BEET/CARROT BROWNIE #PULP GOODNESS

I admit; sometimes I have a ‘sweet-tooth’. Wanted to find somewhat of a healthy way to enjoy the sweet side of things without feeling guilty. Made my staple beet/carrot drink to last me throughout the week. Hence, I reserved the pulp of this refreshing combination drink. I reckon carrot/beet cake was on my mind as I whipped up this healthy and sweet goodness.

BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP
BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP

Decided to make a batch of brownie from same. With additional ingredients of:

  • Mashed ripe bananas (for natural sweetness)
  • Sugar (2 teaspoon)
  • Eggs (2 med)
  • Oats (1 cup)
  • Olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • Whole-wheat flour (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • Powdered ginger (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/4 teaspoon)
BATTER READY FOR OVEN
BATTER READY FOR OVEN

Baking pan was lined with parchment paper for easy retrieval and clean-up. After spraying with a little Pam oil, brownie batter was baked in pre-heated 375 degrees fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. After cooling, brownie was sliced in small portions.

Each bite was a sweet delight.

 

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STILL REAPING THE BENEFITS #FRESH CRANBERRIES

I’m still wallowing in one of fall’s favorite foods (cranberries). These tart and healthy berries are said to be loaded with enormous vitamins and antioxidants like tannin. Tannins aid in the prevention of urinary tract infections. Studies have also revealed that they lower blood pressure and improve the immune system in general.

When these cranberries are copious on the market between October to December, I take advantage by purchasing extra and store in the freezer for future use. Moreover, the prices are relatively inexpensive during this period.  Last fall was no different. As a result, I’m now reaping the goodness of these delightful berries.

Decided to make a refreshing and healthy cocktail. I made sure to rinse thoroughly and placed them in stock pot with chopped ginger root  and cold tap water.  Under low to medium heat, berries simmered for approximately fifteen minutes until tender.  After cooling, contents were placed in standing blender and liquified.

With a sprinkle of sugar, my potent cranberry cocktail was ready for consumption. Salud!!20160127_202002

 

HOLIDAY BERRIES #CRANBERRIES

It’s that time of the year when the market is loaded with cranberries. Their presence remind us that the holiday season is here. And because it’s the peak season for these,  the prices are relatively inexpensive. Prices vary; however, a pound of these can put you back $2.00 in certain markets.

These red and tart berries are not only attractive for the table, but they are packed with beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants that protect against damage to the body. Moreover, over the years, many studies have found that the acidity in  these berries prevent urinary tract infections (UTI’s).

I love to take advantage of these seasonal berries. Thus, I like to buy and freeze a copious amount to be used up during the year when prices are higher. I rinse and store in ziplock bags.

FRESH CRANBERRIES
FRESH CRANBERRIES BEING RINSED FOR STORING IN FREEZER

A little goes a far way. I often use as: syrup for pancakes/crepes, as a side dish for turkey and other poultry. I love to simmer on low heat, cool and make a cranberry drink instead of the store-bought version. Or, as a holiday cocktail (cranberry vodka martini). Also I like to add other berries such as blue, straw or raspberries and fruits and make a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

 

 

JOYFUL BERRIES ##CRANBERRY DRINK WITH A HINT OF GINGER ROOT

FRESH CRANBERRIES AND GINGER ROOT
FRESH CRANBERRIES AND GINGER ROOT

Yes, I still have some. Over the years, during the Christmas holidays when the marketplace is loaded with cranberries, I often purchase extra and store them  in the freezer. They come in handy throughout the new year for quite an extended time. The last holiday was no different.

Not only are cranberries refreshing, but based on studies these berries are loaded with health properties that prevent urinary tract infections and oral diseases. In addition, they provide an enormous amount vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the body. Of course, I can’t say enough about root ginger. It aids with nausea, joint pains, indigestion and is excellent for flavoring dishes.

So, this morn, I paid a much-needed visit to my freezer and retrieved a bag of these antioxidant and fiber rich berries. Of course, it’s easy to purchase a store-bought version of cranberry drink at my neighborhood store. But, why should I when I can do my home-made concoction? And, the beautiful thing is that it only takes a couple of ingredients (cranberries and ginger. There are no preservatives.

Cranberries and finely chopped ginger along with water were placed in a stock pot. These were brought to a boil and simmered on low heat for approximately 12 minutes. After cooling, mixture was added to blender and pureed to a smooth consistency.  No sugar was added; however, any sweetener can be added for your taste preference.

I served my refreshing cranberry and ginger drink after chilling inside the refrigerator. It was tart and for me, just sweet enough.

WARM STACK OF PUMPKIN/BANANA PANCAKES WITH A SPREAD OF FRESH CRANBERRY JAM

It was raining ‘cats/dogs’ this morn. As I made my way from the ‘grave-shift’ Grind, all was on my mind was something warm/sweet and comforting. Hence, I made my pumpkin and banana pancakes with a hint of fresh ginger.Oh, so divine!

This time of the year (Fall), calls for fresh cranberries in the marketplace. So, I grabbed me my small stockpot and made myself a helping of sweet yet tart cranberry jam. Those berries went popping with a sprinkle of sugar in approximately ten minutes. What do you know? I had a delicious spread for my warm pancakes.

PUMPKIN/BANANA PANCAKES WITH FRESH CRANBERRY JAM
PUMPKIN/BANANA PANCAKES WITH FRESH CRANBERRY JAM

Yippee! I was on cloud nine. Oh, did I tell you? I had a crispy serving (teeny) of bacon. You see, sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make this gal happy. All I needed was a much-needed nap after I had my inspirational session with the ‘Powers That Be.’

Guys, remember, always be kind to your loved-ones as well as your beautiful palates.

CRANBERRY/PUMPKIN SURPRISE ON A RAINY JUNE MORN

My morn has begun with the sounds of nature. After all, it’s the rainy season here in the sunshine state of Florida. Of course, on this precipitous day, there’s no sign of my golden sunshine; and, I live for that. Clearly, I’ve to abandon my morning jog on the outskirts.

Guys, I don’t know about you, but, when it rains, I become super ravenous. Therefore, I know for sure that I’ve to feed the need. As I did a few yoga stretches on the carpet,my brain worked on overdrive. Without a doubt, I know I’ve to make myself something really comforting. Somehow, I knew the Cherrios and blueberries were not ‘going be sufficient for this appetite of mine.

On my counter, there and behold were some speckled ripe bananas. They were calling my name. Funny enough, whenever I see and think about  speckled bananas, they bring me back to my childhood. Dear mom didn’t allow anything to go in the waste. She always found a way to transform them into amazing and delicious dishes.

As I gathered my bananas, I visited my pantry and whoa, there was a canned pumpkin from last Thanksgiving. All of a sudden, my rainy day became a little brighter as I grabbed my leftover cranberry from the freezer. I had a plan! Immediately, I rinsed my cranberries and placed them in a sauce pan with a splash of orange juice and a few teaspoon sugar.

As my cranberries simmered on low heat, I proceeded to put my dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, sugar, etc.) together. I decided to make a combination loaf of pumpkin, ripe bananas loaf. All I needed was a little melted butter. After all the ingredients were folded, I toss in a few raisins and baked in oven at 350 degrees until that dear loaf called my name.

It didn’t take long for my cranberries to be tenderized. I divided the sticky beautiful wonder into two parts. I added icy cold water to one part along with a few pieces of chopped ginger and blended. I then sweetened with sugar.

The other portion of cranberries was further simmered down to a sauce-like consistency. “Excellent spread, I purred.” Ahh, this was very tart and sweet. I used this as a delicious spread for my pumpkin/banana loaf.

It was time to fling my drapes apart by my sliding door facing the water. As I watched the ducks waddled their tails on the water, I knew that they are happy campers. And, so was I. As I cut into  my warm and delicious loaf, I knew for sure that my palate was very satiated. Oh, I love the rain!