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Healthy Moroccan Sellou: Nutrient-Rich Anti-Inflammatory Recipe

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Asmaa Lahlou image
Asmaa Lahlou

March 14, 2024
In Moroccan culture, Sellou is more than just a sweet treat – it's a symbol of tradition, celebration, and love. This iconic dish, also known as Sfouf or Zmita, is often prepared during special occasions like Ramadan, weddings, and births.

While the traditional recipe is delicious, it often includes ingredients that can be detrimental to health, such as refined sugar, white flour and deep-frying techniques. However, with a few simple modifications, Sellou can be transformed into a nutritious and anti-inflammatory dish that still captures the essence of its heritage. Let’s find out how we can achieve a Healthy Moroccan Sellou Recipe.

One of the key components of Moroccan cuisine, especially desserts is the use of nuts and seeds. These ingredients not only add texture and flavor but also provide a dose of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Almonds, sesame seeds, and alike are all great choices to include in our dish.

Spices are another hallmark of Moroccan cooking, and they offer more than just flavor. Many spices, like turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon, have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit our health. By using a variety of spices, we can enhance the flavor of our dish while also boosting its nutritional value.

Finally, let’s sweeten our dish naturally with raw honey instead of refined sugar. Raw honey contains antioxidants and enzymes that can support our immune system and digestive health. Plus, it adds a delicious sweetness without the need for large quantities. You could also use some green stevia powder to lower the intake to sugar in this recipe.

This revamped Healthy Moroccan Sellou Recipe is rich in healthy fats from nuts and seeds, as well as gluten-free whole grains and raw honey as a natural sweetener. These changes not only enhance the nutritional value of the dish but also reduce the harmful side effects associated with the original ingredients and preparation techniques.

To make this Healthy Moroccan Sellou Recipe, you will need the following ingredients

  • 150g Almond
  • 75g Sesame seeds
  • 125g Gluten-free (GF) wholegrain flour mix (oats, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, sorghum or a mix)
  • 20g   SELLOU spice blend (or a mix of 1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground fennel seeds, 2 tsp ground anise seeds, 1/8 tsp ground Arabic gum, pinch of ground cloves)
  • 150g Tahina paste
  • 150g Almond butter
  • 75g   Unpasteurised honey (adjust quantity based on desired sweetness, between 50g and 100g)
  • 1/2 tsp Green stevia powder (optional if you prefer to add more honey)
  • 20g   Argan oil

To prepare Sellou, follow these steps

  1. Roast the almonds in a preheated 150C oven for 10-15 minutes    (9 minutes in an airfryer). Let the nuts cool before using them.
  2. Dry-toast the sesame seeds in a large frying pan at medium-low temperature to avoid burning them. Let the seeds cool before using.
  3. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and roast the GF wholegrain flour mix in the oven at 160C to a medium roast, stir the flour after 15 minutes and bake for another 10-15 minutes to reach a tanned color but not brown. Let the flour cool before using it.
  4. In your blender (We use our Thermomix)
    • prepare the spice mix and reserve
    • grind your nuts and seeds (separately) and reserve (combined). For Thermomix, use speed 5 for 20 seconds to grind the nuts & sesame seeds.
  5. In your blender, combine the tahini paste, almond butter, honey, stevia powder (if using) and argan oil. For instance, in the Thermomix, use speed 6 for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the roasted gluten-free wholegrain flour and Sellou spice blend, mixing well to combine at speed 6 for 1 minute.
  7. Add half of the crushed nuts and seeds and mix speed 4 for 30 seconds
  8. Finally add the other half of the crushed nuts & seeds and mix again but speed 3 or fold them in manually – do not overmix as you want to keep some texture at this level.
  9. Reserve in a glass airtight container in the fridge and serve as needed.

Sellou is typically served in small portions, as it is a dense and nutrient-rich dish. Enjoy this anti-inflammatory version of Sellou as a reminder of Moroccan tradition, with the added benefit of being kinder to your body.

Allergy info: nuts and sesame seeds

Notes

  • This recipe makes 750g and can be divided or multiplied depending on your needs.
  • This sellou contains only 15% grains and only 10% honey in its original health-promoting form: raw unpasteurised.
  • You could add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your daily serving in order to increase your intake of healthy fiber, proteins and fresh ALA omega3 fat acids, very helpful to reduce inflammation in the body and support daily detoxification.
  • To reduce the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients in nuts and seeds, I highly recommend you soak them and dehydrate them before using. Soaking makes them easier to digest and allowing for better nutrient absorption. The optimal soaking time for sesame seeds is generally between 4 to 8 hours, whereas for almond it’s between 8 and 12 hours. This timeframe allows enough time for the nuts & seeds to absorb water and begin the process of breaking down the phytic acid.

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If you liked this Sellou recipe and you are looking for more nutritious Ramadan recipes, check out our roasted vegetable crumble, anti-inflammatory pudding, anti-inflammatoty Harira soup, and detox grain-free spicy stir fry.

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