Food & Drink

Tahini? In your granola?

By adjusting measurements of a few ingredients, granola can be sweet or savory.
By adjusting measurements of a few ingredients, granola can be sweet or savory. Karen Biton-Cohen

Too often, the jar of tahini paste gets tucked away in the back of the pantry and only gets taken out for the occasional batch of hummus or a Middle Eastern salad dressing.

But tahini, ground sesame paste, is exceptionally versatile and can be used like any other nut or seed butter in your cupboard. It’s delicious in cakes, cookies and even granola.

Put your tahini to good use and get baking. This delicious spiced granola is proof that tahini has a world of uses. You could use it for breakfast. But you could adjust the sweetness, add a little salt and pepper and use it to add crunch to soups and salads.

Karen Biton-Cohen is a food photographer and recipe developer for Email:

Cardamom-Spiced Granola With Tahini

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)

3/4 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds

1/2 cup raw pistachios, shelled

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Hefty pinch of salt

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut oil, softened

1/4 cup tahini

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, shredded coconut, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle in the maple syrup, coconut oil, tahini and vanilla extract. Toss to coat.

Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The granola is done when deeply golden and toasted. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Notes: If using pre-toasted nuts or seeds, don’t bake them with the rest of the batch; toss them in at the end. To make a savory version, reduce the maple syrup to 1/3 cup and add another hefty pinch of salt and a couple grinds of freshly cracked black pepper.

Yield: 6 cups