Homemade Tahini

& Day 3, Week 3 
*Homemade Tahini recipe below

Happy hump day to everyone!  I feel like this week has been going by rather slowly.  Probably because we have such a fun weekend coming up.  On Friday, our good friend Marley is coming into Spokane from our college town of Pullman to go out for her 21st Birthday.  Then, on Saturday, our couple friends, Ian and Danielle are having a BBQ at their new house and a party through the evening for Dannielle's Birthday.  One other thing that is quite eventful this weekend is.... Arrested Development coming out on Netflix!!!!!  Kevin and I will, probably spend any second we get watching all of the new episodes.

Tonight for dinner, I ended up going to my parent's house to catch up with my mom and help her make dinner since she has been working all week.  We ended up making a sweet Thai curry with a bunch of veggies and a spice mix I got this weekend from this great local spice store.  All I can say is, YUM!  Check out the picture in my daily log below. 

Food log:
  • Breakfast: 2 bananas, 1 apple
  • Lunch: mixed greens with broccoli and chive hummus, 1 apple
  • Dinner: sweet Thai curry over brown rice, sugar snap peas
  • Extras: my Mom's homemade guacamole with whole grain chips as an afternoon snack, (1-2) beers in the evening at trivia

Exercise log: Walk with my parent's dog around the neighborhood

 How I feel:  I weighed myself this morning to find that I was one pound down from last week. That makes 9 lbs total since I started the 6-week Eat to Live plan.  I'm happy with this progress, but I think what shows even more of my success is my appearance. I feel like I can feel the fat melting off the many places it has been hanging on to, and the muscle underneath developing and showing through with each trip to the gym.  My husband Kevin even has said that, while he always thought I was skinny (thanks dear), he is noticing that I seem "smaller", like somehow my bones are shrinking me to be leaner.  I'm hoping that is not the case, and that my fat I have been holding on to for too long is coming off.  That reminds me of this picture I saw the other day (source unknown):
So, over the next week I have two BBQ's that I am going to.  One tomorrow for work, and another for our friend Dannielle as I mentioned above.  For BBQ's my go-to food to bring is always my hummus (recipe here).  It is great because it is healthy, but on the "approachable healthy-side" for most people.  Since a large part of hummus is tahini (sesame seed butter), and buying it in the jar generally costs up the ying yang, I decided to try to make my own.  Here is how I did it:

Homemade Tahini
  • 2 cups unhulled sesame seeds
  • 1-3 TBSP sesame or other oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the sesame seeds on a cookie sheet and shake to evenly spread.  No need to stray your pan, the sesame seeds produce their own oil. (In a toaster oven, toast at 400 and do 1 cup at a time). 
  2. Toast for 8-12 minutes until the some of the seeds turn a very light brown.  During toasting, make sure to take out the pan and lightly shake to move the seeds around.
  3. Once toasted, immediately scoop into a food processor with a small amount of oil.  Process and scrape the sides periodically.  It will take a few minutes to go from seeds, to crumbles, to liquid-y tahini.  Be patient!
  4. Store the tahini in an airtight container in the fridge and use for dressings, hummus, or spreads. Yum!
Amy's Notes:  Like I said above: be patient with the tahini!  It will come together.  I don't have too heavy duty of processor (although it is quite loud and I was worried the neighbors might come knocking to see who was running a chain saw), and mine was able to get the job done with about 8 minutes of processing.  This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of tahini, which is about how much comes in a jar at my local grocery store (for nearly $7 a jar!).  When buying the sesame seeds in the bulk section, I was able to get 2 cups of seeds for about $2.  That's over a 70% savings!  

What sorts of foods do you make at home to save money, or avoid preservatives and other additives?

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