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3 Tips for a Heart Healthy, Eco-friendly Hanukkah

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
December 17, 2011
File under: Green Holiday, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights celebrated by Jews around the world and begins in accordance with the Jewish calender, which is primarily based on the lunar cycle causing the dates to fluctuate each year.

Therefore, the first day of Hanukkah can fall anywhere between November 28th and December 26th.

Hanukkah is an eight-day festival marked by the lighting of brightly colored candles in a menorah that commemorates the rededication of the temple in ancient Jerusalem.

A menorah is a candelabrum with nine branches. A different candle is lit to mark each consecutive night and is the primary ritual on Hanukkah.

1. Hanukkah decorations can deplete the budget and degrade the environment. Avoid plastics and other synthetics labeled as polyester and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Purchase products made with renewable materials and look for alternative fibers such as cotton, hemp, bamboo and jute.

2. Paraffin candles are often made from petroleum byproducts, a non-renewable resource and when burned produce the same kind of soot as diesel fuel. These carbon emissions include benzene, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and naphthalene.  Organic soy candles are a far better choice for people and the planet.

3. The table is the best place to go green with plant-based meals that are as good for people as they are for the planet. Holidays the world over are observed with special foods and on Hanukkah, potato latkes are essential holiday fare. Perfect Potato Latkes are entirely plant-based and absolutely delicious!

Similar to potato pancakes, latkes are fried in oil and traditionally contain eggs. My tasty rendition contains just a fraction of the fat and zero cholesterol.

In place of eggs, we use Japanese-style Lite Silken Tofu to bind the batter. The neutral flavor and silken smooth texture of this type of tofu is like custard, unlike spongy Chinese style tofu packed in tubs of water.

Unlike the usual potato batter that will quickly begin to leach an off-color liquid into the bowl, our batter maintains fresh color and cohesiveness throughout the cooking process.

The secret? Mashed potato flakes added to the batter helps maintain texture and balance. The clever blend of widely available and easy to use ingredients come together in a snap.  Serve these tasty latkes with applesauce or dairy-free sour cream.

Perfect Potato Latkes
The Enlightened Kitchen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., © Marie Oser, 2000
8 Servings

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1/2 (12.3 ounce aseptic package) Mori Nu lite silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 Tablespoons whole grain yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven 200°
Feed potatoes into food processor fitted with grating blade. Drain potatoes on clean white kitchen towel. Next, grate the onions. Place potatoes and onions in large bowl, set aside. Replace grating blade with processing blade.  Blend tofu until smooth. Add yeast, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add soymilk with motor running. Combine tofu mixture with potatoes and onions in a large bowl. Add potato flakes and mix thoroughly. Spray electric skillet, large frying pan or griddle with olive oil cooking spray.  Set to medium high heat, and add olive oil. Drop 1/3-cup batter onto hot pan and cook latkes until brown on both sides. Keep warm on baking pan in oven until ready to serve.

Perfect Potato Latkes
Nutrition Analysis: per serving, 3 Latkes
Calories 153Protein 8g, Carbohydrate 27g, Fiber 4g, Fat 3g, Sat Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 76mg, Sodium 220mg.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Facebook

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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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