TU B'SHEVAT MORE THAN JUST DRIED FRUIT!
This year Tu B'Shevat comes out on Wednesday (January 3, 2018).
Tu B'Shevat is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat and the Rosh Hashana (Judgment day) for all the trees. It is customary to eat fruits of all kinds especially the 7 main fruits of Israel. These are: Olives, Barely, Pomegranate, Grapes, Wheat, Dates, & Figs, and there are those that make lavish feasts to celebrate this important day.
Tu B'Shevat, Rosh Hashana for the trees, is a beautiful Yom Tov (Holiday). Like all Holidays, those that have food restrictions often feel deprived by not being able to join in the festivities. Once again we have been able to prove that everyone can enjoy the wonderful bounty of fruits that HKB'H (G-D) has provided.
There is a custom mentioned in the Sefer B’nei Yissachar (holy book from Issachar) to eat a dessert on Tu B’Shevat that was made from the esrog (citron) that was used on Succoth. When esrogim are cooked they tend to become quite bitter and this delectable dessert usually calls for a lot of sugar---by boiling it a few times we have really been able to cut the amount needed.
Our Simple Walnut/Almond cookies are exactly as they are named. We have upgraded this version using a combination of ground walnuts and almonds. Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 and very brain and heart healthy—they also have half the amount of carbs as almonds. But if using only walnuts they may come out a bit bitter and I would then suggest using some lemon juice and a bit more sugar substitute and perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon.
We often think that we have to totally keep away from fats. However, we now know that natural fats are not off limits and in fact are quite healthy; Olives, Avocados, walnuts are just a few examples of fruits that are loaded with healthy fat. You do not need to forego these delectable, rich spreads, but do use them in moderation.
Dried fruits are quite high on the glycemic index but Tu B'Shevat does not have to be only about dried fruit
Let us enjoy the bounty!
SOME TU B'SHVAT tips:
Eat the protein of the meal before the fruits. This will slow the digestion and the absorption of the carbs in the fruits.
Eat the fatty fruits first. Example: avocados, olives, & nuts. (It is interesting and important to remember that according to halacha (Jewish law), the olives should be eaten first because they are closest to the word "eretz" in the verse describing the fruits of Eretz Yisroel.(The land of Israel)
Barely is one of the 7 fruits of Eretz Yisroel and very low on the glycemic index—it is also heralded as very heart healthy—hulled Barley has more fiber, pearled barely is more refined but still the lowest of all the grains
Smart fruit choices:
v Try to stick to slower acting fruits (from the list below). If you eat the fast acting ones eat only very small amounts and have them last.
v Remember that the riper the fruit is, the faster it will raise BG.
v Dried fruits coated with sugar should be avoided. They work as fast as Glucose (if not faster).
v Avoid canned fruit in heavy syrup. Canned fruit in light syrup or no sugar added can be used, but pay attention to the nutrition facts on the label.
v Keep in mind that the fruits, which have a high carb factor, are very condensed with sugars. Eat less of those. On the other hand, the fruits, which have lower carb factors, are the best choices.
v Eating the peel of the fruit, adds fiber, which helps to slow the glucose rise. It also adds vitamins and nutrients.
v Last but not least: Don't deprive yourself or your child from enjoying this Yom Tov (holiday).
Slow acting fruits:
(The list goes from slower to faster and based on the glycemic index from www.mendosa.com and should not be confused with the carb factor)
Cherries (22), grapefruit (25), dried apples (no sugar added) (29), dried apricots (no sugar added) (31), fresh apples (38), pear (38), plum (39), peach (42), orange (44), grapes (46), kiwi fruit (52).
Faster acting fruits:
Mango (55), banana (55), apricots (57), papaya (58),
raisins (64), cantaloupe (65), pineapple (66).
©Copyright Jewish Diabetes Association 2017