Healthy Hamantashen and Mishloach Manot

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Purim is one of my favorite Jewish holidays.  My children are counting the days, this year a few extra (thanks to the leap year), because they know that on Purim, I look the other way as bags and boxes of sweets and treats pile up outside our door.  I make the conscious choice to be a practical mom, rather than a determined dietitian, but I do try to include some healthy choices in the gifts I give to others.

If your mishloach manot basket looks like it was sponsored by Hershey’s, perhaps you may want to try something different this year?   We take time contemplating our costumes, why not our gift baskets?

We are obligated to give at least two foods to at least one person.  While time and budget often dictate our choices, and there never seems to  be enough of either, here are a few healthy and kosher substitutions that the kids may even thank you for…

  • Use whole wheat flour, instead of white flour (white whole wheat flour is less noticeable).
  • Substitute dark chocolate with a high cacao content.
  • Replace some junk food with some toys, sports cards, or comic books.

I love the idea of building mishloach manot baskets around a theme.  It gives me some focus and can get really fun.  I am no Martha Stewart, so my friends know better than to expect award-winning craftsmanship, but I try to get points for creativity!  Below you can find some of my favorite themes:

Taste of Israel - Olives, Hummus, Whole Wheat Pita Chips, Zaatar

Spa Surprise - Herbal Tea, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Apple Chips and Granola

Coffee Lovers – Fresh Ground Coffee, Flavored Creamers, Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Happy Hour – Mixed Nuts, Light Beer, Whole Grain Pretzels

Roman Holiday – Whole Wheat Pasta, Sauce, Biscotti

Movie Night Light – Air Popped Seasoned Popcorn, Terra Chips, Dried Fruit

Marley Manot - Tropical Fruit Salad, Mini-Bar Imported Rum, Jamaican/Caribbean Spice Rub

PB&J –Natural Peanut Butter, All-Fruit Preserves, Whole Grain Bread

Very Veggie – Vegetable Snack Chips, Low-Calorie Dip, Edamame

Lower East Side – Whole Wheat Bagels with Low Fat Cream Cheese and Packaged Lox

Here are a few recipes to help you create your healthy mishloach manot and for your chance to WIN a case of Chobani Yogurt tell us your favorite flavor hamantashen below!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Hamantashen

Homemade Granola

Cinnamon Apple Chips