How To Make Raw Tahini

It's easy to make your own raw tahini

It's easy to make your own raw tahini

Tahini is a ground paste, like a nut butter, made from sesame seeds. It's popular in Middle Eastern dishes, and it's one of the ingredients in many hummus recipes. It's also great in salad dressings, especially if you like rich, creamy dressings but want to avoid mayonnaise.

It's delicious, nutritious, and often expensive. But usually when you find it in the stores it's made from toasted sesame seeds. I use tahini in so many things I wanted to make my own to save money, and to make sure it was raw. Fortunately it turns out to be both easy and inexpensive.

For this recipe, we soak the sesame seeds to activate them. Soaking nuts and seeds neutralizes an growth inhibiting enzyme that's found naturally in seeds and nuts and makes them harder to digest. So by soaking, we make the nuts and seeds easier to digest and more nutritious for the same reasons that sprouts are more nutritious have loaded with good enzymes that aid digestion.


1 cup raw (un-toasted) sesame seeds
2 cups water, to soak


Soak the sesame seeds at room temperature for 4 hours in enough water to cover them plus about an inch more because they will swell as they absorb the water.

Drain and throw away the soak water. Rinse them under running water and put them in the fridge to sprout for another 4 hours.

Put the sesame seeds into a high-powered blender and blend until creamy. Use a spatula to scrap the seeds down from the sides as needed until there are no more whole seeds left. Add water as needed, a tablespoon at a time to keep the mixture moving.

Will keep for about 3 days stored in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.

There is an alternative method for making raw sesame tahini here.

Makes about 2 cups.

Ideas for using tahini:

  • In salad dressing to make a rich, creamy dressing.
  • In nut milks. Use about 1 tablespoon tahini per cup of water to make the quickest, easiest nut milk possible. No need for straining the pulp out.
  • Add to chickpea hummus.
  • Add herbs and spices to make raw vegan seed cheeses.
  • Add a spoonful to raw tomato-based pasta sauces to make a delicious creamy pasta sauce.


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15 Responses to “How To Make Raw Tahini”

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  1. JoAnn says:

    Ooooh! Great! Now I can make my own Zucchini hummus with home made tahini I learned right here! It’ll save me from having to buy it for 10 bucks a pound at the health food store! Thx!

    • Donna says:

      Hi JoAnn! I wish I would have thought of making Zucchini hummus when we had an abundance of Zucchini in the garden! I’ll have to remember and try it next time I have more zucchini than I know what to do with 🙂

  2. declan says:

    Hello the main reason why the tahini will only keep for a few days is the fact the water is still inside them, if you dehydrated them after activating then i believe it would keep for months x

  3. Hello, does this freeze alright? If so, how long does it last when frozen? Thank you.

    • Donna says:

      I don’t know Sierra, I’ve never tried to freeze it. I imagine you would have to blend it up again once you thaw it. You might want to try freezing a little, maybe in ice cube trays and see what happens.

  4. Fran says:

    If .you start with 1 lb of seeds, how much tahini will it make?

    • Donna says:

      I’m not sure Fran. It should make quite a bit though.

      • Fran says:

        Since you make it frequently, how much do you start with and how much does it make. I don’t want to make too much since it only lasts 3 days. Thanks for your help.

        • Donna says:

          Fran, I don’t make it that frequently. Now I more often make it according this recipe: How To Make Sesame Tahini. But if you do want to make this version, your question is answered in the recipe: 1 cup of sesame seed makes about 2 cups of tahini.

  5. achi says:

    do they actually sprout in the fridge?

    • Donna says:

      They don’t sprout like an alfalfa seed does, but the idea is to activate the growth process so they are more nutritious. Thinking about it now I don’t think they actually need to be in the fridge, they can stay out during for those few hours, but afterwards you want to refrigerate the finished product or else it will go off.

  6. Konstantin says:

    Thank you for the recipe. One question, please. Why we have to put sesame seeds in the fridge to sprout them? Thank you.

    • Donna says:

      Well, actually when I first heard about doing this with sesame seeds that was the way I learned and it seemed to work. The sesame seeds don’t sprout like an alfalfa seed would, you just want to get that process started to activate the nutrients and the soaking will neutralize the phytic acid. I don’t think it’s essential though to have them in the fridge to start them sprouting. But with this tahini recipe you do want to keep the finished product in the fridge or it will go bad. In my other recipe for tahini you dry the seeds so it’s it better to keep it in the fridge, but not essential.

  7. lyann says:

    thank you! I am doing a pantry party next week, and this is perfect.

  8. Louise says:

    How do you make the zucchini humus ?
    It sounds great