Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Healthy Chanukah

To all those celebrating Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights and a holiday which actually celebrates the cooking of foods in oil, consider oven frying as a healthy alternative to deep frying.

Sure, potato pancakes taste fabulous when deep fried in a trans fat containing oil, but why not consider spraying potato pancakes (even sweet potato pancakes) with 100% pure cold pressed and unrefined olive oil spray (which you put in a spray bottle or bought at a health food store - beware of Pam with its grain alcohol and other additives and fillers) and baking them on a cookie sheet in the oven. Also, consider coconut oil melted and brushed on or sprayed. I love coconut oil that is unrefined, but it will strongly taste of coconut which I find delicious, but might not be the taste you would be used to in potato pancakes. I can't really help you with the jelly doughnuts, all I can say is have just one and enjoy it...just remember to have with a large glass of water.

Also consider light pan frying in less oil and then finishing off in the oven.

Here is a recipe I found for low fat potato pancakes (Latkes in Yiddish) following this oven frying method:

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (I might also try sweet potatoes or yams)
1 medium onion
1/3 cup matzah meal, or unbleached white flour (to make this even healthier – try soy flour, amaranth flour, almond flour or whole wheat flour found at your local health food store)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup egg substitute, or 2 eggs plus 4 whites (cage free, organic brown eggs if possible)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray (or 2 tablespoons olive oil)

Serve with:
non-fat or low-fat sour cream

Cooking Instructions
1. Place a couple of non-stick baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 450°F .

2. Peel the potatoes and onion and coarsely grate in a food processor fitted with a shredding disk or on a box grater. Grab handfuls of the grated vegetables and squeeze tightly between your fingers to wring out as much liquid as possible.

3. Transfer the grated vegetables to a mixing bowl and stir in the matzah meal, baking powder, egg substitute, parsley, and plenty of salt and pepper. (The latkes should be highly seasoned.)

4. Spray the hot baking sheets with oil (or drizzle the oil on it and spread with a wooden spoon) Spoon small mounds of potato mixture onto the baking sheet to form 2-1/2 inch pancakes, leaving 1 inch between each. Bake-fry the latkes in the oven until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes per side, turning once with a spatula. (When you turn the latkes, try to flip them onto spots on the baking sheet that still have oil.)

5. Transfer to plates or a platter and serve immediately with sour cream and/or applesauce.

Serving Size: 6 or 7 latkes

Nutritional Information
Number of Servings: 8

Per Serving




35 g


4 g


4 g


9 g

Saturated Fat

1 g


82 mg

Adapted from a recipe posted online by Steven Raichlen at:

Enjoy the holiday season.

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