The 15th of Av is a day of rejoicing, as the Talmud says “Israel had no greater holidays than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On these days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out to the vineyards and dance.” It is a day when several events of joy and reconciliation occurred in our history and when we celebrate the union of marriage, leading to the ultimate true marriage of redemption soon to come.
A day of love calls for a sweet delicacy to entertain our palate. For a dessert without sugar or artificial sweeteners this recipe does the trick with one of the best and most natural alternatives I have seen yet: fruit juice concentrate. It can be found in the freezer aisle of most stores, and apple juice concentrate seems to work exceptionally well. It has no added sugar. (The sweetness comes from the natural sugar in apples!) Before cooking, it’s recommended to take the concentrate out of the freezer about 15-20 minutes prior so it is easier to spoon out, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Lovely Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients: ¾ cup whole wheat four ¼ cup flax meal 1 ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup apple juice concentrate 2 eggs, beaten 3 tbsp applesauce 2 tsp vanilla 1 cup frozen blueberries ½ cup all–fruit blueberry preserves/jam (optional)
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. 2. Mix together flour, flax meal, baking powder, and baking soda. Add oats and stir until well combined. 3. In a separate bowl mix together the juice concentrate, beaten eggs, applesauce, and vanilla, adding preserves if desired. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture stirring gently until blended, don’t over mix. 4. Gently fold in frozen blueberries. 5. Spoon batter into muffin tin. 6. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 min. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container or can be frozen for longer storage.
(recipe adapted from: Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff)