January 31, 2012

Moooove Over Dairy

Whipped Blueberry Tahini Topping

Despite the title of this post, I love my dairy. Regardless of current controversary or scientific evidence that milk or dairy leads to increased _____ or will cause _____, I am still making my own yogurt regularly, making butter a few times a year, and drinking raw milk (when I remember to place my order for delivery). I can tone it down a bit, sure, but high-quality dairy is a satisfying, not to mention satiating, part of my diet. No matter how you feel about this issue, whether you think news against drinking milk is udder propaganda, or you do stay away from the moo juice altogether, this non-dairy topping is worth trying...

This topping came about in an effort to incorporate more sesame tahini into my dishes. I seem to just stare at the container on the shelf, thinking I need to use it for more than just making these tasty little tahini shortbread cookies every so often. I love halvah, but I am not sure I feel like making it. I love a nice thinned tahini sauce over fish or vegetables, but I just haven't been inspired to make that either. So, after thinking I wanted something sweet, something creamy, and then also maybe whipped, I pulled out a few items that seemed like they could turn into something appetizing and away I went.

As the food processor whirled away and I added the ingredients, a lovely emulsion began to form. The blueberry juice, the honey, and the tahini were added first. A little more blueberry juice to enhance the pale blue hue. Last was a drizzle of (a neutral) oil for that creamy mouth feel. I tasted it at this point just to see what I needed to do next, but the result was really delicious.

There was a subtle nuttiness to it (from the sesame tahini). It also had a rich, yet not-too-sweet taste, due to the oil and honey, that I think would be suitable for many, many food options. Chocolate or banana pancakes, something nutty or toasted; this topping's versatility could make for a solid choice for a variety of foods. The texture of this topping was quite something, as well. It held its structure, so it wasn't a loose, oily, drippy dollop of cream, but it also did not have that stiff, went-too-far-while-processing-it, look.

I really have no idea what I was planning to top with this, because there wasn't a pancake, waffle, french toast or even angel food or sponge cake in sight, but I think it was time well-spent experimenting for a new brunch idea, or even a delicious impromptu addition to brunch, especially if I ever ran short on creamy topping options.

So, take a look at those shelves, pull out what you've got and think about making this. No lactose to worry about, creamier than soy, no ethical issues to ponder...just whipped goodness. Enjoy!

Whipped Blueberry Tahini Topping
*4-5 Tbsp blueberry juice
*1/4 cup sesame tahini
*2 Tbsp light honey
*1/3 cup neutral oil (grapeseed oil is a nice choice)

In a food processor or blender, mix and pulse together the blueberry juice*, the sesame tahini and the honey. When mixed, slowly add the oil through the lid or opening, while still pulsing until complete combined. The mixture should be thick and creamy and pale blue in color. Makes about 3/4 cup.

*I used a juicer to expel the juice from the blueberries, but you may get the same result from processing the berries in the food processor and then straining the skins and solids from the juice before using.

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