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From the Kitchen: Pasteli {Greek Sesame Seed Candy}

March 8, 2012

Lately, Evan and I have been making a serious effort to change our eating habits and move towards a more natural, whole foods filled lifestyle. It’s been really great. Our fridge looks like the produce aisle at the grocery store. We pretty much have every veggie and fruit we can get our hands on. Three types of kale? Yep, we have that. Purple and white cauliflower? We have that too. Juiced spinach and carrots for breakfast? Yes, please! We even have goji berries for…get this…snacking! It’s true, we’ve become granola. Except we don’t eat granola that much anymore. In fact, we’re not eating any grains at all (well almost not at all). Are you still reading? Have I lost you yet? Don’t worry, this is not turning into a health food blog. But in between delicious baked egg galettes, lemon tarts and chocolate bacon cupcakes (that’s right, I said bacon!), you may start to see a little health trend happening. We’re still eating rich, full flavored, decadent foods but just not nearly as often or as much. We have no set rules, but a “cheat day” per week has been the norm. I thought I’d be going stir crazy by now! I’m a serious breadaholic and you know I love me some desserts. But you know what? I’m fine. Great, in fact. I’ve been having so much fun discovering new veggies and ways to cook and use them in our meals. Have you ever had cauliflower crust pizza? Amazing! And when I’m working late into the night and that sweet craving kicks in, I’ve been turning to fruit and healthier treats like this sesame seed candy. Pasteli was a favorite of mine as a child. My mom would keep a bag of them on the top shelf of our pantry so that they were out of my reach…except, what she didn’t know is that when she wasn’t around, I’d slide a chair over, stretch out onto my tippy toes and reach my hand into the bag as quickly as I could. Naughty, huh? Well, I recreated this childhood memory and added a few extras to make it a sweet, healthy anytime treat that’s packed with omega-3’s (yep, we have that too). Recipe after the jump. xoxo!

Healthied Up Pasteli ( Greek Sesame Seed Candy)

Makes about 48 diamonds/squares


  • 1 1/2 cups raw sesame seeds
  • 1 cup raw hulled hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 1/4 cup organic honey
  • 1-2 fresh strips of lemon peel


  • Bring honey and lemon peel to a boil over medium high heat. Remove lemon peel and turn heat off. Add seeds and stir until well coated. Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet evenly. Let cool about 5 minutes. Take a second sheet of parchment paper and gently press down on the seeds to form a flat rectangle. Place baking sheet in a cold oven and turn temp to the lowest setting *(no higher than 200°F). Let pasteli bake for about 7-10 minutes but keep an eye out because seeds this tiny tend to burn fast. Remove sheet from the oven and let cool, uncovered in the fridge for about 2 hours. Cut into 1 1/2 inch diamonds or squares and enjoy!


  • These little guys are sticky! Parchment paper will be your friend. I suggest layering small sheets of parchment between each candy and storing in the refrigerator. None of the ingredients are perishable so these guys will last quite a while.

*Note: Baking at a higher temperature will cause the essential omega-3 fatty acids to cook out of the seeds and you don’t want that! Finally, a “fatty” that’s good for you!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 5:28 am

    The memories.. They used to sell pasteli in the streets in Greece :). You did a great job!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 8, 2012 11:05 am

      I’m glad I got the official Greek approval! Thank you!

  2. March 9, 2012 4:40 pm

    These look delicious! We make a very similar candy in India with jaggery (unrefined solidified cane juice).

  3. March 10, 2012 12:08 pm

    I just found your blog and I love it!

  4. March 29, 2012 2:05 am

    So keen to try this one out. Reminds me of this childhood candy I’ve had that were made of malt sugar, peanuts and sesame. Quick question, is this a crunchy type of treat or a more sticky variety? Thank you!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 29, 2012 9:36 am

      Because it’s made with honey and not sugar, it’s chewier than the crunchy version (which I also love). Keeping it refrigerated helps to keep it crunchy.

  5. July 18, 2012 9:43 pm

    What do you think instead of using honey to use maple syrup instead. I’m Greek and know what pasteli tastes like but I am wondering what the maple would be like. I like using maple syrup because of its health benefits which are superior to honey…….hmmm, maybe I will make a batch and let you know:)

  6. May 3, 2013 2:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Everything Irvin.

  7. May 18, 2013 2:52 am

    To get the most out of flax seeds, don’t they need to be ground first? Or am I thinking about some other seed?

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      May 18, 2013 9:25 am

      Yes Barbara, you’re totally right, but I wanted a seedy texture to this candy. You can probably substitute flax meal.


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