“When Adar arrives, joy increases.” We are lucky to have two Adars this year (a leap year), a month of joy. Purim is celebrated during Adar 2. There are two significant giving components to Purim. “They are to observe these as days of feasting and gladness, and for sending delicacies to one another, and giving gifts to the poor.” (Esther 9:22). As part of the Purim celebrations, people give mishloach manot (Purim gift baskets), filled with treats, to friends and family. I love returning home to a stack of mishloach manot at my front door, each one delicious and personalized, filled with homemade treats, fruits and drinks. The baskets are lovely but not extravagant.
Indeed, they should not overshadow Matanot La’evyonim, donations to poor people. Maimonides taught, “It is inappropriate to buy expensive Mishloach Manot, if this will come at the expense of larger gifts to the poor.” There are countless opportunities to support people in need this Purim through the excellent organizations listed on my resources page.
For my Adar2 recipe, I offer an incredibly delicious and sweet dessert that is completely free of any added sugars. It is possible to enjoy Adar2 and Purim without drowning in sugary desserts!
6-7 tbsp nuts (I use almonds and/or hazelnuts)
4 Medjool dates
2-3 tbsp oil (mild flavor)
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
drops of vanilla exract
2 large tbsp cacao nibs or powder
optional toppings: sea salt, lavender flowers, matcha tea, cacao nibs
1. Remove pits from dates. Place all ingredients except optional toppings and oil in a blender. Add only 1 tbsp oil. Mix well. If the mixture is very
dry, slowly add more oil (or even water, if you prefer) until it’s blended well into a thick, paste-like consistency. The mixture should hold its shape without crumbling but not be overly sticky.
2. Scoop out small tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls. Option to roll each in optional toppings. Place in a covered container in fridge and let sit at least an hour.