No matter what you call it (‘halva’, ‘halvah’, “halava”, or “halavah”), vegan halvah is the holy grail of halvas for many people. If you, as we, grew up eating Joyva brand halvah, you may have been as stunned as were we to discover that Joyva halvah, and many other brands of halva, are not vegan! WTF? That’s right! Some brands contain egg white or albumin, others contain honey, and some even have both.
For those of you not (yet) acquainted with this incredible dessert delicacy, the Free Online Dictionary describes halva as an “Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or Indian sweetmeat made of honey and containing sesame seeds, nuts, rose-water, saffron, etc.” According to them, it is called halva in Yiddish, helve in Turkish, and halwā in Arabic.
“Containing sesame seeds” seems a bit like saying a stack of pancakes and maple syrup is made of maple syrup and containing pancakes. Tahini or sesame seeds is the primary ingredient in halva.
Of course many vegans don’t eat honey (it’s a point of contention into which we will not wade), plus, as we mentioned above, many brands of halva have either egg whites or egg albumin. For example, while not containing honey, the ingredients in Joyva marble halvah are “Crushed Sesame, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed, Soya) Cocoa, Chocolate, Dried Egg Albumin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Chocolate Contains: Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, (an Emulsifier), Vanillin, (Artificial Flavor).”
So yeah, egg. And even if they didn’t contain egg product, with a second ingredient of corn syrup, yuck!
On the other hand, when done right halva isn’t just another pretty sweet! According to Livestrong, “While halva isn’t a particularly good source of vitamins, it does provide significant amounts of a number of minerals. Each 1-ounce serving has 17 percent of the DV for copper and phosphorus, 15 percent of the DV for magnesium and 12 percent of the DV for manganese. You need copper for forming red blood cells, phosphorus and magnesium for forming DNA and manganese for healing wounds.”
Well, anyway, as we were saying, we recently discovered the most incredible brand of vegan halva! It’s a bit more costly than Joyva. Joyva is about $20 for a 16 ounce can online (although considerably less at the grocery store if you can find it), while this amazing vegan halva is $15 for an 8 ounce container, but oh, it is so much better! So while you may not eat it every day, it’s definitely something wonderful with which to treat yourself!
The brand is called Seed + Mill, and you can order their fabulous vegan halva (plain, pistachio, chocolate & sea salt, chocolate & toasted coconut, and cardamom) here on Amazon. You can also visit their website here.
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Seed + Mill Vegan Chocolate & Sea Salt Halva
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