Finding a healthy snack recipe is trickier than it sounds.
At first glance it looks like there are plenty of options.
But in reality most snacks either contain way too much sugar, flour, or other refined ingredients to be considered healthy, or they’re so light that they don’t satisfy for very long.
My growing toddler tugs at my legs every couple of hours to tell me that he’s hungry.
I swear, sometimes I feel like I can hardly get around to cleaning up from one meal before he’s asking for the next!
Since he loves all sweet things, I usually offer him some fruit in these situations.
But I began to notice that fruit just didn’t cut it anymore.
It might entertain him while he was eating it, but it usually still left him hungry and asking for more.
And while fruit is filled with lots of wonderful fiber and nutrients, I don’t want him to just eat fruit all day long.
So I went on a mission to find a healthy snack recipe that would hold him over a little longer.
Surprisingly, I found the answer by modifying the recipe for halva, a sweet tahini treat that I became obsessed with a few months ago.
The original version is too much like candy to eat all the time, but by modifying it I was able to create the perfect healthy snack recipe without too much effort.
Now halva has become a staple at my house, and I make it about once a week.
Here’s how to make toddler-friendly (and grown-up friendly!) halva at home:
Heat 1 cup of honey over medium-low heat (to save money, don’t use raw honey for this. You’re heating it up, so the benefits of the rawness are removed anyway).
Once honey starts to bubble, turn heat down to low and add 2 cups of tahini.
(You can also use your favorite nut butter. I like to combine tahini and peanut butter, but anything will work).
Stir well, and turn heat off.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 cup of coconut flour (or garbanzo bean flour). Stir well.
Optional: Combine 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios and a 1/4 cup flax seeds (or walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dried fruit whatever you like!) in a wide-mouthed mason jar. Grind coarsely with an immersion blender. Then add to honey-tahini mixture and blend until ingredients are evenly dispersed.
Pour mixture into a 9x9 pan and spread evenly.
Let sit for 24 hours and then cut into 1 inch chunks. Enjoy!
*For a chewier, flakier, more traditional texture (that’s great for older children and adults but not toddlers), increase the honey to 1.5 cups (or even 2 cups if you like it sweet,) and refrigerate for 24 hours.