Food – Sesame Butter and Sesame Tahini

There is a difference between sesame butter and tahini. Here we give some insights into sesame seeds that you may never have known before. Enjoy!

“In popular health food books, and on countless Internet sites, there is much confusion over the names of the healthful phenolic compounds found in sesame seeds and their oil. … The actual seeds contain about 50-60 percent of a fatty oil that is characterized by two members of the lignin family: sesamin and sesamolin. When the seeds are refined (as in the making of sesame oil), two other phenolic antioxidants—sesamol ane sesaminol—are formed. …

“It’s hardly surprising that sesame seeds help reduce cholesterol, since they are so rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. … A team of researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University tested twenty-seven different nut and seed products. If sesame seeds had a public relations agent, the results of the study would have made her very happy indeed. Sesame seeds (and wheat germ) had the highest phytosterol content of all the products tested: 400 mg per 100 g. The main phytosterol identified in all the nut and seed samples was beta-sitosterol, which is known not only for lowering cholesterol but also for supporting prostate health.

“Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, but there is some controversy over how useful that calcium is to the body since much of it is bound to oxalic acid, making it less bio-available. According to natural-foods expert Rebecca Wood, hulling (the process of removing the outer skin) removes the oxalic acid, but it also removes most of the calcium, plus the fiber and a lot of the potassium and iron. In certain parts of Japan, whole sesame seeds are an essential part of the diet and are prepared as a condiment known as gomasio, made by toasting whole sesame seeds with unrefined sea salt at high temperatures. Toasting the whole sesame seeds at these high temperatures may improve the assimilation of calcium by getting rid of the oxalates.

“Calcium aside, sesame seeds are also a rich source of minerals, fiber, and protein. Two tablespoons of seeds contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese, 35 percent of the Daily Value of copper, 2g of fiber and 3g of protein—more protein than any other nut or seed.

“You can really enhance their nutty flavor by toasting them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they’re golden brown. They come in shades of black, brown, and yellow as well as the more common beige variety. The black seeds have a stronger flavor. Sesame butter is a great alternative to peanut butter and is usually made of whole roasted sesame seeds. Tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds and is therefore a more refined product, though still delicious. …” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., pages 159, 160.

Sesame Butter
1 cup toasted sesame seeds ⅛ tsp. salt (optional)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil  
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency. Keep tahini in the fridge in a glass container.


Sesame Seed Hummus
1 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzos) 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
½ cup sesame seeds 1 tsp. olive oil, optional
2 cloves garlic, peeled & cut in half 1 tsp. salt
Drain chickpea liquid directly into a blender or food processor. Set chickpeas aside. Add the sesame seeds and garlic to the blender, cover, and puree until smooth (3–4 min.). Add chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, and oil (if using) to blender. Cover and mix until well blended, stopping and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Pour into a serving dish.