Life lately has consisted of me desperately searching for ways to include my tahini obsession in most every meal. I do normally stick to diet on the lower-fat side but I also am constantly listening to my body, and when my body says, eat this tahini - I listen. All fats are not made equal so when I do crave them I always to the food in its whole form as much as possible (aka very limited amounts of oil). Now, tahini isn't an oil but a "butter" of sorts, its ground sesame seeds just as all *good* peanut butter is simply ground peanuts. Sesame seeds are full of more protein than almost any other seed and also contain ton of wonderful nutriets, like vitamin E, that justify this craving.
Now, I have come to discover that not all tahini is made equal - for years I didn't even think I liked it because of a few misinformed purchases (and the fact that I really do actually hate the overwhelming flavor of toasted sesame a la sesame oil, anyone else?). But I will take the leg work out of it for you - THIS tahini is the one you need. It's just sesame seeds - there's no salt or preservatives. PLUS the texture is the creamiest, smoothest and most delightful thing - I could totally eat it straight out of the jar. The flavor is nutty but neutral. Not to mention, you can buy it on Amazon and it's at your door in an instant (okay, maybe a few days).
Now I pivot to tahini's running mate - everyone's favorite multi-purpose spread, hummus. Hummus is one of those things that once you make it and realize how easy it is, you'll never buy preservative laden store-bought variety again. I love this particular recipe because of the intensity of flavor that the roasted pepper adds, and you just can't beat that gorgeous color. I love using this spread on sandwiches, in dressings, on toast and of course, for dipping! This recipe is perfect, easy thing to bring to a last minute event or gathering - serve with some veggies and crackers and make sure to tell everyone it's homemade!
Let me know how you like it!
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 8 minutes, all in
- 16 oz. can low-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained well
- 3 rounded tbsp Achva Tahini
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 large roasted red pepper (from a jar or fresh roasted)
- 1/2 large lemon, juiced
- Optional: Salt/pepper
1. Rinse and drain garbanzo beans and pat dry with a towel
2. Add beans, tahini, garlic, red pepper and lemon juice to a food processor, blend til totally smooth (this takes about a minute), scraping down the sides a few times as needed.
NOTE: If you want to roast your own pepper, try it! It's easy as long as you have a gas stove and a pair of tongs! Just turn a burner on low and set the whole red pepper directly on the grate, after a few minutes the skin of the pepper facing the flame will begin to turn black and char - use the tongs to turn the pepper a few times so that all of the skin is charred (some red can be left). Then immediately move the hot pepper into a large plastic bag or bowl with a lid, seal and let the pepper steam for 15 minutes. Once cool, you can remove the pepper from the bag/bowl and use your hands to peel off the charred skin. Use half in this dish and store the rest for another use (tacos, anyone?)