With thanks to my very generous Jewish friends, I have learned a lot in the last couple of years about their heritage and faith.  It’s full of wonderful family traditions, stories, holidays and of course, the food!

Tonight, my friends will be lighting their 3rd of 8 candles in honour of a miracle that took place in a temple that was reclaimed from Antiochus IV by the Maccabee rebellion.  If I’m getting this story right, when the temple was to be rededicated, there wasn’t enough oil for the menorah to burn throughout the night but it somehow (miraculously) lasted 8 days,  which was the time needed to prepare more oil.

In addition to the lighting of candles the symbolism of the holiday extends into yummy oily fried foods.  However, as my friend Sue says, “The festival of light does not have to be the festival of fat”.  There’s not much getting around the jelly donuts but she gave me a GREAT recipe to share for baked sweet potato latkes with minty cucumber yogurt sauce (also excellent with apple sauce) that is a fraction of the fat that lurks in traditional deep fried latkes with sour cream.

Chag Sameach!

Baked Sweet Potato Latkes

Ingredients:
    2 lb grated sweet potatoes
    I medium onion, finely chopped
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg

    Preheat oven to 400F. Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick spray or lightly grease with Olive Oil.In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Drop by quarter-cupfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten with spatula
    Bake for 25 minutes; flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

    Makes 15 servings

    Minty Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:
    1 English cucumber
    Kosher salt
    2 cups plain yogurt
    1 to 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons crushed dried mint leaves
    1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
    Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

    Grate the cucumber coarsely into a colander. Sprinkle with salt, and allow to stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and let drain.

    Combine the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, dried mint leaves, cumin seeds, and salt to taste in a bowl, and whisk until smooth and creamy.

    Pat the cucumbers dry, and combine them with the yogurt sauce. Cover, and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

    Nutrition Information

    Per serving:

    Baked Sweet Potato Latkes Traditional Fried Potato Latkes
    • 87 calories
    • 1 g fat (0 g saturated)
    • 115 mg sodium
    • 18 g carbs
    • 2 g fiber
    • 2 g protein
    • 100 calories
    • 5 g fat (1 g saturated)
    • 283 mg sodium
    • 10 g carbs
    • 2 g fiber
    • 2 g protein