By Alice Hen
Although Purim is only one day long, many dieters or people who are just careful with their intake during the year have a hard time on this day.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and some healthier hamantashen recipes to help you get through it successfully.
Remember, the goal over yom tov is just to stay the same. We don’t expect you to lose, just try not to gain.
Have a healthy, happy Purim!
Mishloach manos. If you receive one that contains chips, sugary snacks, and/or commercialized juices, either re-gift it or donate the items to people in need. Do not see it as an excuse to consume any of these items as it will probably not end in “just one.” There will be many more, and once you start eating you will likely crave sugar and have a hard time stopping.
Menu planning. If you are hosting a party, there is nothing wrong with providing your guests with healthy choices. Try serving freshly squeezed juices instead of soda, whole-wheat dinner rolls instead of regular ones, oven-cooked chicken instead of fried chicken, and dressing on the side for the freshly prepared salads.
Parties not hosted by you. If you are going to a party hosted by your neighbor, friend, or even at your local shul, try your best to find out what is going to be served and prepare accordingly. If the choices are not the best, try eating at home so that when you get to the party, you won’t eat as much. You can also try bringing some healthy snacks with you such as almonds, walnuts, or raisins. Think of it as your very own fruit and nut mix.
Wine and drinking. Purim is the holiday of wine drinking but be mindful of how much alcohol you are consuming. Just 4 oz. of red wine has 100 calories. Imagine if you drink three cups (8 oz. each), you will consume 600 calories from wine alone!
Hamantashen. I realize that hamantaschen are traditional on Purim but that doesn’t mean you have to consume dozens of them. One or two will satisfy the taste buds without contributing too many calories. I suggest consuming them late in the day so you don’t spend the whole day craving them.
What to put in the mishloach manos?
While the mitzvah technically requires 2 readily edible food items, many tend to choose junky options over healthy ones. This year, give the gift of healthy foods. Include a fruit, drink, and a guilty pleasure or two, without the guilt!
Here are some ideas:
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants and dietary fiber. Apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Oranges contain vitamin C, fiber, and potassium all of which are heart healthy.
Grapefruits contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and more that aid in general health including reducing cholesterol and preventing kidney stones among more benefits.
Avocados are a perfect, healthy fat fruit, loaded with potassium, fiber, and magnesium.
Bananas! Who doesn’t love this sweet and filling fruit that can have benefits for exercise, blood sugar control, and digestive health.
You can add any zero-calorie drink or use any Nutrition by Tanya juices.
Throw in some hamantashen from the recipe provided in this guide as well.
And to top it off, add one or more of the following:
TAP Cake Pop
TAP Giant Cookie
TAP 2 Pack Cookies
TAP Muffin Tops
TAP Kugel Vegetable
TAP Kugel Potato
Confetti Light Ice Cream
Grab 1 Bar
Golden Fluff Popcorn
Counts as a snack for Purim.
¾ cup pitted prunes
⅓ cup of raisins
½ cup of water
⅓ cup coarsely chopped apple
¼ cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
½ cup Splenda
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Combine prunes, raisins, and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the prunes are tender but still firm and liquid has been absorbed (about 10 minutes).
Combine the prune mixture, apples, walnuts, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Beat Splenda, applesauce, and coconut oil with an electric mixer on medium speed in a medium bowl until smooth. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until blended.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in another medium bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture until combined.
Gather the dough together into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and flatten slightly. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray.
Divide the dough into 2 and refrigerate one half. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to about ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into circles using a 2½-inch cookie cutter.
Place teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle and bring 3 sides together to cover the filling. Pinch the 3 corners together to seal.
Place the cookies 1½-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Alice Hen is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya with 11 locations including a branch in Five Towns right on Elderd Lane (behind Jildor shoes). Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, follow us @nutritionbytanya on Instagram. Check out our cookbook, Cooking with Tanya, available for purchase on Amazon.com or an NBT location near you.