No. You. Didn't. Just. Put. Tahini. In. My. Cookies.
By Sarah Villafranco, MD
Posted in Blog, on November 11, 2014
Yup. We did. And we're here to tell you why.
A few weeks ago, as I wandered through Whole Foods on a rare, daughterless morning, I saw some delicious oat-y looking lumps behind the coffee-shop glass. I asked the woman about them, and she said they were tahini cookies. "Huh", said I to myself, "tahini! Knowing what I know about tahini, I could call that a little tiny meal instead of a cookie!" So I did. And it was awesome.
Tahini is a paste made from hulled sesame seeds, and is the base of mediterranean favorites such as hummus and baba ghanoush. The paste can be made from either raw or roasted sesame seeds. The raw version is slightly lower in fat, but the roasted seeds give a nice, nutty flavor boost. Either way, tahini is an incredible food. It contains more protein than milk, has omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids, and packs a mineral punch with high levels of copper, calcium, magnesium, and manganese, to name a few. In fact, 2 tablespoons of tahini (roasted seeds) contain 100mg of calcium - almost twice the amount in an orange! Tahini is also hugely rich in phytosterols, which are helpful in lowering cholesterol. For anyone, but especially for vegetarians like me, tahini is an absolute superstar for great, balanced nutrition. (Don't eat a whole jar. That is not balanced. Two tablespoons a day is plenty.)
Now, I'm a pretty good cook. But baking, especially at altitude, is a different beast. I can bake when I have all the ingredients, and a recipe to follow religiously, and nobody distracting me whatsoever. But I can't just "bake stuff". Fortunately for me, and now for you, I know someone who can. I described the tahini-oat-heaven-ball to our babysitter and she worked her magic. We have called them Tahinookies, because, well, that's just a supremely fun word to say.
So, try them! And, remember, this recipe was made at 6700 feet above sea level. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, because I have NO clue how to adjust it (or if it even needs adjusting) for sea-level living.
Things you need:
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup agave
1 1/2 cup uncooked oats (we used certified GF oats)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp water
Things to do:
1) Preheat oven to 350
2) Combine Tahini and Agave until smooth
3) Add in Cinnamon and Baking Powder and mix fully
4) Fold in Oats, Raisins, and Sunflower Seeds
5) Slowly add in flour and splashes of water until dough sticks together
6) Make 2 Tablespoon balls and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet (dough is very sticky, wet hands and firm pressure work best)
7) Bake until edges turn golden brown (about 12 minutes)
I've been using these as pre-workout snacks, or as emergency nutrition on days where my schedule does not allow for lunch and I'm getting hangry. Let us know if you try making them, and how you like them!
With love and tahini from us to you,
Sarah + The Osmia Crew.