By Amie Valpone
Chances are you have a jar of tahini lurking in your pantry from that time you made hummus from scratch. But this amazing condiment can do so much more.
First, a closer look: Tahini looks like a slightly paler version of peanut butter, and you’ll find it the nut-butter aisle of the grocery store. But tahini is made from sesame seeds instead of nuts, which makes it a great source of calcium, along with minerals like iron and magnesium. Plus, since it’s nut free, it’s a great allergy-friendly spread and ingredient.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use tahini:
- In oats. Stir a spoonful of tahini into your oatmeal for a boost of protein and healthy fat to keep you full all morning.
- Sip it. Add tahini to your blender when whipping up your favorite smoothie recipe for good nutrition and an interesting flavor twist.
- As a spread. Love a PB&J? (Who doesn’t?) Try replacing the peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice) with tahini. Use no-sugar-added jam and sprouted-grain or sourdough bread for a nutritious lunch.
- Toss with salad. Use tahini as a salad dressing base with minced garlic, fresh herbs such as dill or basil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Or try the tahini glaze recipe below to make simple vegetables something special.
Easy Roasted Carrots with Tahini Glaze
- Serves: 4
- 8 large carrots
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 cup cooked brown lentils
- 1/3 cup well-stirred tahini
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 4 Tbsp. water, plus more if needed
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet; toss with oil, salt and pepper to coat all the carrots. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are very tender and golden brown. Remove the carrots from the oven; set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk the tahini, lemon juice and water in a small bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
- On a large serving platter, place the roasted carrots in the center and top them with the cabbage and lentils. Drizzle everything with the tahini glaze and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm.