Are you considering buying Tahini to use as a dip or contemplating using it to make your own hummus or baba ghanoush? But not sure whether you can as you are either celiac or have trying to limit gluten in your diet? Well, here is what you are going to need to know.
So, is Tahini gluten-free? Tahini is typically gluten-free. However, some brands or recipes do include gluten-containing ingredients – primarily to thicken the condiment. It is therefore essential to check product packaging carefully and/or contact the manufacturer directly to confirm.
Thankfully, for the most part, you do not have to completely avoid Tahini if you are gluten intolerant/sensitive.
But you do need to be careful and mindful; just as you are with other foods.
Nonetheless, the fact that you ran this search and you are here today shows you have the right mindset.
But I digress.
Let’s look at tahini in closer detail to see why this condiment should still be okay – for the most part!
What Is Tahini Made Of?
Traditional Tahini sauce is made purely from sesame seeds. Although some recipes and brands may include lemon juice, garlic, and other natural flavorings.
For the most part, Tahini is a paste made of just sesame seeds.
And these are prepared in a very particular way.
Initially, the sesame seeds are soaked in water.
They are then crushed to separate the bran from the kernels.
From there, the crushed seeds are further soaked in a salt-water – which results in the bran sinking and naturally falling away.
From there, the floating kernels are skimmed off, toasted, and grounded finely to produce the oily paste we know as tahini.
That’s the traditional way of course, but with developments in food technology, manufacturing, and processing – it is not always done in this way.
And at the same time, while many brands on the market will sell their product with sesame seeds as the only ingredient – not all do.
Some include other ingredients to enhance the flavor further.
So, it’s essential to check the product packaging, website, or consult the manufacturer if it is not clearly specified.
Can Celiacs Eat Tahini?
Celiacs should be able to eat most brands and recipes of Tahini. However, this may not always be the case depending on the brand you choose and where/how it is made.
For instance, some brands will pack their tahini in a facility that processes wheat.
And in this case, it could result in cross-contamination – making the tahini entirely unsuitable for celiacs.
For this reason, it is essential to proactively seek out brands that market explicitly as gluten-free, or who can confirm that they are gluten-free if you were to contact them.
Some brands will include it directly on the packaging – others will document the suitability of their product on product listing pages.
Thankfully, this particular search on Amazon only includes those brands certified as gluten-free.
Failing this, you can always make your own.
Let us now look at how to easily do so.
How To Make Gluten-Free Tahini
Making homemade tahini is effortless, and tastes great. It’s cheaper, and you can be particular on ingredients ensuring you make an entirely gluten-free sauce.
This particular recipe only contains three ingredients;
- 1 Cup of White Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil
Step One: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step Two: Get a baking tray and line it with a baking sheet. From there, pour your white sesame seeds on top, ensuring they are evenly spread across.
Step Three: Bake your sesame seeds for 15 minutes.
Step Four: Take your sesame seeds out of the oven, and allow them to cool for 20 minutes.
Step Five: Add your baked sesame seeds to a blender or food processor, along with your oil. Blend together for 1-2 minutes until you have a paste. You may need to use a spoon to collect the paste from the edge and place it down back toward the blades.
Step Five: Serve fresh or transfer the paste (now your tahini) to an airtight container – a glass jar is ideal here. Put in the fridge.
Your tahini should last for up to 2-3 weeks in the jar, although you may notice the quality degrades in time and the paste separates.
If that is the case, you can always stir with a fork/spoon to ensure the oil mixes evenly back into the grounded sesame seeds.
Additional tip: If you prefer a thicker Tahini, use less oil. Alternatively, more oil creates thinner tahini.
Tahini should be gluten-free.
But unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
So do be vigilant and mindful.
Do check the ingredient list, or better yet, contact the manufacturer directly.
Failing this, just make your own.
It’s surprisingly cheap, easy, and quick to make and I must admit – tends to taste much better!