Eating healthy and eco-friendly is clearly on our minds these days. When Dhimitris Lefteri, 27, and his sister Haris, 31, began to give serious thought to their diet, it led them to reinvent a family favorite: baklava. The two launched the Baklava Project and bake their own version of their Greek family’s traditional dessert that’s less sweet and sticky, lighter and lower in calories. Their phyllo pastry is laden with either walnuts, pistachios, or pecans with a touch of sugar and butter and stays fresh for 30 days. Nectar syrup made with a mix of cinnamon, rosewater, orange, and lime zest stands in for honey ($24 for 12 pieces). Dhimitris and Haris both felt the pastry they’ve eaten since childhood is really not kind to the body or to bees, so they avoided honey. Bees are vanishing, and the industry, they read, is facing a crisis, which motivated them to craft an alternative. “We’re striving to be a company that just doesn’t sell baklava as you know it,” says Dhimitris. They bake at Kitchen Local, a shared kitchen space in Amesbury, and more varieties of baklava are on the horizon. Every three months the Lefteris present a “project," urging fans to vote on their website for a new choice. “We did not want to settle on a stagnant product line,” says Dhimitris. ”Our consumers are at the heart of what we do, and we want them to have a stake in each decision we make.” The baklava is available through the website and shipped by USPS Priority. To order, go at www.thebaklavaproject.com.



Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.