Hanukkah would not be as festive if not for latkes. Also known as, The Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the Second Temple. Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in this event, witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply. Hanukkah traditionally features foods cooked in oil for this reason.
If you are following a special diet like SCD, GAPS or Paleo, potatoes are off the menu. Using a root vegetable like celery root is a fine substitute. In fact, these latkes are so good, many people prefer them to plain potato pancakes.
Not only are these savory and satisfying, they are full of good nutrition and are low carb to boot. One half cup of raw celery root contains about 4 gms of carbs and 1 gm of fiber. It is also very low on the glycemic index. It contains some vitamin C, folate as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and sodium.
Compare that to the nutrient data of white potato which shows that potatoes are a good source of only three nutrients: vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin C. Potatoes are also high on the glycemic index and considered to be somewhat inflammatory. Clearly, celeriac offers a lot more nutrition.
Fennel has anti-cancer properties
Fennel adds even more nutrition. Fennel is high in vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium. It is also a good anti-oxidant.
Interestingly, the volatile oil that gives it the distinctive flavor, anethole, has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. The anethole in fennel prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule called NF-kappaB. Anethole has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.
In this recipe, the addition of the oil used for cooking will add flavor and important fat soluble vitamin and mineral activators. Finally, the onion supplies sulfur, vitamin C, folate, potassium and choline, adding even more nutrition to this dish. Read more about the importance of sulfur here.
All three of these ingredients are give powerful nutritional support
The celeriac, fennel and onion together, cooked in a beneficial oil like tallow, palm shortening, coconut oil or even olive oil, are a great combination and a super healthy way to observe and celebrate with this traditional dish.
Celeriac Latkes with Onion and Fennel
- 1 large celery root peeled
- 1 large onion peeled
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (where to buy salt and spices)
- 4 eggs (pastured)
- 2 heaping tablespoon coconut flour to thicken (where to buy coconut products)
- Fat for cooking: tallow, palm shortening, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil (where to buy high quality olive oil)
- In the food processor, puree the peeled vegetables
- Add the eggs and mix
- Add the coconut flour and salt and mix
- Pour the batter into the bowl for ease in cooking
- Heat plenty of fat in the pan and heat test so that a small drop of batter sizzles
- Place a tablespoon of batter in the pan and repeat going around the perimeter for 7 small pancakes, 2 in the middle for a total of 9
- Pat down the batter so each small pancake is flat
- Cook on a medium heat so that it is sizzling but not smoking hot
- Check after a several minutes and flip when browned
- Cook for another minute or two until that side is browned
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate
- Serve with apple sauce, sour cream or yogurt
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 22 – 25 small pancakes