Friday, September 22

Tahini: the Ultimate Super Food

How do you combine tahini in your diet and get all the good things out of it without worrying about gaining weight? Tahini is one of the foods used widely in mediterranean countries. Nowadays, tahini can be found almost anywhere and is being used in some dishes in gourmet restaurants around the world. What is it about tahini that made it so popular? Is it the high nutritional value? Is it theunique taste? or simply the feeling that it’s already a part of us?


From the sesame seeds to the prepared spread


The tahini is prepared on the basis of ground sesame seeds. The sesame seeds can be grounded with whole sesame seeds or peeled sesame seeds. The difference between the two is expressed in taste but also in nutritional values, because some vitamins and minerals are found only in the shell.


Raw tahini vs. tahini salad


One of the main differences in the field of tahini is who prepared it. The tahini can be purchased in two forms: raw tahini, which comes thick and rich in flavor and requires various additions and mixes, as opposed to the ready-made tahini salads that are bought in supermarkets, food stalls and various oriental restaurants.


Each type has its own advantages and the argument over which tahini is tastier is of course, a question of taste and personal preference. There are many restaurants around the world that do not give up the authentic taste and use only the best raw tahini to give the diners the full experience of tahini. Raw tahini.


Mix the raw tahini with a little water, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and of course parsley. Some add various spices such as sweet red paprika, black or white pepper, various herbs, natural garlic or dried garlic powder and a variety of ingrediants. Some argue that due to the preservatives or the long standing of the prepared tahini, a bit bitter taste is added to it. Because of this, they prefer the fresh tahini.


Ready to serve Tahini salads


Some prefer to buy their tahini ready made. They don’t want to start stirring and mixing and some also claim that the prepared version is tastier than the one they prepared themselves. The prepared tahini comes in a wide variety of flavors and colors (red, green, white, etc.).


Nutritional value


The tahini has a high nutritional value and is recommended for almost any type of diet. Although the caloric value of the tahini is not low (300-320 calories per 100 grams of prepared tahini and 620 calories per 100 grams of raw tahini, an average of 45-55 calories per teaspoon of prepared tahini and 95 calories per teaspoon of raw tahini) it’s nutritional composition has many advantages.


The percentage of fat in tahini is relatively high and reaches 59 percent per 100 grams in raw tahini and 27 percent per 100 grams in tahini salad. Tahini is considered an important source of iron (9-11 grams per 100 grams of raw tahini and 1.5-2.5 grams per 100 grams of prepared tahini). Although the source of iron is from a plant and therefore its absorption efficiency is relatively low, it is considered an important source of iron in a vegetarian diet.


In addition, tahini is an important source of calcium. The amount of calcium in tahini is strongly influenced by sesame – whole or not. If you prepare the tahini with olive oil (or add it to the decoration), you also get omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids that are important for your daily diet and health.


Parsley, also an integral component of ready-made tahini, also contains a bit of iron and calcium and a significant amount of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.


Halva: the granddaughter of the tahini


Tahini is now available in almost every possible combination: ice cream, mousse, eggplant salads and other packed salads.


One of the most successful offspring of tahini is halva. The first spreads of the tahini were based on honey and silan, but today the components of the halva include mainly: glucose, sugar, root extract of sponera, vanilla and other flavors. The milk can be obtained with vanilla, cocoa, nut and even nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc.).


Halvah, such as tahini, is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium and low in sodium. It contains an average of 520 calories per 100 grams, 10-12 grams of protein, 26-30 percent fat and 60 grams of carbohydrates. Some halva contains hydrogenated fats (margarine) and vegetable stabilizers.


For the weight watchers, there is a refined version of halva called “halvah lite” or “no sugar added halva.” In these products, the calorie range around 390 calories per 23 grams of fat and contain the sweetener maltitol instead of sugar or glucose. The advantage of the lite halvah is that you can buy individual packages of 25 grams gr per unit and not to attack the pack of 500 grams without limitation.


Useful advice


Tahini is one of the most important foods in the daily diet. It is rich in nutrition and mineral content, but it is important to remember that it belongs to the fat group within the food pyramid. Because the type of fat in the tahini is considered healthy, tahini is highly recommended for children who have trouble gaining weight and/or vegetarian diet.


Even halva deserves a place of honor in the daily/weekly diet and is recommended instead of other snacks. Note thaton almost every packaging of tahini, you can find the nutritional values for 100 grams and also for a tablespoon.


The health benefits of tahini


Wrongly, tahini is the less popular sister of the hummus. It is full of nutritional health values, including high levels of calcium and sesame oil to reduce “bad” cholesterol, and is recommended for daily eating by dietitians, of course in measured quantities.


Tahini is made from grinding sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are rich in protein, calcium, B vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids. Most of these fatty acids, essential to human health, belong to the omega-6 group and some to omega-9. Calcium is important for building the bone. The iron is important to keep the level of hemoglobin in the blood, In addition, the tahini contains anti-oxidants, which help to clean harmful by products created by oxidation processes in the body.


Sesame grows in knapsacks, similar to peas. The pods are harvested and placed in a high place. Thanks to the heat of the sun, the backpack is opened and the sesame seeds are stacked on the ground. The slogan from the story tale Ali Baba – “Open Sesame” – shows how it grew.


Whole sesame tahini is tahini that has been grind with the sesame shell. It is slightly bitter, darker than regular tahini, but since most vitamins and minerals are found in the nucleus, it benefits from significant vitamin and mineral content and a significant amount of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps to improve digestion. Organic tahini from whole sesame is often called sesame butter.


When the Tahini is too white it indicates the use of bleaching chemicals. A salty tahini testifies to the addition of salt to cover the side effects of sesame seeds that are not of high quality. High salinity can be identified by the nutritional table shown on the tahini label.


Naturally, sesame contains about 10mg of sodium per 100 grams of product. Over 100mg of sodium per 100 grams a product will be considered as high sodium. Floating oil on the surface of the tahini does not indicate the quality of the product. Separating the oil from raw tahini is a natural process. A slight stirring will return the product to its normal, homogeneous texture.