I’m still on the tahini bandwagon…or maybe I just never got off. Is there any meal, any recipe that can’t be improved with the addition of tahini? I think not. Take these cookies, for example. Basic ingredients, nothing unusual, but the taste is other-worldly (in my humble opinion).
Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday with my husband & daughter, at one of my all-time favorite restaurants: Zahav. Just days after winning a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, there we were, feasting on the eclectic and delicious parade of food coming continuously from the kitchen of America’s best restaurant. It was surreal, yet it was calm. We sat in the back corner banquette, in our own little world within the hustle & bustle of this über-popular restaurant, and let ourselves enjoy dish after dish of modern Israeli cuisine. Each dish was unique and distinct; and I believe that each dish had a common ingredient: tahini!!!
I could go on and on about my love affair with tahini, how I eat it everyday and how a day without tahini is a sad day for me. I could show you a picture of my pantry, where you’d see several jars of tahini from several different producers, different countries of origin, different tastes, flavors and preferred uses. But really, the point I’m trying to make is that tahini is a versatile ingredient that can be used in every imaginable recipe, even in desserts!
Of course, there’s a significant nutritional benefit to consuming tahini. Made purely from ground sesame seeds, tahini is an excellent source of beneficial fats (polyunsaturated) and is full of protein (about 20% protein by weight). It’s full of essential vitamins and minerals, helps to regulate blood pressure due to its anti-thrombotic properties (meaning it helps prevent clotting in the arteries). Tahini may help regulate hormones, especially in post-menopausal women, and has been shown to improve skin health due to its vitamin and mineral composition. Lastly, sesame is an excellent source of plant-based calcium. With so many benefits to eating just a small amount of tahini each day, it’s no wonder this silky-smooth seed paste has become so widely popular!
Now back to this week’s recipe…these cookies are so good and simple. Minimal ingredients - you may even have everything in your pantry ready to be baked into these cookies right now! They’re chewy, in a good way, a little bit savory and a little bit sweet. The pairing of tahini and dark chocolate can’t be beat, although I’ve said the same thing about the combination of sweet potatoes and tahini…
I always have a stash of cookies in my freezer, ready for when the cravings strike and a cookie is needed immediately. I’ve already baked a few batches of these cookies this week, some to enjoy now and plenty more to eat later! I’d suggest you follow my lead and bake some of these cookies as soon as you can…you won’t regret my suggestion, I promise!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Tahini-Oat-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
2 C oats, divided (use GF if needed)
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
1 C pitted dates
2 ripe bananas
1/3 C tahini
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C chocolate chips
Place 1/2 C of the oats into the bowl of a food processor. Blend for 15-20 seconds to turn the oats into a smooth flour. Pour the oat flour into a mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the remaining 1 1/2 C oats, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
Add the pitted dates, bananas, tahini and vanilla extract to the bowl of the food processor. Blend until a smooth mixture is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixtures together into a smooth dough. Add the chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute.
Cover the bowl and chill for 1-2 hours.
Prior to baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a tablespoon, drop a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie onto the lined baking sheet, spacing them 2-inches apart. Press any loose chocolate chips back into the dough. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to continue to cool. Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookie dough.
Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days or freeze for 3-4 weeks.
Recipe yields 24 cookies