> Holidays > Tu bShvat > Recipes

Cooking with the Seven Fruits of the Land of Israel

January 22, 2015 | by Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Delectable recipes perfect for Tu B’Shvat.

Excerpted from The Seven Fruits of the Land of Israel by Chana Bracha Siegelbaum


A big pot of barley soup simmering on the stove warms the heart during stormy, rainy weather

  • Half a diced onion
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 2 diced carrots
  • Additional vegetables of your choice such as leeks, kohlrabi, parsley and celery root
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup hulled uncooked barley
  • ½ cup presoaked beans of your choice
  • 1⁄3 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of each basil, oregano and thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon celery-salt (optional)
  1. In a large soup pot, sauté the onions for five minutes or more until translucent.

  2. Add celery, carrots and any other vegetables and continue to sauté for three to five minutes.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients including the liquids and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.

  4. Allow soup to simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally, until the barley is soft and somewhat fluffy.

  5. Adjust the spices according to taste and enjoy!


Better than the most luxurious chocolate

  • 10 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup soaked raisins
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup carob powder
  • 1 tablespoon techina (sesame butter) or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Soak the raisins in the orange juice for 20 minutes.

  2. Process the almonds and sunflower seeds in food processor.

  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until it turns into a sticky dough.

  4. Refrigerate for one hour.

  5. Shape into balls.

  6. Roll in carob powder, cacao powder, or shredded coconut.

  7. Makes approximately 20 truffles

Variation: For a more textured truffle, do not add the whole raisins with the orange juice in the food processor, but gently fold them in whole afterwards.


A warming nutrition-packed irresistible dessert or snack

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 5 dried figs
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Grated peel of half an orange
  1. Place all the ingredients (except the raisins) in a food processor, and process with the S-blade until well combined.

  2. Add the raisins by hand.

  3. Form into balls, refrigerate or freeze.


A Mediterranean variation of the traditional Ashkenazi carrot salad

  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • ¾ cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • A small bunch of freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1 handful of nuts or seeds
  • (I use a mixture of almonds and sunflower seeds)
  • Fresh juice of 1–2 lemons
  • ¼–½ cup of coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Mix everything together.

  2. Marinate for one hour before serving.

Take a delicious journey of the Holy Land through the Seven Species identified in the Torah as significant to the Land of Israel: Wheat, barley, grapes, dates, figs, olives, pomegranates. Author Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum traces their importance from Biblical times until now, delves into their mystical and medicinal properties, while offering pages of wholesome recipes for each. Recipes and research are presented as art with full color photographs, illustrations and paintings. Every page is offered to the reader artistically adorned. The beauty and bounty of the Land of Israel will enter the kitchen as the author shares nutritious, colorful, and creative recipes such as: Wild Winter Wheatsprout Salad, Raisin Carob Truffles and Chocolate Grape Leaves, Fruity Fig and Raisin Balls, Quinoa Pomegranate Almond Delight, Olive Bean Dip, and Guilt-free Chocolate Mousse Pie with Nutty Date Crust.

Rebbetzin Siegelbaum is the founder and director of Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin: Holistic Torah for Women on the Land. She guides readers to strengthen one’s faith and live mindfully, even just for the moment. She details the spiritual connections between the seasons in Israel and the blossoming of the fruits, highlighting teachings of the Rambam and other classical and mystical commentaries. The book unveils the sparks of the Creator within nature and facilitates a stronger connection to the Holy Land.

Siegelbaum’s new book is a veritable tour de force and was nominated by Gourmand Magazine in two award categories: Best Jewish Cookbook and Best Cookbook Fruits and Vegetables. This is a spiritual, medicinal and nutritional compendium, filled with enticing recipes, presented as an exquisite work of art.

For more information on The Seven Fruits of the Land of Israel, click here.


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