’m a huge hummus fan, so I’m constantly experimenting with different ways to make it. So far, the super garlicy roasted sun dried tomato hummus was the best!

  9. I’ve never used tahini, so I don’t think I can enter the contest. But thanks for the recipe! I have seen this relatively expensive ingredient in the stores but have never had a reason to try it. Now that I have an inexpensive version in tow, I’m ready to tackle my own hummus!

  10. I love tahini, too (get it?), and think it’s a shame that it’s so expensive at regular stores. We buy it at Middle Eastern markets, because it’s much more affordable there. I will try this recipe, though, since I’m totally intrigued with the idea of making my own!!

    I use it in lots of regular stuff (hummus, sauces for salad or kale – mmmm…..the tahini really complements kale well), but I also love it in Greek cookies like this one:
    These are the best!!!

  11. Tahini Noodles
    Serves 4 to 6

    1/2 lb Whole Wheat Spaghetti, cooked, rinsed in cold water, drained
    2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
    1/4 Green Cabbage Head, shredded
    1 Stalk Broccoli, florets only, cut very smallA Handful Fresh Mint, chopped, optional (cilantro or basil would be good, too)
    Sesame Seeds and More Mint, for garnish

    Tahini Sauce
    1/4 Cup Tahini, see section above
    2 Tbs Low Sodium Tamari, or nama shoyu, or regular soy sauce
    3 Tbs Water
    1 Tbs Sugar, or raw agave nectar
    1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
    1 tsp Chili Sauce or 1 Chopped Fresh Chili
    1 tsp Mustard
    1 Pinch Salt, if needed
    Lots of Fresh Black Pepper

    Cook the noodles and rinse under cold water. Drain and set aside, coating lightly with oil if desired to prevent the noodles from sticking. These can be made well in advance.
    Cut your cabbage into quarters, then use a large chef’s knife to remove the core from one of the quarters, as shown at left. Discard the core, and wrap up the other three quarters for later use.
    If you have a food processor, use it to shred your carrots and your cabbage. Use the shredder blade that has many holes for the carrots, and the blade that has one single slit for the cabbage. A box grater will work just fine for the carrots and a knife for the cabbage if a food processor is not available.
    Chop the broccoli into small florets, creating pieces no bigger than small grapes. Toss all the veggies together and add the pasta. Stir together the sauce, tasting to adjust if needed.
    When you’re ready to serve, add the sauce to the noodles and veggies and toss with your hands, coating everything evenly. Add chopped mint at the last moment, if using. Garnish with more mint and sesame seeds.

  12. my favorite use of tahini is in my favorite raw dressing… its got raw honey, tahini, soy sauce, sea salt, agave, garlic… and something else i forget… it marinades vegetables wonderfully :)

    horray for tahini!!!

  13. wow, it’s my first time to your super cool blog! It only recently occurred to me that i could make my own tahini, but I still haven’t tried it. Am I a bad and boring person if my favorite tahini recipe is plain ol’ hummus? Really, that’s the most common reason that I break out my tahini jar.

  14. Oh tahini is good in so many things!
    Its good in sauces, (I have a cheeze sause that calls for tahini), salad dressings(a reallllly good on is in La Dolce Vegan called Sesame Miso Vinaigrette.), Quick breads and cookies(TAHINI COOKIES?!..mmm)
    And of course the thing everyone has not failed to mention, Hummus.
    Personally, I think roasted red pepper hummus is the best. Nothing tops it.

  15. I’ve only had tahini once, and it was from this weird jar at the grocery store and it wasn’t very good. But the way everyone talks about it, I guess I’ll have to try it again-maybe even making my own this time.

  16. Wow what an interesting read.
    I love Tahini in place of butter on my sandwiches.
    I have never used it for anything else.
    I was trying to find out the health benefits of Tahini when I came across this blog. I will try and make some I have a good food processor.
    If I find it cheap and easy to make then I will use it in cake and biscuit recipes in place of butter.
    Thank you so much for this topic.

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