As Hanukkah (the Jewish festival of lights) settles in for eight days tonight at sundown, traditional Hanukkah foods find their way onto tables around the world. It’s surprising to many that much of the food we eat is already vegan without even putting forth an effort. Tweaking simple, traditional Hanukkah recipes into vegan and vegetarian dishes is an easy way to make a big impact on your health and the health of the planet.
Why vegan or vegetarian?
- Vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese.
- Veganism (vegan pronounced VEE-gun) is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients.
Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change. Each year the average American eats 200 pounds of meat. Eating a plant-based diet isn’t just kind to animals and good for your health (and waistline!), it’s also the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
In the spirit of a green and healthy Hanukkah here are a few recipes for traditional Hanukkah foods in their vegan form.
Vegan baked latkes. Jewish or not, these traditional Hanukkah potato pancakes will work year round. They won me over because they are baked rather than fried. Use organic ingredients for an extra dose of healthy eating. Serve them up with some applesauce and you can’t go wrong.
Vegan sweet potato latkes. It’s challenging to find a vegan latke recipe since most call for eggs. This recipe changes up the traditional latke recipe and uses flax meal, sweet potatoes and buckwheat flour.
Homemade unsweetened applesauce. This recipe is delicious, simple and doesn’t have any added sugar. Make a batch and pile it on top of those latkes.
Wishing everyone who celebrates Hanukkah a wonderful holiday.
Do you have any favorite vegan healthy Hanukkah dishes? Please share in the comments!