:: Slice of Emma ::

November 11th, 2015
Healthy, Whole Food, Plant Based Recipes by Emma

Recipe #6 :: Honey Halvah

The first time I had halvah was in Tel Aviv, Israel.  The turbaned, mustachioed sultan on the package beckoned me toward one last magic carpet ride to Jaffa. I couldn’t resist.

The first bite was an intoxicating mix of sesame, vanilla and rose water with an initially crumbly texture that smoothed into a slight chalkiness that wasn’t unappealing. It goes delicious with bread or alone as a rich treat.  Derived from the Arabic word halwa, which means sweet confection, halvah’s centuries-old origins are widely debated; nearly every Middle Eastern culture claims it as its own. Some scholars have suggested it originated near Byzantium, now Istanbul, some time before the 12th century, while others believe it dates back all the way to 3000 B.C.E. This version is much healthier because of the basic core ingredients.  You will find it is a rather simple recipe and can be altered with other flavors such as coconut and rose extracts. 

Health Note: Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B1, selenium, and dietary fiber.


  • 1 ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt


Heat honey on low to a syrup.  Add tahini and stir slowly.  Grind sesame seeds in blender until meal.  Add ground sesame seeds until well mixed.  Add sea salt, stevia, and vanilla and stir well.  Line a 8x8 pan with parchment paper.  Pour Halva into pan and set in fridge.  Cut into bites after 24 hours in fridge.  

Hi, I am Emma Wilkiemeyer. Welcome to Slice of Emma recipe blog featuring healthy recipes that are vegan and based on whole foods.  For the past seven years I have shared recipes with friends and family and past two years through my blogging.  I completed a certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona in Holistic Nutrition.  I take pride in that my recipes are not only delicious, but the science behind them makes for ingredients that nurture and balance the body.  My recipes are all gluten free and vegan. 

My full time career is working in the oncology bio-tech space. Working around patients who are very sick has taught me the value of living a healthy lifestyle each and every day in order to lower the risk of disease later in life.  My whole foods diet keeps me energized to work hard and fuel my fitness routine.  Slice of Emma will also feature not only my voracious appetite in the kitchen but also my travel adventures including mountain hikes sometimes shared with Jes the CCC and international travel.  Please reach out to me anytime you have a question whether it be about travel or my recipes. 

I am excited to share my passion and creativity with you.  Whether you are an experienced cook, or just getting started with a plant based diet I hope to have something that excites and helps you love healthy and compassionate cooking.

My liferecipe is simple- Nourish the body with clean food and exercise, and feed the soul with life’s rich experiences whether it be through getting out in nature or positive relationships with the people in my life.

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An update on the outdoor life in Southern California from Emma:

I continue to enjoy Southern California and the small changes that the seasons offer.  Recently I joined friends in Borrego Springs for a camping trip.  Although the desert was fierce with heat, it gifted our presence with a sunset exploding with colors and a night sky full of pulsing stars that I could almost touch.  It was a night of dancing and sharing between both new and old friends.  My next adventures for fall will be to hike more often now that it has started to cool.  Last weekend in Arizona I enjoyed several hikes on my old stomping grounds.