Chanukah begins a week from today and we are excited to welcome a guest blogger for today’s post on celebrating Chanukah while on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Zahava Turner, RD CSP LDN, is a ketogenic dietitian at the Johns Hopkins Ketogenic Diet Clinic in Baltimore, MD. Zahava looks forward to celebrating Chanukah with her family each year so she is happy to share some tips for families celebrating Chanukah with a child on the ketogenic diet so that they can have an enjoyable holiday too.
Chanukah and the Ketogenic Diet
The holiday season is fast approaching! Chanukah or Hannukah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and spirituality in a materialistic world. The Holy Temple which had been destroyed was rededicated in Jerusalem. It begins on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. Chanukah is observed by lighting the Menorah every night for eight days in honor of the single vial of olive oil that was found in the rubble that lasted for eight days.
As with most holidays, there are special foods that are eaten during Chanukah. Popular Chanukah foods include latkes, which are potato pancakes, and sufganiot, which are doughnuts. These foods are traditionally cooked in oil to commemorate the miracle of the olive oil that lasted for eight days. The heavy use of oil during Chanukah makes it the perfect holiday for children following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy!
As a ketogenic dietitian, I know how important it is to parents for their child’s life to be as normal as possible while on the ketogenic diet. Parents may be concerned that their child will have to miss out on favorite Chanukah foods but with some creativity and help from your dietitian, you can create ketogenic versions of almost any dish. Below are some ideas for making ketogenic latkes and sufganiot for your child to enjoy during Chanukah.
Although potatoes are traditionally used for latkes – any shredded vegetable like zucchini, beets, kale, or spinach can be mixed with egg to bind it together and then fried in oil.
One of the families that I work with came up with this recipe for a ketogenic donut! These keto donuts make a great substitute for sufganiot during Chanukah.
Keto-donut Recipe – Created by the Lynch family
Work with your dietitian to adjust the amounts of each ingredient to meet your child’s ketogenic ratio and calorie needs.
- Egg whites
- Cream (whipped)
- Macadamia nuts (finely chopped)
- Butter and
- Peanut butter
Spray mini bunt pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Mix egg whites, whipped cream and nuts together – set aside. Melt butter and peanut butter together – mix well and pour into egg mixture. Mix together and pour into bunt pan. Bake in the oven at 350°Fon the lowest rack until golden brown (about 35 min. for a 300 kcal meal). Cover with aluminum foil the last 10 minutes or so of baking to prevent top from burning before completely cooked through.
Happy Chanukah everyone!
Find more recipe ideas for keto Chanukah foods here.