Home Made Low Carb Tahini Two Ways (Sesame Seeds Classic Tahini or Pumpkin Seeds Tahini). 2g net carbs for the entire batch.
Just 1 ingredient, a bit of oil and a food processor or blender is all that’s needed. You can even do it without the added oil if you prefer a thick paste.
Tahini is a really useful, keto-friendly seed butter to have in the fridge, where it will last for months. It works well in many sweet and savoury dishes. You can use it to make low-carb cookies, sugar-free Halva (coming up next…), keto Hummus (coming up soon…), dips, salad dressings, and a whole lot more.
Strictly speaking, tahini is a paste made with sesame seeds. Therefore, my lower calorie, lower calcium option using pumpkin seeds isn’t really a tahini. But I like to use it in the same way as classic tahini. Personally, I prefer the flavour of the pumpkin seeds version. It is sweeter and, in my view, more palatable than the sesame seed version, which I find a tad bitter.
Lower Calorie + Lower Calcium Tahini
You’re probably confused. Calories don’t matter on keto, right? Wrong! They do. Plenty of evidence demonstrates that when eating high-fat + low-carb one can usually ingest more calories than on the high-carb diet without gaining weight. But many factors can affect metabolism. Too little exercise, eating late at night, munching on fat bombs regularly, inflammatory food choices, junk food, excessive fat consumption, too much dairy, etc. can all potentially cause problems. And then there’s genetics to consider.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to eat tons of calories a day, yet maintain or shed weight, great! If not, you need to reduce your caloric intake.
On to the calcium part. Every packaged food manufacturer boasts ‘added calcium’, ‘great source of calcium’ and similar claims whenever they can. It’s called subtle mind conditioning. And we’ve all fallen for it. For decades. It all started with the ‘drink milk for calcium‘ nonsense invented by – you guessed it – dairy farmers. But in reality, there is absolutely no need to seek out dietary calcium, whether from milk or ‘fortified’ products. It does nothing to protect bones and it may even be damaging our cardio-vascular health.
And this is the very reason that I’ve started to avoid or reduce the most calcium-rich foods. Such as sesame seeds. Consider the difference:
100g Hulled (no kernel) Sesame Seeds: 629 Kcal – 975mg calcium – 1.5g net carbs (Tesco’s)
100g Hulled (no kernel) Pumpkin Seeds: 566 Kcal – 55mg calcium – 1.3g net carbs (Tesco’s)
Another thing to consider is that the oxalates content of sesame seeds is much higher compared to pumpkin seeds. A diet high in oxalates and salicylates can cause an array of health issues in some individuals. HERE is an informative web page that includes a food list for guidance.
And finally, pumpkin seeds are the only ALKALIZING seeds. The acidity and inflammation link is well researched, so we should all strive to create a more alkaline state for our body. Read about alkalizing foods HERE.
How To Make Home Made Low Carb Tahini Two Ways
Literally a one-ingredient job. You’ll need to have a food processor of some kind. Something with blades that spin and grind whatever you put in it. I use a very simple chopper attachment for my hand-held stick blender. No fancy equipment necessary. Toast the seeds for no more than 3-4 minutes , otherwise they’ll burn and make your tahini bitter.
Sesame seeds will be done when they begin to glisten and become aromatic. Pumpkin seeds won’t acquire a lovely aroma – you’ll know they’re ready when they begin to ‘pop’.
Immediately remove the seeds from the hot pan, or they’ll continue to cook and burn. Let them cool completely, then put them in your food processor and off you go. As the grinding begins, they’ll turn to crumbs, then a coarse paste will form. You’ll have to stop, scrape the sides down and re-start, several times. The more you blitz, the smoother your tahini. You can add a neutral oil a little at a time to help the process along. But bear in mind that adding oil will make a more fluid tahini. If you’re after a paste, don’t add any oil.
I use organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, high-oleic sunflower oil, because it’s very mild, has a better MUFA/PUFA profile and it’s non-inflammatory. But you can use whichever oil you prefer. I reckon MCT oil would be great too (U.S. link ).
That’s it. No need for seasoning or anything else. Scoop the tahini into a pretty jar, put the lid on and stick in the fridge. It will last ages, ready for that special recipe that needs it.
- Yield: 170g-180g
- Serving: 170g
- Calories: 1209
- Fat: 115g
- Net Carbs: 2g
- Protein: 35g
- 150g sesame seeds (hulled - no kernel) (U.S. option HERE)
- 30g neutral oil such as unrefined cold-pressed high-oleic sunflower oil (U.S. option HERE) - MCT oil might also work (U.S. option HERE)
- toast seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat until golden and fragrant - about 4 minutes, timed from the moment you put the pan over your heat source; sesame seeds will be glistening and aromatic; pumpkin seeds will begin to 'pop'.
- transfer immediately to a shallow dish to cool down completely.
- put the seeds in a food processor (I use a mini chopper - U.S. option HERE) and start blitzing - you will need to stop regularly to scrape down the sides of the mixer.
- once a paste begins to form, you can either continue to blitz until smooth, or add oil a little at a time to your desired consistency.
- store in a sealed glass container and keep refrigerated.
Macros for 180g PUMPKIN SEEDS TAHINI are: Kcal 1170; Fat 102g; Protein 55g; Net Carbs 2g.
The best way to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients is with Metric Kitchen Scales. They are inexpensive and take up very little space. Click HERE for the ones I use. For U.S. option click HERE.