Friday, 2 November 2012

Is Tahini good for you?

Meridian Light Tahini - a tasty alternative to peanut butter
I must tell you about this jar of light Tahini which we have in our fridge.  While it is there right now, it won't last long.

This is the first time we've had it and, while it is an "acquired" taste, we think it is delicious but it does take a bit of getting used to!  It is necessary to keep it in the fridge in order to prevent it from becoming rancid.  It can be used as a dip or, for myself, I use it as an alternative to peanut butter.  It is necessary to give it a stir as the oils do naturally separate out over a few days.

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a simple food, popular in Middle Eastern cookery.  It is simply sesame seeds which have been ground into a paste.  Simple as that.  

The health benefits of sesame seeds are well known but have you tried to eat them?  Believe me, it takes some time to eat the seeds - slowly grinding them in your mouth (risking your teeth in the process) and then swishing it down with a glass of water.  Why go through all of that when you can have Tahini?

This Meridian Tahini is made only with sesame seeds.  It is hulled and roasted as part of the process although a darker version is available.  They roast the seeds for 25-30 minutes at 210°C.  The Natural and Organic products are manufactured using the sample process and equipment so texture is similar.  They do have different flavours.  The Natural Light Tahini made with hulled sesame seeds which produces quite a bitter taste.  I understand the dark Tahini is made with unhulled sesame seeds and is less bitter.  However, it is all down to personal taste but I'm enjoying the bitterness.  Makes me want to try out the darker, less bitter version afterwards - it could be even nicer.

Nutritional information

Tahini is a very rich food and a good source of many nutrients.  In reality it is best used sparingly; little and often.  It is a good source of healthy fatty acids - thats omega 3 and 6 - which we cannot manufacture ourselves so a regular intake is of benefit to our bodies.

It also contains thiamin (helpful for the nervous system), phosphorus and calcium (benefiting bones, teeth and kidney function).  Vitamin E is as well as small amounts of zinc.  Fibre at 11.8g per 100g is good but of limited effect as the intake quantities are relatively small.

So, is Tahini good for you?  Yes, without doubt.


We are slowly catching on to Meridian as we have quite a few of their products in our kitchen nowadays.  In fact a while ago we commented on their peanut butter.  Take a look at their website and see how they have developed quite a wide range of healthy foodstuffs.  Even Sainsbury's are selling some lines these days.


We love it!  Aside from using it as an alternative to peanut butter, we are going to try it in a few recipies before too long.


  1. Hi Doug, I have used Meridian Tahini for a while. I tend to just use it to make hummous, tahini, chickpeas with preferred herbs and spices.
    Thanks for good honest ramblings! Regards, Mark.

  2. Thank you Mark. Home made hummous.... that sounds very tempting.