All macronutrients are essential for an overall healthy body. Yet, when it comes to plant-based eaters, it’s super important to focus on that protein!
Healthy fats are rich in many plant-based food staples — such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut products, to name a few! — and healthy complex carbs are basically sewn into the diet — think about quinoa, millet, buckwheat, lentils, plus almost all fruits and veggies.
Yet, protein isn’t naturally found in all of your common plant-based foods, therefore it’s always important to keep an eye out for plant-based ingredients that can provide this essential macronutrient
This is where lovely, delightfully useful, and wonderfully tasty tahini comes into play! Tahini is a super-nutritious and protein-rich food that’s a wonderful ingredient to include in your plant-based diet!
To make tahini, you take sesame seeds, toast them, and grind them. That’s how you get the resulting light and nutty paste.
As tahini is made from sesame seeds, it’s nutrient-dense. A single tablespoon of this wonderful paste offers 3 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, and over 10 percent of your daily value for vitamin B6 and vitamin B1 (thiamine) — essential vitamins for energy production — and phosphorous and manganese — important for bone health. On top of that, sesame seeds are high in healthy fats — “about 50 [percent] of the fat in tahini comes from monounsaturated fatty acids,” which have “anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to a decreased risk of chronic disease” — and are loaded in antioxidants. Due to this awesome palate of nutrients, tahini has been linked to a few health benefits including a stronger central nervous system, protection of your liver and kidneys, and even cancer-fighting effects!
Looking for fun ways to integrate this food into your diet? Here are 15 recipes to get you started!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
Looking for a quick and easy way to load up on protein throughout the day? This Easy Tahini Granola recipe by Robin Runner not only uses a half cup of tahini, but it’s also rich in other plant-based sources of protein including oats, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and more sesame seeds!
This Kale Salad Balance Bowl recipe by Crissy Cavanaugh may be the perfect mixture of every nutrient your body needs! When it comes to protein, this salad has a sweet tahini dressing, as well as additional toasted sesame oil, black beans, and quinoa. This quadruple punch of protein and nutrients will give your body that boost it needs!
It’s never a bad idea to get as many anti-inflammatory agents as possible in your diet! Inflammation has been linked to a slew of health conditions and diseases including almost all autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, cancer, and even mood and behavior disorders. This Turmeric Hummus recipe by Gabriela Lupu takes protein-rich tahini, adds more protein-rich chickpeas, and then combines a variety of anti-inflammatory agents including turmeric, cinnamon, lemon, olive oil, and garlic.
Whether you’re prepping a meal to be enjoyed throughout the week or are creating a one-time dinner, this Roasted Potato and Chickpea Salad With Tahini Dressing recipe by Caroline Doucet plays dual roles. First off, it’s loaded with plant-based protein from tahini and chickpeas, plus you’ll receive a dose of healthy, starchy carbs to fill your tummy from potatoes!
This Tofu Sheet Pan Meal With “Cheezy” Miso Tahini Sauce recipe by Lauren Kirchmaier is a powerful protein recipe. Complete with tahini sauce and protein superfood tofu, this recipe also happens to be super easy to make once you get all your ingredients in order!
Just because it’s rich, chocolatey, and semi-sweet, doesn’t mean it’s not super healthy! This Dark Chocolate Quinoa Crispies recipe by Marie Reginato packs a punch of protein with tahini and quinoa, as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients including raw cacao and coconut oil!
Maybe quinoa isn’t your jam, but you’re still looking for a tahini-rich sweet treat? This Maple Pecan Tahini Fudge recipe by Tara Sunshine is the perfect alternative! Based around protein-rich tahini, this fudge is thickened with healthy fat-filled coconut oil, chopped pecans, and is naturally sweetened with monk fruit sweetener. Plus, this fudge adds an extra dose of protein from vanilla protein powder!
Lentils are one of the best sources of plant-based protein for us plant-based eaters out there! This Curried Lentil Stuffed Squash recipe by Andri Neocleous combines protein-rich lentils with a slew of aromatics, — such as onion and garlic — spices, — such as curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, and pepper — and a dash of coriander, all topped with a lovely protein-rich tahini sauce!
Instead of orange-hued turmeric hummus, try out this super fun Pink Hummus recipe by Lena Novak. That beautiful pink coloring is all-natural from beets, plus this hummus is ultra-protein filled with an additional 2 cups of black-eyed beans.
Farro is oftentimes forgotten about in lieu of brown rice, yet this ancient grain is actually packed full of nutrients. About 47-grams of farro offers a healthy dose of 6-grams of protein. This Farro With Spice-Roasted Carrots and Dill-Garlic Tahini Sauce recipe by Molly Krebs combines protein-rich farro with a delectable protein-rich tahini sauce!
Take your traditional oatmeal cookie recipe to the next level with this Oatmeal Tahini Chocolate Chip Scones recipe by Lauren Kirchmaier. By mixing fiber-rich oatmeal and protein-rich tahini, these scones will not only energize you in the morning, but they’re a great way to awake and smooth an unruly digestive system. To infuse even more health into these scones, consider supplementing the monk fruit sweetener for the coconut sugar!
You may not think about artichokes and beans as a great way to start the day, yet this White Bean Ricotta & Baby Artichoke Toast recipe by Lauren Kirchmaier has all the goodies to get you going. Protein-rich from white beans, tahini, and nutritional yeast, this toast offers a savory alternative to most sweet breakfast alternatives.
This Rutabaga Noodles With Tahini Sauce and Cashew Crumble recipe by Daniela Modesto is a great kid-friendly, protein-rich, and nutrient-filled meal! Rutabaga is naturally slightly sweet, which balances out the nutty flavor of the tahini sauce and cashew crumble. Plus, it’s a great way to incorporate healthy, gluten-free complex carbs.
This Roasted Veggies and Pineapple With Tahini Sesame Sauce recipe by Natalie Martin MS, RD and Lexie Staten MS, RD is a great weekly prepping recipe. It’s got all the nutrient goodies you need, including an extra dose of protein from a rich tahini sauce. Feel free to mix up the veggies based on your personal preference!
Last, but definitely not least, this Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Maple Tahini Sauce recipe by Hayley Canning is the perfect last-minute-meal that also happens to be incredibly healthy, filling, and tasty! Get a dose of tummy-filling protein from tahini, quinoa, and healthy carb-filled veggies. Plus, the nutrient absorption is boosted from the addition of lemon and healthy fat-filled olive oil. To really boost the health-value of this recipe, consider nixing the maple syrup or simply sub out for a lower glycemic sweetener such as monk fruit or stevia.
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!