Use This Middle Eastern Condiment To Transform Your Milkshakes

Middle Eastern foods, dishes, and condiments have a steadily growing presence on Western-style menus, opening up a world of tasty culinary combinations once unfamiliar to many diners. Hummus Elite explains that a typical Middle East diet has some primary components to its cuisine, including favorites such as hummus, baba ghannouj, tahini, tabouleh, and falafel, along with olive oils and aromatic spices.

When it comes to sweet treats, The Spruce Eats highlights Middle Eastern dessert favorites such as baklava, basbousa, halva, and recipes employing cardamom, figs, pistachios, tahini, honey, ginger, and many more traditional, healthy ingredients. In fact, Middle Eastern cuisine in general is one of the healthiest eating options available, according to Vogue, due to a consistent concentration of vegetables, grains, spices, seeds, and herbs such as cumin and za'atar.

Having said that, it's hard to imagine a clean-eating Middle Eastern food complementing the standard Western-style milkshake. But one of the primary seed-based condiments does just that and more. In some recipes, it completely transforms the shake concept.

The wonder ingredient for milkshakes

So what is the Middle Eastern wonder ingredient elevating milkshakes into a health-filled cup of tasty goodness? That would be tahini. The Kitchn explains that tahini is simply sesame seeds ground into a smooth unsweetened seed butter, which works well as a thickening agent in foods. It also happens to be packed with nutrients, healthy fats, and antioxidants, according to Healthline, leading promotion in brain health and reduction of other health issues.

MyRecipes states that the nutty flavor and texture of tahini evens out the overly-sweet qualities of typical milkshake ingredients and can work in any existing recipe. But other chefs and shake aficionados advocate a Middle Eastern concoction involving tahini and dates. Food52 shares a tahini-date shake recipe that it calls a creamy breakfast milkshake. In the recipe, a teaspoon of tahini accompanies dates, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, bananas, cinnamon and more, with an option to add rum or Kahlua for brunch or evening treats. A tahini milkshake version from Cooking Light specifies using Medjool dates, stating that tahini and dates belong together, with the dates balancing and deepening other flavors. Medjool dates, native to Morocco, are considered the "king of fruits" due to their original consumption by royalty, according to WebMD

Regardless of how the recipes shake out, it's pretty much a consensus among chefs that tahini is the creamy magic holding Middle Eastern-style milkshakes together.