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Homemade Oil-Free Tahini and Depression

Two topics for you today. First and foremost we are going to talk about depression and some basic signs to watch out for and questions to ask. In between, I’m going to show you a super simple way to make your own tahini! No oil needed and no expensive price tag. 
oil free tahini featured picture and a dash of cinnamon

You may remember a while back when I wrote a post about suicide after an intern killed themselves. At the end of that post, I told you that I was eventually going to write a post about signs and symptoms of depression and questions that you can ask yourself, or someone that you are worried about. Well, today is that day, or more specifically I think this is the best time of year to talk about this. This time of year can be particularly hard for people for a multitude of reasons. As for myself, it took me a while to recover from that incident and I have my ups and downs, but I think it’s important that people are aware of some of the signs that someone may be depressed and need help.

While we do that I’m going to share with you the easy single ingredient recipe needed to make your own tahini that doesn’t require any oil. I didn’t get into tahini until earlier this year because every time I went to buy it at the store it was just way to expensive to justify. Then, I decided I really wanted to try it and went and made it myself. It’s super easy, but does require a little bit of patience!

Ok, let’s get started. In between the pictures will be some of the signs and symptoms that you can ask yourself, or someone you are worried about.


  • Most commonly people have trouble sleeping when they are depressed. More specifically, though, is that they wake up really early and can’t get back to sleep


  • Decreased interest in activities that were once enjoyed
toasted sesame seeds for oil free tahini and a dash of cinnamon

Toasted (or not) sesame seeds in the blender


  • Feeling guilty about something. It can be about anything. Often times, the guilt is out of proportion, or about something that nothing can be done about.


  • For this, there is a decrease in energy
oil free tahini and a dash of cinnamon

Starting to get more paste like


  • There is a decrease in ability to concentrate


  • Most commonly, there is a decrease in appetite. (Less commonly, some people have an increase in appetite)
oil free tahini almost finished and a dash of cinnamon

Just a little bit more patience now. Keep blending


  • This one, actually, is objective. Some one else has to notice it. In general, usually the person is slower in their movements/ has less movements than usual. (However, for some people, there is an increase in movements, more anxiety/jittery like)


  • This is an easier question to ask yourself than someone else, but it is something that needs to be asked. If people are having suicidal thoughts, they need help ASAP from a professional. (I gave a number that can be called in my suicide post ).

If you are asking yourself, or another person these questions and they are positive for multiple symptoms then please get yourself, or that person to a professional. Even if it starts with your/their primary care doctor. There are a lot of resources out there for those in need.

oil free tahini featured picture and a dash of cinnamon

Patience gets you a nice, smooth tahini without any oil needed

While your at it go ahead and make some tahini! You’ll need it for my post next week and here are a few previous recipes that I’ve posted that call for some tahini, as well!

oil free tahini featured picture and a dash of cinnamon

Oil Free Tahini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon


  • 1 cup sesame seeds or more


  1. If you want to toast your seeds (recommended), preheat your oven to 300 degrees

  2. Place at least 1 cup of seeds (the more the easier it is to blend) onto a cookie sheet that has sides

  3. Roast your seeds for ~5 minutes, or until toasted. Keep a close eye on them. You want them to be golden brown

  4. Once roasted, pour the seeds into a blender (alternatively you can use a food processor)

  5. Blend, but stop to scrap down the sides ~every 45 seconds

  6. Be patient, when you think it is done, I recommend blending for one more cycle to get it really melty

  7. Once finished, scrap out into an airtight container (I store mine in the fridge)

  8. Use it with any dish that calls for tahini! 

Recipe Notes

The more sesame seeds you use, the easier it is to blend

I highly recommend toasting your seeds. It enhances the flavor quite a bit and helps the seeds to release their oils more easily when blended. 

In general, once you start smelling the seeds, they are done, but keep a close eye on them!

I link up with Deborah and Sarah’s, and running on happy’s/ the fit foodie mama’s Meatless Monday, #recipeoftheweek, Best of the BlogosphereHomestead Blog Hop, The Homstead Hop,glutenfreefridays,  #healthyveganfridays,  What’s for Dinner, Sunday Fitness and FoodGraciousPantry


{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Meredith September 6, 2017, 10:09 AM

    Great reminder that we can easily make our own tahini from toasted sesame seeds… I will have to remember this the next time I run out. I also appreciate the review on the signs of depression. It is important to keep them front of mind so we can help ourselves or loved ones.

  • Kimmythevegan December 22, 2016, 7:47 PM

    Ah I made a comment like a week ago, but the browser gave me problems so I’m just noticing it now didn’t make it. I’ll try again 😉
    First off – your tahini sounds great! I love making my own things (vegan cheese, hemp milk, etc), but have never tried tahini. I love the idea of making my own – how very awesome. And simple sounding!
    And as for depression, I do really appreciate you sharing this. I feel like it’s something we are programmed not to talk about – something “uncomfortable”, which isn’t great. I have someone close with me that has had major depression in the past and it was really tough watching them through it. They eventually made it out ok.
    I myself suffer from depression (tends to be mild, but can get bad with major life changes) and before recently, I always thought it was just something I shouldn’t talk to anyone about or mention. Just keep it in, keep it to myself. I’m glad there are people out there wanting to help people and wanting to make people aware.
    Thank you.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 27, 2016, 5:36 PM

      Thank you for taking the time to re-write your comment! As for the tahini, it is so easy to make and wish I would have tried my hand at it sooner since I really like it haha. As for the depression, I totally agree with you. It is something that we aren’t really suppose to talk about and I think that does more damage than good, especially since just talking to someone can do loads of good. I’m glad your friend made it out ok. As for yourself, I am always here if you need someone to talk to! (very serious about that) I hope you are having an excellent holiday season and your spirits have been high

  • Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands December 19, 2016, 11:19 PM

    Such an important thing to remember this time of year. While it’s happy for so many for some it isn’t. I know my grandmother suffers with this this time of year more than every and why I try to have her spend the holidays with us. Her doctors won’t let her stay overnight this year but we will still get her here as long as we can and even if it’s back and forth and extra time. We even make it a point to go see her more than our once a week visits.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 20, 2016, 5:33 PM

      I’m so happy to hear that you pay extra special attention to your grandmother in her time of need (jealous you still have a grandmother around!!). I’m also happy to hear that you put in the extra effort. I’m sure she is thankful to have you and your family around!

  • Rachel December 19, 2016, 10:05 PM

    This is such an easy recipe, thank you!

    And thanks for bringing to light such an important topic. Anxiety and depression are off the charts around this time of year for a lot of people. It’s helpful to know what signs to look for.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 20, 2016, 5:31 PM

      Thank you for taking the time to read it and hopefully share it with others who may be in need. I agree, this can be a particularly difficult time for people.

  • Liz December 19, 2016, 12:02 PM

    Thank you for this important post, I know many people that struggle with depression, it can have such devastating consequences. Thanks for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 19, 2016, 8:28 PM

      It took me a while to get up the gumption to right about it but I think it’s a very important topic especially around this time of year. It can absolutely have devastating consequences and unfortunately I’ve had to care for multiple people who attempted, but were not successful at committing suicide and have plenty well seen first hand how devastating it can be for them and their loved ones (both for those who have been successful in their attempts and for those who have not been). Please let me know if there is anything I can help with

  • Annmarie December 19, 2016, 9:14 AM

    Your recipe looks delicious. And thanks for taking the time to bring awareness to suicide and depression. I lost my best friend in high school to suicide and it certainly wasn’t something I thought would ever happen.

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 19, 2016, 8:25 PM

      I’m so sorry to hear that! 🙁 It is an issue that I think needs to be discussed more and I hope that more awareness is raised especially. Thanks for taking the time to read it

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner December 19, 2016, 8:59 AM

    Lots of people experiencing depression this time of year. Thanks for pointing out some of the issues and for linking up today

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 19, 2016, 8:21 PM

      Thank you for hosting! I hope the word gets out because as you mentioned, this can be a particularly trying time for people

  • Randi Tisdall December 16, 2016, 5:22 PM

    I’ve had numerous friends commit suicide over the years (including my brother-in-law in 2012). I think one of the hardest things is that I never thought any of them would actually do it, and that’s the scary part- many people who experience suicidal thoughts keep it to themselves when it starts to get serious. I can look back at all my relationships with these people, and I can see some of the “signs”, but you don’t really SEE IT when you’re in it sometimes. It’s also difficult because we all experience depression, and so where is the line? How do you know if someone is in trouble if they keep it so well hidden? Suicide is a problem that cannot be solved overnight, but I think if each of my friends had a healthier home life when they were growing up, they would have had a better support system. Also the more that people talk about it, we can hopefully bring more attention to it. Thank you for discussing this on your blog…oh and btw, that tahini looks wonderful:)

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon December 17, 2016, 3:52 PM

      I am so sorry to hear that you have had so many friends commit suicide. That is incredibly hard. As for your questions, yes it can also be really hard to pin down someone who may be at risk. I think sometimes the hardest thing is to realize what the little changes and signs mean as they can be subtle especially when someone doesn’t realize what some of these “signs” may be which is why I agree with you and should be talked about more. Those who commit suicide generally have thought about it for awhile and first start thinking about it, then come up with a plan. Those with an actual plan are at the highest risk. I would also strongly encourage anyone to pay close attention to those who have had an acute stressor in their lives even if they say they are ok. Sometimes all people need, as you sort of mentioned at the end of your comment, is someone to talk to and to feel like there is someone who cares about them. Support systems are incredibly important. I encourage anyone and everyone to ask people some of these question whenever something just doesn’t seem right, or “off” even if they can’t figure out quite what it is. You are correct, many experience depression, but those with clinical depression have most of these symptoms over an extended amount of time and not just feeling down for a few days or weeks. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and am not sure if I did it justice with this reply. It is a topic that I care a lot about though and would like more people to be aware and help themselves and others recognize signs of what may be depression and get the help that they need before things get to the point of suicide.

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