Raw Cranberry Chutney
Today I am going to share with you a healthy alternative to your traditional, highly sweetened, cranberry sauce. The first difference is that it is raw—allowing all the powerful phytonutrients and enzymes in cranberries, which have been touted with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, to stay intact and work together synergistically. When heated, processed, and mixed with a lot of pro-inflammatory sugar, the health benefits of cranberries decreases. Keeping the cranberries raw, allows you to benefit from all their health promoting compounds! Secondly, I only use maple syrup as a sweetener, and only ¼ cup, reducing the typical sugar amounts by ¾ or more! And thirdly, I add freshly squeezed orange juice, zest, and optional spice to the mix, creating a zesty and bright raw cranberry chutney. The trick to this recipe is time. The longer it marinates in its' own juices, the more developed the flavors become. I recommend making this recipe in advance and storing it in your refrigerator at least a day before you using it. Make sure to choose organic cranberries and oranges to reduce pesticide content.
Makes about 2 cups
Time: ~ 10 minutes or less
12 oz fresh organic cranberries
1 organic orange, juice and zest
1/4 cup maple syrup (or more to taste - see note)
1/8th teaspoon sea salt
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (can replace with a little deseeded jalapeño)
Rinse cranberries and strain. Pour onto a clean kitchen towel and pick out any soft cranberries. Add the fresh cranberries into a food processor. Process until finely minced. Be careful not to process it too much, because then it will become too soggy. Pulse in the orange juice, zest, and maple syrup. If you want to add heat, do so now. Season with a pinch or two of sea salt. Transfer into a glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to one week.
Note: Most cooked cranberry sauce recipes call for 1-1 1/2 cups of sugar! Adjust sweetener to your liking. However, this chutney gets more flavorful with time. Therefore, taste it the following morning to see if you really need to add more sweetener. Tastes great tossed in salads, in wraps, sandwiches, or along with your Thanksgiving turkey. A little goes along way!
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145. Accessed November 24, 2019.
Crustless Red Kuri Pumpkin Pie
I only make pumpkin pie from scratch. No cans, the real deal. It’s super easy and the flavor and texture is just so much better (in my opinion). This time around instead of using a sugar pie pumpkin, I used Red Kuri Squash because you can eat the skin and all, providing you with more nutrients, fiber, and color for less work (no peeling required). AND, if you skip the crust, you have less work and less calories, but you still have all the flavor. Plus, its naturally gluten and grain free and also Low FODMAP! Yes, I use sugar, but only a small amount. I prefer the clean sweetness of sugar over maple syrup in pumpkin pie. Plus, it doesn’t add extra liquid. During the fall months I enjoy this “pie” as a snack or as a treat, always with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Unfortunately, the Kuri Squash seeds have a much thicker hull and therefore are not as enjoyable roasted like the pumpkin seeds. But for the pie, the Kuri squash is delicious!
Makes 6 Servings
Time: ~80 minutes (including baking time)
1 lb Red Kuri Squash, seeds removed
3 pasture-raised eggs
4 tablespoons unrefined sugar (or more per taste preference)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup whole milk (or coconut milk)
For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup grass-fed heavy whipping cream + 1 tablespoon sugar/maple syrup
Garnish (optional): chopped roasted pecans
Place a steamer basket into a medium pot and fill with water to just under the basket. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the Kuri Squash in half with a large sharp knife and scrape out the seeds using a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Weigh out 1lb of pumpkin on a kitchen scale. Place this into the steamer basket and steam over medium until tender when pierced with a fork ~ 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle. In the meantime, measure out your spices and place into a small dish and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, place the 1lb of squash meat into a large bowl. Using an immersion blender, puree the meat as smooth as possible (small chunks are okay). Then add the egg, sugar, and spices. Use the immersion blender to blend until smooth. Finally add the milk, and blend until cohesive. Taste and adjust the spices/sugar if desired.
Butter or oil a baking dish (or individual ramekins) and pour in the squash mixture. Place into the oven and reduce the bake temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate halfway, and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until set. In the meantime, pour the heavy whipping cream into a large bowl, add the tablespoon sugar/maple syrup, and optional teaspoon vanilla extract or pinch cinnamon if desired. I personally, like it plain best. Whip with beater on high until stiff peaks form. Alternatively, place all the ingredients into a quart sized jar, top with lid, and shake vigorously for ~ 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
Remove the pumpkin pie from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Allow the pumpkin pie to cool completely in refrigerator before serving. Top with whipped cream and chopped roasted pecans for added crunch if desired.
Nutrition (per serving w/out whip): 110kcal, 17g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 3g fat, 4g protein.
Nutrition (per serving w/whip): 250kcal, 20g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 17g fat, 5g protein.
Compare to Traditional Pumpkin Pie with Crust:
1/8th of pie w/out whip: ~350kcal, 35g carbs, 14g fat, 5g protein.
Celeriac Root Puree
Celeriac root is related to celery and it has a ton of flavor! Commonly used in Europe (and very cheap), it is often only found on menus in high end restaurants and a bit more pricey to buy in the grocery store in the USA. However, you can most definitely find it at your local farmer's market. Celeriac root is also a low carbohydrate choice that is much tastier than cauliflower puree (I think). With only 6g of carbs per 3.5oz serving it is an excellent mashed potato alternative for those struggling with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or decreased insulin sensitivity.
Makes 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes
2 cups organic whole milk (optional)
3-4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
2-2 1/2 pounds celeriac root, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large potato (or 2 medium), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
Fresh ground pepper
In a large pot bring to boil the water, milk, and tablespoon sea salt (enough to cover the veggies when added). Add the chopped celeriac root, potato, and onion. Simmer on medium to medium low until soft and tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes.
Once tender strain the liquid and leave the root veggies in the pot. Add the butter and blend with an immersion blender. Add an extra splash or two or milk or bone broth until you achieve your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Serve as a side with your choice of protein. I love to pair it with pastured pork!
Note: Cooking the celeriac root in milk mellows out its flavor. You can opt to use just water if you prefer not to use milk, using ~5-6 cups of water total.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.