Tahini is a delectable condiment appraised for its thick, nutty texture and flavorful spices. As an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, Tahini is often compared to the taste of peanut butter.
It is usually consumed by itself as a dip or combined with other condiments to create new assortments. With so many options to choose from, a valid question that arises is whether the earthy seasoning is vegan-friendly. Well, thankfully, yes, it is, and we’ll tell you why.
Why is Tahini Good for Vegans?
The reason why Tahini is a good vegan option is due to its high plant-based content. It is made from ground-up sesame seeds beaten into a creamy paste or sauce. With a mildly bitter taste that complements sweet as well as savory options, Tahini is the preferred choice for most vegans and even non-vegans.
Tahini can be paired with every food under the roof as it is extremely versatile. As a plant-based spread, Tahini works well for almost all vegan foods and is also a great source of nutrients.
Benefits of Consuming Tahini
The slightly creamy yet fudgy sauce spread is naturally a good alternative to nutty butter. Despite being a nutritious vegan source, it is often attributed to numerous health benefits as well.
Some of them are listed below:
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Tahini is basically made from sesame seeds which exhibit anti-inflammatory properties according to recent animal studies. In general, sesame seed contains anti-oxidants that may ease inflammation and pain related to injury, lung disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Rich in Anti-Oxidants: Tahini is replete with antioxidants due to the presence of lignan sesamin, a compound that may prevent your body from free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to tissues and contribute to the development of diseases.
- Great Source of Fibre: Sesame seeds are rich in fiber. Three tablespoons of sesame seeds provide a solid 3.5 grams of fiber. They are responsible for keeping your gut healthy and preventing digestive issues.
It is also full of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates which makes it a perfect choice for vegans.
What Makes Tahini Non-Vegan?
Tahini is a wholly plant-based food as it is derived from ground-up sesame seeds, which are vegan. In some cases where it is combined with extra ingredients or other formulations, then the sesame paste can become non-vegan. For example, Tahini is used as a cooking sauce in meat dishes and even added to ice cream and parfait.
Even the kind of oil used matters. Most manufacturers opt for plain vegetable oil, which is vegan. However, if there are traces of non-vegan oils like palm oil, then it is not vegan.
Ways to Use Tahini in Cooking
Tahini is widely used as a sweet or savory dip in numerous dishes. If you add more oil, it transforms into a runny sauce and forms a thick paste if you reduce it. Listed below are some ways to use tahini for cooking.
A popular creamy chickpea dip combined with tahini paste gives the hummus a delicious, creamy consistency. Hummus is a staple that is added to almost every vegan food to increase its flavor. It is a rich, creamy dip used in recipes like Beet Tahini Hummus.
If you already have homemade tahini or store-bought ones lying at your disposal, then it’s pretty easy to make your own hummus dip.
A generous amount of thin tahini sauce combined with nutritious greens makes for a flavorful salad. It is used as a salad dressing in some dishes due to its rich, tangy flavor. Toss a couple of your favorite leafy greens into a bowl and mix with olive oil, ginger, pepper, and tahini for a mouth-watering vegan meal.
Falafel is a deep-fried patty made from chickpeas and fava beans. The outer crust is often paired with a sumptuous dressing that includes a tahini spoonful. You can even use tahini on falafel salad as a sauce to balance the flavors and add a creamy texture to the mix.
Halwa is a sweet dish native to Middle Eastern cuisine. This nut-butter-based dish is a confectionary beloved by many and is often enriched by mixing a spoonful of tahini. Tahini can also be used in other gluten-free, vegan desserts to add flavor.
This is a dip similar to hummus, but instead of chickpeas as the main ingredient, eggplant is used. Baba Ghanoush is an excellent vegan dish that uses Tahini as one of its main ingredients. Dunk warm pita bread with this rich tahini dip and let the magic unfold.
Best Vegan Tahini Brands
Tahini is a highly flexible ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes. As it gains traction in the US, there are more and more brands emerging with their own tahini recipes. Listed below are some of the best vegan tahini brands.
Baron’s Organic Tahini
This runny and creamy gluten-free, vegan tahini is a blessing for your tastebuds. The Baron’s Organic Tahini is perfect for those looking for balanced flavors. With a hint of sweetness and a nutty texture, this makes an excellent and palatable choice for vegans.
Whole Foods 365 Organic Tahini
The Whole Foods Organic Tahini has a rich, creamy texture with noticeable nuttiness. Even though the consistency tends to be runny at times, the taste itself is incredibly delightful and pleasant.
Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini
Lastly, Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini is a classic mix with a subtle grittiness to its texture. The flavors are high-quality, fresh, and mild if you are not a fan of the overpowering bitter tahinis. It has a richly nutty texture that has a perfect balance of sweet tinges and a slightly gritty aftertaste.
Tahini is a perfect addition to a fairly simple dish. Spritz it over your salads as a sauce or serve it as a dip for pita bread. In addition to its flavorful texture, it is rich in nutrients.
Create your own tahini recipe or procure your jar from stores. It’s time to add tahini to your long list of vegan goodies!