Celebrate a Compassionate Hanukkah
Hanukkah, O Hanukkah! Hanukkah is one of my favorite holidays—and not just for the obvious reason (presents!). It is a time to rejoice with family and friends while observing the traditions of our ancestors, such as lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, singing festive songs, and feasting on seasonal dishes.
Jewish tradition places importance on treating animals with compassion, and the Jewish concept of tsa’ar ba’alei chayim explains that humans should not cause animals pain. A fabulous way to have a compassionate holiday and take a stand against the mistreatment of animals on factory farms is by celebrating with a vegan Hanukkah.
Make Hanukkah sweet for your taste buds and for animals by baking some festive vegan treats. This jelly-doughnut cupcake recipe is a modern twist on the classic sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts) and a delicious new way to celebrate compassionately. Try these simple sugar cookies and use Hanukkah-themed cookie cutters to create fun shapes. Get some vegan Hanukkah gelt to share or top gifts with. Most dark chocolate is dairy-free, so look for dark-chocolate gelt (it is often the silver-foiled coins).
My Hanukkah celebration isn’t complete without latkes, aka potato pancakes, and I am looking forward to cooking some this year. Since the main ingredient in latkes is potatoes, the dish lends itself to being vegan. Apple sauce and nondairy sour cream make great toppings. Try out this easy latke recipe:
Vegan Potato Latkes
3 lbs. peeled baking potatoes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. unbleached flour
Canola oil for frying
- Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the moisture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes with all the remaining ingredients except the oil.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet. Place 3 tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet for each latke. Use a spatula to flatten the mixture to form the latke. Fry over medium heat for approximately 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and serve hot with apple sauce and nondairy sour cream.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Happy Hanukkah! What vegan dishes will be part of your celebration this year?