Meet the best sugar-free halva there exists! Why am I so sure about that? — Because I’ve included only the best and the cleanest ingredients and tested dozens of versions to find the most supreme combo to create a mouth-watering and unbelievably delicious healthy halva! Since it’s high in protein, it works perfectly as a protein bar as well. You can use this keto halva as a fat bomb, too, as it’s high in natural fats. With only 0.4 grams net carbs per serving, it doesn’t break your carb bank either. Moreover, this recipe is extraordinarily easy to make: No need to cook “syrups” or accomplish other complicated maneuvers — all you need is one bowl or one saucepan and a couple of minutes. That’s it!
How to make the 5-Ingredient Sugar-Free Keto Halva
You can prepare the halva in a saucepan or in a microwave. In the progress photos below, I’ll show how to make the halva in the microwave oven, while in the video next to the recipe box, you’ll see how to prepare it in a saucepan.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how to prepare this yummy and tasty confection:
Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, so, 2 oz (60 g = 1/4 cup = 60 ml) unsweetened tahini…
…2 oz (60 g = 1/4 cup = 60 ml) coconut manna…
…5 tablespoons powdered erythritol…
…3 tablespoons vanilla-flavored stevia-sweetened whey protein (check the “How to Get Variation to the Recipe” section at the end of the post for dairy-free options)…
…and 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk.
Place into microwave oven and heat over high heat for 30 seconds, or until the coconut manna is melted.
…until smooth, thick dough forms.
Transfer the dough into a small glass or ceramic dish.
Press with fingertips until tight, even layer.
Here we go.
Now it’s really stiff.
Cut into 12 pieces in the dish.
Remove the pieces with a help of a knife.
You can also use small silicone forms or pans like this one here.
If you use silicone form, remove the ready halva before cutting it into pieces.
Personally, I like to enjoy my halva with some coffee.
You might know that I’m crazy about Halloween. When prepared in appropriate molds, this keto halva makes perfect Halloween treat, too!
How I came up with this sugar-free halva recipe
I’ve adored halva for as long as I remember. I still recall my late teenage years when I often bought honey-sweetened halva for a snack. However, after omitting all sugary and carby stuff from my diet over ten years ago, it was difficult to find sugar-free halva. And for some reason, I never managed to make sugar-free halva myself.
Last year, when I was in Greece, my happiness was almost endless when I saw sugar-free halva in the store. I say “almost” because even that halva was sugar-free, it contained some questionable ingredients, like maltitol and sorbitol syrup, sucralose, vegetable oils, and soapwort. Well, many halva varieties use soapwort, but for me, this ingredient doesn’t sound too healthy with all those saponins — they are strong antinutrients. By the way, I’m going to write a lot about antinutrients in my upcoming book (both in English and in Finnish).
Anyway, I bought and ate that halva, and I have to admit the taste was good, so was the mouthfeel. Well, it was a bit dry but still very enjoyable. I just didn’t like what the weird ingredients would do for my body. So, it was about time to start developing my own genuinely healthy halva recipe.
Naturally, the main ingredient in my recipe would be tahini, i.e., sesame seed butter. But how to get that runny stuff into a solid brick? And with just the right sweetness and a hint of vanilla? Traditional halva is also a bit sticky, thanks to sugar, honey, or those maltitol and sorbitol syrups in the sugar-free version. One option would have been to boil a similar type of syrup with healthier ingredients, like erythritol and xanthan. But as I’m all about simple, I didn’t want to take this extra step. I wanted to get a perfect result quickly and easily.
So, the commercial Greek sugar-free halva had a very flaky and dry texture. Since it was a tad too dry for my taste, I thought my keto halva version could be a bit moister.
I remembered my age-old protein bar experiment from the year 2012. I had used almond butter and whey protein powder to create sturdy bars. The bars also had a flaky texture. Maybe that recipe would work as a base for my keto halva? Whey protein also lends a slightly sticky mouthfeel — just what the halva cries for.
I decided to make a small batch just to try things out. If the result turned out as a disaster, I wouldn’t waste that much precious ingredients. For my first experiment, I took tahini, powdered erythritol, vanilla-flavored whey protein, and xanthan. I thought xanthan would keep the ingredients better together and make the halva thick.
I combined all ingredients in a small saucepan and heated over low heat, all the time mixing, until hot. I transferred the mixture into two small silicone molds and placed the molds in the fridge to let the halva set. I tasted the warm mixture, and it tasted super-delicious!
However, to my disappointment, the mixture didn’t set. It was still more or less runny after one day of refrigerating. I was devastated. The taste was just perfect, but the texture definitely not. Now what?
After some calculations, I conducted an experiment with 4 oz (115 g) tahini, 3 tablespoons powdered erythritol, 2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored whey protein, 2 tablespoons coconut manna, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, so I left out the xanthan because it looked that it didn’t have any effect to the thickness and for some reason didn’t solidify the halva at all. I thought coconut manna works as a great thickener because it is solid at room temperature.
Indeed, this experiment had a stiffer texture than my first experiment. But it was still far away from perfect. Anyway, the coconut manna made the texture thicker than xanthan, so I was going in the right direction.
Back to the drawing board, I remembered the recipe for my Keto Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough Balls I posted a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I could utilize the same concept here for my keto halva? If I added coconut milk, the mixture should turn very thick and dough-like.
I actually had many ideas on how to improve the recipe. Luckily, I had ordered many jars of genuine Greek tahini. Still, I was about to run out of it because, in the end, I did so many experiments. This is great stuff!
Anyway, the same concept worked in this keto halva than in my Keto Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough Balls. I still tweaked the recipe and conducted numerous experiments. Here are my latest halva experiments. The first ones with more tahini turned almost to liquid at room temperature!
Ta-dah, experiment VIII was the winner. It held well together, had a slightly flaky and sticky texture – and tasted fantastic!
And here you have the recipe:
- 2 oz = 60 g unsweetened tahini
- 2 oz = 60 g coconut manna
- 5 tablespoons powdered erythritol
- 3 tablespoons vanilla-flavored grass-fed whey protein
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat on high for 30 seconds, or until the coconut manna is melted.
- Mix until stiff dough forms.
- Transfer the dough into a 4×4-inch (10×10-cm) glass or ceramic dish.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Cut into 12 pieces in the dish. Using a knife, remove the pieces from the dish after cutting.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week (though I bet they will be gone far before that!).
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Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
Native Forest Simple Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk, 13.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 12)
Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein Grass Fed, Sports Nutrition, Vanilla, 370 g, 13.8 Ounce (VAN1G)
Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna Puréed Coconut Butter, 15 Ounce (Pack of 2) | USDA Organic, Non-GMO | Vegan, Gluten-Free, Keto, Paleo | Creamy Superfood Spread to Boost Smoothies & Oatmeal
Anthony's Confectioner's Erythritol, 2 lb, Non GMO, Natural Sweetener, Zero Calorie, Keto & Paleo Friendly
Powdered Erythritol Sweetener - 1:1 Sugar Substitute, Keto - 0 Calorie, 0 Net Carb, Non-GMO
Organic Stone-Ground Whole Sesame Tahini Paste, Unhulled, Unsalted, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Vegan, Organic, Peanut-Free, 11.6 Ounce Glass Jars (2-Pack)
Artisana Organics Raw Tahini Sesame Seed Butter, 14-ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
|Per serving if 12 servings in total
How to get variation to the recipe
You can replace the vanilla-flavored whey protein with chocolate- or strawberry-flavored whey protein.
If you don’t tolerate dairy, you can replace the whey protein with egg white protein.
For a completely vegan version, pea protein works well. Rice protein might make a sandy mouthfeel, so I don’t recommend it in this recipe. Also, hemp protein has too strong a flavor for this recipe, so pea protein is the best – considering you’ll find a decent brand.
For chocolate halva, add 1 teaspoon raw cocoa powder.
On Monday, we visited Rollfoods, a company that delivers mainly frozen foods to stores and restaurants. They are also specialized in different diets, like gluten-free and vegan diets. We were talking about possible cooperation regarding our Ketokamu brand.
I had baked lots of keto stuff for them to taste, for example, fluffy bread (recipe in my Low Sugar, So Simple book), tortillas, blueberry muffins, chocolate muffins, and savory muffins (recipe also in my Low Sugar, So Simple book). Here we are on the train with Markus, raising – not glasses but – keto muffins.
This week one of my articles was published in Minä Olen magazine. I wrote that article in September when I was visiting Greece.
I also took the recipe photos there — without professional equipment like a camera stand or reflector that I always use in photographing. Anyway, I think the photos turned out okay.
Oh yes, our car has been broken for some months, and we have been searching for a new (well, second-hand) car. Our old car was Saab, and we found the brand so good that we wanted to have another Saab. Well, they don’t manufacture Saab cars anymore, so a second-hand car was the only option anyway. After a long search, we finally found one Saab model 9-5 two-hour driving distance from our home. Meet my new car: