Video: Nut-Free Charoset for Passover

We are hosting a big Passover seder this weekend and the cooking has already begun! For us, the traditional meal always includes charoset, a paste typically made of nuts and dried fruit with a symbolic meaning to the story told on Passover. This year we came up with a nut-free version that Ezra can take to his preschool seder. It's just 5 simple ingredients. Watch us make it on the deck and the recipe is below. Happy Passover!

Cherry-Date Charoset

1 c pitted dates

1 c dried cherries

1/2 c pumpkin seeds (shelled, roasted and salted)

1/2 c sunflower seeds (shelled, roasted and salted)

juice from 1 large orange

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until mostly smooth, but some chunks remain. The consistency is up to you; feel free to make it as smooth as you like. If you want it creamier, you may want to add a bit more liquid (another orange, or a splash of water). It can be made a couple days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Spread it on matzah or eat it plain!


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We made this video to share with our friends at Interfaith Family, an organization that helps people engage in Jewish life. Learn more at

For more Forest Feast Passover recipes (including a Spiced Charoset and Spinach Farfel), check out this post!

Passover Dessert: Ricotta Mousse Cups

Passover is next week, and I am looking forward to a trip to the east coast to spend it with family in New York (1st night) and Connecticut (2nd night). (Plus, I was able to fit a couple book launch events in!) Feel free to follow along with me on Instagram, @theforestfeast.

This tasty mousse recipe is from my new book, and I think it would be perfect for Passover if you are looking for a dessert idea to end your meal. I had a version of it at a friend’s house for dinner once and had to go home and recreate it! It’s SO easy, and can also be made in a bigger dish instead of individual cups. This recipe serves 4.

Other Passover recipe posts + ideas:

Our Seder in the woods (2012) (with Haroset + Farfel recipes)

Beet Haroset

Matzo Brei Scallion Pancakes

Enjoy! And Happy Passover :)


Red Roasted Carrots

Combine a couple pinches (or a half teaspoon each) of cinnamon, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and sea salt. Mix spices well in a bowl (or bag!) with 5 or 6 diagonally (oval) cut carrots plus 1T olive oil and 1t sesame oil. Roast at 400 for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet until the edges are crispy brown. Enjoy warm!


Passover Seder in the Woods

Spring has sprung in the woods! Passover is this week and to kick it off, we hosted a first-night Seder.  We spent 2 days cooking all the traditional Jewish dishes: Matzah ball soup, Haroset (a paste of dried fruit and nuts), Farfel (quiche-like squares), Tzimmes (a sweet potato carrot dish), plus a roasted chicken with rosemary and lemon. The seder plate has items that represent different parts of the meal and the Passover story of slavery and freedom, including a hard boiled egg, horseradish, parsley, matzah, a shank bone and the modern addition of an orange. In this story of Exodus, when the Jews fled Egypt, they didn’t have time for their bread to rise, so this week we eat matzah instead of bread as a reminder that there are still people today who seek freedom. Chag Sameach and Happy Passover!

Photos and illustration by Erin Gleeson