Cranberry Orange and Rosemary Bundt Cake

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There is no other cake that has a more beautiful presentation than the bundt cake.  This is my first time adding Rosemary to a cake. Rosemary has a festive pine scent that compliments well with the sweetness and tartness of the orange and cranberries. This bundt cake is not only pretty and delicious, but has healthy ingredients to. I reduced the amount of sugar and butter while keeping the moist, tender, and butter flavor of a traditional pound cake.  Cranberries and oranges are super foods that are high in Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.

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Cranberry Orange and Rosemary Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped fine
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries sliced in half

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a non-stick baking spray, coat a 10-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed beat the butter, oil, and sugar together until light and fluffy and add the vanilla.  On low speed add the eggs one at a time mixing just until the yolk disappears.
  4. On low speed in three additions, alternate the milk and the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, orange zest, and rosemary. Add to the batter.
  6. Gently fold cranberries into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth to even out.
  8. Bake on the center rack of the pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool for 15-20 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and gently remove pan.
  10. After the cake has completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

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It is the season for Butternut Squash. Not only is butternut squash super nutritious, it adds the perfect flavor to many of our holiday recipes.

Butternut squash is a good source of manganese, vitamin A (carotenoids and beta-carotene), vitamin C, fiber, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus.

It is used in both sweet and savory dishes including pies, puddings, stuffing, soups, pasta, and vegetable recipes.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Pizza is my new favorite personal pizza. It is easy to make, vegetarian, and combines all my favorite fall flavors. The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Food & Nutrition Magazine Test Kitchen Program.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Ingredients

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples (recipe to follow)

Caramelized Onions (recipe to follow)

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) hummus

4 whole multi-grain Pita rounds (I used Brownberry)

1 cup fresh arugula

1 cup chopped walnuts

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

  • one pound of butternut squash sliced in half lengthwise. Peel and remove seeds. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes (approximately 4 cups).
  • one medium honey crisp apple peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray a 13 by 9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium size bowl, mix together olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add cut-up butternut squash and apples and mix well. Transfer to the 13 by 9 inch pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes , stir and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes until tender. Set aside.

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Caramelized Onions

  • 1/2 of a medium size sweet onion (4oz) sliced into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium  size sauté pan heat olive oil to medium-high heat, add onions and brown sugar. lightly salt and pepper. Sauté onions for 15 to 20 minutes until light golden brown. Set aside.

Assemble Pizza

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on to each pita round.
  2. Divide onions into 4 servings and transfer to each pita round
  3. Put one cup of roasted butternut squash and apples onto each pita round
  4. Bake for 15 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped walnuts and fresh arugula

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Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake

 

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One of my favorite fall ingredients to bake with is pumpkin. Pumpkin is very  nutritious having twice our daily value for vitamin A and containing lutein and beta-carotene, antioxidants which are linked to improving eye health and cancer prevention. Pumpkin is not only good for us but it is delicious in both sweet and savory recipes and can be used as a healthy substitute for oil, butter, and eggs in baking.

What I like best about this bundt cake recipe is that it combines all my favorite flavors including pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso.

Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup or 14 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup or 2 ounces of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

powdered sugar

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the softened butter, white sugar, and light brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Reserve one cup of the batter for the chocolate swirl.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon to the remaining butter mixture and mix until well blended.
  6. Using a double boiler method, slowly melt the dark chocolate, milk , and espresso powder together. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly and whisk in the  unsweetened cocoa powder. Add the reserved one cup cake batter and mix well. IMG_1483
  7. Spoon one-third of the pumpkin batter into the prepared bundt pan, and spread evenly. Spoon half of the chocolate batter by heaping teaspoons over the pumpkin batter and smooth with a spatula. Repeat layers, spooning remaining pumpkin batter on top.
  8. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Flip over,  remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Rhubarb and Almond Muffins

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Rhubarb is popular for its bright red color,  natural tart flavor and the way it compliments well with many foods.  It is often combined with fruit or sugar in muffins, cakes, breads, pies, and sauces.  The peak season for rhubarb is early summer but it can be frozen and used in recipes throughout the year.

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This rhubarb muffin recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking.  In my version, I substituted part of the white flour for almond flour,  decreased the amount of sugar, and added almond slices to the topping resulting in a muffin that  is moist and has the tartness and the natural sweetness of rhubarb.

Rhubarb and Almond Muffins

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour sifted
  • 1/2 cup super fine almond flour sifted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb (1/4 inch in size)

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Clean and rinse rhubarb under cool water, trim and lightly peel off outer fibrous layer.

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and whisk to blend.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until the batter just comes together. Do not over mix.
  4. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.
  5. Spoon the matter evenly into the muffin cups.
  6. Top each muffin with sliced almonds.
  7. Prepare topping: In a small bowl mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar with a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  8. Bake muffins on a center rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack.

 

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Chocolate Ganache Mini Fruit Tarts

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These mini fruit tarts may look fancy but are easy to make and healthy to.

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The gluten-free tart crust has a light buttery taste and a delicate crumb texture that is similar to a shortbread cookie. Instead of a high fat creamy filling I used a dark chocolate ganache as a base for my raspberries.  Different fruits can be substituted such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mandarin oranges.  These mini fruit tarts are the perfect portion size and very diet friendly.

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Almond flour is a healthy gluten-free baking alternative to processed wheat flour.  It is carbohydrate friendly and more nutritious than traditional wheat flour.  Almond flour is  a good source of fiber, heart- healthy mono-unsaturated fats, vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Chocolate Ganache Mini Fruit Tarts

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups super-fine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a small bowl whisk egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together.
  2. In a food processor mix almond flour and powdered sugar until combined. Scatter butter pieces over the top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses.      IMG_1317
  3. With the food processor running, add the egg mixture through the feed tube and continue to process until the dough just comes together around the processor blade, about 12 seconds.
  4. Turn the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper fold over and flatten into a 6 inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling the dough out, let sit on a counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter  approximately the diameter of a muffin cup to make the mini tart crusts. Place each mini tart crust in a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners, making approximately 14 tarts. Chill tart dough for approximately 20 minutes. This is a good time to preheat your oven.
  6. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake tarts for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and make the Chocolate Ganache.

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Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Warm cream in a microwave or stove top just enough to melt chocolate.  Mix well and drop by a level teaspoon evenly on to cooled tart shells. If desired tarts can now be frozen and topped later with fruit and seedless strawberry jam.

Top with raspberries. Melt seedless strawberry jam and with a pastry brush lightly spread over the raspberries.

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Orange and Mango Green Smoothie

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Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies  are a great way to get your fruit and vegetable servings in for the day or when you need extra nutrients. They are quick and easy to make, a powerhouse of nutrition, and can be customized to your needs. Commercial or store-bought smoothies often are high in calories and contain added sugars, fats, and artificial ingredients. Homemade smoothies can be delicious and much healthier, less expensive,  and when prepared right can offer many health benefits. The basic ingredients of a smoothie include a liquid base, fruits and vegetables, healthy add-ins, and ice. There are endless ways to make a smoothie. For my green smoothie I chose the following ingredients:

  • Oranges and Mangos : are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene, and dietary fiber.  They help to prevent harmful free radicals, boost the immune system,  protect the skin , and slow down aging.
  • Baby Spinach: contains chlorophyll, iron, vitamin A, D, E , and K, helping to purify the  blood and detoxify the liver. Chlorophyll gives spinach its green color and is important for blood and bone health and cancer prevention. Spinach and other leafy greens contain hyaluronic acid which help in collagen formation to maintain  healthy skin and joints.
  • Kefir: is a drinkable liquid yogurt that contains many strains of  probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria which help to keep our digestive system healthy and prevent illness. Kefir is also a good source of calcium and protein and is well tolerated for those who may be lactose intolerant.
  • Bananas: are high in potassium, vitamin B6 and C, and fiber. Bananas are healthy for the heart and help to maintain good blood pressure. Banana fiber contains prebiotics which support the growth of good bacteria in our digestive system .
  • Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed is high in omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Ground flaxseed supports  heart health, prevents inflammation, and improves the absorption of  Vitamin A, D, E, and K.
  • Ginger: is an ancient spice known for its many health benefits.  Ginger helps with digestion, boosts our immune system, and is also anti-inflammatory. Ginger may help to relieve exercise induced muscle pain, osteoarthritis, and lower fasting blood sugars.

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Tips to making the perfect Smoothie

  1. Choose fresh or frozen produce. Wash fresh produce thoroughly to remove any possible soil, bacteria, and pesticide residue. Produce should be cleaned right before using with a vegetable brush and then rinsed under cold water. Peel produce with non-edible skins.
  2. Using Frozen Fruit gives your smoothie a creamy texture and helps to decrease the need for additional ice .
  3. Layer each ingredient starting with the liquid ingredients first. Add leafy greens, proteins, fruits, and healthy add-ins. Blend at low speed first and gradually increase the power. The liquid base will help to keep the solids moving to create a smooth consistency without small pieces remaining.
  4. Choose healthy add-ins. To boost the nutrition of your smoothie add ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, ground flax seed, chia or hemp seed.
  5. Avoid adding refined sugars. If additional sweetness is desired add a little fruit concentrate, stevia, dates, or maple syrup to taste.

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Recipe:

Orange and Mango Green Smoothie 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby spinach trimmed
  • 1 medium orange peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen mango cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium banana sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup orange cream Kefir low fat smoothie sweetened with stevia
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup ice

Directions:

Layer ingredients in order in your smoothie maker or blender. Blend at low speed first to incorporate ingredients. Gradually increase speed and blend to a smooth consistency.

Enjoy!

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It is best to drink your smoothie right away. You can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  Freeze your smoothie in small containers or in ice cube trays to enjoy at a later time.

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Mini Orange Scones

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I think one of my most favorite guilty bakery pleasures is the Scone. Sadly, typical bakery scones are high in sugar, fat, and calories. I wanted to create a scone that was not too- sweet,  and still had the tasty, light and crumbly goodness of my favorite treat.

img_1211Mini Orange Scones

Recipe Tips

  1. Misen en Place is a French cooking term meaning “putting in place”. Making scones is quick and easy when you organize and arrange all your kitchen tools and ingredients in order before starting the recipe.
  2. Have the right kitchen tools. A food processor and zester will help give you the most perfect scone every time.
  3. Use chilled or frozen butter.  If the butter is allowed to soften too much it can react  with the baking powder and baking soda too soon resulting in a tough, dense scone. 
  4. Do not overmix ingredients. For light and flaky scones gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until a soft dough begins to form and there is still some crumbled dough.
  5. Use fresh ingredients. For the best citrus flavor use freshly squeezed orange juice and grated orange zest.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour sifted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter frozen and cut into 1/4 teaspoon or pea size pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried and diced fruits such as currants, prunes, apricots, and cranberries
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • white sanding sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

This recipe makes 16 mini scones

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  1. Place the flour, sugar, grated orange zest, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the mixing blade. Pulse to combine about 6 pulses.
  2. Scatter butter pieces evenly over the flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in the dried fruit.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the yogurt and milk until smooth.  Add the orange juice, vanilla, and maple syrup mix until well blended.
  4. Fold the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined and a dough begins to form.
  5. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 3-4 times or 5-10 seconds.
  6. Divide dough in half and lightly pat into two 7 inch circles about 1/2 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 equal size wedges.
  7. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle wedges with white sanding sugar.
  9. Bake scones 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops are puffed and lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Scones taste best fresh from the oven but can be stored for a few days in an airtight container.

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Enjoy a  Mini Orange Scone with your favorite tea or coffee beverage.

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