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.