Halvah is one of my favorite treats, but the traditional Middle Eastern sesame candy is usually packed with sugar (not my favorite ingredient). This quick and easy raw carob halvah recipe from Stephanie Tourles’s Raw Energy, though, not only cuts out all the bad stuff, it serves as a good source of Vitamins B and E, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, natural sugars, healthful fat and fiber. The candies—which are not too sweet, slightly dry and chewy—can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and packed in your purse, gym bag, briefcase or backpack— just don’t let them get too warm and soft. Or you can freeze your halvah pieces and you pop them directly from the freezer like hard candy for a cool summer pick-me-up.
Raw Carob Halvah Recipe
Yields: About 22 candies
1 cup raw sesame seeds, hulled or unhulled
1 tablespoon raw carob powder
dash of ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw honey
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Put the sesame seeds in a food processor and blend until you achieve a medium-coarse meal, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add the carob, cinnamon, and salt to the sesame seeds and blend well with a large spoon or whisk.
3. Drizzle the honey, tahini and vanilla over the dry mix. If the honey is thick and stiff, set the container in a pan of hot water for a few minutes to thin it.
4. Using your hands, mash and knead the ingredients until a cohesive, granular, stiff dough ball forms.
5. Pull off bits of dough and form into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
6. Store the halvah in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. It can be enjoyed right out of the freezer.
Recipe from “Raw Energy”, by Stephanie Tourles, copyright 2009, Storey Publishing. Used by permission. Stephanie Tourles is a licenced holistic esthetician, certified aromatherapist and author of several books on natural body care, holistic health, nutrition and wellness. She lives in Orland, Maine. You can see more of her work at www.stephanietourles.com.
Photo via M. Tawsif Salam