5 fast facts about the cranberry
- Cranberries are native to North America. In fact, along with blueberries and the Concord grape, they are the only native North American fruits that are commonly cultivated today!
- Most cranberries are wet harvested, meaning that cranberry bogs/marshes are purposely flooded so the berries float to the top to be corralled. Cranberries have four air chambers that allow them to float!
- Water is also used during the winter months to protect the vine beds from freezing and desiccation.
- In 1816, the first commercial cranberry bed was planted in Dennis, Massachusetts by Revolutionary War veteran, Captain Henry Hall.
- U.S. farmers produce over 800 million pounds of cranberries per year!
Why was the cranberry late to the party?
It was bogged down in traffic
- These tiny berries are packed with phytonutrients, which may provide a wide array of health benefits, including protection from bacterial pathogens, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation.
- A specific class of phytonutrients in cranberries, called proanthocyanidins, helps prevent urinary tract infections. Research suggests that two- 8 oz. glasses of cranberry juice cocktail per day, one in the morning and one in the evening, may prevent bacterial adhesion. In the same way, cranberries may also work to prevent stomach ulcers
Kid Friendly Cranberry Pumpkin Muffin
Cranberry Pumpkin Muffin
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup apple cider
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 ½ cup fresh cranberries, washed and any remaining stems removed
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a muffin pan with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together until there are no clumps. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, apple cider, and pumpkin puree. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix just until combined. Do not over-mix. Add cranberries, mixing just until incorporated. Fill each baking cup with batter (about 3/4 full). Bake on middle oven rack for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Keep stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Looking for more great recipes? Give this awesome sweet potato chicken chili recipe a try.
Topics: Healthy Recipes
November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month! Oftentimes, this vegetable gets lost in the shadows=of another round, orange beauty (see October’s blog post about the Pumpkin!).
Both sweet potatoes and pumpkins are an ample source of Vitamin A, providing over the daily recommended value in one serving!
This vitamin is a vital component in normal vision. It also plays a role in the immune system, reproduction, and proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Okay, spotlight back on our sweet potato.
5 fast facts about the sweet potato
- November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month!
- Sweet potato is a vine that grows horizontally on the ground. It can reach 6-12" in height and 1-6' in length.
- Depending on the variety, the flesh of sweet potatoes may be white, yellow, orange, red, pink or purple-colored. More intensely colored varieties of sweet potato have sweeter taste.
- Juice extracted from sweet potatoes is used to produce hundreds of dyes (shades from purple to black) when combined with lime juice. These dyes are used in textile industry.
- Many people think yams and sweet potatoes are the same, but yams are just one of the many varieties of sweet potatoes!
What do you call a complimentary carb?
A sweet potato
- Manganese is abundant in sweet potatoes, assisting with glucose metabolism and bone formation.
- Sweet potatoes are high in many B-Vitamins, including pantothenic acid, which may help lower risk for hyperlipidemia, due to this vitamin’s role in lipoprotein metabolism.
- Copper, an essential mineral found in high amounts in sweet potatoes, aids in energy metabolism, iron absorption, immune function, and brain development.
One cup of baked sweet potato provides a quarter of daily fiber recommendations, which promotes digestion and satiation, in turn, promoting weight loss.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Research suggests that high potassium intake is linked to a decreased mortality risk.
Kid Friendly Sweet Potato Fries
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 large sweet potato (leave skin on for more fiber, potassium, and quercetin!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons desired spices (Garlic powder, ground black pepper, paprika, and cumin)
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Rinse the potato well and cut into thin strips. In a large bowl or mix together the spices and olive oil. Toss in the potatoes and coat with spice mixture (you could also do this in a large plastic bag). Spread potatoes out on a large
baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until brown and crisp on the bottom, about 20 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is crispy, about 15 minutes.
Looking for more great sweet potato recipes? Give this awesome sweet potato chicken chili recipe a try.
Topics: Healthy Recipes
Sweet Potato White Chicken Chili
Serving: 1bowl (no garnish) | Calories: 310 kcal | Carbohydrates: 30 g | Protein: 34 g | Sodium: 430 mg
Things I love about this recipe:
- Very Filling (all that fiber from those beans and sweet potatoes!)
- Extremely nutritious
- Even more flavorful
- Super simple, low skill-level
- Short prep time
- Small number of ingredients, budget-friendly
- One-pot meal
- Family seal of approval
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: ~10 people
Calories: 310 kcal
First, dig out your Crock-Pot. (If you don’t have one, get out a large stock pot.) After that, it’s pretty much dump the ingredients and go!
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3-4 diced tomatillos (or 16 oz tomatillo salsa)
- 1 lg. sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1- 32 oz. container low sodium chicken broth
- 1- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1- 1.25 oz. package of white chicken chili seasoning mix
- 2- 16 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2- 15.5 oz. cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish suggestions: cilantro, avocado, low-fat Mexican cheese, plain Greek yogurt, finely chopped onion, green onions.
- Add chicken breasts to bottom of your slow cooker and top with the diced tomatillos (or salsa). Then add in all of the remaining ingredients (except garnish ideas) and gently stir.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken and transfer to large mixing bowl, shred, then return to slow cooker. (Or you can shred in your slow cooker; it should be tender enough that it just falls apart when you stir!).
- Stir and add pepper to taste if desired. Serve in a bowl, add optional garnishes, and enjoy!
- Feel free to add more veggies as desired. Pro-tip: Mushrooms make an awesome addition!
- If you’re vegetarian, make using vegetable broth and tofu
- Can’t find white chili seasoning mix? Try this: Mix together 2 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. coriander, ½ tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
(Recipe adapted from: https://krollskorner.com/recipes/slow-cooker-green-and-white-chicken-chili/ )
Topics: Healthy Recipes
5 fast facts about the pumpkin
- Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita family, including squash and cucumbers.
- 80% of the US pumpkin supply is available in October.
- The largest pumpkin in history weighed 1,140 pounds!
- Jack-o-Lanterns originated from a Celtic celebration called Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End.” It was believed that passed souls were closest to contact and carved gourds would be set out as both a beacon to deceased loved ones and to ward off evil spirits.
- The pumpkin seeds are also edible and contain additional health benefits! Just 1-oz. of roasted seeds is an excellent source of fiber, zinc, and magnesium. Both zinc and magnesium play a vital role in the nervous system and DNA synthesis.
What do you use to mend a broken jack-o-lantern?
A pumpkin patch!
- 1 cup of pureed pumpkin provides over 2x the daily recommendation Vitamin A! It is crucial to vision/eye health and also aids in immune function, skin and bone formation, and red blood cell formation.
- Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and building strong bones
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After you carve pumpkins, save your seeds for a delicious and healthy recipe.
- 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds (from 1 medium pumpkin), rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tsp desired seasonings (such as paprika and garlic, or cinnamon and nutmeg)
To separate seeds from pumpkin “guts”, place in a large bowl of water; seeds will float to the top. Skim and pat dry. Heat oven to 300° F. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until dry throughout, 50 to 60 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss the seeds with the oil and desired spices. Return the seeds to the baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Let cool 10 -15 minutes. Enjoy!
Topics: Healthy Recipes
These honey balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts are not only beyond easy to prepare, but I guarantee they will be gone in no time so make plenty! These will become your new healthy addiction.
I was never a big fan of Brussels sprouts until I tried them roasted. I always had them steamed, most of the time with just salt and pepper on top. But roasted? These Brussels sprouts are so good!
Some may think of them as mini cabbages, they look like them, but it is a compact and flavorful vegetable that when caramelized is irresistible and you will be popping these in your mouth-one after another.
Roasting the Brussels sprouts really gives them a nutty flavor and besides being super healthy, they are tasty.
What is my secret that makes them so good? I toss these little beauties in a honey and balsamic vinegar mixture after roasting for an incredible dimension in flavor. It sealed the deal for me.
It’s a great side dish or main dish for a meal. The balsamic vinegar makes it tangy, and the honey gives them some sweetness. When tossed with the roasted, caramelized Brussels sprouts- heaven.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 ½ lbs brussels sprouts
- 3 tbsp olive oil separated
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Trim off the outer, dry leaves, cut the bottom off and slice sprouts lengthwise.
- In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or sunflower oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to coat thoroughly.
- Transfer the brussels sprouts to baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- Place brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary and serve.
That’s it! All under 30 minutes, too. Thought there was more to it? Nope, not at all. Sometimes the simplest or easiest can be so good.
Topics: Healthy Recipes