On Rosh Hashanah, most Jews indulge in sweet foods to express their desire for a sweet year. Problems arise, however, when a guest or family member is unable to tolerate sugar and honey for either medical or dietary reasons.
Obviously, we all desire a year filled with all manner of delicious blessings. The question is how to find substitutes for sugar and honey and still have the sweet delicacies we desire at this time of year.
The answer to this culinary dilemma is to use fruit and fruit juices as substitutes. And, if you want something sweet to dip your apple in and you musn’t ingest honey, how about some fruit preserves instead?
Yes, it is a break from tradition, but above all, we are commanded to guard our health and that takes precedence over any longstanding customs.
Maple Orange-Glazed Carrots
12 medium carrots
2 Tbsps. light olive oil
2 Tbsps. orange juice
grated zest from one small orange
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsps. nutmeg
2 Tbsps. apple juice concentrate
1 Tbsp. alcohol-free, sugar-free maple extract
Peel the carrots and then slice into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Place them in a covered vegetable steamer over boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add orange juice, orange zest, steamed carrots, salt, nutmeg and apple juice concentrate. Stir to coat and cook until heated through.
Remove from heat and add maple extract, mixing well. Serve immediately.
Note: When grating citrus fruits for zest, be sure to only use the colored parts, avoiding the bitter white part.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash, halved, seeds and strings removed
2 cups water
3⁄4 cup walnuts, chopped
1⁄2 cup red apples with peel on, chopped
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsps. light olive oil
Place squash halves cut sides down on cutting board. Trim 1⁄4 inch from the rounded top of each squash so that they will stand level when filled.
Arrange squash, hollow sides down, in oblong microwave safe baking dish and add the water. Cover dish with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open for vent.
Microwave on high until almost cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine nuts, apples, cinnamon and oil. Pour water from baking dish and turn squash over. Divide nut mixture evenly among squash halves.
Microwave on high, covered and vented, about 4 minutes. Serve warm.
Sweet Baked Chicken
1 2- to 3-lb. chicken, cut into eighths
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsps. water
2 and 1⁄2 cups whole-wheat matzah meal
1 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. pepper
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄2 cup light olive oil
1⁄2 cup hot water
1⁄4 cup unsweetened apple butter
1 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 325˚.
Remove the chicken skin. Trim the pieces of all excess fat and pat dry.
In a shallow bowl, combine eggs and water. Beat well. In another shallow bowl, combine matzah meal, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then roll in matzah meal.
Fry chicken in oil over medium heat until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken to an ungreased Dutch oven or covered roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine hot water, apple butter and orange juice. Pour over the chicken and cover.
Bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Baste occasionally.
Recipes courtesy of chabad.org.