Besides, trimming the tree with cranberry and popcorn and having the usual sauce with turkey, the cranberry gets neglected otherwise. It is a must for good bladder health, and where it stars most is in the antioxidant/phytonutrient category. The berry is a great addition of Vitamin C to the diet. One cup of juice has 25 mg of vitamin C and if you can find it, unsweetened cranberry juice is the best with added honey or stevia for sweetness.

Here we feature a easy recipe for using fresh cranberries that are baked as a topping (frosting) for a cake and a fresh salad with cranberries, honey, celery and apples! I love upside down cakes. Add fruit to bottom of the pan, some sweetener, dot with butter and add the batter of your choice and bake. Unmold when cooled on a rack.

The name “cranberry” derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, “craneberry”, so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool. They were used by the Native American Indian for food, fabric dye and as a medicine.
Recent observational and clinical studies have raised interest in the potential health effects of cranberry consumption, an association that appears to be due to the phytochemical content of this fruit. The profile of cranberry bioactives is distinct from that of other berry fruit, being rich in A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs) in contrast to the B-type PACs present in most other fruit.

You gotta love those PAC’s!

In the next recipe, we feature fresh cranberries chopped with other raw ingredients and honey and nuts as a side dish for chicken pork or turkey, but I like it best as a side salad with fresh greens, like arugala.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • 1 cup of whole cranberries
  • 2 stalks of celery hand sliced
  • 1 apple cored
  • 2 tablespoons of honey or 1- 3 drops of stevia (more or less for taste)
    a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins (optional)

Place all ingredients, except the celery, into the food processor and chop for one minute. Add celery to mixture and let sit for a few minutes and serve with greens. A balsamic olive oil dressing can be added.

Make a blueberry tart as an open faced fruit tart with homemade cornmeal crust. Try these fried or baked  slices of green tomatoes with a cornmeal and rice or regular flour, for a side dish. Great in a sandwich with turkey or vegetarian with cucumbers, sprouts and tahini paste

Cornmeal was the early settler’s “flour’ since growing wheat was not yet common in Puritan times. The American Indian showed the new inhabitants how to cook with cornmeal.  We have recipes to this day that are gluten free  (unless flour is added and then we would substitute rice flour), high in fiber and with a Glycemic Index of 58 on a scale of 1-100. (100 being the highest on the scale for raising blood sugars.)  Yellow cornmeal has more carotenoids than white and stone ground is preferred to enriched degerminated cornmeal, but either product works well with any recipe.

Featured Products: 

Stoneground Cornmeal, King Arthur All Purpose flour  and Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rice Flour

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Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 1 cup of stoneground yellow or white cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup regular all purpose flour or rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 green tomatoes sliced in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • olive oil

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl, in a second bowl, beat the egg and salt and pepper and hot sauce.   Dip the sliced tomatoes into the egg mixture and then flour and cornmeal mix,  and place in a preheated skillet with 2 tablespoons of  olive oil.   Sauté for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and drain on a paper towel.

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Blueberry Crostata with Cornmeal Crust

  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 -3 cups of blueberries
  • pinch of mace or nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients except ice water, blueberries, mace  and 1/2 cup of sugar into a food processor and pulse 3 x until mixture resembles small peas. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes a ball. Empty contents onto wax paper and press into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours.  Mix blusberries, sugar and a pinch of mace or nutmeg together. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll further to a 12″ disk. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Spoon blueberry mixture in the center of the dough a overlap the dough all round the tart with a 2 inch border and bake until crust is golden and blueberries are jam like for 1 hour. You can also use a premade dough and place on a cookie sheet tray and continue with recipe.

GROCERY PICK: FROZEN PHYLLO DOUGH & TWO RECIPES: STRUDEL AMD RHUBARB KETCHUP

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The rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that actually pairs well with savory or sweet- with strawberries or apples in pies and strudels or utilized as a a vegetable in lamb stews. It’s great with Salmon as a Rhubarb Ketchup. Recipes below.

Lowest starch content of all vegetables, low in calorie, and when sweetened  with stevia or regular table sugar, the flavors come alive with lemon or orange zest and allspice.

 

Apple Rhubarb Strudel

  • 3 stalks of rhubarb, leaves removed.
  • 1/2 cup muscovado sugar or brown sugar or 2 tablespoons  of stevia
  • 1 /2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Watkin’s vanilla extract (or other brand)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 apples cored peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

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Take filo out of box and thaw out for 30 minutes.  Chop and combine all the fruit with spices and sugar and and set aside. Layout 1 package of phyllo (filo) and brush melted  butter on each sheet, sprinkle with bread crumbs and a light sprinkle of sugar. Next, lay out the chopped apples and rhubarb mixture on the filo dough across the width of the dough and roll until at end of dough.

Brush with extra butter and bake until golden for 30 minutes.

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Rhubarb Ketchup

  • 3 stalks of rhubarb chopped with leaves removed.
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until cooked down into a sauce consistency. Serve with salmon or other baked fish.

Happy Holidays from your Registered Dietitian.  I have seen many people suffering with a mucosal malabsorption called celiac disease. This is an immunologic sensitivity to gliadin. The villa in the small intestine are fewer in number and therefore have  less enzymes available to absorb wheat,  buckwheat, rye and barley.  Wanted to showcase a couple of items that are good products for this allergy. Here is a chocolate roulade cake filled with whipped cream and garnished with candied fruit or fresh fruit.  It is not difficult to do! I have found Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Chocolate Cake mix which is baked in a jelly roll pan.  When cooled, splash some rum or non alcoholic spirits over the cake, filled with  non dairy or real whipped cream and rolled into log. The log is covered with whipped cream and cocoa is sprinkled on the top of the log. A gluten- free Buche de Noel.

SUPERMARKET PICKS Schar Gluten free bread and  Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix.

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Yes we do have fruitcake on the blog but this one is spicy and a cross between a cake and a bread like a quick bread.  Also a meatless mince meat pie -oh you did not know there was meat in the pie? Well in the Middle Ages they put meat in everything with sugar to preserve the food but  NO FEARS! This is a great fruit tart with lattice work including our insoluble and soluble fiber friend the apple with orange zest, raisins, chopped pears, spices with a little brown sugar or stevia as a sweetener substitute. Try it.

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MINCE MEAT (LESS) TART

  • 4 apples peeled  cored and finely chopped (2 granny smith and 2 golden delicious)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 pear chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of brandy
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/8  teaspoon of cloves
  • 1 tablespoon  orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .Add all the ingredients together in a food processor and chop for 2-3 pulses. Pour in a bowl and cover with wrap and refrigerate for 3 -4 days mixing with a spoon everyday. Let the flavors combine and pour into a prepared pie shell reserving the top pie dough to be rolled out and cut into strips and overlapped into a criss- cross design on top of pie. Bake until the fruit is bubbly and crust is golden about 50 minutes.

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PAIN d’ EPICE Spice Bread adapted from the NY TIMES Recipe

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of rum (optional)
  • 1 1 /2 teaspoons of anise seed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups of rye flour
  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins
  • Zest of a 1/2 orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix honey and water, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda,  and stir to dissolve. Add rum, spices and one cup of flour and white flour. Stir until smooth and add the rest of the flours and combine.  Add the zest and currants. Use cooking spray on 3 small 6 inch by 3 inch loaf pans.  Fill pans 2/3 full and bake for approximately 40 minutes until a large crack appears in the center and the loaves are light brown.  Let cool in pans and invert. Wrap in aluminum foil and serve 3-4 days later.

Toast points with Sundried Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes and Fresh basil

  • 6  slices of  Schar Gluten Free white bread  ciabatta or gluten free toasted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 sundried tomatoes sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 3 basil leaves shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 kalamata olives pitted and finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients together and marinate for several hours. Place a spoonful on toast  with cracked black pepper and shred basil leaves over the toast points.

There are two foods which are low in calories, high in fiber, low in fat and make great desserts. Pumpkins and Apples.

The products we are featuring today from the supermarket are:

LIBBYS CANNED PUMPKIN, SILKEN TOFU & DRIED APPLES

The Double Apple Free Form tartlet includes dried apples in the mix with spices and brown sugar. The crust has a spicy addition of wonderful holiday anise seed crushed into the pastry flour and butter mixture. Adding dried apples from Dole or the dried apples rings from Great Value also adds another dimension of apple flavor and texture to the tart!

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The Pumpkin Tofu Mousse is a no bake easy to make creamy dessert utilizing pumpkin puree, tofu, spices and candied pepitas . Tofu you say? How could it be good? It is a  low fat, gluten free product , when mixed with spices, sweetener and candied nuts, makes a wonderful mousse.

Double Apple Free Form Tart

  • 5 Macintoch or Cortland apples
  • 1 cup of diced  Great Value Dried Apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel core and slice apples and place in a mixing bowl. Add diced dried apples and all the spices with a zest of a half a lemon and squeeze lemon juice over the apple mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix together and set aside.

Pastry Dough

  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 stick of buter
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup ice water

In a Separate  bowl, mix together the flour , softened butter and sugar and with a pastry blender, cut into the mixture until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle cold water over the dough and gather into a ball,  flatten the ball between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll out to a 10 inch disk. Take a small saucer and cut out rounds out of dough. Place the apple mixture in the center and fold the dough over the  2 disks of apples. Place on a baking sheet , sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar and bake for 3–40  minutes until golden and bubbly.

Pumpkin Tofu Mousse with Candied Pepita Britle

  • 1 cup of pepitas
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spread into a single layer on a parchement lined cookie sheet and bake until golden brown for about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature and break into pieces.

Mousse

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 lb of drained Nasoyo Silken Tofu (drained in a colander overnight)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree for 2 minutes. Chill for 2-3 hours and serve with the nut brittle.

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