Healthy Tzimmes

A new take on a holiday staple.

Tzimmes is a hot, sweet carrot dish often served on Rosh Hashanah, for a sweet new year.

I’m a traditionalist. If you’re going to make tzimmes, I say, do it properly. But not everyone likes the idea of sugar-soaked carrots roasted slow and low in schmaltz (chicken fat), with plumped prunes and knaidlach (dumplings) stewing their flavor into the broth.

That’s why I’ve made this vegetarian, organic tzimmes recipe. It’s healthier, fresher, easier and schmaltz-free. As my grandmother says, “In Russia, we needed fat to keep warm, but there is no need for this extra fat these days…”

If you’re not afraid of some schmaltz, try my grandmother’s original recipe.


1/4 cup coarsely chopped shelled walnuts or pistachios

2 or 3 cloves in cheesecloth (discard before serving)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick (discard before serving)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

1/4 cup honey (or a little less of agave nectar)

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

a small bunch of scallions, a leek, or a bunch of chives


Sautee the onions in the oil for a minute.

Add the carrots and when browned, add everything else, including whatever spices you’ve chosen.

Bring to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.

Remove and discard cinnamon stick and cloves before serving.

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