Health Advocate Blog

Lighten up your favorite Hanukkah dishes

Did you know that this year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving? Talk about two food holidays colliding!  But while many traditional Hanukkah recipes are delicious, they are not always nutritionally ideal. If you’re looking to make your favorite Hanukkah recipes healthier, try these lightened-up versions—serve them at your Thanksgiving dinner or during one of the other seven nights of festivities!

Traditional Dish: Latkes (fried potato pancakes) topped with applesauce and sour cream

Healthier Variation: Instead of deep-frying your latkes, try baking them.  You can also add shredded sweet potato, carrots, and zucchini to your recipe for an added nutritional boost.  Try this delicious Baked Latke recipe, and top them with cranberry applesauceand low-fat sour cream or Greek Yogurt.

Traditional Dish: Challah (Jewish braided bread)

Healthier Variation: Add whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree to your traditional Challah recipe.  They are both high in fiber, which has many health benefits such as helping maintain a healthy weight and improving digestion. This pumpkin challah recipe is sure to be a fall favorite!

Traditional Dish: Beef Brisket

Healthier Variation: Brisket is known to be a fatty cut of meat.  Opt for the flat “first-cut” section over the fattier “point cut.” Call your supermarket or butcher to make sure that they have it available before you go to the store.  Try this delicious Braised Brisket and Roots recipe, which incorporates many delicious fall vegetables!

Traditional Dish: Noodle Kugel

Healthier Variation: Noodle Kugel traditionally consists of egg noodles, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, and raisins. Swap full-fat cheese and sour cream for reduced-fat versions and add in sweet potato puree for added fiber, vitamin E, and potassium. Try this Sweet Potato Noodle Kugel recipe for a delicious side dish.

Traditional Dish: Deep-fried Jelly Doughnuts (also known as Sufganiot)

Healthier Variation: Bake your doughnuts instead of frying them.  They will taste just as delicious with reduced fat and calories.  Try this Baked Jelly Doughnut recipe and see for yourself!

Get creative and have fun making your favorite Hanukkah dishes this year!  If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more ideas on how to lighten up your favorite Hanukkah foods.  Have a happy and healthy “Thanksgivukkah!”