Every Jewish holiday comes with its signature food.
- For Pesach, it’s matzah.
- For Rosh Hashana, it’s apples and honey.
- For Chanukah, it’s latkes.
- For Shavuos, it’s cheesecake.
This upcoming holiday is Purim, which means it’s time for hamentashen!
For those who are unfamiliar with it, Purim celebrates the miracle that happened to the Jews back in the days of ancient Persia, where Haman, the prime minister of the king Achashverosh (also known as Xerxes I) made a royal decree that would annihilate the Jewish nation. Through G-d’s hidden miracles, the Jews were saved and established this day to commemorate this wondrous incident.
We celebrate by reading the Purim story, giving charity, distributing gifts of foods to family and friends, and enjoying a lavish meal at the day. To commemorate the hidden miracle that saved us, we wear costumes that ‘hide our identity.’ (I put that in quotes since most costumes do not properly disguise a person, but I digress.)
This year, I am dressing up as my own version of the Mad Hatter from Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (I am specifically referring to the book because the book is always better than the movie adaptation.) This means I have one day to wear a crazy hat, drink tea nonstop, and tells riddles and jokes that make no sense, like “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
Back to the traditional food, hamentashen also have a ‘secret’ filling which also commemorates the hidden miracle, but the more common explanation is that they are shaped to imitate Haman’s three-cornered hat. In my humble opinion, he should have gone to the Mad Hatter for a better headwear design.
Purim is synonymous with one other thing: sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. With delicious food parcels being passed around, many people include candies and other goodies in their gifts. After all, this is a sweet time of year! But sometimes at the end of the day, you may end up with considerable abdominal pain, and experience strange cravings for carrots and broccoli.
To avoid that unpleasantness and to celebrate Purim to the fullest, try incorporating some healthier substitutes to the smorgasbord of cavities waiting to happen, like these Healthy Hamentashen!
Chasing after kids with food allergies can be a nightmare, especially on a holiday where food-giving is one of the main customs. There’s no need for them to feel deprived anymore. If you are the one with the intolerances, or you just wish for a healthier alternative, you’d be mad to skip out on this recipe, because this just may be the Heavensent miracle you’ve been waiting for.
Hats off to you!
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp of lemon or orange zest (Do not skip!)
- More flour to powder the working surface (I used brown rice)
- Natural jam like blueberry, strawberry, cherry, etc.
- Chocolate halvah filling:
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp raw tahini
- Mix together until smooth.
- Reese cup filling:
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- Mix together until smooth
- Whatever else you like!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Loosely mix the rest of the ingredients (except the filling, of course) in a large bowl and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes or until thoroughly chilled.
- Sift some flour onto you working surface so the dough won’t stick and roll it with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
- If the dough is too sticky and unmanageable, incorporate some more flour into it, and roll it again.
- Using a round cookie cutter or a wide cup, cut circles into the dough.
- Add about a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on the diameter of the circle, of filling to each cookie. Pinch three corners into the dough to create a triangular shape.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are brown.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Freezes well.
Makes 36 hamentashen