Most people believe that baklava is just about walnuts or pistachios. However, baklava varies depending on their regions. Let’s take Turkey, for example.
Istanbul baklava is predominately walnut, but it you travel up north to the Black Sea region-hazelnuts dominate. Traveling south to Gaziantep, pistachios rule.
I have really enjoyed experimenting with all the different kinds of nuts in my baklava and how their textures are so different when they are ground and baked.
Creamy cashews absorb subtle flavors of macha powder. Brazil Nuts add such a lightness to the baklava that it almost feels like it could float away! Pecans can be so sweet that I need to pull back on the syrup or add some extra spice.
Another misconception about baklava is that people with nut allergies will never be able to try it because they are allergic to walnuts or can’t digest cashews.
Well, well, well..do I have a surprise for you! I did a little research on nut allergies and spoke to people who had them. Come to find out, most nut allegries come from tree nuts, or as I call them “Top down” nuts because grow on trees and fall down to the ground. Those who have top down allergies don’t usually have allergies to seeds or “ground up” crunchy goodness. Seeds from plants like sunflowers, pumpkin, hemp, and chia all grow from the ground up and don’t seem to cause the same reactions as tree nuts.
SO! I make a special “nutty” combo from a mixture of these: 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, 1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), 1/2 cup hemp and 1/2 cup chia. So much crunch, so much yummy protein! Using this combination, all ground up, is the “nut” foundation for my Birdseed baklava. See-you can eat baklava with a nut allergy…Same crunchy sweetness, none of the icky cankor sores from walnuts! Wanna try? I betcha ya do! Let me make up a batch today! Any of the flavors can be made with this seed mixture. If you are ready to get creative on what flavor element to add to your Birdseed baklava, I’m always game to try!