Thursday, July 1, 2010

Make your own raw tahini and cheesy tahini broccoli recipe

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Broccoli smothered in cheesy tahini sauce

I already toted the many amazing benefits of sesame seeds here so we'll skip that part in this post and go straight to the awesomeness that is tahini.

Raw tahini is delightfully easy, and inexpensive, to make. And you can do such awesome things with it! I personally love using tahini as salad dressing. And when I discovered you could make a delicious cheese sauce with it...!! You can't really tell from the photo, but this makes a deliciously creamy and cheesy sauce that you can use on zucchini linguine, or for kale chips, or really just about anywhere that cheesy goodness could go (which is pretty much anywhere). The cheesy tahini broccoli is my version of Julie Morris's awesome recipe. While you're there check out her other recipes, yum they sure do look good!

How to make raw tahini
You will need just two ingredients:
sesame seeds
raw sesame oil

Put the seeds in a food processor or blender and begin grinding, slowly adding oil until it reaches the desired consistency. I used a magic bullet, so there was a lot of shaking going on to mix it up. If you're using a food processor or blender, you may need to occasionally pause and scrape down the sides and let it cool down a bit to keep it from overheating.

It's important that the sesame oil is raw as toasted sesame oil has a very strong taste. If you can't find raw, then either go for raw olive oil or cold-pressed sesame or olive oil. If you live in toronto, Essence of Life on Kensington Avenue has reasonably priced cold-pressed oils - you'll have to contact the companies to find out if they're raw.

I used hulled sesame seeds, which the person at the store said was raw. But I am learning that when most people say something is "raw" what they really mean is "unroasted". Try this recipe with black sesame seeds and unhulled seeds for some variety. The unhulled version will likely be more sesame-y, but it will also have considerably more calcium! According to World's Healthiest Foods, one tablespoon of hulled seeds contain 37mg of calcium, compared to 88mg in the same quantity of unhulled seeds. Though, the type of calcium in the husk is of a less absorbable kind.

Broccoli with cheesy tahini sauce

The broccoli
1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped
olive oil
lemon juice

Rub the broccoli florets with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and salt like marinade. This will help to soften the broccoli a bit, making the eating and digesting of it that much more pleasant. Put the broccoli aside to sit in the marinade for at least 1 hour. I often wait till I'm hungry to make food, so the last time I made this it sat for only 45 min, and was quite perfect. It was the first time I had eaten raw broccoli in such a large quantity so I was a bit nervous as to how it would go. Had no problems (luckily as I went out afterward). If, however, you're not used to eating raw I would start with this as a side dish.

the cheesy tahini sauce
1/3c tahini
1 tsp soya/tamari sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp paprika (I used a sweet paprika that my sister-in-law brought us from hungary)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water

Blend everything together or whisk it together in a bowl. Pour over your marinated broccoli, mix well and enjoy!


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