Most people know tahini as an important ingredient in hummus. Some people don't know what it is at all.
But if you are so lucky to learn that it's a butter made of ground sesame seeds, you begin to envision a world of possibilities.
Food bloggers have been on the tahini train for several years, but, for the most part, the nutritious and delicious culinary superpower has flown under the radar.
In fact, tahini has all the makings of a trendy food: healthy fats, versatility and the ability to be spread on toast. We're pretty sure it's the next avocado.
Still iffy? We talked to food blogger and tahini aficionado Kelsey Preciado, and she's pretty confident in the ingredient's magic.
"I've seen more and more people using tahini in unique ways, and I think it is definitely on the rise to be the next avocado - hello, healthy fats!" she wrote in an email to Cooking Panda. "With all of the vitamins, nutrients and protein it boasts, tahini is the perfect addition to any meal!"
Feast your eyes, and start brainstorming Instagram captions. We've been on the hunt for ways to incorporate tahini into all kinds of tasty things.
From Preciado, who also started the sweet potato toast trend, comes another hit: tahini fudge. This clean treat has only six ingredients, and since all you have to do is mix it up and stick it in the freezer, it pretty much makes itself.
A moment of silence for that tahini-sesame coating. Bring this cake to those classy tea parties you're always going to, and prepare to be peppered with compliments.
Spice up a classic with a cup of tahini for a nutty base that's both smooth and subtle. Yas.
1. Tahini, Orange + Coconut MuesliTry this breakfast number on for size, or just add tahini to your favorite homemade muesli or granola recipe. It coats all of the ingredients thoroughly in its buttery smooth glory.
Now we're talkin'. Replace nut butter with tahini in your favorite overnight oats for a unique touch of creaminess.
3. Tahini Toast
We told you tahini is the new avocado! Spread it on toast and add your favorite toppings for a simple, reliable, nutty breakfast.
Lunches and Dinners
Things just got real. Stir up a creamy, tangy tahini sauce to make simple noodles and veggies restaurant quality.
Short and sweet version: Pick up some premade falafel, pile it into pita bread, drizzle with easy-to-make sauce and enjoy.
Your new go-to when you're craving a salad but have a sweet tooth.
Tahini is the perfect base for ANY kind of salad dressing, and Preciado would attest to that. "I had some tahini in my fridge from making hummus once, and thought I could make a quick sauce with it by mixing it with some lemon, water and spices," she said. "It was amazing, and now I use it at least twice a week on everything from roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and asparagus to turkey meatballs and grilled chicken."