I was just asked to bring nut-free charoset to the seders for 20 people. Anyone have any good recipes?
And because I'm sure someone can answer this question as well - considering they are at their best in the fall, how did apples get to play such a prominent part in charoset?
There's a lot of regional variation in recipes. If I had to guess, apples are cheap and plentiful throughout Europe and the U.S. so the Ashkenaz recipes make use of them. Sephardic recipes include indigenous fruits like dates and raisins.
I've seen some recipes with coconut, which may add some body if you chop or grate it coarsely.
Probably the best charoset without nuts is the common Sephardic one with dates, cinnamon and wine. It does call for nuts, but it pasty and muddy looking and the absence of the nuts wouldn't be such a big deal. Just looked up charoset in Gil Marks' "Encyclopedia of Jewish Food". As with most of Judaism, no answer is simple and his entry was 2 pages detailing the history (excluding the recipes). One interesting connection he mentions is that Israelite women were supposed to have given birth in "tapuach" orchards and also in Kabbalah a tapuach is a symbol of the divine presence. Nobody really knows what the original tapuach was but it came to be translated as apple. Read his description. Who knew there was so much involved!
We have a son who has a nut allergy. So we just make 2 versions of the same recipe one with nuts and one without. Leaving out the nuts doesn't change anything except remove the nut crunch.
did they specify nuts *and* seeds? i assume the request is allergy-based, so if pumpkin seeds are safe you can sub them for the nuts in any recipe. dry roasted will provide more flavor & crunch than raw...just be sure the ones you buy are labeled KFP.