Colour in food is an incredible thing. Various hues of greens, reds and beige-y whites are probably most common on our plates. But there is a host of natural colour in food to be explored. Sesame seeds come in an array of colour; whites, blacks, browns, reds and more. Black is colour we don’t often see in our foods, so when making tahini, opting for black seeds instead of white, offers something that is visually striking and obscure. A black tahini also has a nuttier and more intense bitter flavour than it’s white counterpart.
These little seeds are a whole lot of good and are packed full of nutrients:
- Copper – important in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems
- Magnesium – helps regulate blood pressure and is vital for bone integrity
- Calcium – Like magnesium, calcium is vital for bone health and is critical in maintaining the bodies pH balance – making sure we don’t get too acidic or alkalic
- Fibre – keeps things moving…..
- Thiamine (B1) – aids the production of energy from carbohydrates and fats, as well offering support to the nervous system
Buying black tahini can set you back a fair pop, I’ve come across jars of 250g for £5.99, but you can make your own far cheaper. From the range of seeds you can buy, sesame seeds tend to be one of the cheapest, and they go a long way. I always buy in bulk, it lasts me a long time and is far cheaper in the long run. You can source 500g organic black sesame seeds for £4.99 from a range of health food shops. No brainer eh?
What on Earth to do with it?
There are plenty of things you can add black tahini too
- Dark chocolate and black tahini cookies
- Salad dressings
When making tahini with black seeds, you’ll notice you’ll have a grainier texture to what you might be used too, that’s fine. The hi-tech kit to make commercial tahini is able to get a much finer grind which is why some tahini’s almost look liquid when you purchase them. Making your own, it’ll have a different texture; more grainy but it still tastes great.
Black Tahini Paste
Making tahini some scratch is really easy. Black tahini in particular can be expensive, so make it at home for a tasty, inexpensive treat
- 200 g sesame seeds black
- 4 tbsp flavourless oil sunflower, groundnut, vegetable (not cold pressed rapeseed), canola etc
You can either toast the sesame seeds for a couple of minutes on a low heat (be careful not to burn, it's hard to see!) OR soak the seeds for a couple of hours in enough water to cover the seeds and then drain
In a food processor or blender (the latter might give you a finer paste), add the seeds and oil/water and blend. Let it run for about 8-10 minutes but check every couple of minutes to ensure any seeds pushed the side are pushed back down. You might find adding some more water/oil helps loosen things a little, but you don't want to detract from the seeds releasing their oils so care to not go overboard
Keep blending until you've got a fine paste. Pop into a cooled sterilised jar and refridgate. This will keep well for a month, but I doubt it'll hang around that long.
Makes about 1 cup / ~200g paste.