What is Tahini?
Nutrition and Dietary

What is Tahini?

Tahini, a silky and versatile paste, has been tantalizing taste buds for centuries. Derived from sesame seeds, this Middle Eastern condiment is not just a savory delight but also a nutritional powerhouse. In this article, we'll explore what tahini is, how it's made, its numerous benefits, delve into the delightful combination of tahini and molasses, assess its nutritional value, discuss daily consumption guidelines, and even touch upon some drawbacks for a balanced perspective.

    What is Tahini?

    Tahini is a creamy, oily paste made from hulled or whole sesame seeds, depending on the desired texture. The seeds are ground into a smooth consistency, resulting in a rich and nutty flavor profile that's enjoyed across various culinary traditions. It's a fundamental component in many Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African dishes.

    How is Tahini Made?

    Tahini is relatively simple to make, with only two main ingredients: sesame seeds and, optionally, some oil. Here's a quick rundown of the process:

    • Sesame Seed Selection: High-quality tahini begins with carefully selected sesame seeds. Hulled seeds result in a smoother tahini, while whole seeds offer a more robust flavor.
    • Roasting: The sesame seeds are lightly roasted to enhance their nutty flavor. This step is essential for the characteristic taste of tahini.
    • Grinding: The roasted seeds are ground into a paste. Traditionally, this is done using stone mills, which retain the natural oils and nutrients of the seeds.
    • Mixing and Texture Adjustment: Oil may be added to achieve the desired consistency, whether smooth or slightly coarser.

    What Are the Benefits of Tahini?

    Tahini is not just a flavorful addition to your meals; it also offers numerous health benefits:

    • • Rich in Healthy Fats: Tahini is packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
    • • A Good Source of Protein: With about 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, tahini is a great addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.
    • • Mineral Powerhouse: It's loaded with essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, promoting strong bones and overall well-being.
    • • Antioxidant Properties: Sesame seeds contain antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, supporting overall health.

    • Vitamin E: Tahini is a source of vitamin E, which is known for its skin-boosting and immune system benefits.

    What Are the Benefits of Tahini and Molasses?

    Tahin Pekmez is a delightful combination of tahini and molasses, creating a sweet and savory blend that's cherished in Turkish cuisine. Here are some of its unique benefits:

    • • Energy Boost: The natural sugars in molasses combined with the healthy fats in tahini provide a quick and sustained energy boost.
    • • Rich in Iron: Molasses is an excellent source of iron, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood cells and preventing anemia.

    • Digestive Health: The combination of tahini's fiber and molasses' soothing properties can aid digestion.
    • Great Taste: The marriage of sweet and nutty flavors makes Tahin Pekmez a delightful treat, perfect for drizzling on bread or desserts.

    What Is the Nutritional Value of Tahini?

    Here's a breakdown of the nutritional value of tahini per 2 tablespoons (30 grams):

    • Calories: 178
    • Fat: 16 grams
    • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
    • Protein: 5 grams
    • Fiber: 3 grams
    • Calcium: 130 mg (10% of the Daily Value)
    • Iron: 2.6 mg (14% of the Daily Value)
    • Magnesium: 82 mg (20% of the Daily Value)
    • Phosphorus: 142 mg (20% of the Daily Value)

    How Much Tahini Should Be Consumed Daily?

    Moderation is key when it comes to tahini consumption. While it's highly nutritious, it's also calorie-dense due to its fat content. A recommended daily portion is about 2 tablespoons, which can easily be integrated into your meals. Be mindful of your overall calorie intake to maintain a balanced diet.

    What Are the Drawbacks of Tahini?

    Tahini is a fantastic addition to your diet, but there are a few considerations:

    • • Calorie Density: Its high fat content means it's calorie-dense. Overconsumption can lead to weight gain if not balanced with other nutrients.
    • • Allergen Warning: Sesame seeds are one of the top allergens. If you have a sesame allergy, tahini is off-limits.
    • • Not Suitable for Low-Fat Diets: If you're on a low-fat diet, tahini may not be the best choice due to its fat content.
    • • Oxalate Content: Tahini contains oxalates, which could contribute to kidney stones if consumed excessively.

    Tahini is not just a versatile and tasty addition to your dishes; it's a nutritionally packed powerhouse that can enhance your health and culinary experiences. From its simple production to the myriad of benefits it offers, tahini deserves a spot in your kitchen. Just remember to enjoy it in moderation and savor the many flavors it can bring to your table.

    The content of the page is for informational purposes only, please consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

    Nutrition and Dietary


    Şevval ARAZ

    Koru Sincan Hospital

    Nutrition and Dietary


    Selin ŞENEL

    Koru Ankara Hastanesi