My friend Katerina recently brought me some tahini from the island of Crete. It's much darker than the tahini you usually find in the supermarkets and the flavor is certainly richer. This is due in part to the fact that the sesame seeds didn't have their hulls removed, making the resulting tahini more nutritious and delicious!
In fact, tahini is extremely high in vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. It's also rich in calcium, protein, and helps to promote healthy cell growth. So needless to say, I've been on a tahini kick lately. I've used it to make salad dressing, slathered it on toast with honey. I even added it into a cake instead of using butter (that was definitely not my best idea!). So I decided to try my hand at using it to make a batch of granola bars, to eat at the gym.
Now, as if my tahini kick wasn't enough, I've also been on an ancient grain kick. Who hasn't? So I decided to add some puffed farro cereal into the granola bars, along with some nuts and hemp seeds. I'm sure the idea of preparing homemade tahini and hemp granola bars sounds more than a bit hippie dippy. But they are so delicious and simple to make. I promise, even if you had to put on a tie-dye shirt and singing a few verses of the song "Get Together" (not that this recipe requires you to do so), the results are worth it!
Tahini & Farro Granola Bars
120 grams (1 cup) Medjool dates, chopped
75 grams (1/4 cup) honey
75 grams (1/4 cup) fresh tahini
55 grams (1/2 cup) toasted nuts, such as almonds or cashews
65 grams (1 cup) oats
30 grams (3/4 cup) puffed farro cereal
20 grams (1/4 cup) hemp seeds
Pinch of salt
Puree the dates and honey. In a large mixing bowl combine the nuts, oats, farro, hemp seeds, and salt. Add in the date puree and tahini.
Stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a 6 ½" x 10" pan lined with foil or wax paper. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan, pressing down to keep it firmly packed. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until firm.
Once firm, cut into bars and transfer to a Tupperware container. To prevent the bars from sticking together, place a piece of wax paper between each layer. Store the bars in the refrigerator for one week or the freezer for one month. The bars won't freeze solid, so they can be eaten straight out of the freezer!