Sweet and Creamy Maple Tahini Fruit Dip (and Why You Should Eat More Tahini)

tahini dip

Most people know tahini as a main ingredient in hummus; a thick, somewhat bitter paste made of ground sesame seeds. There are, however, so many yummy ways to use tahini. I love using it in a tasty sauce to pour over falafel, and it makes a delicious and easy creamy salad dressing. Tahini is also used in desserts like halva and is sometimes mixed with honey for a sweet spread. The idea of using tahini as a fruit dip came to me one day after I had mixed up some of my favorite salad dressing. I grabbed an apple slice from my salad and dipped it in the dressing to check for taste, and thought, dang… this would make a delicious fruit dip!

tahini maple fruit dip

After a few minor tweaks with sweetener and the amount of water mixed in, it was transformed from salad dressing to a sweet and creamy dip. I love this stuff! My daughter and I were eating it straight from our spoons. Forget the apple and orange slices, I could just dip my face in it, and given my penchant for kitchen beauty experiments, that really wouldn’t be too far out of the realm of possibilities. For now though, I’d recommend dipping in any kind of fruit – apples, oranges, kiwi, bananas. Or you could also use it as a yummy spread on toast, cracker, or rice cakes. I had a banana all set to slice and include in my photos, but mommy brain took over and I left it sitting there, completely forgetting about it until I was done taking pictures and cleaning up. Something else I remembered later: spicing up my fruit, especially the apples. I’ve done everything from cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom to Chinese Five Spice. It’s a must-try!

appleslices

Let’s get back to tahini and chat a little about its nutritional profile for a moment, shall we? Sesame seeds, and the creamy product of those little seeds being pulverized mechanically (tahini), is quite a nutritional powerhouse. I didn’t even realize all the benefits that I was reaping with my tahini obsession. Check them out:

Just 2 Tablespoons of tahini has…

  • 5 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 12% Daily Recommended Intake of calcium
  • 12% DRI of zinc
  • 14% DRI of iron
  • 22% DRI of phosphorous
  • 22% DRI of manganese
  • 24% DRI of magnesium
  • 80% DRI of copper
  • plenty of healthy fats (great for your heart, and skin!)

While the seeds are tough to digest, the paste from grinding sesame seeds (tahini) is much easier on the digestive system and the nutrients are more readily absorbed. Health wise you’ll benefit your heart, help prevent cancer, and keep your bones strong. Sesame seeds have unique chemical compounds called lignans, and studies have shown that consuming tahini on a regular basis can help lower cholesterol. Tahini consumption may also help balance hormones, improve arthritis symptoms, and reduce blood pressure.

Including tahini in your diet may also help boost your beauty. Sesame seeds contain B vitamins, as well as selenium, zinc, and protein, all of which are essential for healthy hair. Zinc and selenium are also important for clear skin, as many acne sufferers are deficient in these nutrients. Tahini is an awesome source of copper, which is important for absorption of iron, formation of collagen (think firm, plump skin), a healthy immune system, preventing osteoporosis, and keeping you energized. Copper is also essential for keeping the pigment in your hair and skin vibrant. Tahini and sesame seeds are high in antioxidants, another way they help keep you looking and feeling young. Eating tahini on a regular basis my also support liver health, as sesame seeds are high in the amino acid methionine, a natural detoxifier.

fruit dip tahini

There are two different kinds of tahini you may come across, hulled and unhulled. Unhulled tahini is made from the whole tahini seeds, so all of those nutritional goodies remain intact. The calcium content, for example, is 60% higher in unhulled tahini than hulled. It is also quite bitter/strong in flavor. I recommend maybe starting out with hulled tahini (you will note in the store that it is lighter in color, more of a beige than a tan or light brown) and then eventually when you’re accustomed to the flavor, work your way toward using unhulled. I have been buying the more mild tasting hulled variety lately, because my daughter is more likely to try it. Before that I was using unhulled tahini, and had gotten used to the strong taste. Another idea, especially for kids (or adults!) who are sensitive to strong flavors, is to mix up part almond butter and part tahini. It works great in this dip!

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that tahini is more than just a paste that you add to your hummus. If you haven’t tried it in a sweeter recipe, I highly recommend making this easy dip. Just a handful of ingredients, no special equipment needed, and lots of yummy possibilities for enjoying it. Now go get dippin’!

Sweet and Creamy Maple Tahini Fruit Dip

makes about 3/4-1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp of maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 2-3 Tbsp of water to thin (or more as desired)
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

Simply add all ingredients to a bowl and mix mix mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more maple syrup if desired. Add more water depending on how thin you’d like it. It will thicken up in the fridge as it cools. Store in the fridge. Serve with sliced apples, orange slices, sliced kiwi, bananas or any other fruit. Can also be used as a yummy spread on crackers or toast.

Tips:

A bonus to mixing tahini with orange and lemon juice is that the vitamin C from citrus fruit helps your body absorb the iron from the tahini.

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298585.php

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6997/10-Reasons-to-Eat-Tahini.html

http://draxe.com/sesame-seeds/

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition-recipes/6-great-reasons-to-eat-tahini

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12 thoughts on “Sweet and Creamy Maple Tahini Fruit Dip (and Why You Should Eat More Tahini)

    1. Yay! I have a convert! πŸ™‚ I’m so excited to hear you will give it a try. Tahini can be one of those things people either love or hate, but definitely give it a chance. So many health benefits πŸ™‚ and lots of different ways to enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard so many horrible things about it in terms of taste and I think that’s probably why I’ve never tried it out. But based on the health benefits, definitely worth trying out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s definitely bitter just on its own, I wouldn’t recommend eating it straight! But mixed with other things, either sweet or savory, it’s quite yummy! Might have to try it a few different ways πŸ˜‰

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  1. I used to hate tahini and as I got more and more into eating for health I started loving it and I use it every which way! Lately I’ve been doing more balck sesame seeds as they are higher in magnesium and switch up the color palate πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very cool! Last time I went to our health food store I was all set on buying some black sesame seeds but when I saw the price I changed my mind! I will have to look into buying them online I think. Do you make tahini with them? It’s been a couple of years since I made homemade tahini but I would like to get back to that. Always love to hear your experiences/feedback, thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never use Tahini for anything else than hummus and occasionally a dressing. However, I always loved the stuff so I can’t wait to try this fruit dip next week when I get back home πŸ™‚ I didn’t know Tahini was this healthy until I read you post! It’s like a wonder food!
    I’ll let you know as soon as I try it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay! I can’t wait for you to try this dip! I love drizzling almond butter or peanut butter on apples but this is something just a little different and it’s fun to change things up! And with all those nutrients it makes a healthy snack! I knew it was a good source of calcium but I too was surprised by all the other vitamins and minerals as well as the studies that have been done on it. Pretty awesome stuff! πŸ™‚

    Like

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