Peanut and Sesame Dips – healthy snacks for rural villages in Laos

clockwise from top left: jar of peanut butter, peanut dip, sesame dip (tahini)

Recently James finished co-ordinating the last in a series of 3 trainings on nutrition (each one a week long). Basically the goal was to teach Lao NGO health staff how to teach nutrition in the rural villages where they work – a training for trainers. Many poor people in Laos, especially children, do not get enough nutrients. Most people do get enough calories, but they are lacking nutrients like fat, iron, vitamin A, protein, and calcium, One way to deal with this problem is to help villages find affordable nutrient rich foods. For example, peanuts are readily available in many villages and they are a more affordable source of protein than meat.

One day there was a contest at the training to see which group could invent the healthiest snack with ingredients that are available in the villages. One group thought of fried sweet potatoes, which are good for their vitamin A, but they don’t have much else, so the teacher recommended pairing fried sweet potatoes with a nutrient rich dip. I made these dips for a snack the next day to see if they could be a healthy addition to the sweet potatoes. I thought people would like the peanut dip better because of the chili and soy sauce, but they actually really liked the tahini!

For both of these recipes, just combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir.

Peanut Dip – provides protein, fat, and vitamin C

  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 thai chili, minced
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 3 T water

Tahini Dip – provides fat, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and iron

  • 1/4 C tahini paste (by this I mean tahini made of only toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, and salt)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 2 T water

2 responses to “Peanut and Sesame Dips – healthy snacks for rural villages in Laos

  1. Yum…some interesting variations for our tapas.   See nutricional content of 1/4 cup of sesame seeds .
    Also from same webpage, to assure us of low cholesterol contant:  In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure…
    Thanks for these inventions:)

  2. I love the peanut butter sauce dip recipe. I definitely have to try this. I think it will be perfect with grilled fish 🙂

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