Health and Wellness, Nutritionally Speaking

Nutritionally Speaking – It’s Chanukah time

This year from sundown, Sunday Dec. 22 through Monday Dec. 30, Jews worldwide commemorate Chanukah, a Jewish holiday which celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army.
It also celebrates a miracle that happened during this time, when just a day’s supply of oil allowed the menorah light in the rededicated temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days.
Jews worldwide celebrate each year by lighting the Menorah candles each evening of the holiday, one additional candle each night until the eighth night, when the Menorah is fully lit.
Another traditional and tasty way that Chanukah is celebrated is with fried food such as “latkes,” also known as potato pancakes.
When I first lived in Israel 48 years ago, for my first year of college, I discovered that the Israeli way to celebrate the miracle of the oil is with jelly donuts, called “Sufganiyot” in Hebrew.
Imagine walking down a Jerusalem street, and on every corner in the city is a food cart selling jelly donuts fresh out of the fryer. Yum! (Note: I probably gained at least 10 pounds that memorable week.)
Here are a couple of healthy and delicious versions of these traditional Chanukah treats.
Salud!
Carrot Scallion Latkes
From Elana Amsterdam’s Pantry
These carrot scallion latkes are perfect for Chanukah, but can be enjoyed all year round!
Servings: 12 latkes
Ingredients
3 cups carrots, grated
3 scallions, finely chopped
3 large eggs, whisked
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon coconut flour
olive oil for frying
Instructions
In a large bowl combine carrots, scallions and eggs. Stir salt and coconut flour into carrot mixture.
In a nine-inch skillet, heat oil. Scoop large tablespoonfuls of batter onto skillet. Fry patties on each side over medium heat until browned and crispy.
Transfer latkes to a paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat process with remaining batter.
Serve with applesauce and sour cream or yogurt

Jelly Donut Muffins
Ingredients
3 large eggs
½ cup applesauce
½ cup grapeseed oil or palm shortening
½ cup coconut nectar or honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup raspberry jam
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons xylitol
Instructions
In a food processor, combine eggs, applesauce, grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla, and pulse together. Pulse in coconut flour, salt and baking soda. Allow batter to sit and thicken just a bit.
To prepare filling, combine raspberry jam and arrowroot powder in a small bowl and stir vigorously.
Next, line a muffin pan with unbleached paper liners (or, my favorite, parchment paper liners).
Spoon two heaping tablespoons of cupcake batter into each cupcake liner. Spoon one heaping teaspoon of jam mixture on top of batter in each cupcake liner. Spoon another tablespoon of batter onto cupcakes to cover jam mixture.
Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Spoon a scant half-teaspoon of xylitol “sugar” onto top of each cupcake.
Cool and serve.
• A tip from Elana about getting the xylitol “sugar” to adhere to the cupcakes: allowing the cupcakes to cool for 20 minutes before applying allows the sugar to stick without melting into the cupcakes completely. If you wait until the cupcakes are completely cool, then the “sugar” will not stick and will just roll off.