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What is Tahini Butter?

If you close your eyes and imagine 'tahini butter', what do you see?

We see a chunky block of tahini, nestled in a butter dish.

Turns out it isn't literally a block of tahini shaped like butter (as one might think from the phrase).

The images you see are the creations we get from DALL.E when we investigated how AI visualises 'tahini butter'. So then, what exactly is tahini butter and why are people talking about it?

 

assortment of 4 different tahini butters

What is tahini butter?

'Tahini butter' is a term growing in popularity. After we did some research, we can see that two things going on with the rise of this phrase. 

The first is that both tahini and butter are being combined in recipes that mix them together and serve them with sweet potatoes. The recipe that seems to have made tahini butter famous, is a mix of:

  • tahini
  • butter (vegan or dairy)
  • lime juice
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • and seasonings like kosher salt and pepper

Secondly - 'tahini butter' is part of a broader lexicon of phrases surrounding tahini. For example, think of  "tahini paste", "tahini sauce", sesame paste", "whipped tahini" - all different terms highlighting the tahini's versatility as an incredible ingredient for many things.

In fact, there are other buttery things that tahini gets compared to. Think about peanut butter. We often get questions about whether our tahini is anything like peanut butter, and while the two have very distinct in flavor profiles - the comparison between tahini and peanut butter does hold when considering their similar uses in various dishes. 

Note: our own tahini is totally nut-free. 

Can you use normal tahini as butter?

Absolutely. Artisanal Tahini with its creamy, rich texture can be used much like butter. Slather it straight on toast. Spread it on a sweet potato. Use it in place of butter in your baking recipes. 

Remember, you don't need to mix tahini with butter to use it in these ways. Its texture and flavor alone makes tahini a versatile and delicious butter substitute. 

Fun Fact: If you want to use tahini instead of butter in baking, try replacing every ½ cup of butter with a ½ cup of tahini and 1 tablespoon of water. Recommended especially for choc chip cookies.

If you do want to experiment with adding vegan butter to tahini - we've got some ideas below. 

tahini being spread on bread

Image: our tahini and dates being spread on bread straight from the jar

How to make tahini butter at home

The OG version was first documented, we think, by Carla Lalli Music

  • 100% pure tahini
  • Butter (vegan or dairy)
  • Lime juice
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Seasonings like kosher salt and pepper

Inspired and a little bit in love with the idea of tahini butter, here are some variations we've thought of:

Herby garlicky tahini butter 🌿🧄 

Ingredients:

  • Artisinal Tahini
  • Butter (vegan or dairy)
  • Fresh Garlic, minced
  • Fresh Herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, or dill), finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Start with a base of equal parts tahini and butter in a bowl
  2. Add minced garlic to your liking.
  3. Chop your choice of fresh herbs and mix them in.
  4. Follow the same process as the original recipe, adjusting the taste with more herbs or garlic as needed.

Spicy tahini butter 🌶️ 🧯

Ingredients:

  • Artisinal Tahini
  • Butter (vegan or dairy)
  • Chili Flakes or Hot Sauce
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Lime Juice

Directions:

  1. Combine tahini and butter in equal parts.
  2. Add chili flakes or a few drops of your favorite hot sauce for some heat.
  3. For a smoky flavor, mix in a pinch of paprika.
  4. Squeeze in some lime juice for a tangy twist.
  5. Mix well and adjust the spiciness to your taste.

Sweet tahini butter 🍯 🥞 

Ingredients:

Directions:
  1. Blend equal parts of tahini and butter.
  2. Stir in honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
  3. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract for extra flavor.
  4. Mix well until you achieve a smooth, sweet spread.

Tahini vs butter

Tahini isn't trying to be butter, and butter isn't trying to be tahini. But seeing as this post is all about the term 'tahini butter' - here's a quick round up of nutritional differences.

Nutritional Face-Off:

Tahini:

  • Nutrient Powerhouse: Tahini is the sesame seed sensation, loaded with essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and a decent dose of protein.
  • Heart-Healthy Fats: It's rich in unsaturated fats, the good guys that are kind to your heart.
  • Low in Cholesterol: Unlike butter, tahini has no cholesterol, making it a heart-friendly option.

Butter:

  • Vitamin-Rich: Butter is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and D.
  • Saturated Fats: It has a higher amount of saturated fats, so moderation is key.
  • Cholesterol Content: Contains cholesterol, something to keep in mind for those watching their intake.

The Swap: Tahini Instead of Butter

If you're ever going to experiment swapping out straight butter for tahini we recommend putting it on your:

  • Veggies - tahini loves veggies.  Drizzle it over roasted veggies or stir it into a salad dressing.
  • Toast, pancakes, or waffles - seriously so good.  Spread tahini on these breakfast favorites for a nutty, tasty change.
  • Creamy Pasta Sauces: instead of butter, use tahini to create rich, creamy pasta sauces.
  • Mashed Potatoes: mix some tahini into your mashed potatoes instead of butter for a rich, velvety side dish.
  • Cookies, Cakes, Brownies: use tahini as a butter substitute in your baking recipes. 

Here's our delicious tahini. And here are lots more tahini recipes

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