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Pnina’s Tu BiShvat Bread

January 3, 2018

by: Pnina Kirchhevel

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All Jewish holidays have special food customs. Tu BiShvat, or the New Year for Trees, is celebrated on the 15th of Shevat (usually in February). The holiday originated as a way to calculate the age of trees.

The first three years, no fruit may be eaten. Fruit produced in the fourth year belonged to God and after that, whatever the tree produced could be enjoyed by its owner. This sweet bread is a favorite in my home.


1/3 c.              (50 grams) Dried Medjool dates

1/3 c.              (50 grams) Dried apricots

1/3 c.              (50 grams) Dried cranberries

1/4 c.              (50 grams) Sunflower seeds

1/3 c.              (50 grams) Raisins

2/3 c.              (100 grams) Chopped walnuts or pecans (can use 50 grams of each)

2 c.                  Whole wheat flour

1 tsp.              Baking soda

1                      Pinch of salt

1 tsp.              Cinnamon

¼ tsp.             Allspice

¼ tsp.             Ground ginger

½ c.                 Sunflower oil (or butter)

1 c.                  Light brown sugar

2                      Eggs

½ c.                 Milk or orange juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Chop apricots and dates. Place in mixing bowl large enough for all ingredients. Add remaining dry fruits, seeds and nuts. Mix well.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, spices and salt to fruit. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl, mix oil, sugar, eggs and milk (or orange juice) until fluffy.
  5. Add wet ingredients to fruit and nuts. Mix well.
  6. Grease a standard loaf pan (8 ½ in x 4 ½ in or 21 cm x 11 cm) and add mixture.
  7. Place in the oven. After 45 minutes, check with toothpick. If it is dry, bread is done. If not done, bake another 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let it sit for 10–15 minutes to cool.
  9. Enjoy warm bread with butter!

Photo Credit: Hannah Taylor/Bridges for Peace

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