10 Ways to Make your High Holidays More Sustainable

Here are the Top 10 quick and useful suggestions from Hazon, to make your Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur more healthy and sustainable. To find out more information and suggestions from Hazon for the high holidays, visit the Hazon Rosh Hashanah Resource Page and the Hazon Yom Kippur Resource Page.

1 – Rosh Hashanah Recipes

[toggle title=”Apple Kugel”]

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

Preheat oven to 350.

Peel, core and slice 6 Granny Smith apples.

In a large bowl, mix together:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Mix the apples into the batter. Transfer to a 9 x13” baking dish and bake for about 1 hour, until kugel is set.  Serve warm or at room temperature.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Rosh Hashanah Challah”]

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

  • 1½ tablespoons (1½ packages) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup sugar
  • 1¾ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour (about)
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling

Dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in 1¾ cups of lukewarm water in a large bowl

Whisk the oil into the yeast mixture, then beat in two of the eggs, one at a time, along with the remaining sugar and the salt. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading.) Gradually add 8 cups of flour and stir. When the dough holds together, it is ready for kneading.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out the bowl and grease it, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour. (You may also put the dough in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees, then turned off.) When the dough has almost doubled in volume, punch it down, cover, and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

To make a six-braided challah, take half the dough and form into six balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand tapered at the ends about 12 inches long and 1½ inches wide. Pinch the strands together at one end, then gently spread them apart. Next, move the outside right strand over two strands.

Then, take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Regroup to three on each side. Take the outside left strand and move it over two to the middle, then move the second strand from the right over to the far left.

Regroup and start over with the outside right strand. Continue until all the strands are braided, tucking the ends underneath the loaf. The key is always to have three strands on each side, so you can keep your braid balanced. Make a second loaf the same way. Place the braided loaves in greased 10- by 4-inch loaf pans or on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches between them.

Beat the remaining egg and brush it on the loaves. Let rise another half hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush the loaves with egg again, then sprinkle on poppy or sesame seeds.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a rack.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/11485/adventures-in-baking-holiday-challah-/#ixzz1z1wengqf


[toggle title=”Caramel Apples”]

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

  • 8-10 apples (red or green)
  • 8-10 Popsicle sticks
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 400 grams (14 oz) of condensed milk
  • 1 large tablespoon of honey
  • 200 grams (7 oz) of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Choice of toppings: colored sprinkles, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, chopped nuts, gummy bears, marshmallows, coconut, chopped biscuits, etc.

Remove stems from apples, then wash and dry the apples.

Insert sticks through the top of the apple, where the stem was. (The stick should go about three-quarters down into the body of the apple).

Combine the sugar, butter, condensed milk, honey and vanilla extract in a 2 1/2 or 3 quart pot, and place it on a small flame.

With a wooden spoon, mix and break down the ingredients so that you end up with a big caramel-brown goo slowly cooking in the pot. Cook until the sugar crystals are dissolved (test by rubbing a little of the caramel between your fingers to feel when it is no longer gritty, but be careful not to burn yourself).

Leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Once the mixture has cooled, but is still a little warm, hold the stick and immerse the apples into the mixture, fully covering the apple.

Place the coated apples on a plate and put the plate in the fridge for 15 minutes

This last step is especially fun for kids: Place the toppings of choice in small bowls and then insert the apples in the toppings until the toppings reach about a third of the way up the apple.

Return apples to the refrigerator to chill for at least half an hour.

Now all you have to do is place the plate of Rosh Hashanah Caramel Candy Apples on the table and watch people’s reactions. This is a dish that brings out the children in everyone.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/143487/caramel-apples-a-very-sticky-new-year/#ixzz1z1yAFJUQ


2 – Choose Good Honey

This year, dip your apples in delicious, raw honey produced by a small-scale apiary. Here are some suggestions for companies that provide kosher certified honey that you can trust.

3 – Go Apple Picking

Many family farms welcome visitors to pick apples, make fresh cider, and tour their grounds. Needless to say, this is a great activity for the whole family. Find a farm near you at Pick Your Own.

 4- Go Outside

Rosh Hashanah celebrations have the tendency to fall into the rhythm of pray, eat, sleep, pray, eat, sleep…eat. This year, change up that rhythm by finding some time to get outside into the crisp fall sunlight. Go for an early morning walk before synagogue, meditate outside in the afternoon, take a walk on the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live by one!), or bring your kids to the park after lunch to sing holiday songs. Whatever way you get there, don’t wait until Tashlich to get outside.

5 – Seasonal Centerpieces

Instead of fresh-cut flowers that will wilt after a few days, create a sustainable centerpiece that will impress your guests. Place 12 heirloom apples or pomegranates in a glass bowl, or place potted fall flowers (chrysanthemums, zinnias, marigolds, etc.) around the table to add seasonal color.

6 – Give a Vegan Gift Box

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah by giving someone a Vegan Gift Box.

7 – Highlight Local Flavors

This year, Rosh Hashanah falls at the end of summer and beginning of early fall. It is one of the most amazing times to find fresh local vegetables through your CSA or farmers’ market. Serve a root veggie medley that highlights the vegetables of fall. Check out The Jew & The Carrot’s recipe archive for ideas.

8 -Don’t Stuff Yourself the Meal before the Fast on Yom Kippur

It’s tempting to overeat at the Seudah Mafseket, but it actually makes fasting harder. Overeating can cause stomach upset and heartburn, which are the last things you want to be dealing with when you’re trying to focus in shul! Eat a normal sized meal and eat until you feel full to ensure an easy and comfortable fast.

9- Take Initiative to Alleviate Hunger

Yom Kippur is a time to consider hunger, hunger relief, and helping those in need. Don’t wait for someone else to do it, be the one to take initiative and set up a food drive for your synagogue, during the high holidays. Another great way to consider hunger during this holiday is to take the money that you normally would have spent on food for you and your family that day, and use it to donate to a community who is in need of food.

10 – Repent Productively

Make the most of your day to repent. Spend the time that you are not in shul on Yom Kippur doing what makes the day most meaningful for you and gives you a platform to expand your thoughts. Rather than dreading the fast, try to embrace the fast, your discomfort,  and what it represents.


For more High Holiday activities, ideas, and suggestions, visit the Hazon Rosh Hashanah Resource Page and the Hazon Yom Kippur Resource Page.


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