Somehow, unbeknownst to me, spring flowers and empty moving boxes started growing at our house. Clusters of crocus adorn our front yard while a bouquet of cardboard blankets our basement. It is hard to believe, and Im not quite sure I believe just yet, that in two weeks we will make our long haul down to Alabama where we will build our new roost. Already the nesting and organizing urges have kicked into high gear and as I quietly tuck away our treasures, new and old, into boxes I cant help the overwhelming sense of peace that comes over me. So many loose ends need tying, to-do's need doing, and expenses need paying, but I feel in the deepest part of me that all is well and will be. The mixed emotions of leaving a city and people we love only to go to another city and people we love is just too difficult to explain. But I will say that we will treasure these last days and be hopeful and excited for the big change ahead of us!
So, amidst our packing, cleaning and purging, I find myself not "having enough time nor the energy" to make a proper dinner; however I have coincidentally made time to make dessert. Does that tell you something about me? I have a sweet tooth...I mean teeth. My whole house seems upside down in chaos but one thing is for sure, there is something sweet and satisfying awaiting me in the fridge :)
Traditional baklava made with phyllo dough, chopped nuts and some sort of honey or syrup was always a favorite of mine growing up, but definitely not the healthiest choice when it came to dessert. This particular recipe combines all of the traditional spices and crunchy texture of baklava yet it is 100% raw and made entirely out of nuts. The "dough", a simple puree of cashews, lemon, and honey. The filling, ground up pistachios, spices and a touch of honey for added sweetness.
Your search for a baklava alternative ends here. With the help of a high speed blender and a dehydrater this sweet recipe will be one you and your whole family can enjoy (without the guilt :)
(adapted from Sweet Gratitude by Matthew Rogers)
- 1 1/2 cups soaked raw cashews (soaked overnight or for at least 3 hours)
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 TBS honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 TBS vanila extract
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy (you will need a high speed blender such as Blentec or Vitamix). Pour on dehydrator sheet (with teflex) and carefully spread around with a spatula until mixture is covering most of the sheet in a thin, even layer. Dehydrate at 125F for two hours, then turn it down to 105F and dehydrate for an additional 10-15 hours. The sheet should not be fully dry, you want it to peel off the teflex like fruit leather.
- 1 1/2 cups raw pistachios
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 TBS honey
- 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
- 1/2 TBS lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
Lightly process pistachios, salt and spices first. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue processing until mixture is consistent and pistachios are still slightly chunky.
Carefully cute the dehydrated dough into equal size pieces (size is up to you) and layer with the pistachio mixture. Using your hands is the best way to spread the pistachio mixture.
**Each serving size should be small. This is a rich dish and a little goes a long way :)