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Sesame Flax Squares

Sesame Flax Squares

I’ve always loved the little sesame candies popular in Asian cuisine but have never made them before because I don’t have the time or patience for candy making.  Instead I set about to make a simplified version of these sweet little treats.  Oh yeah, I wanted them to be healthy too – nutrient rich, nothing artificial and no white sugar.  I took a basic recipe, added flax for extra nutrition, used honey and maple syrup as natural sweetener and added a pinch of salt and sesame oil to enhance the flavor.  I omitted the stovetop and the candy thermometer and just mixed everything at room temperature then popped them into the oven.  And they are a success!  My tweaks inadvertently turned them into little snacks bars as opposed to candies but it totally works.  They have the delicious nutty flavor inspired by the originals with a soft chewy texture that’s totally unique.  These simple treats are loaded with omega-3’s, fiber, B vitamins and essential minerals such as copper, manganese and magnesium.  Snack away!

Sesame Flax Squares

Yields about 60 (1) inch squares

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Sesame Seeds
  • ¾ cup flax meal (see note for how to make flax meal in less than 1 minute)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Dry roast the sesame seeds in a heavy saucepan (I like cast iron for this).  Put the pan on medium heat and allow it to warm up for a minute or two before adding the sesame seeds.  Add the seeds and roast, stirring frequently, until they start to brown, about 2 minutes or so.
  • Pour the seeds into a medium size bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, it will be quite thick.
  • Dump the seed mixture onto your prepared baking dish/sheet.  Flatten to about ½ inch thick and try to make it smooth so it cooks evenly.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes until the edges start to turn golden.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Cut into bite sized squares (or whatever shape you choose).  A pizza cutter works perfectly for this although a knife will also work.  Cool completely then store them in an airtight container.

Notes:

  • How to make flax meal – flax meal is nothing more than pulverized flax seeds.  To make your own just pour whole flax seeds into a food processor or high powered blender and pulverize until the mixture resembles coarse flour, usually one minute or less.
  • Optional sesame oil – sesame oil is used as a flavor additive in this recipe.  I think sesame seeds taste better than flax seeds (flax always tastes slightly fishy to me).  When I made this recipe I wanted the nutrition of flax with the flavor of sesame.  Sesame oil has a strong flavor and just a teaspoon gave me the flavor boost I was hoping for.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeevveez/5555052037/

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