Tahini is Having a Hot Moment
Are you self-quarantining? It’s a good idea to stay in and bake, if only to slow down the frequency of your new hand washing ritual. I cooked for a client the other day and washed my hands like Lady MacBeth in a time of plague.
At least when you are baking at home, you can observe more normal levels of cleanliness. You were already washing your hands, right? Of course you were. And when you make these muffins, you’ll be glad that you have them to comfort you as you netflix and chill.
You’ll be right on trend, since these days tahini is popping up in chocolates, caramel, and lots of other desserts.
Tahini, Crystallized Ginger, and Bananas
Just to avoid adding any stress to our already stressful lives, I made these muffins really simple. Just your basic “mix the dry, mix the wet, mix together” kind of thing. I used up some bananas that were lingering on the counter, to give the batter some body and sweetness. Of course I used whole wheat flour, and you can switch it out with white whole wheat or Spelt flour if that’s what you’ve got. Just don’t use whole wheat flour intended for bread.
Ground flax acts like an egg, and just needs a couple of minutes to soak in the nut milk before mixing it all together. I grind flax in a spice grinder or my Vitamix and keep it in a jar in the refrigerator for baking. That way I can always comfort myself with muffins.
Tahini, of course, adds a little bit of sesame flavor, and the nutty, savoriness cuts through the sweet banana flavor. I didn’t add any spices to this one, because I wanted to be able to detect the sesame. Tahini is one of the nutrient-dense foods that you probably put in hummus, and maybe a sesame dressing now and then. It’s rich in protein, minerals and even has some calcium, so I’m all in on slipping it into other dishes.
Crystallized Ginger Fights Colds
The health benefits of ginger are well-known, and the spicy root is recommended to aid in digestion, ease the pain of arthritis and sore muscles, and as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral food. I’m not saying that you can stop washing your hands, but if eating some delicious crystallized ginger in a muffin might help knock out a random malevolent microbe or two, then bring it on. I keep a jar of crystallized ginger on my counter for snacking throughout the day, just to keep my ginger levels up. You never know, and it can’t hurt.
If you really want to get a tahini thing going, try drizzling tahini over a hot muffin, right out of the oven. These are a great packable food, just throw a couple in a tub and take them with as you re-enter the world.
Just remember to wash your hands, and enjoy your sweet, tender tahini muffins.
Banana-Tahini Muffins with Crystallized Ginger
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 tablespoons Sugar in the raw
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffins tin with 12 muffin papers and reserve.
- In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and whisk to mix.
- In a medium bowl, stir the mashed banana, tahini and avocado oil until smooth. In a cup, stir almond milk, flax,and lemon. Let stand for 5 minutes for flax to thicken the liquids. Then, whisk into the banana mixture.
- Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture, just until combine, don't overmix. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
- Scoop slightly rounded 1/3 cup portions of batter into each muffin cup. Divide any extra among the cups. Sprinkle tops with sugar in the raw.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out dry. Cool on racks.