Spa Baklava Recipe for Eye Health

Is healthy dessert an oxymoron? It needn’t be; this baklava from Canyon Ranch is light and delicious, with walnuts providing linolenic acid, a type of omega-3.


  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, cut in half

Lemon simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick

Yield: 12 servings


  1. Combine the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine the melted butter and oil.
  3. Unfold the phyllo sheets and cover them with plastic to keep moist. Lightly spray the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch square baking pan or cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Lightly brush 4 sheets of phyllo with the butter mixture. Lay them in the pan, allowing them to fold upward at the sides of the pan, if necessary. Top with half of the nut mixture. Brush 4 more phyllo sheets with the butter mixture and lay them over the nut mixture. Spread the remaining nut mixture over the phyllo sheets. Brush the remaining sheets with the butter mixture and place them over the nut mixture, folding the sides of the phyllo inward when necessary.
  5. Chill until the butter is hardened. Score the baklava diagonally to make 12 triangles.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. In a small sauté pan, combine the ingredients for the simple syrup and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture evenly over the baked baklava. Cool and slice.

Nutritional Profile

Serving size: 1 triangle 
Calories: 144
Protein: 2 g
Fiber: 1 g Fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Sodium: 62 mg
Vitamin A: 60 IU
Vitamin D: 1 IU
Vitamin E: 1 IU
Beta-carotene: 5 μg
Lutein and zeaxanthin: 2 μg
Omega-3 fatty acids: 1 g

Credit line: Recipe from Eat Right For Your Sight: Simple Tasty Recipes That Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration,  BY JENNIFER TRAINER THOMPSON AND JOHANNA M. SEDDON, MD copyright © American Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.