A Healthier Chanukah | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

A Healthier Chanukah

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A Healthier Chanukah

Olive oil, grapefruit, the perfect combo. Amy Spiro

Keep the spirit of the Chanukah holiday with a slightly healthier treat.

Sure, deep fried is all the rage on Chanukah, and I indulged last week with my homemade cronut recipe. But even among the once-a-year celebration, there's room to be a little bit more healthy while still celebrating the story of the holiday. After all, what is Chanukah all about? The miracle of the olive oil lasting for eight days. And I don't recommend olive oil for deep frying, and I can pretty much guarantee that any doughnut you're buying from a bakery is not cooked in olive oil either. 

But these muffins put olive oil front and center, using its mellow, fruity taste as a perfect balance to the bite of citrus from grapefruits. Honestly, these muffins surpassed even my expectations with their tastiness - they were soft and tender, with gentle but harmonious flavors and occasional bursts of citrusy goodness. Perfect for the Festival of Lights, and all year round. 

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Servings & Times
  • Makes about 18 muffins
Active Time:
  • 15 min
Total Time:
  • 45 min

2 ruby red grapefruits

1 cup (200 g) sugar

1/2 cup milk or soy milk

3 eggs

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 cups (220 g) flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Zest the two grapefruits, and mix the zest together with the sugar until fully moistened. Let sit for about 10 minutes. To 1 1/2 of the grapefruits, peel away the grapefruit segments - removing all pith and any peel leaving only the exposed fruit. Break the fruit into very small chunks, about 1/4". Squeeze the juice of the remaining half grapefruit.
  2. Mix together the sugar with the juice, the soy milk, the eggs and the olive oil. Whisk well until completely combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing until just combined. Fold in the grapefruit pieces.
  3. Divide the batter up among greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling each well about 3/4 of the way. Bake on 350 F for 18-22 minutes, or until they test done. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.