Pistachio Baklava

IMG_6783One thing that peeved me off in Greece was that no place had dairy-free baklava! Well, here I am a month later & still craving this tasty treat! So, what better way to satisfy a craving then to make it my own way! I decided to turn the typical butter-fest baklava into a healthy version – dehydrated filo squares with a raw middle – YUM (I swear it was yummy)!

Let’s begin with the filling…

  1. In a food processor blend: 1C shelled pistachios, 6 pitted medjool dates, 2T dried cranberries, 1C large flake coconut, 1/4t ground cinnamon & 1/4t ground cardamon – pulse until chopped (you want it chunky, not creamy)
  2. Add 2T honey & pulse a few more times – remove & set aside

If you have a dehydrator then you can break it out to make filo squares. If not, just  buy or bake a dozen crackers/cookies. I’m envisioning these cardamon crackers!  If you want to tackle the dehydrator filo square version, the instructions are at the end.

To assemble, drizzle honey on a plate, lay down a filo cracker (or whatever you decide to use) & then add 1/3 pistachio mixture. Continue with 2 more layers & top with another filo cracker.

To make this all the more mouth watering make sure to drizzle honey on top & add a scoop of pistachio ice cream (I made the ice cream in the picture, still testing it out so recipe to come later).

Nutritional Info Per Serving for Pistachio Mixture (Serves 4): 400 calories – 25 grams of fat – 40 carbs – 9 grams of protein

Click below for dehydrator instructions, ingredient list & original recipe…

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Tel Aviv…I Think I Love You!

tel aviv 2This post is long overdue! Between the move to Boston, a few weddings we have to attend & packing up for our next adventure of a trip (let’s call it honeymoon 2.0) it is hard to find time to sit down & write. Regardless, here it is….my love for Tel Aviv!

  • I was in amazing company. I was there for a close friend’s bachelorette party. The ladies I was with were flawless, from their looks and styles to their personalities. Get 10 girls who don’t know each other & are from all different parts of the world in a room for 10 days & you think there would be mayhem, right? Not this bunch! I guess it is all on the bride, clearly she has good taste in her friends 😉
  • The accommodations were out of this world. Again, thanks to the wonderful bride!  She has an apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv & all the ladies were able to crash there. Views were insane, the city & water felt at our fingertips from 25 stories up. What a sight!
  • Great weather. Who can complain about 80 degree weather the entire trip. Not me! Beaches everyday & sundresses every night, what more could you ask for!
  • The cost wasn’t bad at all. We wined and dined every day and night (at some of the top restaurants in the city) & the tab was always cheaper then expected!

Now lets get down to business…the food & excursions!!!jer 2

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Cacao Bites (yes another one!)

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Another date ball? Yes sir. We finished off the batch of  banana bread bites quickly and were anxious for more. If the first recipe intrigued you, I guarantee this bad boy will have your mouth watering. Hope you enjoy!

On to the recipe…

  1. In a food processor blend 2C almonds
  2. Once blended add in 6 pitted dates, 1/2C raisins, 3/4C unsweetened cacao powder, 3T maple syrup, 3T water, 1T coconut oil & a pinch of himalayan salt – blend until smooth consistency (~1-5minutes dependent on your texture preference)
  3. Roll out mini date balls with your hands (roughly the size of a ping pong ball)
  4. Dip the bites into raw/unsweetened shredded coconut flakes & set aside

These definitely have more of a dessert twist to them than the banana bread bites, but who says you cant have dessert any time of the day? Like the other recipe I placed the bites in a zip-lock baggie & stuck in the freezer. Perfectly chewy & no thawing required!

Nutritional Info Per Bite (Makes 30): 70 calories – 4 grams of fat – 8 carbs – 2 grams of protein

Continue reading for ingredient list & original recipe…

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No Bake Banana Bread Bites

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Whoooooey, what a trip! No spoilers on it yet, I am waiting on the group to send me all the pictures – then a post will come! Can not wait to share the goodness of Israel, it was a trip of a lifetime and I will for sure be going back again!

With that said, hello medjool dates! I will take them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack! These babies were everywhere in Tel Aviv so I sure got my fix in & still have my cravings going strong for them. Hope you enjoy!

First step is to “pop” some amaranth:

  1. Grab a skillet (no oil), put on high & add 1T amaranth grains for 15-20seconds (until they pop). Remove popped amaranth & continue this process until you have 1C popped amaranth. 
  2. There is no #2…just know that all the grains do not have to pop, so don’t be nervous of such an easy process!

Then, to make the banana bread balls:

  1. In a food processor add: 1 banana, 3/4C pitted dates, 1/2C popped amaranth (half of what you popped), 1/2C walnuts, 1/4C ground sesame seeds, 2t cinnamon, 1/2t nutmeg & salt to taste
  2. Blend until mixture is consistent (~1 to 5 minutes, dependent on your texture preference)
  3. Remove blend & put on a clean surface
  4. Roll out mini banana bread balls with your hands (roughly the size of a ping pong ball)
  5. Dip the banana bread balls into the other 1/2C popped amaranth & set aside

I placed the banana brad balls in a zip-lock baggie & stuck in the freezer. You can eat them right out of the freezer too – they are perfectly chewy, no thawing required! Hope you enjoy these tasty bites!

Nutritional Info Per Ball (Makes 14): 95 calories – 4.5 grams of fat – 13 carbs – 2 grams of protein

Continue reading for ingredient list…

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