It’s nice when you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for your health. Lemon, cucumber, mint water tastes way better than the plain kind and homemade hummus is easily one of the best tasting condiments around. But I bet there’s an amazing tasting treat with all kinds of health benefits that you haven’t tried – pasteli!
A simple breakfast, dessert, or snack, pasteli is made of two simple ingredients: honey and sesame seeds, though many recipes also include a layer of almonds or other nuts. The combination has been shown to have incredible health benefits from treating anxiety and depression, to preventing heart disease, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer.
Ancient Honey Sesame Recipe: A 6000-Year-Old Tradition
One of the first references to pasteli can be found in Homer’s Iliad. It is believed that ancient Greek warriors like Achilles ate pasteli before battle to give them strength and lasting energy. Herodotus, the first historian, even makes reference to sesame and honey cakes. Ancient Egyptian women also believed in pasteli’s health benefits.
In various different forms that tradition lives on today as pasteli is eaten around the world, though often more as a treat, with its many health benefits overlooked.
The Benefits of Pasteli
So it’s not surprising that combining the two can have some tremendous benefits. The combination of nutrients and minerals can help with just about every bodily function from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to improving circulation and preventing cancer. It is particularly effective at treating anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression, and is great for your overall health.
The Ancient Honey Sesame Recipe
Because pasteli is so old and so popular, everyone has their own way of making it. I will provide the most basic recipe here, but feel free to experiment with other ingredients and cooking methods to find what you and your family like best.
– 1 cup sesame seeds
– 1 cup raw, organic honey
Optional ingredients include olive oil, almonds, walnuts, lemon or orange zest, sea salt, or cinnamon.
- Toast – the sesame seeds in a skillet over low heat for roughly 5 minutes. They should give off a nice scent and become golden. Be sure not to burn them because they will taste bitter.
- Warm – the honey in a saucepan over low heat until it thickens. Stir in the seeds and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Spread – the honey and sesame seeds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Aim for about a ¼ inch thickness, and be careful not to burn yourself.
- Cool – at room temperature. Cut into squares or whatever shape you like, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can simply stir in other ingredients, like nuts or sea salt if you like, or you can also blend the sesame seeds with some olive oil before adding them to the honey for a different texture.
Then, simply enjoy the delicious flavour and incredible health benefits.