Since first writing about making almond butter, I’ve made a whole host of nut butters – cashew nut, peanut and tahini (which I know is from a seed not a nut!!). The tahini is a particular success, and much better than anything I’ve ever bought in a shop. It never solidifies, has an amazingly intense flavour and is as unadulterated as you can get – not a preservative or colour in site.
In case you didn’t know, tahini is just sesame seed paste, traditionally used in North African, Middle Eastern and Turkish or Greek cooking. Sesame seeds are a great nutritional addition to a plant based whole food diet as they contain a fabulous amounts of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc, all essential minerals to keep us healthy. Not only that, but sesame seeds also pack a punch with vitamin E (fabulous skin!), B1 and other phytonutrients and anti-oxidants. Sesame seeds have an ancient history, going back to prehistoric times and are connected to many early tales about ancient Gods. They are even mentioned in early Hindu legends where they symbolise immortality. They must have known how good they were even then!
I lightly toasted my sesame seeds before grinding them down to make tahini – this does release more of the natural oils, but these have omega 3 healthy oils in them, so it’s good fat that’s released. I think this makes it easier to break the seeds down in the processor and form a paste.
A main ingredient for my old favourite, hummus, I also use tahini for a light, refreshing dressing that packs a punch of flavour – stirred into fresh, crisp veg, it really does make a wonderful type of slaw that’s pretty unusual. As I eat dairy free, I use soya yoghurt. There are a few brands on the market, most of which have added sugar which is most disappointing as it really doesn’t need it. So I either make my own using my trusty Lakeland yoghurt maker, or try to buy Sojade, a lovely, light make of soya yoghurt that somehow isn’t too heavy on the soya flavour (wish I knew how they did it!).
This slaw tastes amazing with hummus and flat bread, or on a simple baked potato. So give it a go and see what you think – and add this to your own slaw collection!
Tahini and yoghurt slaw
2 carrots, grated
1/8 red cabbage finely shredded
1/8 green cabbage finely shredded
2 sticks celery, finely sliced on an angle
flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons dairy free yoghurt
1 clove crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
Prepare your vegetables and pop in a large bowl together. Admire the colours all mixed together! Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl, taste and add more juice or seasoning to get the flavour you want. Then stir into the veg, mix together and sprinkle the parsley over the top. Enjoy!
If you’re watching your refined oil intake, omit the olive oil. It will still taste great.