Healthy Sukkot meal and tips by guest cook/holistic life coach/mom
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Healthy Sukkot meal and tips by guest cook/holistic life coach/mom

Waltraud R. Unger, an active member of Temple Israel and JCC in Ridgewood, a certified Holistic Health Coach, and the mother of three young children, shared these healthy Sukkot recipes with us. Her approach to optimum health and wellness is based on bio-individuality and the integration of unprocessed, natural foods into ones daily program. She works with individuals, families, and schools through counseling, lectures and cooking demonstrations. She can be reached via e-mail at waltraud.unger@verizon.net.

According to Unger,” my goal is to offer alternative food choices that appeal to a variety of people but still satisfies the needs of health conscious individuals and families. Healthy choices can be fun, delicious, and quick. For holiday selections I have chosen more elaborate dishes. Cutting edge nutritional science is starting to discover that ‘The whole is more than the sum of its parts.’ With this in mind I focus on unprocessed, natural ingredients and work with my clients to incorporate these into their daily routine with minimal effort.”

She continues, “in the past few years there has been more interest in a health conscious lifestyle in the Jewish community. This follows the national trend we are seeing across the nation though healthy food offerings, renewed interest in farmers markets, CSAs, advertising, etc. I believe that my unique perspective through holistic health complements your efforts very well and will appeal to your readers.”

“Thinking about the “High Holy Days,” I take the time to reflect on the past year. My soul searching ultimately brings me to evaluate not only how I have treated others but also how I have been treating myself; my body and spirit. Food nourishes the body and gives it the nutrients to function properly and heal itself, but we often fall short of accomplishing that goal. Especially when we juggle multiple responsibilities we reach for convenient items that allow us to put a meal on the table in record time. These easy solutions are often heavily processed and laden with additives, sugar or sugar substitutes, and salt, and are a far cry from what brings us complete nourishment. On my quest to return to real food, I find myself in the vegetable aisle or at a local farmers market and marvel at the perfect creations, filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes.

As I pledge to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my daily diet for the new year, I began to make some changes. The apples and honey are perfect, except I will replace the commercial honey with raw, unpasteurized honey from a local bee keeper in order to take full advantage of the abundance of minerals, antioxidants, probiotics and enzymes it offers. Other changes need to be subtle, too. After all, holiday menus are a tradition and my guests will expect certain staples. Roasted vegetables are always a must at our house. However, this year I will replace the traditional soup with a cold, creamy carrot – orange soup and offer a fresh fruit parfait as a light and refreshing ending. Both recipes are full of raw, living ingredients with all the nutrients intact!

L’Shana Tova!

Creamy Carrot-Orange Soup

pareve (serves 4-6 people)

2 cups fresh carrot juice, (about 6-8 large carrots soaked for several hours in cold water)
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 – 1 1/2 avocado, pitted and peeled
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Black sesame seeds or chopped cilantro for garnish

Blend all ingredients in a blender at high speed until light and creamy, starting with one avocado. To create a thicker, creamier soup, add more avocados. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and/or cilantro. Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Summer Vegetables

pareve (serves 4-6 people)

1 small summer squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Grated zest of one lemon, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400ËšF.

In a large bowl mix all ingredients until the vegetables are well coated with spices and olive oil. Transfer vegetables to a large baking pan and arrange in a single layer. Roast vegetables for approximately 30 minutes until just tender and starting to brown, stirring once or twice.

This side dish pairs well with beef or poultry.

Fruit Parfait with Pareve Nut Cream

(serves 4-6 people)

Papaya Cream:

1 1/2 cups of papaya, cut into 1-inch cubes (about ½ of a peeled and seeded ripe, yellow papaya)
1 large ripe banana
1 tbsp. tahini or almond butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. orange extract, optional

Blend all ingredients in a blender, on high speed, until smooth.

Berry topping:

1 cup of mixed berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or red currants

Nut cream: (can be prepared several days in advance and chilled)

1 cup raw, whole cashews * (rinsed and soaked overnight in filtered water)
1/8 cup of honey or agave syrup, or to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or to taste
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil

Warm coconut oil in a water bath until liquid. Rinse soaked cashew nuts under cold water and place in a blender. Add water until the cashews are barely covered. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. (A high-speed blender works best to create a creamy result. If small pieces of nuts remain, the cream may be strained through a cheesecloth.) Add the honey, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt. While the blender is running slowly add the liquid coconut oil through the feeding tube. Blend well. Refrigerate for at least one hour until well chilled.

To assemble the parfait, divide the papaya cream evenly among the serving bowls, top with fresh berries and drizzle with nut cream. This can be prepared several hours in advance and keeps well refrigerated. Enjoy!

(The nut cream will keep refrigerated for up to one week and is delicious served in place of traditional whipped cream or topping. It can be flavored with cinnamon, orange extract or other flavorings to complement a variety of desserts.)

*Note: The cashew nuts used in this recipe are raw, which means that they are neither roasted, salted, or otherwise processed. This ensures that the nutrients and enzymes are fully available and the nuts are easier to digest. Raw nuts can be found in health food stores or specialty supermarkets and are labeled “raw.”

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