Cranberry Sweet Potato with Pomogranate
Sweet Potatoes are very high in vitamin A, which is supposed to be good for immune function. Cranberries and Pomergranate are healthy as well. You could also substitute pumpkin or any kind of squash for the sweet potato. This recipe doesn’t use any sugar or salt, but you could add some natural applesauce if you want a sweetener.
1/2 medium sweet potato
2 teaspoons extra light olive oil (such as Carapelli’s)
1/2 cup raw cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
Cut one sweet potato in half, and put one half in a microwave safe dish. Cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, be careful if it is hot. Cut the sweet potato into medium-size chunks, pour olive oil over them and stir. Add the cranberries and pomogrante seeds, return to microwave and cook for an additional minute, or until it is done to the consistency that you like. Makes one serving.
Note: If you don’t have a microwave, all of this could be done in the oven or the stovetop, it just takes longer.
Raspberry Flaxseed Yogurt Cup
I recently became aware of a Swedish type of yogurt called Siggi’s yogurt. It says on the bottle that they are the Swedish version of kefir, known as filmjolk. (There should be an accent mark called an umlaut over the o, but I didn’t know how to insert it.) They say they get the milk from family farms in New York state. I bought it at the health food store recently, and it is quite good. It does taste just like kefir, and has a refreshing kind of effervescense (light carbonation) that is often found in kefir. Plain kefir is rather strong tasting, so if you are used to the kind with sugar you might need to add some fruit or fruit juice. Here is a simple recipe using kefir or yogurt:
Rapberry Flaxseed Yogurt Cup
1/2 cup natural plain kefir or yogurt
1 tablespoon whole ground flaxseed meal
5 raspberries, whole or sliced
Add flaxseed and raspberries to kefir or yogurt and stir. If you want to use some of the raspberry juice for flavoring, you can slice the raspberries before adding.
Oatmeal is an ancient type of cereal that is making a comeback because it is so healthy. In order to get all of the benefits of oatmeal, it is best to have it in its most natural state. Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish oats) are a good type of oats to use because nothing else is done to the oats except to remove the hull and cut the kernel. They are very similar to oat groats, which are just whole grain oats with the hull removed. Because oat groats are not cut, they take longer to cook and are a bit chewy, sometimes being used instead of rice in a main dish. Steel-cut oats cut the cooking time in half. They take longer to cook than rolled oats, but are more hearty. You can cut down the cooking time of both oat groats and steel-cut oats by soaking the oats in a pot overnight. Cook them for less time for a more chewy consistency, like rice; cook them for more time for a more porridge-like consistency.
Here is a healthy recipe for oatmeal. I got the basics from the Bob’s Red Mill package, and then added to it.
Steel-Cut Oats with Flaxseed, Pecans, and Currants
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats, or your favorite brand
(they also make organic and gluten-free varieties, oat groats, and rolled oats)
3 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flaxseed (optional)
5-10 raw unsalted pecans or walnuts, broken into chunks (optional)
5-10 dried currants (they are like small raisins, try Bob’s Red Mill or Sun-Maid, optional)
Boil and water and salt in a meduim-size pot. Reduce heat to medium and add oatmeal. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flaxseed, pecans, and currants, cook for an additional 1-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In order to get all of the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids, the flaxseeds should not be cooked, but I like it better lightly toasted.
Makes 3-4 servings.