I’ll bet you’re taking the time to read this post just because you’re curious as to what the heck halvah is, right?
I don’t blame you, I didn’t have a clue either but each time I’ve bought a new raw/superfood/whole food cookbook ~ which I do regularly, very cool job perk ~ there seemed to be a version included.
I had to learn more.
According to wiseGEEK.com, halvah is:
“A common Middle Eastern dessert, halva is a sweet confection that is traditionally served with a strong coffee or tea. There are two types: one is a flour-based concoction, and the other uses finely ground nuts as its base. The texture varies greatly depending on the area from which its recipe is derived. It is often garnished with crushed pistachios or covered in chocolate. Recipes and additives vary somewhat from region to region, and from cook to cook.
The name comes from the Arabic word halawa, which means “sweet,” a term that perfectly describes this concoction. Turkish and Hebrew cultures have recipes with slight variations on the Middle Eastern dessert. The inexpensive treat is eaten in small blocks and often savored, melting slowly on a person’s tongue.”
Now, I really have nothing against flour (although the more I research gluten, this may change) but I decided to go with the flour-free version that was part of my newest acquisition ‘The Power of Food’ by Adam Hart, which, by the way, is an excellent resource about all things superfood and an absolutely gorgeous, full color cookbook!
I highly recommend it. Highly.
Adam’s version is chock full of nuts, seeds, healthy butters and honey and to say it melts in your mouth would be more than accurate.
What You’ll Need
1/2 cup of walnuts – ground up (I used my coffee grinder for all the grinding mentioned)
1/4 cup of sesame seeds – ground up
1/4 cup of hemp seeds – not ground up
3 tbsp of tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tbsp of honey (I used raw buckwheat – mmm!)
2 tbsp of almond butter
1/2 tsp of pink himalayan or sea salt (not iodized table salt! yuck!)
* a few pinches of cinnamon (optional, but nice)
* a few extra hemp seeds to sprinkle on top
* glass bowl, spatula
* parchment paper
* some type of baking dish to shape it in
* glass storage container to store it in
1. Put all of the ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix well with the spatula. It will stick together beautifully and end up in a soft ball of ‘dough’.
Note: this recipe makes a sweet, but for my family of 6, small portion. If there are more than 3 or 4 of you, I’d double it. Plus, by doubling it, there will be some extra for you to ‘taste test’ while you’re making it. I also highly recommend taste testing it – so good!
2. Line your baking dish with the parchment paper and put the ‘dough’ in. Flatten it to your desired thickness and then sprinkle with some extra hemp seeds.
3. Let it harden up in the fridge for an hour or so and then pull it out and cut it into squares.
4. Share some with your kids – I guarantee they’ll love it – and store the rest in the fridge until it’s all gone – which won’t be too far off.
Happy Saturday and, if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for my newsletter, it’s right over there in my sidebar.