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Date & Almond Hamantaschen

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

You know Purim is coming around when the blogosphere is overflowing with creative hamantasch recipes. It almost feels as if no-one makes classic hamantaschen anymore! The funny thing is, I’ll make just about any triangular-shaped-cookie-concoction besides classic hamantaschen. I’ve heard way too many disaster stories of the corners splitting open and jam spilling all over the place.

Call me a hypocrite but if I want good old-fashioned hamantaschen, I reach for the highly-processed Reisman’s variety. I mean, if I’m gonna eat a hamantasch, I might as well eat. a. hamantasch. Right?

But if I’m eating a different kind of hamantasch, well then I might as well go crazy, right? And by crazy I mean whipping up some sushi hamantaschen, baklava hamantaschen, or a trio of savory puff pastry hamantaschen.

Believe me, I’ve been dreaming up some crazy hamantaschen ideas all year long! But as we got closer to Purim, I couldn’t imagine breaking the momentum of my diet for some 3-cornered cookies. Instead, I challenged myself to come up with a healthy hamantasch for a change. And by healthy, I don’t mean spelt, or whole wheat, or even sugar-free. I’m talking no-flour, no-baking, no-dough or jam of any kind!

My first thought was to create a raw hamantasch using dates to create a cookie “dough”. I went to my local produce market to pick up some medjool dates and there was my inspiration – marzipan stuffed dates! Brilliant!

I got right to work creating my healthy no-bake hamantaschen. It’s amazing how something with such few natural ingredients can come out so spectacular! Not only do the raw hamantaschen resemble a real cookie, they taste incredible too, all without the guilt.

The best part about making these cookies is choosing what to roll them in. While coconut, pistachios and cocoa keep things healthy, you can up the fun-factor with some nonpareils or colorful sprinkles. Don’t worry, my lips are sealed. We’ll call it our Purim secret ;)

Other hamantasch recipes:

trio of savory puff pastry hamantaschen
sushi hamantaschen
baklava hamantaschen
“The Hamantini” Purim cocktail

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Gingerbread Truffles

Monday, December 16th, 2013

When the weather starts to take on a bitter chill, and the city is covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow, I know it’s time to break out the gingerbread. There’s just something about the warm, fragrant spices that’s so comforting. I often turn to this tried and true recipe for gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting when I need my gingerbread fix.

That’s the thing about winter. You just want to cuddle up in big, bulky sweaters – unaware as to what all that comfort food is doing to your waist line. Which is why I set out to disguise my favorite winter comfort food as a healthy truffle that’s chocolate-free! Medjool dates have a great fudgy quality that makes them the perfect raw and healthy base for decadent truffles. They’re virtually fat free, rich in potassium, and a great source of dietary fiber.

Sure, there was a time when dates looked like cockroaches, and I wouldn’t go near them with a ten foot pole. But when I finally took he plunge, there was no going back. How can you go wrong with sweet syrupy chews that are virtually guilt-free? They make a great addition to smoothies, granola bars, and even salads.

If you haven’t picked up on this month’s link-up theme just yet, it’s all about comfort food! Read on for a collection of decadent comforting recipes that are sure to keep you warm all winter long!

Related Recipes:

gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting
gingerbread cookies

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Chewy Date Granola Bars

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013


I love a good snack. One that’s sweet and chewy and wrapped in bakery twine. I’ve wanted to develop a recipe for homemade granola bars for the longest time, but I also wanted them to be somewhat healthy. My latest infatuation with coconut oil helped me bring all the components together (quite literally) – for a sweet and tasty bite. Wrap these chewy guys up in parchment paper, and throw them in your bag for the perfect healthy snack on the go.

1 year ago: roasted chickpeas
2 years ago: healthy baked pumpkin oatmeal

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Banana Dates Milk & Honey Smoothie

Monday, May 2nd, 2011


For all those Brooklynites out there, you may remember a certain little establishment on the corner of Coney Island and Avenue P called Bissale. It used to be opened till the wee hours of the morning (I’m not sure if it ever really closed) and hailed its own psychic, who’s only charge was to pay for her meal! The place had the absolute best Israeli food, but there was some shady business going on there (not to mention it was far from clean, but we turned a blind eye). At one point they opened up a secret hooka bar in the back (there might have been more than just hooka going on there!). Anyway, my friend Dina and I used to frequent the place and we always ordered up the same thing: ftut, french fries, and a banana, date, milk and honey smoothie. The ftut was basically some chopped malawach dough, mixed up with cheese and mushrooms, with a tomato dipping sauce. The french fries were incredible. But the prize, for me, was the smoothie. It was creamy and sweet, full of delicious flavor! Bissale closed its doors a few years ago, and while I miss the great food, and even better memories (not including the calories!), I’m happy to savor my favorite shake in my favorite place, home sweet home.

The original recipe uses whole milk, but I use almond milk to pack a protein punch and nutty flavor. Also, to eliminate the need for ice cubes (which will just water it down), I freeze the banana and dates a few hours in advance.

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