No-cooking recipes for Tu b’shevat

 Tonight begins the Jewish festival of Tu-Bshvat. Traditionally, it is a more important festival in the Sephardi tradition. Here are some recipes collected by Ronit Treatman in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice:

The following Sephardic recipes are adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden.  These traditional Tu B’Shevat recipes are vegan, gluten-free, and diabetic friendly.  They are very tactile, and require no cooking.

North African Date-Walnut Balls

  • 1 Lb. dried dates
  • 2 ½ cups toasted, chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup toasted, ground walnuts

Place the dates in a food processor.  Grind them into a paste, adding a little cold water if necessary.

When the dates are transformed into a paste, mix in the chopped walnuts.

Rub a little olive oil into your hands.  This will prevent the paste
from sticking to your fingers.  Shape the paste into little balls.

Roll the date-nut balls in the ground walnuts to garnish.

Syrian Apricot-Pistachio Balls

  • 1 Lb. dried apricots
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped pistachios
  • ½ cup toasted, ground pistachios

Prepare in the same manner as above for the Date – Walnut Balls.

The following recipe is from Jewish Spain.  It is a celebration of
the almond, the first tree that blooms in Israel in the springtime.

Judeo-Spanish Dates Stuffed With Marzipan

  • Pitted dried dates
  • 5 ½ cups toasted, ground almonds
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 drops of almond extract
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1-cup water

Bring to a boil the water, sugar, and juice of ½ lemon in a saucepan.
 Allow to boil for about 10 minutes.  Add the almond extract and ground
almonds.  Stir well for about 3 minutes.

Lubricate your hands with a little olive oil, so the paste does not stick to your fingers.

Stuff the dates with the almond paste.

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