Holiday traditions vary as much as different types of religion or ways to celebrate. What matters most about the holidays is getting together and sharing our love with friends and family, of course. Though for many of us, holiday eating poses a bit of a dietary challenge. Most of the traditional holiday fare was established way before terms like paleo, gluten-free, and vegan populated menu vernacular.
I believe one of the best ways to transform the holidays into an enjoyable food experience for everyone is to rejuvenate the classics. This way, you don’t need to convince your grandmother to eat a kale salad on Christmas instead of the slice of fruitcake she’s been eating for the last 80 years.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—no matter the holiday tradition, there is a special dish that can be easily upgraded.
All that being said, my family isn’t very traditional because we aren’t religious and we don’t have a huge family. I have dictated the holiday menu basically my whole life (this is called being low maintenance). We’ve had raw Christmas, vegan Christmas, fondue Christmas (aka gluten-free Christmas), and the list continues. Kudos to my family for being super cool with it all. I’ve learned a lot and made a career out of it! So hey, that’s the gift that kept on giving.
For this recipe, I decided to ask around to see what others typically eat for the holidays. In Los Angeles, a lot of my friends said latkes.
Latkes are not only delicious, but really easy to make healthy. (They’re also excellent with champagne—all elements that make them an exciting addition to any holiday menu).
I’ve updated the traditional potato latke by using spaghetti squash (making them gluten-free) and used ghee instead of generic oil to fry.
And added some seriously scrumptious condiments…
Spaghetti Squash Latkes
| INGREDIENTS |
- Meat of 1 medium size spaghetti squash (approximately 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons almonds flour (or our favorite Tiger Nut Flour)
- 1 large egg, whisked or 2 flax eggs
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup ghee (used for frying)
| DIRECTIONS |
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and drizzle with a little ghee and salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until completely tender.
Once the squash has cooled enough to be handled, remove from skin and drain out any excess liquid. Mash thoroughly to remove any clumps (spaghetti squash actually shreds). Allow squash to cool to room temp.
Toss squash with remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Using a spoon, make squash into 2-3 inch flat patties. You will want to form all the patties before heating oil so that you can keep the pan hot and cook efficiently.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in skillet (I prefer cast iron).
Cook 4- 5 latkes at a time. Approximately three minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Cook all latkes before serving.
Makes 12-16 latkes.
Coconut Creme Fraiche
This recipe is the perfect fermented substitute for traditional creme fraiche, but if you don’t feel like whipping it up, use the traditional version or raw goat’s milk yogurt.
| INGREDIENTS |
- 1 cup young coconut meat
- 1/2–3/4 cups water, depending on your preferred consistency, 1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder, or 1 probiotic capsule
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
| DIRECTIONS |
Blend coconut meat with water until smooth. Stir in probiotic powder. Place in a covered bowl in a dehydrator at 100 degrees for 8–10 hours, or ferment at room temperature for up to 12 hours. The creme fraiche needs to be in a warm place with good air flow.
Makes 1 cup
Garish each latke with 1 tablespoon creme fraiche and a few chives.