Mahlabi-Healthy Style

Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 December 2012 12:59 Written by Flax Tuesday, 4 December 2012 12:37

While the ingredients in this recipe, might be more appropriate for Tu Be’Shvat then for Hanukkah, this is an excellent dessert to eat post latkes and sufganiot.  This delicious, light, and creamy dessert, is  both egg free and gluten free, and it will also help you to metabolize the fatty foods that we so lovingly consume on this holiday of oil.  Whoops, I meant holiday of light,  not holiday of oil, then again…   Anyway, eating agar (seaweed gelatine), with your holiday meals,  can help you to incorporate both the elements of the light and the oil into your festivities.

Those of you who prefer ingredients that they know, simply replace the agar and kudzu with  five tablespoons of cornstarch.  In my opinion, if your weight, health, and appearance matter to you, it’s worth making a trip to the health food store to pick up these “exotic” ingredients.   Agar, like all seaweeds is used to help digestion and to help with weight loss, it also helps to remove toxic wastes from your body (ie. rancid oils used in deep-frying your latkes and sufganiot).   Other benefits to using agar- it is a great source of calcium and iron, and besides that it is anti-aging, it will give you great skin and hair as well.

While you are in the health food buying your agar-agar, pick up some kudzu (arrowroot) as well.  Kudzu is an excellent addition to any meal involving fried foods.  When consumed, some of kudzu’s complex starch molecules enter the intestines and relieve the discomfort caused by over-acidity and bacterial infection. Medical research has shown kudzu to be helpful in connection to, indigestion and heart burn, as well as numerous health conditions such as, high blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, chronic migraine headaches, shoulder and neck pain, high cholesterol, blood clots, sinus troubles, acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers, colitis, hangovers, allergies, alcohol addiction, bronchial asthma, skin rashes, heart disease and neurological disorders.

Women however have a special place in their heart for kudzu as it has been shown to have a strong effect on the body’s hormonal system and can help regulate estrogen levels – of primary importance to post menopausal women to help in preventing bone loss,  estrogen related disorders, and cancer.


  • 1 liter (4 cups) almond milk (I used the organic Adama brand, which like most brands,  has some sugar in it)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rose water OR orange blossom water
  • 3 1/2 tbsp kudzu
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 tbsp agar-agar
  • 1/4 cup shelled and coarsely chopped unsalted pistachio nuts (for garnish)
  • pomegranate concentrate

Dissolve the kudzu in cold water and allow to sit for five minutes.

Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over a low flame.  When the liquid reaches a slow boil, add the honey and the orange blossom/rose water.  Slowly sprinkle in the agar and stir continuously until the agar flakes have completely dissolved (approximately five minutes).  Stir in the kudzu and continue mixing for one minute more.

Pour half a cup of the mixture  into eight wine glasses or ice cream cups.  Allow to cool slightly, and then refrigerate for one hour.

To serve, garnish with the pistachio nuts and drizzle with the pomegranate concentrate.

Serves 8


Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and a Wellness Counselor.  For individual or group classes contact her at

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Chilled Cherry Soup

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 May 2012 03:44 Written by Flax Monday, 21 May 2012 12:51

While Rabbinical lore, promotes dining on meat and wine on the Sabbath and Holidays- as a means to elevating the joy of the day,  it is actually preferable to eat dairy on Shavuot.  Traditional Jewish foods for Shavuot include the Hungarian blintz, stuffed with sweet and sour delicacies, and of course, the obligatory cheese cake for dessert.  While blintzes are an extremely time consuming dish to make, not all delicious foods need to be labor intensive.  To stay with the Hungarian theme, I recommend No-Work Chilled Hungarian Cherry Soup as a first course.

Hungarian Cherry Soup is very appropriate for Israel at this time of year as we are now at the peak of our very short lived cherry season.  Should you have your own cherry tree, have willing child labor, or just enjoy pitting the cherries yourself, then definitely make a cherry soup from scratch.  If the above conditions do not apply to you, then follow the easy and delicious short-cut recipe below.

I like to serve this dish for lunch, it makes an easy transition for groggy people (who stayed awake all night studying) to start their day.  Likewise, this dish can be used as an easy, gluten-free dessert.


  • 2  jars pitted sour cherries, with their juice. (1.5 kilo)  OR 1.5 kilo fresh red cherries, stemmed and pitted.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 container of cream, 15% (or 1 cup soy milk)
  • 1/4 cup Emerald Riesling (optional)

Add the wine and the jars of cherries, with their juice, to a soup tureen.   In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and 1⁄4 cup of cherry liquid and the spices.  Chill the soup.  Serve cold.

If you are using fresh cherries, stem and pit the cherries, cook them in a saucepan with 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt,  and 1/4 cup of sugar, for thirty minutes or until soft.  Add the cream, wine,  and spices, and refrigerate for four hours.

SERVES 4 – 6

Tip:  Refrigerate the jars of cherries and then combine the ingredients before serving.

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and she teaches Healthy Cooking Classes.

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