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Broccoli Rising and Save the DATE
Psst! Hey, Broccoli Rising subscribers, Broccoli Confidential’s back! This Thursday, September 14, join me at 6pm ET for a Rosh Hashanah cooking class. I’ll share which foods promise a sweet new year, and easy, pleasing ways to incorporate them into a holiday meal. It’s vegan, virtual, and free to all Broccoli Rising subscribers.
Look for the Zoom link delivered straight to your inbox on Thursday. And save the date!
Okay, so much for confidentiality, I can’t keep it to myself — dates are your secret special must-have for a sweet new year. Naturally sweet but high in fiber and low in glycemic index, they’ve been prized since biblical times.
In Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, Verse 7, Moses, having guided the Jews through the desert, says, “For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.” Okay, but where are the dates? Some biblical scholars — and I — believe Moses didn’t mean bee-produced honey, but honey from dates, known as silan.
If you’re Ashkenazic (a Jew from eastern or central Europe), the Jewish New Year go-to for you is apples dipped in honey. But apples orchards and bees weren’t local for Sephardic Jews, (those from Spain the Mediterranean and the Middle East). What they did have in abundance were dates. Deserts are where date palms, also known as phoenix dactylifera, thrive. The Jewish New Year just happens to coincide with apple season in the US and Europe and date harvest in California, Morocco and Israel.
Tamar, the Hebrew word for date, is part of a whole Punnish holiday tradition. Tamar can also be translated as to stop or remove, as in stop those bad guys or remove our enemies. Dates are more than sweet, they’re symbolic, reminding us of all we hope for in the new year.
We all play a part in fulfilling those hopes. The High Holy Days offer us a moment to pause and reflect, to envision how we can do better, be better, to commit to being worthy of God’s gifts. One slam=dunk action is to embrace a plantbased diet. Nothing else has such a positive impact, not just on you, but on your family, your community, the environment, the world.
You have the power to change the world through your choices — by what you eat and by how you spend. Thanks to Dr. Christopher Carter, who shared the Climate Accountability Institute’s list of major carbon contributors during Jewish Veg's climate justice webinar.
We are all connected What affects one of us affects all of us. So here’s to a sweet, shining new year for us all.
Join me Thursday for Broccoli Confidential for more plantbased Rosh Hashanah recipes and the sweet secret meaning behind them. It’s just in time for Rosh Hashanah, which begins Friday night at sundown, and it’s vegan, virtual and free.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This English favorite makes a perfect Rosh Hashanah dessert Beneath its cloak of caramel sauce lies a date cake. My recipe banishes the usual dairy and eggs but keeps the gooey sweetness.
For the cake:
8 Medjools the largest, more caramelly, and ooey-gooeyest of dates pitted
3/4 cup hot brewed coffee or hot water
4 tablespoons vegan butter — I recommend Miyoko’s
1 scant cup unbleached all purpose flour — about 2 tablespoons shy of a proper cup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon whiskey
1/4 cup seltzer or soda water
For the caramel sauce:
1 15- ounce can full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon whiskey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil six 1/2 cup ramekins or one smallish 3 cup cake tin.
In a small saucepan, heat the coffee or water over high heat until it just comes to boil. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner. Drop in the dates and let them soften and rehydrate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Pour dates and the coffee or water they’ve been soaking in into a food processor or blender. Whizz them until they form a smooth puree. Add the plant-based butter, and whizz again until mixture is thick and luscious.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, whiskey and seltzer. Give everything one quick blast together until it forms a smooth, syruppy batter.
Spoon batter into ramekins or cake tin. Baking time will be 20 minutes for the ramekins, closer to 30 minutes to the cake tin. Cake is done when golden-brown and tender. Allow to cool before unmolding.
Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce.
Pour coconut milk into a deep saucepan. Heat saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar until it dissolves. When mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook for 20 minutes or so. Sauce will thicken and darken. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and spatter.
When sauce is thick and the color of cafe au lait, and the whole kitchen smells of caramel, turn off burner. Stir in pinch of sea salt and half teaspoon whiskey.
Allow sauce to cool slightly, then lavish cake with it and enjoy.
Looking for a printable version of this recipe? Grab it here.
More date delights
These recipes get extra credit, including dates for a sweet new year and whole grains for Whole Grains Month .
Seven Vegetable Tagine is a Moroccan Rosh Hashanah tradition. I love it any time. This recipe treats all seven vegetables to the sweetness of dates, the bright zing of lemon and the brininess of olives.
Chocolate, dates and pomegranate come together in this sweet little treat from Tory Avey.
Join me 6pm ET this Thursday for a special Broccoli Confidential, the holiday edition — Foods for a Sweet New Year. Zoom link goes out Thursday morning. Watch for it. In the spirit of a sweet new year, I wanted to make this Broccoli Confidential sweet, free, and available to everyone.
Starting in October, look for more Broccoli Confidential online cooking classes, interviews, and other special events and opportunities for paid subscribers. Free subscribers, you’ll always receive my free weekly Broccoli Rising newsfeed. But consider upgrading to paid membership. I’d hate you to miss out.
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