And it may not be as weird as you think. Tahini is a trending ingredient this year. It’s great in smoothies, and it’s great as a peanut butter alternative. It puts a Middle Eastern twist on your sauces and baked goods. And it has some interesting health benefits (see right).
I’m also a fan of any recipe that features fresh ginger. I juice it almost every day, and just about every one of what I call my “plant juice” recipes includes fresh ginger. And I don’t use it sparingly, as anyone who’s been to my house and sampled my “plant juice” knows well. In Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine, ginger is known as the “universal remedy,” and rightfully so, as it contains a whole pharmacy of ingredients with multiple health benefits.
This recipe gives me an excuse to try out the ice cream making attachment on my brand new Hurom juicer—which gives me a great excuse to eat ice cream. Not that I really needed one, especially one as healthy and relatively low in sugar as this one is. Enjoy! —Dr. Jonny
I don’t know about you, but when I go to the local ice cream parlor I’m immediately drawn to the weird—sorry, artisan—flavors. (My wife gets chocolate, I get goat milk cherry. Go figure.) So when I see a flavor like “Ginger Tahini,” my taste buds immediately start firing.
Featured ingredient: Tahini
Tahini is basically butter made from sesame seeds, which contain an oil that is characterized by two members of the lignan family: sesamin and sesamolin. When the seeds are refined (as in the making of tahini), two additional phenolic antioxidants—sesamol and sesaminol—are formed.
Sesame lignans enhance vitamin E’s absorption and availability, improve lipid profiles, and help normalize blood pressure. Animal studies show that they may enhance fat burning by increasing the activity of several liver enzymes that break down fatty acids.
As for tahini itself, according to the USDA food database, a 2-Tbs. serving provides 5 grams of protein, almost 3 grams of fiber, and a negligible amount of sugar (less than 1/3 of a gram!). It also provides about 8 grams of healthy fat per tablespoon. But it ain’t exactly a calorie lightweight, weighing in at 89 per tablespoon.
Tahini also contains small amounts of minerals, including copper, iron, zinc, and manganese, as well as B vitamins, important for all kinds of metabolic functions. According Dr. Josh Axe, the phytoestrogens in tahini may benefit post-menopausal women over 50—or, for that matter, any woman who might be low in estrogen—to help balance hormones.
Notes from The Clean Food Coach
The flavor of honey pairs beautifully with tahini, but if you’d prefer a lower-carb version, use ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup Lakanto. You can also use a stevia syrup for a no-added-sugar option—try NuNaturals NuStevia Ginger Syrup, to taste.
This ice cream is best served immediately. Ice cream leftovers will freeze solid in the freezer. To serve again, rest on the counter for 10 minutes, break into chunks, and re-blend in a food processor or blender.
- 2 14-oz. cans full fat coconut milk (we like Native Forest Organic), well shaken
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup raw honey (or to taste)
- 1-inch chunk peeled fresh ginger root (or more, to taste)
- 1½ tsp. dried ginger
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest (about 1 large or 2 small organic lemons)
- 2–3 Tbs. crystalized ginger chips (finely chopped candied ginger), optional to serve
- Combine all ingredients from coconut milk through sea salt in high-speed blender, and blend until smooth.
- Taste, and add more honey or ginger if desired. (Freezing foods reduces their sweetness, so your blend should be slightly sweeter before churning.)
- Stir in zest, and transfer contents to automatic ice cream maker. Churn until desired consistency, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer to serving bowls, and top each dish with 1–2 tsp. ginger chips, if using.
- Calories: 390
- Carbohydrate Content: 22 g
- Fat Content: 34 g
- Fiber Content: 1 g
- Protein Content: 4 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 24 g
- Sodium Content: 120 mg
- Sugar Content: 15 g