Sweet toasted sesame seeds make these squares crunchy with a hint of Asian flavor. Mild tasting hiziki seaweed makes these nutrient-dense and irresistibly scrumptious. Also called hijiki, you can find it in the Asian section of most grocery stores. It may appear expensive, however you only need a tiny bit, as dry seaweed expands in water to 10x its size! Seaweed is a true superfood. Not only is it high in vitamins A, C, and calcium. It’s also rich in iodine, which promotes healthy libido and fertility in both men and women. That’s because iodine supports the thyroid gland, and a vital thyroid is necessary for healthy sexual function. In fact seaweed is considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures. Children need healthy thyroids too, so these bars make a great snack for all ages. No equipment required – it’s best to mix by hand so the seaweed stays in visible strands. Store these for a week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Makes one 9 x 9-inch square pan, or about 60 squares.
- 3/4 cup sweetener. I used half Just Like Sugar Brown, and half Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener. You could also use 1/2 cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
- 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 5 tablespoons filtered water, warm but not hot (If you're using honey, skip the water, and use a minimal teaspoon or two of water if needed to stir.)
- 2 tablespoons dry hiziki seaweed
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds, preferably white
- 1 tablespoon liquid coconut aminos (optional for an Asian flavor)
- 1/2 cup sesame tahini at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Cover a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper so it comes up the sides like handles for easy removal.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir the sweetener and salt into the warm water until it is completely dissolved.
- Add the seaweed, chia seeds and optional coconut aminos. Stir well and let it sit for 10 minutes for the seaweed and chia to soften.
- Add tahini, vanilla, and sesame oil. Mix to a smooth paste.
- Add sesame seeds last and stir until well combined. It will be quite thick.
- Spoon into baking pan and smooth flat. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the top is firm. It’s better not to brown it, or it may be too dry and crumbly. Remove the oven and cool for 30 minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch squares. Eat!