I love poppy seeds so much that I really don't need to make them into any kind of special recipe...I simply eat them with a spoon. Yes, I am a poppy seed monster. : ) But I felt like playing around and wanted to create the raw version of something I used to buy a lot in a store in Hungary. There it's called "mákos pite", which translates into "poppy seed pie" but I couldn't imagine anyone would call them "pie" here. If you ever walk into a European pastry shop chances are you will find a selection of pastries and sweets with poppy seeds. I'm not talking about a little bit of whole seeds sprinkled on top of a roll, etc.....no, I mean the "real thing" with piles of black filling that beat chocolate or any other sweets in my world. It has no competition whatsoever. And yes, I have health benefits to add to that because they're incredibly rich in minerals (I highly recommend them if you're anemic). I even took a picture for you that speaks for itself... Poppy seeds are also a complete protein (!) and especially high in oleic and linoleic acids, which is particularly good if you struggle with your cholesterol levels. Rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, these seeds are also soothing to the nerves, and can help you sleep.
I know some of you might freak out and think "what in the world is this???" If you grew up in the U.S. chances are you're used to poppy seeds in very small amounts only in salad dressings or sprinkled on top of bagels. Well, here's your chance to try something new that might just become your new addiction too. : ) Their nutty flavor held my sister and I captive from the time we were able to hold a fork and poppy seed pasta, gnocchi, pastries, etc. were always what we screamed for every time we were asked "What do you girls think we should make for lunch tomorrow?"
|Minerals in 1 ounce of poppy seeds. ~ You'll get more than this in just one bar!*|
Poppy Seed Bars
(Makes 8 bars)
1/2 cup agave syrup/honey
You will use some of this for the pastry and some of it for the filling.
For the "pastry" layers:
1 cup quinoa flakes (or rolled oats/barley, etc. if you use any of those)
4 tbsp almond flour (if you can't get almond flour just grind some almonds or use more flakes/rolled oats, etc.)
For the filling:
2 cups ground poppy seeds
pinch of ground vanilla (or vanilla extract)
4 tbsp raisins/currants
1. If you're using honey melt it if necessary because you want is as pourable as possible. Add a couple of tablespoons of water (or nut mylk if you prefer) to it and mix well.
2. Grind the quinoa (or whatever you're using) and mix all the pastry ingredients with just enough of the honey-water to get a crumbly texture, which sticks together and can be pressed into a dish.
3. Mix the filling ingredients with the rest of the honey-water.
4. Line a small dish (mine was about a 3 in x 6 in, which is ~ 7-8 cm x 15 cm) with plastic wrap and, with a spoon, press half of the pastry batter into it followed by the poppy seed mix and finished with the rest of the pastry mix. Press all of them down as hard as you can. Place it in the fridge to settle and harden. It'll be easier to slice and it will hold together better. I cut my batch into 8 bars. Use a really sharp knife and be as gentle as possible...after all, they're not held together by eggs, etc.
I am a little bit shocked by how much these resemble the traditional, baked version. I didn't expect them to come out like that. The truth is, I was planning on recreating a poppy seed filled wafer that is just two very thin layers of wafers filled with tons of poppy seeds. I have no regrets...I think I ended up with something even better and these kinds of pastries definitely have their place on the holiday table....just in time for Christmas. Needless to say, I devoured all of them in a couple of hours... : )
I hope you'll love them too. Enjoy!
If you have questions, just ask!