Guide to Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)

Tahini is a condiment that is made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. It is also sometimes called sesame seed butter. It is another great alternative for peanut butter, especially for those with allergies. Tahini is usually used in the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East, in Asia, in the South Caucasus, and as well as in some parts of North Africa. It can be served by itself as a dip, or as a major ingredient in hummus. 

If you want to know more, read on because we are giving you a guide to Tahini or sesame seed butter. 

History of Tahini

Tahini is a loanword from modern Greek “tachini”. It came from the informal Levantine pronunciation of Arabic “tahina”, which was derived from the root word “tahana”, which means “to grind”. In some dialects, it also produces the word “tahin” which means “flour”. In the late 1930s, the word tahini appeared in English. 

The first reference of sesame is in a cuneiform document that was written 4000 years ago that describes the tradition of serving the gods sesame wine. Herodotus, the historian, writes about the farming of sesame 3500 years ago in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Sesame during that time was used mainly as a source of oil. 

In an anonymous 13th-century Arabic cookbook, Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada, Tahini is mentioned as an ingredient of hummus Kasa. Aside from that, sesame paste is also an ingredient in some Japanese and Chinese dishes, and as well as in Indian cuisine. 

By 1940, sesame tahini, along with other raw nut butter, was available in health food stores in the United States. In the present time, you will be able to find lots of different Tahini brands and varieties in the market. 

Different Uses of Tahini

Tahini is known to be a sesame seed paste that has a consistency similar to peanut butter, and most people are aware that it is used as an ingredient in hummus. But aside from that, Tahini can be used in many other ways. Here are some of the different uses of Tahini:

  • For dipping raw veggies: You can use Tahini for a simple snack by dipping raw vegetables to it. For extra flavor, you can add some salt, lemon juice, pepper, or hot sauce to it. 
  • For spreading on toast: Since Tahini is one of the alternatives for peanut butter, you can also spread it on whole wheat bread or toast. You can add some honey or agave syrup for more flavor. It is a great part of a balanced breakfast.
  • For salad dressings: You can also use Tahini as a base for your salad dressing if you are tired of using a balsamic dressing. You just need to combine Tahini with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and grated ginger. After that, drizzle it over your greens and enjoy. 
  • As a soup ingredient: Just like peanut butter, you can also use Tahini as an alternative soup thickener instead of using flour and butter. 
  • For falafel toppings: You can add a few tablespoons of hot water and lemon juice to Tahini and then drizzle it over the sandwich.
  • For making a double sesame burger: Tahini is a mild condiment on meats. You can use it straight to enhance a burger with a little lemon juice and smoked paprika. Just spread it in your burger and add some feta and cucumbers and enjoy it. 

Health Benefits of Tahini

Tahini, aside from its culinary uses, also offers several health benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Full of nutrients: Tahini is a highly nutritious food that is full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. A tablespoon of Tahini can contain 90 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 13% thiamine, 11% vitamin B6, 11% phosphorous, and 11% manganese. Manganese and phosphorus are both beneficial to bone health. Thiamine and vitamin B6, on the other hand, are important for energy production.
  • Rich in antioxidants: Tahini has lignans, which are antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage in the body, and can also help in reducing the risk of disease. 
  • May have antibacterial properties: Tahini and sesame seeds both may have antibacterial properties because of the powerful antioxidants they contain. 
  • Has anti-inflammatory compounds: Some compounds found in Tahini are highly anti-inflammatory. It can help in easing inflammation and pain related to injury, arthritis, and lung disease. 
  • Can help strengthen the central nervous system: Tahini also has compounds that can help improve brain health and decrease the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. 
  • Can help protect liver and kidney function: It also has compounds that can help protect the liver and kidneys from damage. 

The Best Tahini You Can Buy

Where to Buy
SoCo All-Natural Sesame Tahini
Kevala Organic Sesame Tahini
LiOR All-Natural Tahini
365 Everyday Value Organic Tahini
Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

If you want to try using Tahini and have it as a replacement for peanut butter, here are some of the best ones we can recommend:

1. SoCo All-Natural Sesame Tahini

This is a gourmet Tahini that is made from 100% organically grown Ethiopian sesame seeds that are soaked, slow-roasted, and stone-ground in an artisan mill. It is the perfect peanut butter alternative. Aside from that, it is also a superfood that can help balance hormones, improve skin, nails, muscle health, and nutrient absorption. It is high in protein, calcium, and iron. It is sugar-free and has 0% trans-fat.

2. Kevala Organic Sesame Tahini

This Tahini is USDA organic and non-GMO project verified. It is made with slightly roasted sesame seeds that are stone-grounded to obtain a delectable creamy texture. It is kosher, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It is made in a peanut-free facility and bottled in glass. 

3. LiOR All-Natural Tahini

This Tahini is made of 100% pure ground sesame seeds. It is delicious, creamy, and smooth. It is also naturally rich in vitamins and minerals and does not have any added salt. You can use it to make hummus, dressings, and marinades. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and certified kosher. 

4. 365 Everyday Value Organic Tahini

This organic Tahini is brought to you by Whole Foods Market. It is made from natural ground organic sesame seeds, and it is certified kosher. It is one of the best peanut butter alternatives you can buy in the market. It is also great for cooking and making dips. 

5. Soom Foods Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

This is the preferred Tahini of James Beard Award-Winning Chefs. It is also a healthy choice because it is rich in protein and omega-6 fatty acids, and low in carbohydrates. It is also paleo-approved, vegan, peanut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and certified kosher. You can use this Tahini as a spread, and as an ingredient for different gourmet recipes. 

Where to Buy
Baron’s Pure Ground Sesame Tahini
Pepperwood Organic Whole Sesame Tahini Paste
Revive Naturals Ethiopian Whole Sesame Tahini
Roots Circle All-Natural Sesame Tahini Paste
Haddar by Baracke Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

6. Baron’s Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

This is a ground paste that is made from sesame seeds. This Tahini is a certified kosher Parva under the supervision of OU. It is also 100% natural. It is also rich in minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and selenium. You can use it in many food preparation methods and as well as cooking. And you can also use it as a spread on toasts. 

7. Pepperwood Organic Whole Sesame Tahini Paste

This is a 100% stone ground un-hulled sesame Tahini butter that is USDA certified organic. It is rich in calcium, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and many other minerals and vitamins. It is ideal for making hummus and baba ghanoush. Aside from that, you can also eat it on its own, whip it into a dip, spread it on a toast, or add it to a smoothie. 

8. Revive Naturals Ethiopian Whole Sesame Tahini

This sesame seed butter is unique on the market. It is made from 100% stone-ground un-hulled sesame seeds. It has 5 times more calcium and 2 times more iron compared to a regular hulled Tahini. It is one of the world’s most nutritious superfoods. 

9. Roots Circle All-Natural Sesame Tahini Paste

This Tahini paste is ground to gourmet perfection, giving it an incredibly smooth, creamy, silky texture, superior nutrition, and delicious taste. It is packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper, zinc, and more. It is certified kosher, gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, paleo, and approved for keto. 

10. Haddar by Baracke Pure Ground Sesame Tahini

This Tahini is creamy and tasty, even without adding any spices. It is delicious when used as a hummus or halva component, or simply as a dip. It can also be used as a yummy topping on salads and other dishes, and most especially on Falafel. It is made from 100% natural roasted and peeled sesame seeds. It is certified kosher and gluten-free. 

These are some of the best Tahini we can recommend. Tahini is indeed a healthy alternative to peanut butter. It is also a tasty way to add powerful antioxidants and healthy fats to your diet. It is a simple, healthy, and flavorful condiment that you can add to your meals.