Pastéli - honey and sesame seeds energy bar

May 13, 2013






Pastéli was probably the first energy bar ever made and it was made with honey.  In fact,   honey with dried fruits and nuts was the most common dessert in ancient Greece. Honey was consumed   both as a sweetener, and as a medicine in the belief that it could promote both virility and longevity. In Greek mythology it was the food of the Gods.

     Honey contains invert sugar which has the quality of providing instant energy when consumed. The composition of honey includes sugars such as glucose and fructose and also minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, iron and phosphate. Depending on the quality of the nectar and pollen, the vitamins contained in honey are B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3.
     Sesame seeds, our other ingredient, have been cultivated for more than 5000 years. The ancient region of Mesopotamia was the first place where it was widely cultivated and then it spread to the rest of the world. These seeds have many vitamins and minerals are rich in protein, - 25 percent by weight!  Do note that sesame, like other nuts and seeds, can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
     Pasteli is made all over Greece not only with sesame but also with almonds or a combination of different nuts. In some Aegean islands, pastéli wrapped in lemon leaves is offered to guests at weddings.
The recipe for pasteli is very simple and easy, but you have to be careful because hot honey can burn just as much as hot caramelized sugar.






Pastéli
I made about 12 (4x10x0,5cm) bars
200gr honey (any type you prefer will do)
200gr white sesame seeds

Line a baking tray with greased baking paper.
In a large dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds lightly. Transfer them to a plate to stop the cooking process and set aside.
In the same skillet, pour the honey and over medium heat bring it to boil. As soon as the honey starts boiling add the sesame seeds all at once to the skillet and stir continuously, - for three minutes, if you prefer a soft sticky pastéli or for 5-6 min for a crunchy dry pastéli.
Immediately transfer the pastéli batter to the lined baking tray, cover with one more greased baking paper sheet and with the bottom of a small skillet press to flatten the batter.
While still warm, cut the flattened pastéli into bars. When cold, it can then be stored for many weeks in a biscuit container between several layers of wax paper.





13 comments

  1. I just discovered your blog and think it's awesome!
    Great recipes, wonderful pictures!
    I'm your brand new follower.

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  2. Yasou Panos! I have just found your blog and I love it!! Your recipes are so inspiring and photographs are very lovely. I am a Greek-Australian vegetarian and I see you have many vegetarian dishes on your blog. I also see from your About page that you own a taverna! If you are in Athens I would love to come and visit when I come to Greece in a few months for a holiday. Thank you for such a beautiful blog!

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  3. Thank you Lisa, I'm glad you like my blog. I'm not in Athens, I'm in Achaia, Peloponnese; some day I will talk about that. I hope you have a lovely time on your holidays here in Greece.

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    1. I can't wait to come to Greece again - it will be my eighth time. We won't be visiting the Peloponnese this year but perhaps next year! I look forward to hearing more about your taverna one day..

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  4. First time here. Nice blog! This candy reminds me of a Moroccan candy made with flax seeds. I've been looking for that recipe but haven't found it. I'll try your recipe and substitute flax seeds for the sesame seeds :)

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    1. Hi Hanna, thanks for passing by. Flax seeds or any other seeds, can replace sesame seeds; producing a very healthy energy bar.

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  5. I just made these using chestnut honey, they are cooling in the fridge as I speak. I love how simple this recipe is. You can easily change the amount as you like. I weighed the sesame seeds I had on hand and then weighed the same amount of honey. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Thank you. The good thing with this snack, is that it works with any honey and any dry nuts you prefer.

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  6. According to my Greek grand father everyone is Greek or wants to be. Love your blog and the recipes you have posted. Getting my passport so I can visit Greece next year. Hopefully will find my relatives. God bless you, your family and your business.

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    1. Thank you. I'm sure you're going to love Greece and the Greek "way" of living.

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  7. I watched a show on Greece and they made this recipe and I knew I wanted to as well. I searched, but no one had the real recipe. They all add tons of extra sugar, etc. This is the real one, thanks and I can't wait to make it.

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    1. Well sugar is much cheaper than honey and I understand why they make pasteli with sugar commercialy, but when you make a small batch at home, there is no excuse.

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