Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

meal ideas ~ try these cranberries

I love cranberry for it phenomenal health properties and for it one of the best fruits you can add to your meal plans. I posted my fabulous relish and tonic recipes many times during the holiday seasons, here are three new ones that are sure to be a hit with your taste buds and health plan.

Hot Cranberry Toddy 
As the weather gets colder, warm up with this low-carb spiced cranberry drink. A little bourbon or rum adds extra zip, or make the drink nonalcoholic by substituting orange juice. Garnish with a stick of cinnamon or lemon slices.

 1 48oz unsweetened cranberry juice (6 cups)
 2 cups water
 3 1 - inch long strips lemon peel (set aside)
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 3 inches stick cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
 1/3 cup bourbon, rum, or orange juice
 Fresh lemon slices (optional)
 Stick cinnamon (optional)

 In a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven combine cranberry juice, the water, and lemon juice.

 For spice bag, place lemon peel, the 3 inches stick cinnamon, and the cloves in the center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100 percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring the corners together; tie with clean kitchen string. Add to juice mixture.

 Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard spice bag. Stir bourbon into juice mixture. If desired, garnish individual servings with lemon slices and additional stick cinnamon. Makes 12 (scant 6-ounce) servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 38 cal., 5 mg sodium, 6 g carb Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 0.5

Cranberry Phyllo Cheesecake 
Cranberries add a bold contrast to rich cheesecake, and their deep burgundy color pops out on the plate—perfect for a holiday gathering. The phyllo crust keeps this cheesecake low in carbs.

1 cup fresh cranberries
 1/3 cup dried pitted plums
 1/4 cup sugar
 2 tablespoons orange juice
 1 8 - ounce package cream cheese (Neufchatel)
 1/4 cup sugar
 1 egg
 1 egg white
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
 8 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14x9-inch rectangles), thawed
 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For topping, in a small saucepan, combine cranberries, dried plums, 1/4 cup sugar, and the orange juice. Cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Set aside.

 For filling, in a food processor, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, the egg, egg white, and vanilla. Cover and process until smooth, scraping the side of the bowl as necessary. Set aside.

 For crust, coat a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Unfold phyllo dough; remove 1 sheet of the phyllo dough. (As you work, cover the remaining phyllo dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.) Coat the phyllo sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough; trim to form a 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Gently press trimmed phyllo rectangle into the tart pan or pie plate, allowing ends to extend over edge of pan. Coat with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with some of the wheat germ. Coat and layer 2 more sheets of phyllo; place across phyllo in pan in a crisscross fashion. Coat with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with more of the wheat germ. Repeat twice with remaining phyllo and wheat germ. (If desired, turn under edges of phyllo to form an edge.) Bake for 5 minutes.

 Spoon filling into phyllo crust, spreading evenly. Spoon cranberry mixture onto filling. Using a knife, carefully cut through cranberry mixture and filling to marble slightly

 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until phyllo is light brown and filling is set. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover edge of tart with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Makes 10 slices.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 156 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 37 mg chol., 153 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (1 g fiber), 5 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 1

Peach-Cranberry Coffee Cake 
Peaches and cranberries team up in this crumbly cake that features an easy sugar-free cake mix for a convenient way to make a stunning breakfast dessert.

 Nonstick cooking spray
 1 16 - ounce sugar free yellow cake mix
 3/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
 1 -2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
 1 cup orange juice
 1/3 cup canola oil
 2 cups diced fresh peaches (unpeeled) or frozen, thawed and diced peaches
 1/2 cup dried cranberries
 1/2 cup wheat bran or wheat germ
 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch nonstick round or square cake pans with cooking spray.

 Combine the cake mix, egg product, orange peel, orange juice, and oil in a large bowl. Mix according to cake mix package directions. Spoon equal amounts of the batter in each the cake pans.

 Sprinkle the peaches and cranberries evenly over the cake batter. Sprinkle with the wheat bran. In small bowl, combine the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon and then sprinkle evenly over cakes.

 Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  161 cal., 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 185 mg sodium, 27 g carb. (1 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 2 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1.5; Fruit (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1

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