On Tu Bishvat we celebrate the new year of the trees, rejoicing in the fruit of the
tree and the vine, celebrating the gifts of nature. Tu Bishvat – February 8 this
year – also marks the beginning of spring in Israel and the time to plant
At the Tu Bishvat seder, it is customary to serve no fewer than 15
different types of fruits and nuts, as well as both white and red wine. Most
Israelis have come to associate the holiday as a time to eat nuts and dried fruit, which, unfortunately, are high in calories.
Carmit Safra, a dietitian at Weight
Watchers Israel, suggests choosing fresh fruit over dried ones. “Fruit is
healthy and tasty. But dried fruit should be consumed with caution,” she says.
“Choose fruit in season – they will be at their peak, tasty, healthful and less
expensive than ones that are not in season.” She adds that one small dried date
has the same calories as an apple; and one-third of a cup of currants has double
the calories of an orange. But, she says, don’t refrain from eating dried fruit
– just do so with care. Dried fruit can replace eating candy or cake and can be
incorporated in salads and cooking, as well as healthy and energizing snacks
when out and about.
Gat, Israel’s leading nut and dried fruit
distributor, offers a few ideas for incorporating nuts and dried fruit in
The following recipes were compiled by Moran Layla, courtesy of
Gat.GREEN SALAD WITH WALNUTS AND DRIED APRICOTS
All nuts and dried fruit
will upgrade a green salad, making it worthy of a holiday dinner. Experiment
with different nuts, fruit and dressings until you find the combination your
family likes best.
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✔ 1 lettuce
✔ 1 orange, peeled (use mango in season)
✔ 8 cherry tomatoes
✔ 100 gr. walnuts
✔ 100 gr. dried apricots
✔ 1 Tbsp. silan (date honey)
✔ 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
✔ 2 Tbsp,
✔ 1⁄4 cup olive oil
✔ Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
✔ Salt and pepper Peel
orange and remove the membranes.
Peel carrots and, using a peeler, cut
thin slices. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Wash lettuce, dry and tear leaves
by hand into bite-size pieces. Place all vegetables in a salad
Whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad
just before serving and toss.COUSCOUS, CRANBERRY AND ALMOND SALAD
package of whole-wheat easy couscous by Mishpaha Hama
✔ 1⁄2 bunch dill
✔ 1⁄2 bunch basil
✔ 2 red peppers (roasted)
✔ 100 gr. almonds
gr. dried cranberries
✔ Olive oil and lemon for seasoning
✔ Salt and pepper
Prepare couscous according to the instructions on the box. Roast peppers, peel
and chop. Chop herbs. Mix all the ingredients, season to taste. Let stand for at least half an hour before serving.
TOFFEE AND PECAN PUDDING
cake but a perfect pudding for the Tu Bishvat dinner.
✔ 1 cup prunes,
✔ 1 tsp. baking soda
✔ 85 gr. butter
✔ 170 gr. sugar
✔ 2 eggs
✔ 170 gr.
✔ 2 Tbsp. sour cream
✔ 2 Tbsp. silan
✔ 100 gr. ground pecan
✔ Halved sugared pecans for garnish
✔ 115 gr. butter,
✔ 115 gr. brown sugar
✔ 140 ml. cream
Boil 1 cup water. Remove from
heat, mix in the baking soda and soak the prunes in the mixture for 10
Strain and place pitted prunes in a blender and puree. Using the
kneading handle of a mixer, whip butter and sugar until fluffy; add eggs and
silan and continue mixing. Add prune paste.
Add a few tablespoons of
flour and sour cream at a time, alternating the two. Add ground pecans, mix and
pour into two small greased baking pans.
Bake at 170º for 30
Prepare toffee: In a deep pot, heat butter, brown sugar and
cream. Simmer until liquid becomes smooth and color is right. Be very careful,
as the toffee is extremely hot. Remove from heat and keep warm. When cakes are
ready, pour the toffee over them. Save some of the sauce for serving. Garnish
with sugared pecans.DRIED FRUIT CAKE
The Roladin chain of bakeries
prepares special cakes for the holiday. The chef, Gilli Deker, offers his
winning recipe for a dried fruit cake.
✔ 1⁄3 cup oil
✔ 1⁄2 cup sugar
✔ 2⁄3 Tbsp. flour
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
✔ 1⁄2 tsp.
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
✔ Pinch salt
✔ 1⁄4 cup raisins
✔ 1⁄4 cup ground
✔ 3⁄4 cup Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
✔ 1⁄2 cup roasted
✔ 1⁄4 cup prunes, pitted
✔ 1⁄4 cup dried apricots
✔ 1 Tbsp. dried
✔ 1⁄2 banana, sliced Beat egg with sugar until light. Add oil in a
thin stream. Add apples. Mix together dry ingredients, dried fruit and nuts
except walnuts. Add dry mixture to egg and mix only until blended. Pour into an
oiled 27.5 cm x 8 cm bread pan.
Sprinkle ground walnuts on top. Bake at
165º for 40-45 minutes. When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
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