Recipe Image

Hanukkah—A Time for Latkes

Gerri French, MS/RD, CDE
December 2011

According to my friend Zelda, Hanukkah is the time for latkes (pancakes fried in oil), sufganyiot (fried jelly-filled doughnuts) and other sweet desserts. Although latkes are traditionally made with potatoes, a lower-carb version can be made using any combination of shredded cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, turnips and parsnips. You can use some potatoes, sweet potatoes or leave them out entirely.

Traditionally sourcream and applesauce are served along with the latkes. Using lower fat sourcream will reduce the calories; applesauce will add carbohydrates and a small amount of calories.

You’ll need some oil for frying—how much depends on the vegetables you use, since some absorb more oil than others. According to Jewish tradition, during Hanukkah cooking oil is used liberally to commemorate that a small vial of oil, enough for just one day, miraculously burned to keep the menorah (lamp) burning for eight days during the rebuilding of the Temple.

Ingredients & Methods

Cauliflower Latkes
(makes 16 servings)

Zucchini Latkes
(makes 12 servings)

These lower-carb, low-fat latkes are delicious and satisfying. They’re great to make during Hanukkah so you won’t munch on high-carb potato latkes. The addition of the potatoes does not significantly increase the carbs, but it makes a big difference in flavor.
Nutrition at a Glance, per serving (one latke)
Nutrition at a Glance, per serving (one latke)


  1. Let frozen cauliflower thaw. Put in colander and squeeze out the liquid.
  2. Process eggs and onion in food processor and add cauliflower, flour and seasonings until vegetables are finely chopped; do not over-process.
  3. Wipe a nonstick frying pan with a paper towel dipped in oil and spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Put pan on low heat, wait until hot and drop batter by tablespoonfuls into pan. Brown latkes on both sides.

Free vegetable 1, fat ½


  1. Grate zucchini and potato, by hand or with a food processor. Drain well in colander.
  2. Remove any additional liquid by wrapping the grated vegetables in a clean dish towel and squeezing well.
  3. By hand, mix in the egg, flour and seasonings.
  4. Form latkes and fry in hot oil on both sides.

Free vegetable 1, Fat ½

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