Healthy, Sustainable Purim Resources
Purim – the celebration of Esther and Mordechai’s triumph over wicked Haman – is filled with amazing traditions. On Purim night, we rejoice through recounting Esther’s story and through drinking, wearing masks, and partying. We also give back to our community – by giving mishloach manot (gifts of food) to friends and donating to charity.
In honor of the chag, The Jew & The Carrot offers this list of Healthy, Sustainable Purim Resources to help you celebrate in sustainable style. If you have more ideas and resources to share, send them to tips at jcarrot dot org.
SUSTAINABLE SNACKS & SPIRITS
Ditch the dry hamentashen. Crumbly, store-bought hamentashen stuffed with artificially-flavored jelly are a crime against Purim! Fight back by baking your own. Experiment with substituting whole wheat flour and agave nectar in the dough, and think outside the traditional fillings box. Pick up some local jams at the farmers’ market, or make your own pear and apricot jam. Try pinching a dab of Nutella or a dollop of maple-sweetened Mascarpone cheese in the center of your cookies. Your belly will thank you.
Go savory. Who says hamentashen have to be sweet? This year, nix the sugar in the dough, and fill each “cookie” with a mix of sauteed onions, mushrooms and Gruyere cheese, or crubmled feta and spinach – or try making Pizzatashen!
Edible Groggers. Serve crispy, crunchy, NOISY foods this Purim (try things like: fresh veggies and yogurt-dill dip, blue corn chips and salsa or home made pita chips with your favorite store-bought or home made hummus). As guests snack away, their crunches will let Haman know what a wicked, wicked man he really was.
Throw a Purim banquet. Invite your family and friends back to your palace after the Megillah reading for a fabulous Purim feast. King Ahasuerus was probably not into potlucks, but you can be. Ask each friend to bring a dish, decorate your living room with tapestries, pillows, and candles and party like it’s ancient Persia.
Sustainable mixers - Don’t forget to drink sustainably this Purim. Pick an organic wine from The Jew & The Carrot’s kosher, organic wine list. Or mix your drinks using freshly-squeezed juices (orange, grapefruit, carrot/ginger, wheat grass – it’s up to you!), natural sodas, Ginger Brew (Reeds makes a delicious version) or even homemade seltzer from the folks at Soda Club. And if you’re going alcohol-free, these delicious mixers taste just as great on their own.
The Whole Megillah. Hazon’s staffer, David Rendsburg, adds a kick to his Megillah reading, by chanting in the voice of the different characters. If you’re reading Megillah this year, make sure to practice your most evil Haman sneers and huffiest Ahasuerus demands.
Start your Pesach parsley. Purim is the perfect time to plant parsley to eat at your seder. The best part is, you can do it even in the tiniest apartment kitchen! For all the tips and tricks you need to plant your own parsley, click here.
Pamper yourself. Treat yourself like royalty this Purim. Go to an eco-spa, or shake away winter blues with a Bikram Yoga class. If you’re feeling crafty, make yourself a natural facial mask at home (Purim is all about masks, after all!). Learn how to make a homemade banana face mask here.
SUSTAINABLE SHALACH MANOT
One of the sweetest traditions of Purim is the giving of shalach manot, gifts of food, to family and friends. Traditionally, one is required to give at least two items of food (one of which should be prepared) to at least two people. But there’s no reason reason to stop there! Here are some tips for adding sustainable flair to your shalach manot:
Write it Down. Including a note with your wishes for a sweet Purim in your shalach manot basket is always a nice touch. And there’s no better card to write your greetings on than an “Eat, be Satisfied, and Bless” note card, exclusively from Café Press.
Sweeten the pot. Equal Exchange sells fair trade treats (chocolate, coffee, and more) for your shalach manot basket through their Interfaith Program. Purchase them here. Or, try one of The Jew & The Carrot’s recommended sustainable, kosher chocolates.
Brew Peace. Through the Thanksgiving Coffee Co., you can purchase fair trade coffee for your shalach manot, grown by a collective of Ugandan Jewish, Muslim, and Christian coffee farmers. Buy here.
Add some color. Tuck in a few beautiful, locally-grown apples, beets, carrots, or other root vegetables in your shloach manot basket, right next to the hamentashen. Spring is right around the corner, so now is the best time to celebrate the winter harvest, one last time.
Purim offers two additional opportunities to give: Mechazit Hashekel (literally “giving half a coin”) and Mataonot La’Evyonim (giving gifts to the poor). Fulfill these mitzvot with a contemporary twist.
Donate Your Time. Commit to volunteer at your local synagogue or JCC – or prepare food for . Find opportunities to voluneer at VolunteerMatch.
*Research for this resource list was compiled by Hazon’s intern, Regina Ostrovski.