Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

Cinnamon-Orange Cranberry Sauce with Medjool Dates (no refined sugar!) November 8, 2012

Pictured on Gluten-free Cinnamon Amaranth Biscuits

This probably isn’t the cranberry sauce of your childhood. If you’re looking for a traditional American cranberry sauce with lots of sugar to cover the tangy bite of fresh cranberries, this is not the recipe for your holiday meal. This recipe is designed to excite your taste-buds and challenge your concept of what a cranberry sauce should taste like. And while it doesn’t contain any refined sugar, the cinnamon, dates and brown rice syrup ensure it is still delightfully sweet. Thanks to aged balsamic vinegar, fresh orange juice, and medjool dates, I can honestly say I’ve never tasted a cranberry sauce with so many tiers of flavors. If you give it a try I suggest you have some biscuits waiting so you can start devouring this amazing sauce right away. Let it chill in the refrigerator overnight and it’s practically like jam. It’s incredible with a sharp white cheddar cheese. If ever there was a reason to stock up on fresh cranberries, this is it.

 Cinnamon-Orange Cranberry Sauce with Medjool Dates

cooks in 30 minutes

For approximately 2 cups sauce:

12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (1 bag, rinsed in cold water if frozen)

¼ cup + 2 T. water

½ cup + 2 T. brown rice syrup

1 strip orange zest (use a peeler for one long strip)

½ cup fresh orange juice

½ T. aged balsamic vinegar (I used a 12 year barrel aged vinegar from Spicewood Food Company)

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup medjool dates, pitted, chopped (4 large dates)

1/8 t. ground cinnamon

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine water, brown rice syrup, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar and cinnamon stick. Over medium heat, cook 3 minutes. Add ½ of the cranberries and half of the dates; cook 7 minutes, or until cranberries begin to pop, stirring occasionally. Add remaining cranberries and dates and cook additional 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from the pot and place aside in a small bowl. Return pot with cooking liquid to the heat so it can reduce and thicken, adding ground cinnamon and making sure the cinnamon stick is still in the liquid (orange zest should be removed). Simmer over medium heat 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return cranberries to the sauce, stir and allow to cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

For approximately 4 cups sauce:

24 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (2 bags, rinsed in cold water if frozen)

¾ cup water

1 ¼ cup brown rice syrup

2 strips orange zest (use a peeler for one long strip)

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 T. aged balsamic vinegar (I used a 12 year barrel aged vinegar from Spicewood Food Company)

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup medjool dates, pitted, chopped (8 large dates)

¼ t. ground cinnamon

Inspired by a recipe from Gourmet magazine entitled Cranberry Sauce with Dates and Orange

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Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Centers January 3, 2012

These make a tasty snack or a healthy dessert if you make them with chocolate centers. And since nothing is more satisfying than warm chocolate coating your mouth and making an appearance all over your child’s happy face, I recommend serving them before the chocolate hardens. They are delicious and perfectly sweet enough sans chocolate should you worry about your child eating nothing but the chocolate center (surely you realized this possibility, yes?).

Mini Pumpkin Bran Muffins with Chocolate Centers

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

¼ t. fine sea salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1 t. cardamom

¾ cup oat bran

¼ cup brown rice syrup

3 T. pure cane sugar

15 oz pumpkin puree

2 whole eggs

¾ cup unsweetened  applesauce

Handful of large bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare mini muffin tin by lightly coating with butter or oil.In medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add oat bran to flour mix.

In large bowl combine all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips, whisk until well combined. Add flour and bran mixture, stir to combine. Fill miffin tins ¾ full with batter and place a single chocolate chip in the center of each muffin cup.

Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool in pan 2-3 minutes, then move to cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins October 15, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Muffins — annalope @ 4:45 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Why does the world need yet another recipe for banana muffins? It’s true, there are plenty of them out there, and I know there are a lot of bakers who find a decent recipe and never deviate from it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. My mother-in-law makes the same banana bread every time there are extra ripe bananas around, using a family recipe that has withstood the test of time, and I do absolutely love it. But when it comes to making banana bread or muffins in my own kitchen I find it impossible to not tinker with whatever recipe I might start out with (if there is one). These came about when I had set out to make Banana Mocha Muffins – a recipe I’d recently come up with and really loved, but by the time I’d blended the first few ingredients I started mentally drafting something drastically different. I’m not sure if this suggests creativity or just a lack of focus, but either way the results make me happy and appreciative of my restless mind.

One reason you should try this recipe is because the taste of molasses, coffee, and bananas together is pretty unbeatable. Or you could try my Banana Mocha Muffin recipe which also uses these ingredients. This recipe also has less sugar and less butter than your typical muffin, and uses only whole grains.

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup natural cane sugar

1 T. molasses + brown rice syrup to equal ¼ cup

1 t. vanilla

½ cup milk or milk substitute

½ cup coffee, room temperature or cold

1 egg

1 egg white

2 extra ripe bananas, mashed

1 T. flax meal

4 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour

½ cup + 2 T. whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup ground walnuts, reserving 2 T. to garnish muffins

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine butter, applesauce, sugar and molasses/rice syrup in medium bowl; blend well. Add eggs and bananas, mix well. In measuring glass combine vanilla, milk and coffee. In separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the walnuts. Add flour and milk mixtures to butter mix alternately; gently mix to fully incorporate.

Butter and flour 12 large muffin tins (or 18 small cups). Pour a heaping ¼ cup of batter into each (or fill small cups ¾ full); top with ground walnuts for garnish. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Muffins freeze well once completely cool. I suggest eating half a batch and freezing the other half, which means less time before you get to try/create yet another muffin recipe!