Orange Cardamom Halva~

Now this is truly a treat for everyone (even if you have glycemic issues). Being in Patagonia near the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, one gets quite familiar with the low glycemic lifestyle and the potentially harmful effects of eating a high glycemic diet. The Tree has made such an impact healing people from diabetes and other ailments, it’s truly an inspiration to be in the same town. I also make low glycemic raw chocolate for their store which has greatly expanded my sweetener horizons and allowed me to get very comfortable using zero glycemic sweeteners like xylitol and stevia. I have to say that I feel much better when I use those sweeteners and no longer feel the mood swings and other detrimental effects I experienced when I was using agave in all of my chocolates and desserts (of course that’s just my personal experience). In fact, I’ve been very successful in lowering the glycemic impact of pretty much all of my desserts by incorporating these sweeteners. Raw halva is the perfect example. It’s the ideal recipe for incorporating xylitol as it calls for a sweetener that closely resembles white sugar (and xylitol certainly fits that bill). While there are many ways to make traditional halva (generally involving white sugar, butter and either flour or nut/seed butter), my favorite was always sesame halva. Of course I would never eat the traditional variety now and would have no need to after creating this recipe 🙂 Our new raw organic coconut flour is the key to achieving the firm, dry and almost cake-like texture of the halva…It turns out perfectly and tastes just like the real thing! As a bonus, this recipe is so easy to make. It’s perfect with your favorite cup of coffee or tea any time of day and makes an impressive offering for guests when garnished with anything from crushed pistachios to rose petals to extra vanilla powder…A deliciously sweet treat without the sugar spike? I’ll take that any day!
p.s. Be sure to read through the end of this post to take advantage of our 15% off secret blog sale 🙂

Orange Cardamom Halva~

1 c raw tahini

4 T cashew flour (raw cashews ground to a flour in a spice grinder or food processor and sifted)

1 T lucuma powder

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

4 T  xylitol powder* (xylitol granules ground to a powder in a spice grinder or high-speed blender)

16 drops liquid stevia (I used the vanilla creme flavor)

6- 8 drops food-grade orange essential oil

1/4-1/2 tsp cardamom, to taste

4 T + 1 T coconut flour

1 T + 1 tsp water

*If you’re just getting started with xylitol, I would recommend starting with a smaller amount to see how you react (it can give some people digestive discomfort if used in large amounts). You can replace 1/2 the amount of xylitol with powdered coconut sugar or you can substitute another sweetener if you prefer.

Pour tahini into a medium sized bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except the coconut flour and the water and stir well to combine. Add the 4 T of coconut flour and the water and stir again until the mixture thickens and gets hard to stir (you may need to use your hands once the water is fully absorbed). Add the additional 1 T coconut flour and stir or mix well with your hands until the mixture can be easily molded into a ball or bar and cleanly broken in half. Pat mixture into a pan or dish (I used a medium sized loaf pan) and press in toppings of choice. Chill for an hour or longer and then cut into bite-sized pieces. This keeps well in the fridge and is a great healthy treat any time!
Variations:
-replace orange oil with rose essence or food-grade essential oil
-add cacao powder for a chocolate halva
-mix in chopped pistachios
-replace cardamom with chai spice
-try any other flavor combination or spice that you love

**SECRET BLOG SALE: 15% off all Vivapura ingredients used in this recipe (tahini, lucuma powder, vanilla powder, raw cashews, coconut flour). Valid for one week from 6/2/2012 to 6/9/2012. Enter code halva15 at checkout 🙂

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