Tahini, or tahina, is a cream obtained by grinding sesame seeds. This food is very popular and yummy, can be spread on freshly toasted bread or can be served as a side dish for falafel, that are chickpea balls, but it is used also to prepare hummus, the chickpea cream typical of Arab countries, or tasty sweets. In addition to this, tahini is also a very healthy food. So let's see its properties, its preparation and some ideas to serve it on the table.
As mentioned in the introduction, the basic ingredient of tahini are sesame seeds. These seeds are a precious source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, substances with a powerful anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antiarrhythmic action and therefore protective for the heart, and antioxidant substances, such as tocopherol (Pathak et al, Pharmacogn Rev., 2014 - Gouveia et al, J Med Food, 2016). Not only that, sesame seeds have also proven to be anticancer and protective for the liver health (Shimoyoshi et al, Eur J Pharmacol, 2019). In addition to these characteristics, sesame provides proteins, vitamin B1, which is essential for the production of energy and for the good functioning of the brain, fibers but also phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper and zinc. Sesame seeds help to keep cholesterol and blood pressure values ??under control (Pathak et al, Pharmacogn Rev., 2014). Finally, as evidenced by scientific research (Shimoyoshi et al, Nutrients, 2019), sesame seeds are also protective for the brain, helping to prevent age-related brain decline thanks to an action aimed at counteracting oxidative stress.
Tahini, how to prepare it
You need 300 grams of sesame seeds. Toast them for a couple of minutes in a pan on medium heat, move often the pan. Then remove from the heat and pour into a bowl, let it cool down. Then pour the sesame seeds into a blender and blend until they are chopped, add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil and continue to blend until creamy. Tahini is ready, it can be kept in a closed jar in the fridge.
Tahini, some yummy recipes
Tahini can be eaten on its own, as a tasty snack spread on a slice of bread. Alternatively, in the Healthy Food section, you can find the recipe of Falafel baked with tahini sauce and salad, really tasty. But tahini is also one of the ingredients of the vegetable big pan with mustard sauce, that you can find in the same section.
Sesame tahini cream can cause allergic reactions in people who are predisposed or who are allergic to sesame. Cases of this allergy are reported in literature (Caminiti et al, J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol, 2006). In any case, do not exceed with the consumption of tahini that, instead, should always be included in a balanced diet able to bring omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, tahini is mainly a source of omega 6 fatty acids (Hashempour-Baltork et al, Adv Pharm Bull, 2017), which are already abundant in our diet. An excessive intake of omega 6 fatty acids over the long term could cause an increase in chronic inflammation in the body (Patterson et al, J Nutr Metab, 2012).