Tag: tahini recipe

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Every year millions of people participate in biometric screenings. They do this either by choice or they may be mandated to do so by their physicians — or they are required to do this for work.  These screenings are meant to flag any individuals who may be at risk for two of the most common chronic diseases in our country: heart disease and diabetes.  One of the numbers often measured during biometric screenings are one’s total cholesterol, including a breakdown of LDL and HDL. Most people recognize those as the “bad cholesterol” and the “good cholesterol”numbers. Those two values allow the medical team conducting the screens to give advice to individuals based on their risk for heart disease based on lifestyle and more importantly what they eat can impact their health.

People either celebrate their high HDL number, or leave with a set of foods they should include in their daily intake to boost their HDL values. However, a recent study found that just looking at your HDL high numbers and resting assured that you’re protected from heart disease may not be that simple. HDL cholesterol is credited with protecting against heart disease because these lipoproteins help eliminate the excess cholesterol from the bloodstream. Therefore, looking at how well they function is just as important as looking at the quantity of HDL present in your bloodstream.

Previously, small-scale trials have shown that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods (virgin olive oil, tomatoes, berries, for example.) improved HDL function in humans. Recently, researchers selected 296 people at high risk of cardiovascular disease and assigned them to either a Mediterranean diet with an additional 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil per day, a Mediterranean diet with an extra serving of nuts, or a healthy control diet group which included plenty of fruits and vegetables and restricted processed foods (1).  Interestingly, only the control group saw reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels. None of the groups noted a significant HDL increase either. But, the group consuming extra virgin olive oil had significantly improved function of their HDL when compared to others.

These improved functions included increased reverse cholesterol transport, the process where HDL removes cholesterol plaque in the arteries and transports it to the liver for elimination or production of hormones. Also, witnessed were increased antioxidant protection, vasodilator capacity, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies looking at how simple diet modifications can impact overall health are abundant nowadays, and scientists have just started this journey toward optimal nutritional awareness! They are eager to continue investigating food properties and how we can improve quality of life and longevity. We have recently touched on the plant-based eating approach in a previous blog: Finding substitutes for your dips and sauces that replace ingredients with ones that include potential health benefits is just what we had in mind when creating this Lemon Tahini Dressing. It is a completely plant-based dressing that combines the plant-protein rich tahini, with 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons of Once Again Tahini, with heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. The touch of garlic and lemon are essential for flavor, and boosting your immunity as well!

We hope you’ll enjoy this dressing with your favorite salad combo, as well as a sauce for roasted vegetables, as a spread for your wraps or as a dressing for your grain bowls. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, you’ll be adding to your quality of life with each bite.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

2 tablespoons of Once Again Nut Butter Tahini

1 lemon

1 teaspoon of garlic paste

¼ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons of warm water

In a small jar, (Here’s a tip: Use your empty Once Again Nut Butter jars! This is a great way to recycle them) add tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest of that lemon, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste (or 1 garlic clove smashed), salt, and olive oil.  Replace lid,  and shake the mixture well. Now add 2-3 tablespoons of warm water until desired thickness for your dressing is achieved. We suggest no more than 4 tablespoons of warm water so that the flavor of the dressing is not diluted. You should store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  1. Álvaro Hernáez, Olga Castañer, Roberto Elosua, Xavier Pintó, Ramón Estruch, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Dolores Corella, Fernando Arós, Lluis Serra-Majem, Miquel Fiol, Manuel Ortega-Calvo, Emilio Ros, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Rafael de la Torre, M. Carmen López-Sabater, Montserrat Fitó. Mediterranean Diet Improves High-Density Lipoprotein Function in High-Cardiovascular-Risk Individuals. Clinical Perspective. Circulation, 2017; 135 (7): 633 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.023712

Apricot and Tahini Power Bites

As the cooler weather approaches, running outside is an option again for those living in the hot southern states. Around mid-May all the way through mid-October, running outdoors is just out of the question with temperatures hovering in the upper 90s daily, not to mention the humidity, which poses another problem. But now, with cooler mornings and early evenings, you can spot me out for a jog at least two times weekly . It is a rewarding feeling to get some exercise done early in the morning, while also training for a long distance race I will be participating in, within a few months. But exercising early in the morning proves to be a challenge when it comes to having enough energy to complete my workouts.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to do, and often squeezing in a gym session is difficult and has to be accommodated at awkward times of the day. Taking a jog, going for a bike ride, or running at 6 am is an option, but what do you eat before you go? And if your answer is nothing, well, that may just be your limiting factor when trying to improve your performance. After a few weeks stuck at the same distance on my run, I took a second look at my routine. Due to the time crunch, I would drink a large glass of water, eat half a banana and take off running. The reason that doesn’t work is that after 8-10 hours fasting, your body requires some readily available energy to allow you to exercise.

Eating a large breakfast right before exercising is not ideal for most people, myself included. Between the timing, stomach upset, indigestion and practicality this is not always a first choice. But the good news is there is an easy compromise that will allow you to solve both issues at once! Eat a quick power bite that won’t weigh you down, but will provide a boost of energy to perform at your best. Energy bites have become quite popular lately, and we have a recipe for one here (link of past blog with energy bites) that is a good option since it is high in fiber as well. This second option we present below is a bit higher in natural sugars coming from the dates and apricots, while also possessing protein from cashews and the tahini.   The recipe  combines nutrients from nuts and seeds and is not overly sweet making it perfect for a pre-workout  snack any time of day!

The ratio of sugar to protein in these bites makes them also appropriate to consume after exercise to replenish and reduce the chance of inflammation in your muscles. They are easy to prepare, and you can make a big batch to place in the refrigerator and enjoy them for up to 7 days. Or make a double batch and freeze half, so you can have a stock ready for up to one month.

Whatever goals you have in mind when it comes to physical conditioning, don’t forget what an important part what you eat plays in the end game. Nourish your body with nutrients, good quality carbohydrates, protein and good fats, so that you reach your maximum potential, always striving  for more!

Power Bites made with Tahini - OnceAgainNutButterBlog.comApricot and Tahini Power Bites

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup dried apricots, unsweetened

½ cup Once Again Tahini

½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

½ cup chopped cashews

Add dates and apricots to food processor and pulse until they are mixed well and form  a ball. Then add the tahini and coconut flakes. Then ,  in a bowl, mix in the chopped cashews by hand.  Roll them into small sized balls, and finally, roll them in extra coconut flakes and enjoy! Keep them refrigerated for up to 6 days. They can be frozen for up to 30 days. Makes 15-18 pieces.

Tahini Power Bites see full recipe on Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Power Bites made with Tahini - OnceAgainNutButterBlog.com