Home-Made Applesauce (Compote)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:27 Written by Flax Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:27

This recipe is dedicated to the memory of my Oma who’s yarzheit is on the eighth day of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah latkes are yummy!  Certainly not the healthiest food, and definitely hard to digest.  Potato latkes are often eaten with a little bit of applesauce on the side.  Believe it or not, that little bit of applesauce actually helps with the digestion of the latke.

Apples contain both malic and tartaric acids which inhibit the growth of unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract.  Apples also contain pectin which removes cholesterol and helps the liver and the gallbladder to metabolize fat.  Apples, especially green apples are used to soften gallstones in preparation for a gallbladder flush.

The recipe below is from my Oma.  My Oma was born and passed away on the same day, on the eighth day of Hanukkah.  Needless to say that my grandmother was a wonderful cook-and her favorite activity was to feed us!  Her homemade applesauce was one of my favorite foods as a child, and to this day it is my ultimate comfort food.  Her method was to cook the apples whole, and then to puree them using a food mill  Using a food mill, a once common kitchen tool,  simplifies the process and makes the work involved almost nil.  Unfortunately, the food mill is no longer common (Williams-Sonoma does sell food mills for the ridiculous price of $150) and this necessitates peeling and coring the apples before cooking them.  While preparing the apples for cooking does require more time and effort, the end result justifies the means.

Tradition holds that being born and passing away on the same day is the sign of someone who is a zadik (a righteous person).  I love that my Oma’s yarzheit is on the last night of Hanukkah, a time when Jews, all over the world are lighting an abundance of candles.  I am comforted in the knowledge that my Oma’s neshama (soul) can be easily drawn by those sparks of light to be with those who might need her.


  • 10 golden apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

If you own a food mill boil the apples whole, if not then peel and core the apples.  Bring the water to a boil and add the apples. Simmer on a low flame for approximately one hour or until the apples are soft. Remove from the flame,  and either sieve through a food mill or lightly mash with a fork.  Add the orange juice and refrigerate.

Serve cold.

Sima Herzfeld Navon has a clinic for holistic medicine.  She also teaches healthy cooking and nutritional healing.

To learn more about Sima visit: www.JustAddFlax.com

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The Festival of Light

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 03:13 Written by Flax Tuesday, 13 December 2011 02:01

The Festival of Light is just around the corner.  Jews and their sense of humor, how can anyone consider fried potatoes and fried dough to be light?  Festival of Oil is more like it.  To make matters even worse, Hanukkah is smack in the middle of the winter, a time when we are most susceptible to gaining weight, and to retaining it.  Tradition is tradition, there really is no getting around the jelly donuts and potato pancakes, but there are healthier ways to keep tradition.

Baking is always better than frying.  While baked latkes certainly don’t taste nearly as good as fried latkes, they are definitely healthier.  Another option is to add vegetables to the latkes to increase their nutritional value.  I like to grate some zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and add them to the standard potato latke.  Another trick that I have is to add a little bit of wakame (seaweed) to the potato latkes.  I just tell everyone that it is parsley and no one knows the difference.  The advantage of having wakame in your potato latkes is that the alginate in the wakame inhibits the fat absorption by over 75%.  Pretty amazing!  So now you can eat your latkes and banish the fat.


  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp wakame
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • oil for frying

Soak the wakame in cold water for five minutes.

Grate the vegetables and squeeze out the excess water.  Squeeze the excess water from the wakame and add the wakame to the vegetables.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the mixture one tablespoon at a time into the oil.  When the bottom is golden brown, flip the latke and brown the other side.

Remove from the pan, drain the oil, and serve

Tip: Adding a piece of carrot to the oil prevents the oil from developing a burnt flavor.

Note:  The recipe above is not meant to promote eating, heavy, greasy, fried foods. My intention here is to help remedy an already bad situation.

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and a runs a Clinic for Holistic Healing.  To learn more, visit her website: www.JustAddFlax.com

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