ever since me and Nick changed our mainstream way of eating to a more hardcore healthy one using fasting therapy as a way to overcome sickness, our sugar input has been in the decline. Well, if I am being totally honest here, Nick has given up on sugar (in every form and all of the hidden ones too) for more than a year now and I am struggling to give it up also though I am not quite there yet. I've dramatically reduced the intake of sugar by cutting off all sweets from my daily meals but I just relapse from time to time into a sweet treat.
Nick only eats honey now (lots and lots of it actually) and so do I. However I honestly can't picture myself not eating a sweet ever again. Or chocolate for that matter. I have a sweet tooth what can I tell you? For people like me (raise your hands if you are out there) cutting sugar of your diet can have dramatic effects and I kid you not! I get frustrated and depressed when I don't get my daily fix of sweet.
I was truly struggling with how to eat sweet without sugar - or any other processed sweetener for that matter and I had't made up my mind about stevia either, when I discovered Aris' blog Neanikon. And suddenly I was in healthy sweet heaven! Aris is a genius who uses the best and healthiest materials to come up with such mouthwatering treats, no one believes there's no sugar in them! I started reading and I knew right away that I had won the dessert lotto! I mean he doesn't even use white flour or butter!
The first thing I made was these cookies, because, dah, cookies! I was not very impressed because they weren't very sweet since I diluted the grape molasses with too much water (I should be ashamed of my PhD in Chemistry I know) but then half an hour later half of them were missing so I guess you can't call that a failure!
Then I made this lemon pie. And then I made the lemon pie again and again.
Now, let me tell you something about lemon pie. It really didn't count as a sweet in my book. I mean, come on, it's so lemony it's not even funny! Now let me tell you something about this particular lemon pie. It is DIVINE!!!! I don't mind the sour taste at all! I mean it's so sweet and so fulfilling that the sour taste compliments it perfectly. It's becoming my favorite thing!!!
The other day I made the carob cookies which were a huge hit and were consumed even faster than the ones with the grape molasses. I just added raisins and they were gone in a few hours!
I've also made his mandarin cake as a different Vasilopita but it didn't feel like a cake so much. It was more solid and so fluffy as cakes tend to be. We ate it within a week Nick and I. So, you know, it wasn't bad, lol!
I was thinking of making this princess cake for my birthday but it needs quite a lot of time and I was not really in the mood this year. I've noted it as a potential one for the first birthday of my little one though! At this rate I am going to be "testing" and "tasting" all of Aris' recipes within the year.
How I can resist? His photos are dark, special and so inviting and the cakes just pop out of them and call your name. Aris is such a perfectionist in everything he does. Either it is his sweets, his photos or his life long dream to have his own paperie!
Yes, yes that's right, this amazing man has many talents! He owns a vintage pressing machine and hand prints greeting cards, paper garlands and journals. The aesthetic behind them has a vintage feeling, like the nostalgic smells of old bookstores and September going back to school. Guess who's getting a Valentines card from Neanikon this year ;)
Since I am not a seasoned baker I am bound to have some failures now and then but the best thing about them is that even the failures are edible and yummy. I just need to tweak them a bit to my sugar addicted taste buds and they hopefully they will be the ones I'll pass down to my daughter some day!
So, thank you Aris for saving me from a life of eating tahini with molasses as a dessert! I never thought going without sugar would leave such a sweet taste in my mouth ;)
Lot's of love