Most people believe that by going dairy-free they will not get enough calcium. However, even though dairy products are some of the richest sources of calcium, you don’t need dairy to get enough of it.
There are various non-dairy sources of calcium, such as sardines, almonds, and dark leafy green (watercress, spinach and collard greens). However, one of the richest and most unusual sources of calcium among these is tahini.
Nutritional Benefits of Tahini
Tahini is made from sesame seeds and it contains the highest concentration of calcium. In fact, tahini gives you more calcium than a glass of milk! Only 35 grams of it provide you with 35 percent of your RDA of calcium. It is also a great source of B vitamins and vitamin E as well as essential minerals like iron, lecithin, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. The best part about tahini is that due to its high alkaline content, its nutritional benefits are easily absorbed by the body.
Tahini offers a wide range of health benefits, such as lowering high blood pressure, improving sleep, preventing airway spasm in asthma, reducing PMS symptoms, lowering cholesterol levels, preventing migraine attacks in those who suffer from them, preventing osteoporosis, and many more.
Uses for Tahini
Tahini is a quite versatile ingredient and it can be used in various ways. However, if adding it to baked goods or smoothies doesn’t seem appealing to you, check out the following suggestions:
- Add it to deviled eggs, coleslaw and similar picnic staples
- Use tahini as a dip, in the place of of chemical filled store-bought dressing
- Make a tahini miso sauce and use it as a for your sandwich spread or steamed veggies
- Bake some salted tahini chocolate chip cookies
Making Your Own Tahini
When it comes to choosing sesame seeds for making tahini, you may find yourself asking whether to buy hulled or unhulled seeds. Keeping the hull makes a huge difference in taste and it is often darker and bitter. Most store-bought tahini is prepared from hulled sesame seeds.
Quick Homemade Tahini
- A cup organic sesame seeds hulled or unhulled
- 3-4 tbsp of a neutral oil, such as sesame oil or mild olive oil
- Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- Toast the sesame seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir them all the time and toast for about 3-5 minutes, until lightly colored. Make sure you don’t burn them to get a nice flavor to your tahini.
- Allow the seeds to cool and process them afterwards to create a paste.
- Add 3 tablespoons of oil ( olive or sesame oil) and process once again
- Check the consistency of your tahini and make sure you get a smooth mixture
- Add salt, if needed