Baklava nutrition

Bernie's alternative to baklava.

Baklava nutrition is not very encouraging; it is rich in refined carbohydrate and very fattening. Keep the traditional recipe for high and holy days. Part of the problem is that it tastes so good that you will have greatly difficulty refusing a second slice. It is a deceptive dessert; really it is bad stuff.

A traditional baklava recipe contains

  • 1 pound of phyllo pastry
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 lb of butter
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups of chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

This will take you two hours to bake, and make 36 small slices at 200 calories each.

As you can see it is made with highly refined carbohydrate, simple sugars and some nuts to give it a semblance of decency. Add a whole pound of butter to the mix in your baklava nutrition and you will have an extremely fattening dish; it is a disaster.

One small slice (75g) has 20g of fat and 29g of carbohydrate; and it tastes so good that you will certainly have a second indulgence.

Talk to any chef and they will tell you that baklava is tedious to make; so folk buy it and then you also have added trans fats to contend with.

For a normal, averagely busy person aim at no more than 150g of starch per day; if you are obese then less than 50g. And if you are diabetic then less than 20g. The common sense of baklava nutrition is that you should indulge only once a year at Thanksgiving.

A baklava alternative

Baklava alternative ingredients.

There is an alternative to the traditional baklava nutrition which tastes just as good, has the best ingredients and is certainly not a junk food, par excellence. Could you serve something similar that takes no more than five minutes to prepare and has absolutely none of the negatives?

Yes, you could and it is very simple. This actually is more like a baklava cheesecake; or Turkish helva.

  • 2 Tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cream
  • 1 Tbsp freshly cracked nuts
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of tahini
  • A few drops from a freshly cut lime.

Stir the ingredients together in small dessert bowls for your guests. Let them add the lime or lemon juice perhaps. Notice there is no refined carbohydrate, less than 10g of starch and only the cream is questionable.

Honest injun, this actually tastes better than a traditional baklava and you can put it together in no more than five minutes. Add a couple strawberries or other fruit for a variation; above we have used cherry guavas and cape gooseberries which are in season.  

For Thanksgiving, if you have lots of time this baklava recipe from Natasha's kitchen will take a lot of beating.

Baklava nutrition

Baklava nutrition suggests an alternative way of making this wonderful Mediterranean dish in a jiffy; it has no sugar or pastry.

My addition of tahini to the traditional ingredients of baklava is to add the benefits of sesame oil, and wonderful flavour. You will find it at a Greek or Turkish shop. This is nutritious slow food that tastes fantastic, made fast. 

There is one other reason that I as a beekeeper dislike the traditional baklava; once you heat honey it is ruined and of little more benefit that sugar.

You can read more about the benefits of raw honey at this page.

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