Move over hummus! A staple component of Middle Eastern cuisine, tahini is gaining tasty traction in the dessert department, subbing in as a key ingredient for those with nut allergies – and a sweet tooth!
Beige and unassuming, tahini has long been overlooked as a supporting culinary character in a long cast of Arabic pantry staples – rather than given its due (hummus non-withstanding) as a star ingredient with a flavour profile worth hero-ing.
A paste-like condiment made from hulled, ground, and toasted sesame seeds its roots have always been savoury ones – an anchor to Middle Eastern and Levantine comfort foods such as baba ghanoush, hummus, Turkish pekmez, or as a topping for shawarma and a drizzle with falafel.
And while tahini has also enjoyed a sweet spotlight in Middle Eastern dishes such as halva or Iraqi rashi, it’s only recently catching on as a go-to ingredient globally when it comes to desserts, thanks to its allergy-friendly status as a substitute for peanut and other nut butters. This is in part due to its consistency, and a satisfying and ever-so-slightly bitter and nutty flavour.
Cakes, cookies, or pastries – how you choose to incorporate this versatile ingredient into your sweet routine is up to you, but here are a few of our favourite recipes for tahini desserts that more than hit the spot!
Start your morning right with this big glass of yum. The best part? It takes literally two minutes to blitz up!
• 2 large, ripe frozen bananas
• 2 Tbsp tahini
• 3 fresh dates
• 2 cups filtered water
• A pinch of vanilla powder
• Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Serve immediately.
Everyone loves a creamy spoonful of jiggly-cold chocolate pudding. Upgrade your classic recipe with this tahini-based version for a nutty twist.
• 1 small avocado
• 1/3 cup tahini
• 2 Tbsp cacao powder
• 3 Tbsp honey (or agave or coconut nectar)
• 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
• 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp salt
• Cacao nibs
• Coconut sugar
• Whipped cream
• Cool Whip
• Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
• Blend until very smooth.
• Remove from blender and transfer to a bowl.
• If desired, chill before eating – if not, top with desired toppings and eat up.
You’ll want to keep snacking on these chewy-gooey morsels all day – they’re that addictive. Plus, the combo of coconut and tahini is a toasted match made in heaven!
• ½ cup tahini
• ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
• Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to thoroughly combine.
• Spoon into a silicone candy mold and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
• Pop the bites out of the mold and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.