I don’t know about your kids, but mine were never crazy about broccoli. Despite all my efforts to make broccoli more attractive by roasting, pureeing, or naming it “dinosaur trees” (although that last strategy surprisingly did the trick with my boy).
But then recently I served them broccoli topped with one of my favorite sauces, a sweet lemony tahini sauce I usually have for lunch with salads or roasted veggies. And it was a definite success with all three of them!
I now often serve this sweet tahini sauce with veggies, but also with quinoa, rice, or lentils, to jazz things up. It's also perfect with an avocado, and sometimes I have a spoon straight from the jar.
It's made in less than a minute and requires just five ingredients:
- Lemon juice
- Tahini (sesame paste)
- Tamari (fermented soy sauce)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Maple syrup
What is tahini and why is it healthy?
Those of you who’ve made hummus from scratch undoubtedly know tahini. Tahini is a white to beige paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a somewhat nutty taste with a hint of bitterness. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend having your kids taste it straight from the jar as they might with peanut or almond butter.
When buying, make sure it’s made from sesame seeds only and doesn’t contain anything else. Apart from being a very good source of protein and fiber, sesame contains lignans called sesamin, which is a powerful antioxidant proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Sesame seeds are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, and are extremely rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
A few nutrition facts about broccoli:
- Broccoli has proven effects on the prevention of many common diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension
- Many studies have shown its ability to prevent and fight different types of cancer
- Broccoli contains twice the amount of vitamin C of an orange, provides more calcium than whole milk, and is extremely high in antioxidants
- Broccoli is best eaten raw for optimal nutrients. Steaming broccoli for three to four minutes however will optimize the sulforaphane content, which is a potent anti-cancer compound and effective detoxifier
- Sprouted broccoli contains 30 to 50 times more protective chemicals than regular broccoli
For the broccoli:
- 1 large broccoli, stems and florets cut in pieces
- Optional: a small handful of sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
For the sauce:
- 1 large or 2 small lemons, juiced
- 4 tbsp. tahini
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- Optional: a few spoons of purified water
- Steam the broccoli until tender but still crispy and bright green
- Make the sauce: put all the ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid and shake well. Taste and adjust by adding more lemon, tamari, or maple syrup as desired
- Serve the sauce on top of the broccoli, or on the side if you’re not sure your kids will like it
- Sprinkle the broccoli with seeds
A few notes:
- When I serve this as a sauce, I like it to be thick and creamy, almost the same consistency as mayonnaise. When I have this with a salad, I add a few spoons of purified water.
- This sauce/dressing keeps about a week in the fridge in an air-tight container
- I usually make a big jar on Sunday and add it to salads, veggies, rice, quinoa etc. throughout the week