Recipe: Raw Tahini, Garlic and Lemon Salad Dressing or Veggie Dip…and it’s Amazing!

Raw Tahini Salad Dressing is one of my absolute favorites!

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and gives you a great healthy homemade veggie dip or salad dressing to use all week long! I’ve decided to feature an easy-to-blend-and-create recipe this week to show you how many different things you can make in a blender…and not just smoothies!

Ingredients for Tahini Dressing

Raw tahini, or sesame paste (think peanut butter made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts), can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores. I bought the tahini for this blog post at a Greek supermarket and deli, but you can also find it in any type of Mediterreanean or Middle Eastern Supermarket as well.

In the US and North America, people tend to call sesame paste ‘tahini‘ but it the Middle East you will see it called ‘tahina.’ In Israel, there are countless brands of tahina for sale. They even have a sprouted raw tahini sesame paste from Ethiopia which is outstandingly delicious!!

What’s interesting to know is that in Israel, people rarely eat tahini straight from the jar. For them, it’s too thick and it’s not tasty without any spices or fresh lemon juice. It seems to me that in the USA, tahini is under-appreciated and under-utilized because people don’t know the traditional way to prepare it. In the recipe below, I will show you how!

Easy to make and tastes amazing!!

Typically I will use one whole jar of tahina or sesame seed paste to blend up my tahina dressing for the week. Here, I used one 16-oz. (or 454 gram) container of tahina to make a container of 32 oz. (or 950 ml) of dip or salad dressing. Making salads that taste good is a key to raw food success, and there is no faster way to kill a good salad than by adding a store-bought salad dressing full of sugar, preservatives, flavor enhancers (MSG), thickeners and emulsifiers.

I always make my own salad dressing and I am a happier, healthier person for it!

Sesame seeds are a great vegan source of calcium and they’re also naturally high in zinc. Fresh lemon is extremely alkalizing, good for pH health. Cumin is known to aid in digestion. Cayenne pepper is very good for the heart and blood (circulation). Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory food and a great immune system booster.

*Can’t find tahini or sesame seed paste where you live? You can make it from scratch with organic sesame seeds! Check out the recipe for it here: How to Make Raw Tahini

Tahini Salad Dressing/Dip Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 large garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 16 oz. container tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 cup water (filtered is best)
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)
  • dash sea salt or Himalayan salt (to taste)

Tahini Salad Dressing Directions:

The lucky winner of the Vitamix Blender can use their new blender to make this recipe. For the commoners (like me!), you can use a normal blender. Peel the garlic and put garlic and water in the blender. Blend. Add the entire jar of tahini paste (with the oil which is usually separated on top), spices, fresh lemon juice and salt and blend again. Adjust spices to taste (you may need to add more cumin, salt or cayenne pepper) and blend again. If the result is too thick, add more water…slowly! Start with adding 1/4 cup water, blend and assess. If too thick, add another 1/4 cup water and blend again. The final result should be creamy, but not runny. (Each brand of tahina will give a slightly different thickness so you always have to experiment a little.)

Optional: You can also add 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and blend. Fresh parsley is highly recommended over dried parsley for this recipe (in the Middle East, no one uses dried parsley in tahina!). If you use dried parsley (which I do not recommend simply because fresh parsley tastes 1,000x better), add only 1 Tbsp. of dried parsley. The garlic and paprika are also optional, depending on your taste.

Tip: For garlic, try to find organic garlic which, not only is a normal size like you see in the photo and not GMO-ed gargantuan size, but organic garlic has a nice, mild fresh taste. The gigantic non-organic garlic from China (sold in most supermarkets) has an unnaturally strong taste (perhaps in relation to it’s unnaturally large size!). Choose organic garlic to really enjoy the subtle flavor of this healing food.

Note: The dressing should keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.

How to Eat

In Israel, this salad dressing is on the table with nearly every meal and most often eaten with a classic ‘Israeli Salad’ or ‘Arab Salad,’ consisting of finely chopped cucumber, fresh parsley and tomato. However, you can use it on any raw food salad as a tasty dressing. Try this combo: Peel 3 organic carrots and then grate with a normal size grater into a bowl. Add 1 celery stalk chopped, fresh romaine lettuce chopped, and 1 cucumber peeled and chopped. Mix all ingredients well and drizzle 4 Tbsp. of the Tahini Salad Dressing on top.

Share good health with family & friends!

Another option is to serve this as a dip with freshly sliced cucumber and carrot sticks for a delicious 100% raw food gluten-free vegan snack. I recently brought that to a gathering with many cooked foods eaters, and they loved it!

This is certainly a healthier option than the ‘old-style’ spinach dip made with dairy (mucous-forming) and dried soup mix (containing MSG!) served in a bread bowl. Isn’t it time to start spreading the love and showing your family and friends how delicious raw food can be?!

Another popular Middle Eastern dish made with sesame seeds is called Halva, and it’s traditionally made as a dessert with ground sesame seeds and sugar. You can make a delicious raw food version of Halva using raw sesame seeds and raw honey (or agave). Click here to check out my Recipe for Raw Halva or Sesame Balls.

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All entries must be received by 25 December 2012 at 12 midnight USA EST. (CLOSED)

The winner will be announced on 26 December, 2012 at 12 noon USA EST.

More Raw Food Dressings & Dips:

Raw Food Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin Seed Cheese

Finally, I am sharing this recipe after so many requests! I made this yesterday and everyone loved it! Luckily I remembered to photograph it before it was all gone!

Add Spicy Pumpkin Seed Cheese to a Yummy Raw Organic Salad

Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in zinc and are therefore excellent for the glandular system. They are also a good anti-parasitic and anti-fungal food, combine that with the garlic and you have a powerful immune booster!

Pumpkin Seed Cheese Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 – 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • Juice of 4-5 limes (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (add more to increase ‘spicy taste’)
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder (to taste)
  • dash sea salt or Himalayan salt (to taste)

Spicy Pumpkin Seed Cheese Directions:

A delicious 100% vegan raw food cheese

Grind the dry pumpkin seeds in a mini food processor. Empty and put aside. Then, chop/grind the fresh garlic in the same mini food processor.

Add the ground pumpkin seeds again, squeeze in the fresh lime and add the spices to taste.

Chop/grind again.

The consistency should be moist; if still dry, add more lime juice. This dip tastes best if left to sit overnight, but can also be eaten immediately.

You can also add 1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast for some extra B vitamins and ‘cheesey’ taste.

How to Eat

Serve with fresh veggies or add to a salad

Serve this dip with freshly sliced cucumber and carrot sticks for a delicious 100% raw food vegan snack. To use as a salad dressing, try this combo: Peel 3 medium zucchini and then grate with a normal size grater into a bowl. Add 1 bag or bunch of fresh spinach (rinsed and clean). Mix the zucchini and spinach in the bowl. Add 3/4 – 1 cup of the pumpkin seed cheese, mix all ingredients and serve. A simple salad that tastes amazing and is so good for you!

Please note: I call this a ‘seed cheese’ because the fresh lime gives it a slightly cheesey flavor, but there is no cheese or dairy in this recipe, it is pure cholesterol-free vegan protein and raw food bliss!

Raw Pepitas or Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Be sure to use raw pumpkin seeds and not dry roasted pumpkin seeds so you get all the enzymes of the raw food version (and it will taste better too!).

You can buy raw pumpkin seeds in the bulk section of WholeFoods or at your local health food store. The good thing about buying them in bulk is you will often be able to get organic pumpkin seeds.

Occasionally, you may see pumpkin seeds labeled as ‘pepitas’ (Spanish for pumpkin seed). For example, at Trader Joe’s, you will find the raw pumpkin seeds packaged as ‘Raw Pepitas.’ However, the ones at Trader Joe’s are not organic. Remember, always do the best you can with what you have.

More Raw Food Dressings & Dips:

Recipe for a Fresh Homemade Tomato Mexican Salsa

This is a recipe that everyone loves! If you are in the middle of a fresh summer tomato bliss, this is the perfect recipe to use a lot of deliciously ripe tomatoes. You can either make this salsa mild or spicy, depending on your taste. If you make it for a party, you can easily make half of the recipe spicy and the other half with no jalapenos – that way everyone can have a taste.

Add this salsa to a salad, or serve with fresh cut veggies or raw flax crackers

I love to make this Mexican salsa for my family when I am home in the US, and even though they are not into the raw food diet, they still love this dish. You can serve it with fresh chopped cucumbers, raw crackers, or even roll into mini-tortillas with fresh lettuce leaves, salsa and julienne-cut carrot, celery and zucchini. There are many ways to serve and enjoy!

Raw Food Recipe: Fresh Tomato, Onion and Cilantro Mexican Salsa

  • 8-10 large ripe fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 – 1/2 large white onions, diced
  • 10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3/4 – 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, chopped
  • 5-6 fresh limes, squeezed
  • 4 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Dash Cumin Powder to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste ( about 1/2 tsp.)

Chop and dice all ingredients and mix everything well in a large bowl. Season with more cayenne pepper or salt as needed. It’s best to sit overnight and let the ingredients marinate; but as a minimum try to let sit for at least 2 hours before serving. Optional ingredients below can also be added.

Optional:
1 fresh jalapeno, diced or
5-6 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
2 Tbsp. raw honey

Raw Food Yummy Salsa!

Tomatoes are naturally high in lycopene, a type of anti-oxidant that helps to break down free radical damage in the cells. Garlic and onion and natural sulfur (cleansing) foods and have anti-parastitic, anti-viral and ant-fungal effects. Raw apple cider vinegar is excellent for digestion. Cayenne Pepper helps to strengthen the heart and circulation and is naturally cleansing for the liver. Eating delicious raw food recipes with family and friends is a great way to enjoy healthy food together and also share some of your raw food lifestyle!

Mexican Salsa Bliss!

Cilantro is known to be a natural chelator and is very good for removing heavy metal toxicity from the body. Fresh limes are great for alkalizing the pH, aiding in digestion and reducing any build-up from acid wastes.

Preparing food fresh and in it’s raw form gives you all of the best nutrients and of course will taste far better than anything in a jar or can! All-in-all this fresh salsa is extremely healthy and cleansing for the body, and is also a great choice for anyone currently on a detox diet.

More Healthy Recipes:

Raw Food Recipe: Raw Mustard

Raw Food Bliss!


Fresh Homemade Mustard, Easy!

This is a great recipe if you are looking to remove all food additives from your diet and/or enjoy raw foods in new ways. Normal store-sold mustards can contain artificial colorings, preservatives and thickening agents, not to mention flavor enhancers. Make your own mustard at home and be sure you are eating a fail-safe additive-free natural form of mustard. It tastes even better when made fresh and will cost you less money too!

Ingredients

1/4 Cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 Cup brown or black mustard seeds
3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice)
1/3 Cup water
1 1/2 Teaspoon Agave Nectar or Raw Honey
1/4 Teaspoon turmeric
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Instructions

Soak mustard seeds in water and apple cider vinegar for 24 – 36 hours. Make sure the seeds are covered with the liquid.
Combine mustard seeds and liquid with remaining ingredients in high-speed blender. Add water to desired consistency.
Yield: 2 Cups. Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Notes

You can use all yellow mustard seeds if you would like. You can also add herbs and spices to your liking.

More Raw Food Dressings & Dips: