When I first met my husband I had no idea what a latke was, nor did I know very much about Hanukkah. Having grown up Catholic the only thing I'd learned was that Hanukkah was like Christmas, only they got presents for 8 days instead of 1!
I've come a long way since then. Now I know quite a bit more about the holiday, and the meaning behind it. I've also taught myself to make healthier versions of the traditional foods. My favorite is latkes. Latles are potato pancakes and are traditionally served on the first and last nights of Hanukkah, at least in my husband's family. Traditional latkes are made from potatoes, onions, flour and egg, and are deep fried in vegetable oil. They come out crispy and very greasy. Quite frankly, all that grease just never appealed to me.
So my first experiments were created by simply using non-gluten flour in place of the unbleached white, flax or psyllium seed in place of the egg and a bit of olive oil, brushed on before baking instead of frying. They were a bit hit with my family and friends.
Next I experimented with substituting some or all of the potatoes with shredded broccoli stems, daikon radish or zucchini. I got to the point where I could make them without any potatoes, and my kids still loved them. I was happy because they were eating lots of veggies!
Finally I took it to the next level and created a recipe that I could “low temperature bake” in the dehydrator. These are uncooked and maintain the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes of the raw ingredients. I served them side by side with the cooked potato version and most of my friends preferred the raw ones.
I put all of the variations of the recipe in my new e-book Healthy Holiday Traditions: Nourishing Recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Celebrations.
I'm sharing the Living Latkes recipe here. The book has recipes for raw dairy free versions of applesauce and sour cream too.
by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo
Equipment Needed: Dehydrator and Blender
- 2 ½ pounds of a combination of shredded daikon radish and broccoli stems
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
- Shred daikon and broccoli stems and place in a large bowl.
- Shred or thinly slice the onion and add to bowl with the daikon and broccoli.
- Blend the tahini, pepper and salt and add to bowl with vegetables. Mix well with your hands.
- Brush with a thin film of olive oil, if desired.
- Form into patties and place on the mesh tray of your dehydrator. Dehydrate overnight, up to 12 hours.
Serve with apple sauce or nut sour “cream”
Shared with love from Dr. Ritamarie's Healthy Holiday Traditions: Nourishing Recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Celebrations.
Enjoy, and have a happy healthy holiday.
Love, Health and Joy
P.S. Even if you're not Jewish, the latkes are worth making. Everyone loves them.