Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is also called sesame paste or sesame butter. It is like peanut butter but made from sesame seeds. There are several available options when you purchase tahini.
The first consideration when it comes to choosing a tahini is whether to purchase a product made from unhulled or hulled sesame seeds. Tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds is more nutrient-rich than tahini made from hulled seeds, but it is also more bitter; this type of tahini is usually referred to as sesame butter. Since both versions would still make for good food choices, you can let your taste buds decide which type—the one made from hulled seeds or the one made from unhulled seeds—is more pleasing to you.
Roasted versus raw is another choice you have to make when it comes to selecting tahini. Raw (non-roasted) tahini is sufficiently higher in nutrient content, and I believe it's the better choice here.
Some manufacturers add additional oils to their tahini. I would recommend purchasing tahini with no added oils so that the tahini is made only from pure ground sesame seeds.
Finally, there is the option of a certified organic tahini. As with all of the World's Healthiest Foods, I strongly recommend this organic option.
You can easily find tahini in either natural food stores or food stores that sell Middle Eastern foods. If you do not have any of these types of stores near you, you can also find it available from online retailers.
There are many different ways that you can enjoy tahini in your Healthiest Way of Eating. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and babaganoush. It makes a wonderful base for salad dressings and adds great nutritional value and texture to smoothies. Spread on whole grain toast with a little bit of miso paste it makes a great addition to a savory sandwich (or a morning breakfast by itself).
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