Lag BaOmer, the Jewish holiday that marks the 33rd of the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot, a period known as the Omer, begins at sunset. Observant Jews traditionally do things on Lag BaOmer that are forbidden during the Omer, such as holding weddings or getting haircuts. Some young boys get their their first haircut on Lag BaOmer, a Jewish tradition known as “upsherin.”
One of the holiday’s only food-related customs is to eat foods with carob, the cocoa-like substance found in the pods of the carob tree. Most commonly roasted and ground into powder, carob is hailed for its antioxidant properties and high protein levels. Plus it’s caffeine-free, unlike cocoa powder.
To help you feast properly, even on this minor holiday, here are five excellent-sounding recipes that incorporate carob.
Oatmeal Cookies with Carob, Food52
Our friends at Food52 know what they’re talking about: this recipe uses instant oatmeal, cinnamon, avocado, and flax seed to make a healthy yet still inviting cookie.
Carob Almond Freezer Fudge, Oh She Glows
This recipe uses almond butter and coconut oil, plus you can throw half a cup of a rice crisp cereal to add a nice crunch. I’m in.
Honey-Carob Brownies, Food52
This recipe bills itself as a “chocolate-substitute brownie that’s rich and strong,” and gets brownie points for bringing that caffeine kick back by calling for half a cup of fresh brewed coffee.
Healthy Carob Squares, Epicurious
As off-putting as I find about anything labeled “healthy” (why ruin a perfectly good carob square?) there’s nothing too scary about carob chips, peanut butter, raisins, and walnuts all melted together.
Carob Chia Pudding, Feastie
This one’s for all you chia fans out there, who love the extra punch the trendy Aztec seeds add to any smoothie, muffin, or jam. Blend carob powder, chia seeds, almond milk, and cinnamon for a power-packed holiday snack.
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.