Passover may be only 18 days away, but shopping for Passover friendly items has already begun. I am so thankful for the wealth of information my friends over at Andover Communications have shared with me about the Kosher for Passover products available this year. As a kosher mom blogger, this is an especially busy time of year. Not only am I busy reviewing what’s new in kosher for Passover items, I am getting my own home Passover ready. There is a lot involved in Passover, which is observed from the evening of Monday, April 18-Wednesday evening, April 27. For a total of eight days, Jewish moms, dads, bubbies, and Zaidies will be looking for Kosher for Passover products that taste good and are natural. This can be challenging. With so many of us running in a million different directions everyday, time is not on our side. This is why I have partnered with #PrimeTimeRADIANCE and we have created the #PassoverPushTM.
PassoverPushTM is series of twitter parties kicking off this Sunday, April 3, from 930pm. We are still finalizing our special guest, but I would like to share with you some of the products I have had a chance to sample. I had the opportunity to try a lot of Kosher for Passover items, but I chose only the ones that I felt were healthy and natural. I have also included some recipes that can help you use those Kosher for Passover items in a healthy and natural way as well.
The first products I would like to mention are from Osem USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Osem-Nestlé Israel, is located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and is the #1 importer of kosher food products from Israel.
Something special that Osem is doing this year is that buyers of matzoh will also be able to plant trees in Israel. You won’t need a plane ticket to Israel to do this. Osem will contribute $2 to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to plant trees in Israel, for every five-pound box of its matzoh sold (up to $400,000). “It’s a good deed to plant a tree in Israel, especially in light of the recent Mount Carmel forest fire,” said Izzet Ozdogan, President of Osem USA. “American Jews are supportive of good deeds and care deeply about the nation of Israel.” From Israel comes Osem’s value-added 5 lb whole wheat and regular 5lb matzoh (both varieties offered at the same price). Osem will also offer 3 varieties of chocolate covered matzoh –plain, raspberry and orange. I tired the raspberry version and it was delicious!
I also recommend these Kosher for Passover items:
Passover Mini Croutons Soup “Mandel” Rings – A unique ring shape, gluten-free, all natural and great for soups and snacking;
Passover Snack – Osem’s recently launched and successful Bamba peanut and hazelnut cream snack is now kosher-for-Passover(not all Jews eat peanuts during Passover);
Improved Kosher for Passover Cakes – Six flavors including pound cake and chocolate w/ chocolate chip are gluten-free and lactose-free, with great taste in a new and improved package & shape;
Passover Pickles in Vinegar – Kosher-for-Passover , these pickles pack a punch with zesty flavor.
Free Freshness Pouch with each 5 pound Osem matzoh purchase.
I wanted to include a delicious recipe by Levana Kirschenbaum. If you are not familiar with Levana, you will want to be more familiar with her delicious healthy recipes. Levana has shared some recipes and how she “cooks the natural way with Osem”.
Levana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and the pioneer in Kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher, and gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking. She gives weekly cooking demos at her classroom at Lincoln Square Synagogue, and gets cooking demo engagements around the country. She has published “Levana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone”, “Levana Cooks Dairy-Free!”, and a book-dvd set based on her demo series called “In Short Order. She has also recently launched a line of spelt all-natural desserts, called, what else, Levana. Go onto her website to find out more about her demos, at www.levanacooks.com, or about her desserts, at www.levanadesserts.com.
Now that you know that Osem has “zesty” Passover Pickles in Vinegar, I am going to share one of Levana’s recipes for a Kosher For Passover RUSSIAN SALAD.
(via Levana Kirschenbaum). We grew up eating this hearty “salade russe” as we called it. The name signals the presence of a few Russian staples: beets, dill, pickles. The authentic way includes chopped hard-boiled eggs into it, about 3 to 4 for the amounts given below: Add only if you intend to make a main course
out of it, or serve them in a little bowl on the side. I love to make this dish with Osem pickles, as they are crunchy and thin. Delightful with cold fish, poultry, or meat dishes.
1 large beet
2 large Yukon or other good potatoes
2 large carrots
½ small red onion
1 Osem pickle
1 small bunch dill
2 ribs celery, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar (health food stores)
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice all the vegetables 1/2 inch. Cook the beets separately (so as not to turn the whole dish an unpleasant red) in a wide-bottom pot or a large skillet, with water just to cover, until tender and the water cooks out. Cook the turnip and carrots the exact same way in another pot. Transfer all the vegetables to a bowl. Cut the onion, pickle, dill, and celery in large chunks and place in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until minced. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and pulse 2 to 3 more times, until just combined. While the vegetable mixture is still warm, pour the ground mixture over them and mix thoroughly. Store refrigerated in glass jars. Makes about 8 cups. Serve at room temperature.
Some more great news about Passover this year! Gin, vodka, Sea Breeze and Mojito mixers, Passover is here…..hard to believe but they are among the newest and most innovative offerings for Passover 2011, and a far cry from our forefathers’ Seder libations.
No. 209 San Francisco Gin is the only kosher for Passover gin in the world, made from all natural botanicals with a sugar cane base for Passover use. The gin is 46% alcohol, 92 proof, manufactured by Distillery No. 209 of San Francisco. For Passover cocktail recipes visit the website at www.209Gin.com.
Zachlawi of Ocean, NJ produces Passover cocktails including Sea Breeze and Mojito, both 36 Proof and 18% alcohol. In addition to cocktails, the company produces premium Passover Arak and Passover vodka.
Passover is big business in the the kosher food business. “Passover represents 40% of annual kosher food sales and each year, more and more new products are introduced to keep up with the needs of the growing and ever-changing kosher consumer,” says Bill Springer, co-producer of Kosherfest, the largest kosher food, wine and spirits trade show.
“Passover used to be the holiday where you were very limited in what you could drink and eat, in order to maintain a diet free of leavened bread. Today, the breadth of Passover foods has become almost limitless, as consumers demand Passover ‘bagels,’ ‘pizza,’ ‘dinner rolls,’ and everything they eat and drink during the rest of the year while still keeping the dietary laws of the 8-day holiday,” adds Bill Springer.
Some familiar brands have now gone Kosher for Passover. Among them are Lipton® Kosher Soup Secrets Matzah Ball and Soup Mix and Lipton® Kosher Matzah Ball Soup, Lay’s® Potato Chips, Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Seasonings, and Blanchard & Blanchard Hot Sauces (Caribbean Mango Fruit and Louisiana Cayenne Pepper).
Something that I am very excited about is the number of Gluten-free and organic Kosher for Passover items on supermarket shelves this year. Among them are (gluten-free cakes, cake frosting, cereals and matzoh squares), Shabtai Gourmet’s Yidels Devils Food-Mini Chocolate Swiss roll (winner of Kosherfest’s 2010 Passover Best New Product), Benz’s gluten free gefilte fish, Noam Gluten-free Passover Pizza Bagels, and Holy Cow! Passover Beef and Turkey Jerky. Mother’s Brand Margarine and Butter will introduce a light spreadable gluten-free butter and buttery spray. Among the organic items from Osem are Ora’s Organics Tea Sensations with red tea, herbal tea, black tea, fruit tea, green tea and gift box teas available. Osem also offers a line of gluten-free cakes in six flavors, and new gluten-free croutons. From Aviv comes an entire line of organic matzahs, including mini matzahs, matzoh farfel, matzoh meal and cake meal. Oxygen Imports offers Organic honey, and organic Halva and Honey spread. Organic strawberry, cherry and apricot fruit spreads are a natural line of organic no cane sugar added spreads from Beit Yitzhak.
Your week of eating Kosher for Passover products will have zest and kick for all 8 days. Condiments, oils, jams and jellies, marinades and sauces for Passover are more popular than ever, with some very gourmet offerings. From Oxygen Imports comes Spicy Mexican marinade, Kiwi & Mango Preserves, Zesty Indian Marinade, dates & walnut spread with honey, citrus fusion sauce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil First Cold Press, and a variety of marinated pickles, olives and cucumbers. Tishbi wine and fruit preserves for Passover include Cherry Shiraz, Mango Chardonnay, Fig Cabernet, Sangria, Strawberry Champagne, Fruit Passion Champagne, Merlot Wine Jelly and Riesling Wine Jelly. Beit Yitzhak offers a line of 100% fruit spread using natural fruit instead of cane sugar. Fig, quince, and cinnamon are among their flavors. From Pereg comes Crunchy Topping mixes (pistachio, cranberry, mushroom or onion flavors), as well as a huge variety of spices, herbs, mixed spices, and Charoset date spread.
In addition to Osem, Yanovsky and Manischewitz all bring new and expanded matzoh offerings for Passover 2011. Yanovsky matzoh (Argentina), offers 18-minute matzoh, 18-minute matzoh meal, shemura matzoh meal, shemura matzoh crackers, matzoh sticks, sweet matzoh made with grape juice, as well as Passover farfalach (pre-cooked pasta) and cous-cous. Manischewitz goes sweet on us with chocolate covered matzoh crackers and chocolate egg matzoh crackers.
Put your money where your matzoh is. According to the Nielsen Company, consumers spend more than $86 million is spent on matzoh in the week leading up to Passover. Osem USA, for example, sells 2 million tons of matzoh annually to American consumers, more than any other Israeli company.
According to Menachem Lubinsky, founder and co-producer of Kosherfest, “Some 400 new items will be showcased on supermarket shelves for Passover 2011. And, 78% of American Jews will observe Passover this year.”
Things that you will want this Passover, but don’t eat them. The kosher cook or Passover Seder guest may want to acquire a few non-food Passover items, such as Davida Aprons Matzahmania apron with matching hand towel (www.davidaaprons.com), and from Rite Lite (www.ritelite.com) are Passover Salt & Pepper Matzah Ball shakers, stainless steel Passover server with ‘Passover’ laser cut into the base, and melamine Passover serve ware including trays and bowls.
If you want to plan the perfect Passover Seder menu, look no further than Levana’s cook book, Levana’s Table, and her weekly newsletter and blog at www.levanacooks.com. Among her mouthwatering Passover recipes are Cabbage Cranberry Soup, Moroccan Fish Soup, Beef Tajine with Lemon and Oregano sauce, Beef Bourguignon, Balsamic Roasted Chicken Breasts, Pecan Brownies, Molten-Chocolate Cake and Strawberry Rhubarb sauce.
A few other kosher cook books to look at include Sue Fishkoff’s Kosher Nation, award winning author Gil Marks’s The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food; Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes From the Bride Who Knew Nothing: Meals That Look And Taste Like You Slaved Over Them All Day. Only You Didn’t. You Don’t Have Time For That, and Kosher Inspired, a new kosher food magazine for kosher foodies.