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Sesame & Coconut Halva

{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my sweet friend, Raia, author of Raia’s Recipes. Raia is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of five crazy kids. After the birth of her third child, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. This discovery turned her bread and pasta-filled life upside down and set her on a mission to find out what healthy meant for her family. Aspiring to encourage other moms, she started her blog filled with simple, easy, healthy dishes. Stop by Raia’s Recipes to get plenty of real food, gluten-free recipes and much more!}

Halva is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert. Though it's usually made up of tahini, the variations on this sweet treat are endless. This easy raw version pairs sesame seeds with unsweetened coconut to make a delicious, healthy snack!

Though I have vague memories of eating halva when I lived in Russia (covered in chocolate, of course), my first State-side exposure was in the candy isle at a local grocery store. My then learning-to-read five-year-old daughter, Havah, spotted a bar and picked it up.

“Do you know what that says?” I asked, pointing to the big letters on the front.

“Havah!” was her immediate response.

Ever since I've had a hard time calling it “halva” instead of “Havah.” 🙂

Sesame & Coconut HalvaAlthough halva comes from the Middle East, it's eaten all over the world. It is a pretty versatile treat, varying from country-to-country. Though most of the halva I've eaten is either sunflower or sesame-based, I've also seen carrot versions, and some countries make it out of flour, as well.

The halva add-ins are even more numerous than the base variations! Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, bananas, cashews, dates, pineapple, coconut, chocolate… Basically if you can chop it up, you can add it in.

For this version, I opted for sesame and coconut. I love coconut in any form, and I always have the unsweetened, shredded variety on hand. Here it balances well with the sesame flavor to give the halva a delicate taste and a creamy color.

Most halva recipes also call for boiling a boat-load of sugar, but I prefer to keep things simple. Just a little bit of honey, and you're good to go!

When I originally started making halva, I didn't even have any tahini on hand, so I just threw a bunch of raw sesame seeds in the blender. The taste might be a little lighter, but it worked like a charm! And I love that it keeps things on the raw side, since I usually make my tahini with roasted sesame seeds.

Sesame & Coconut Halva

If you've never checked out the health benefits of sesame seeds, you should! They're quite the little powerhouse! Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper – an important anti-inflammatory trace mineral – as well as oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, which helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” They are also packed with magnesium, an essential mineral for lowering blood pressure, and zinc, which plays an important part in the formation of collagen, strengthening muscle tissue, hair, and skin. Like most seeds and nuts, sesame seeds are also a good source of dietary fiber.

And if you've been in the health food world for any amount of time, you've probably already been inundated with of all the amazing benefits of coconut. Like how it's high in dietary fiber, provides heart-healthy short chain and medium chain fatty acids, is low on the glycemic index, and contains high levels of vitamin C and B. It's pretty amazing stuff!

With superfood ingredients like those, this Sesame & Coconut Halva is quite the nutritious little treat! And to top it all off, it's super easy to make. Take your ingredients and throw them in the blender. Then pour them in a pan and chill. Can't get much easier than that!

Sesame & Coconut Halva

Coupons for Sesame & Coconut Halva Ingredients

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Sesame & Coconut Halva
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  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  2. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and smooth.
  3. Freeze until solid, then cut into chunks and enjoy.
  4. Store in the fridge or freezer.
  5. This recipe easily doubles.

Sesame Seed Info:

Coconut Info:

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