Cranberry Orange Chutney

pint jar of cutney

Cranberry Orange Chutney

The original recipe I used called for more than twice this amount of sugar. That’s unnecessary.

1 lb. fresh organic cranberries
1 organic orange
½ cup golden raisins
1/4 cup cane sugar or brown sugar (more if you like, depends on the cranberries)
1-3 teaspoons chopped ginger (Fresh ginger is fine but if you have a ginger bug, use it.)

Wash and clean the berries well, being sure to discard any that are not fresh. Using a peeler or zester, remove the zest from the orange. Then peel the white pith from the orange and discard. Place the berries, roughly chopped orange, orange peel, and sugar in a food processor and chop coarsely. Add raisins and mix thoroughly.

Let mixture sit for 1-2 hours. It will begin to shrink a little and make juices. Pack into a wide-mouth quart jar, cover and leave out at room temperature overnight so flavors marry. Cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.

My husband puts this on toast each morning, I sprinkle it on my salads. We’re happy to be getting plenty of antioxidants among other good things.

Also, this is fantastic as a relish alongside turkey, pork, fish and lamb.

Enjoy a “Vinegar Cocktail” instead of alcohol on special occasions

a glass with ice and red, juce cocktail with straw and an orange slice

Aronia Berry Vinegar Cocktail

Enjoy a “Vinegar Cocktail” instead of alcohol on special occasions:

Yes, it sounds kind of funny, but hear me out. Vinegar cocktails are also called “shrubs” and they’ve been around for more than a hundred years, though not very common. They have fewer calories than regular cocktails and contain healthful probiotics, an added bonus. My favorite method is to make them with fruit juice, raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar, and sparkling water.

FRUIT JUICE VINEGAR COCKTAIL (also called a SHRUB)

Start by making your vinegar-fruit juice base:

1 cup fruit juice (choose your favorite; I used Aonia berry (chokeberry) for this picture)
1/3 cup raw honey (more or less, depending on the juice and your taste)
1 cup organic, raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Lightly warm the fruit juice on the stove (about the same temperature as a baby’s bottle), stirring in the honey until it is completely dissolved. Cool completely before adding vinegar (you don’t want to kill the probiotics). Store in your refrigerator in a covered jar.

When ready to make your drink, combine 1 part shrub mixture with 3 or 4 parts sparkling water, and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh fruit (a slice of orange, or a strawberry slit and perched on the edge of the glass looks nice).

If you look online, you will find dozens of variations using different ingredients, and many that include wine and/or alcohol. I don’t add alcohol to mine, it defeats the purpose of having a refreshing, festive, healthy, probiotic, energy drink. The origins of these concoctions date back to the Colonial era.

Want more? Click here for some homemade energy drink recipes.

Probiotics for breakfast: Making fermented oatmeal and homemade yogurt

Nadia Giordana in her kitchen using a slow cooker to make yogurt.

Use a slow cooker to make yogurt for your fermented oatmeal breakfast. (Click on image to go to video.)

Today’s blog post is born out of WomanVision TV’s episode number 10: Probiotics For Breakfast . In that episode, I show you how I incorporate probiotics (healthy bacteria) into my diet. You’ll see a  step-by-step demonstration on how to make fermented oatmeal (it tastes much better than it sounds). If you like oatmeal, you will love this recipe. It’s oatmeal, only better. If you don’t like oatmeal, this is not going to change your mind.

Then I’ll show you how to make homemade yogurt in a slow-cooker. The homemade yogurt method produces creamy results head-and-shoulders above anything you can get in the store. The video covers all the steps in this simple and easy way to update your morning routine. You can view the video and get the written instructions by clicking here.

Clean, simple, basic foods are always a good way to balance a busy life and maintain a healthy weight.

If you are interested in more technical information about fermented foods, and some history and examples, this video by Dr. Saila Reddy will help you a lot.

Why some baby boomers brew their own kombucha tea

A significant number of baby boomers are interested in staying healthy and active. Many have discovered kombucha tea and are making it themselves at home. Some do it to save money, as it can be made at home for about thirty cents per bottle. (Commercial brands range in price from $3.00 to $5.00 per bottle.) Others, simply enjoy making their own and experimenting with the flavors. Still more are convinced that it helps boost their metabolism, guards against disease, and slows the aging process. Read more