Want to learn more about tahini? This paste, which is made from sesame seeds, is a major part of Middle Eastern cuisine and adds a great deal of texture and flavor to every dish. It also has a number of health benefits with very little calories, so it’s a great way to get a boost of minerals and vitamins in your daily diet. Here’s a look at the many health benefits of tahini as well as a few recipe ideas to get you started.

tahini broccoli

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Health Benefits of Tahini

A single tablespoon of tahini has less than 90 calories with almost 3 grams of protein and only 8 grams of fat. Tahini is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (60mg per serving) and omega-6 fatty acids (3mg per serving), both of which support heart and brain health. This paste is also an excellent source of thiamin, or vitamin B1, which supports digestion, muscle tissue and the nervous system. A single serving offers 12% of your daily phosphorus, a necessary mineral for removing waste and strengthening the bones and teeth, as well as copper to promote the health of your vascular system. Finally, tahini is an excellent source of calcium; in fact, a single serving contains 1/3 of your daily calcium, which is very important as most people in the U.S. need more calcium in their diet.

Tahini Sauce

Want an easy way to try tahini? This sauce can be used in everything from dips and sandwiches to marinades for your favorite meats. You can keep it stored in the refrigerator for about two weeks so make a large batch and try to get at least one serving per day. To make tahini sauce, combine 1/2 cup tahini and 3 cloves of crushed garlic in a food processor, then add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Place the mixture in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped parsley.

Feta Burger with Tahini

This recipe is a great way to spice up a boring burger. It’s also really easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients. Start by mixing 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, 1/4 pound of crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 cup of diced green peppers, 1/4 cup of diced onions and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl, along with salt and pepper to taste. Shape into patties and set aside. Heat up your grill and cook patties for about 3 minutes per side. Now, top each burger with two tablespoons of crumbled feta and allow the cheese to melt. Add your favorite toppings along with a tablespoon of tahini sauce. Serve warm.

Broccoli with Tahini Paste

Want a delicious, healthy and gourmet appetizer to serve at a dinner party? This dish takes only ten minutes to put together although it’s sure to impress friends. Start by steaming 4 cups of broccoli florets until tender, then drain and set aside. Mix together 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and add just enough water to get a smooth consistency. Add broccoli to the sauce and stir, or serve the broccoli on the side so it can be dipped in the sauce. This sauce also goes wonderfully with bread and an assortment of other vegetables so try setting up a tray.