Have A Healthy Hanukkah

Sunrise Senior Living  |  December 7, 2012

Hanukkah may be the celebration of light over darkness, purity over adulteration and spirituality over materiality, but it's also characterized by a certain substance - oil. Although oil is symbolically used in food during this holiday to represent the oil that miraculously burned for eight nights, those trying to have a happy and healthy Hanukkah might want to leave this for the menorah, not the frying pan.

It may seem impossible to create traditional fare like latkes and doughnuts without oil, and in some ways, it is. But there are ways to turn these tasty holiday treats into food that is delicious, nutritious and keeping with the holiday's true meaning.

In the Hanukkah story, it was olive oil that burned for eight nights, but today, many latke recipes use oils high in trans-fats that can raise your cholesterol. In this recipe for zucchini-potato latkes, adapted from Eating Well Magazine, you'll bring back the traditional oil, add some vitamin-rich, high-fiber zucchini and still enjoy the soft and crispy texture and potato flavor of the latkes you love.

Zucchini-Potato Latkes with Olive Oil
Ingredients for four servings

1 pound zucchini, shredded
2 cups potato, shredded and cooked
1 medium shallot, minced
1 egg, beaten
2 cups fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To start, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and coat a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. You're going to fry the latkes first, then bake them to cook them through. This is how you reduce your oil usage!

For the latkes, mix zucchini, potato, shallot and egg in a large bowl, then add bread crumbs, feta, dill, salt and pepper. Combine these ingredients and form the mixture into 12 patties.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, then add as many patties as you can fit. Cover them and cook for about 2 to 5 minutes, or until they are browned on one side. Then, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, browned side down. Repeat this process with another tablespoon of olive oil and fry the remaining patties. Bake the latkes for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Happy Hanukkah!