Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

Pasteli, the ancient Greek energy bar, dates back to the Homeric era. This sesame and honey energy bar provided sustenance to Greek warriors during the Trojan War. It was a staple meal for the Spartan military before battles, offering them essential energy and nourishment.

Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

The classic recipe comprises honey and sesame seeds. However, you have the liberty to introduce variety by incorporating nuts like pistachios, walnuts, and almonds for added crunch. You can even experiment with elements like cranberries or infuse flavors using orange/lemon peel, cinnamon, or cloves. In Greece, modern variations of Pasteli abound, boasting diverse flavors and textures. My personal favorite is a crispy blend featuring sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

You can make it soft or crunchy, thick or thin. Try to find your favorite mixture. The ratio is 1:1. 1 part (100g) honey and 1 part (100 g) seeds or/and nuts.

Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

How to make Pasteli, the ancient Greek energy bar

  • Start by placing the seeds in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shake the pan and stir with a spoon, until the seeds are fragrant and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the seeds can easily burn!
  • Then add honey in a non-stick pan over high heat. When the honey starts to bubble, lower the heat and add the lightly roasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Stir continuously for 7 minutes. If you want your Pasteli softer in texture, remove it from the heat after 5 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and cinnamon.
  • The texture of your Pasteli depends on the type of honey and the cooking time. Raw honey results in a softer treat, so you can cook it less. With regular honey, a slightly longer cooking time is preferable for a firmer consistency.
  • You can also perform a water test. Just take a bit of the pasteli mixture with a teaspoon and dip it into cold water. If you’re able to shape a small, firm ball with it, then it’s ready.
doneness test for pasteli
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the pasteli mixture over it. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and gently use a rolling pin to flatten the pasteli until it’s about 0.5-1 cm (0.20-0.40 in) thick.
rolling out pastelli
  • Once the mixture has cooled slightly, cut it into squares. Then, when it’s completely cold, cut it again into your desired serving size.
cutting pasteli
  • Keep it fresh by storing it in an airtight container, placing parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking.

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Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

Pasteli -The Ancient Greek Energy Bar

The original recipe contains honey and sesame seeds. But you can also add other nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and almonds to the mixture for a little extra crunch and even cranberries. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 24
Calories 74 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 non stick pan
  • 1 parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g Honey (7 oz)
  • 200 g Sesame seeds (7 oz) or mixed with any seeds and nuts
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Salt

Instructions
 

  • Start by placing the seeds in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shake the pan and stir with a spoon, until the seeds are fragrant and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the seeds can easily burn!
    toasting seeds
  • Then add honey in a non-stick pan over high heat. When the honey starts to bubble, lower the heat and add the lightly roasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
    boiling honey
  • Stir continuously for 7 minutes. If you want your Pasteli softer in texture, remove it from the heat after 5 minutes.
    making pasteli
  • Add vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and cinnamon.
  • Depending on how soft or hard your Pasteli will be depends on the honey and the cooking time. If the honey is raw, you can reduce the cooking time or if you use regular honey, you can cook it a little longer.
  • You can also do a water test. Take some pastel mixture with a teaspoon and dip it in cold water. If you can shape a small hard ball with it, it’s done.
    doneness test for pasteli
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pastel mixture. Cover with another parchment paper and carefully use a rolling pin and roll out the pastel until it is 1 cm thick.
    rolling out pastelli
  • When almost cool, cut into squares. And finally, cut again when completely cold. Store it in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.
    cutting pasteli

Βon appétit

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