by Andrea Sperling



East meets Middle East in these black and white gluten-free sesame treats. East is gomasio, Japanese black toasted sesame salt, and Middle East is the tahini, unhulled white sesame seeds and pistachios.  I like these little snacks because they satisfy my craving for a dessert, but yet they're not cloyingly sweet like the peanut honey bars you find in a lot of Indian stores.

My daughter and I have eaten them for breakfast a few times when we're in a rush, too.  Between the sesame seeds, tahini and nuts, they have a lot of protein, calcium and fiber. They're also great for an afternoon snack.  Just check your teeth after you eat them, as the black and white sesame seeds can get stuck between your teeth.



Make sure you mix the almond butter and tahini mixture thoroughly with the dry ingredients so they don't fall apart.  Use a good quality almond butter - once,  I made them using almond butter from a jar and they weren't holding up as well as when I had the almonds freshly ground at the health food store.

You can make them without the gomasio and just add more sesame seeds. You can add rose water, dates, apricots or spice it up with cardamom. This recipe is just a starting point. Cut them into squares, diamonds or rectangles.



 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

3/4  cups unsweetened dried coconut

1/3 cup organic almond butter

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup coconut sugar, sucanut or other organic sugar

1/2 cup raw honey, maple syrup or agave

1/2  teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1  cup raw white sesame seeds

1/2 cup gomasio

1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Optional: 1/3 cup chopped apricots, dates or golden raisins



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Take an 8” x 8” baking pan and line it with a 8” x 10” piece of parchment paper. One inch will hang over on two sides and this will help you lift it out of the pan easier.

Spray some olive oil spray on the bottom of the parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the cashews and coconut until they make a fine flour.

On the stove, heat the almond butter, tahini, coconut sugar, honey and vanilla until well mixed.

Don't overheat. Let it cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, combine the coarse sea salt, white sesame seeds, gomasio, flaxseed and pistachios.  Add the cashews and coconut mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed. If you're adding the dried fruits, add them here.

Pour the warm almond butter mixture in with the other ingredients, and with your hands thoroughly mix.

Press the mixture into the baking pan. Flatten it evenly with the bottom of a glass. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Refrigerate for several hours before you cut them.