salted chocolate tahini chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Salt and chocolate, just mentioning the combo makes me drool!

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Tahini can be used as a replacement for peanut butter in a number of recipes.  Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which contain an antioxidant compound called lignans.  Lignans have been shown to inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver and as well as absorb dietary cholesterol, ultimately lowering total blood cholesterol levels.

These little seeds are also a wonderful source of protein, fiber, healthy fats and minerals, especially calcium.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I often sprinkle sesame seeds on Noah’s food for an extra boost of calcium and fiber.  To him they are called “sprinkle seeds.”  They are fairly inexpensive and last a long time when stored in an airtight container.  I keep mine in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.

This recipe calls for tahini, which you can buy or make on your own.  (I used store-bought tahini this time)  To make your own tahini, blend sesame seeds with a pinch of cinnamon and salt until buttery.  You can add a little sweetener such as agave or maple syrup if desired.   If you don’t have tahini, I’m sure peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter would make a great replacement!

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 12
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor. Blend until smooth, occasionally scrapping down the sides.
  2. When a buttery consistency is achieved, scoop mixture onto a large piece of saran wrap. Roll dough in saran wrap creating a cylinder shape. Place into the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set.
  3. When hardened, unwrap and use a sharp knife to cut into 1 inch slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, use a double-boiler to melt chocolate.
  6. Dip slices into melted chocolate, dripping off excess and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place back into the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Serve when chocolate has hardened. Store in the refrigerator.

Salted Chocolate Tahini Chews ~vegan, gluten free~

Serve with a cold glass of almond milk and enjoy :)

lemon cilantro hummus

I am up to my ears in cilantro!  It is growing so fast and we can’t eat it fast enough!  I wish I could say the same is true for the rest of our veggies but something has been munching on the beans, red leaf lettuce and kale :(

I’ve been adding cilantro to salads, juices and soups but today I decided to throw it in hummus instead.  Hummus is so easy to make at home!  Not to mention it’s a lot cheaper!  Traditional hummus uses tahini, which is ground sesame seeds.  To most, sesame seeds are just “decoration” on bagels but they carry a lot of nutritional benefits.


Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the oldest foods dating back to prehistoric times.  Egyptians used sesame as medicine around 1500 B.C. and the oil was considered sacred.  Sesame seeds were first introduced to the United States in the 17th century.  They contain fiber, monounsaturated fats, minerals (iron and calcium) and a  lot of protein including the amino acids methionine and tryptophan.

However, the superstar of sesame seeds are lignans, an antioxidant that inhibits cholesterol to be manufactured in the liver as well as reducing the absorption of cholesterol from the diet.  This is good news for those who have high cholesterol!

Also, in Chinese medicine sesame seeds are believed to increase milk production in breastfeeding mothers.

Sesame seeds can be added to salads, granola, baked goods or in the form of tahini which is great in hummus and salad dressing.

cilantro lemon hummus1

Lemon Cilantro Hummus

1 can chickpeas

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/4 cup liquid from canned chickpeas

1/4 cup olive oil

juice from one lemon

3 heaping tablespoons tahini

1 large garlic clove

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro lemon hummus

-Reserve 1/4 cup of liquid from canned chickpeas.

-Drain and rinse chickpeas and place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.

-Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides.

-Add salt and pepper to taste.

cilantro lemon hummus2

Somebody really like wearing it…I mean eating it!