Raw Spiced Cranberry Applesauce

I’ve always thought of applesauce as a rather plain food. When my mom assembled my lunch for school, she’d often include individual packs of cinnamon applesauce. I always liked it, but there was never anything particularly special about it. You can’t imagine the excitement I had when they started coming out with all of the wacky colors and flavors. Blue, red, green, or orange applesauce packs were unveiled in my lunch bag every weekday afternoon. They came in many flavors like blue raspberry, strawberry, and peach. That they were “flavored” is the key concept here.

Although some brands did add fruit puree, they also added high fructose corn syrup, “natural” flavorings, and artificial colors. I think we can do without all of that! Back then, I was entranced by the fun colors and flavors, but now I’m not so easily hooked in by imitation gimmicks. I still like fun colors and flavors, but I want the real thing. Enter my abundance of fresh cranberries and a fine recipe idea.Since I just can’t say no to those plump, Christmas-red cranberries at the store, I decided to use them to dress up some raw applesauce. This sassy applesauce (applesass?) is sure to wow you all. There is nothing “imitation” about this cranberry applesauce. It’s a pleasantly tart treat with a tease of sweet. If winter ever decides to come around (I miss you, snow!), the ginger will warm the chills right out of your body. And, if I may offer one suggestion: Don’t tuck it away in a lunch pail because it’s all decked out for a prime spot at the dinner table!

Raw Spiced Cranberry Applesauce
makes 3-4 servings

2 gala apples
1 granny smith apple
1/2 orange, peeled
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla
dash of nutmeg

-Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend and serve.

 

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High Raw Tacos with Broccoli Apple Slaw and Maple Mustard Dressing

I am a lover of salads. It’s a rare day that I don’t have a large salad for one of my meals. Occasionally though, the thought of making yet another large salad is unappealing. When I want to jazz things up, I will make a raw dish like zucchini pasta, a collard wrap, or soup. The other day, my creative juices were flowing, and these festive tacos were the result. They are bursting with flavor and are beyond amazing. I combined crisp apples with crunchy raw vegetables and the sweet pop of pomegranate arils and tossed it all in a sweet and salty dressing. Garnish with pepitas (I added them after I took the pics). Heaven. Normally, I marinate the collard wraps so they are soft and lose some of the bitter bite. I chose not to do that for this recipe because I wanted it to be more like a hard taco shell (as much as a collard leaf can be) than a soft, pliable burrito wrapper. The lack of bitterness in the shell was a pleasant surprise. I’d encourage you to try it out. Nibble an end of the leaf. If it’s too bitter, a lemon and salt rub will solve the problem.

Let’s take a minute to talk about sodium. I don’t think salt is a demon food, but I don’t think that it should be consumed with abandon either. We should be eating way less salt than we do, but people often forget that increasing dietary potassium is just as important. Even mainstream outlets are recognizing the important role that potassium plays in our lives. I’ve found that as I switched over to a well-rounded whole foods vegan diet (bonus: a diet that is naturally high in potassium!), I wanted to use salt less and less. It is a wonderful agent for creating more pronounced flavor, but a pinch will do. Let’s not use salt as a crutch to overstimulate our taste buds. Let’s appreciate each food for what it is!

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Tropical Cherry Mambo: A Dessert Soup Recipe

This soup had me gleefully dancing around the kitchen, hence the “mambo” in the title. I’ve only had cherries twice this summer which is not nearly enough for a cherry-lover like me. I was overjoyed that frozen organic cherries were added to the freezer section at my grocery store, so I grabbed several bags. Since I love pineapple and cherries together, I was just going to blend the two together and pour into a glass. But, then I saw the ripe mango on my counter. Mango and cherries are another match made in heaven, so I couldn’t resist adding it to the mix. The diced celery provides some texture and crunch. When I get on the roll with smoothies and juices, it is nice to have something to chew every once in a while. Continue reading