Spiced Lemon Blueberry Bread

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Not too sweet, Spiced Lemon Blueberry Bread is lovely enjoyed with fresh butter over afternoon tea. This recipe makes excellent use of preserved lemons (a link to that recipe is provided below). If you don’t have preserved lemons, you can mimic the flavor in this recipe by substituting 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 teaspoon lemon zest + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup applesauce

3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

2 tablespoons preserved lemons, rinsed and finely diced

WIN_20160124_133922Directions

Step 1) Grease loaf pan well and coat with flour.  Set aside.

Step 2) Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Step 3) Combine egg, milk, and applesauce in a separate bowl and mix well.

Step 4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Don’t get carried away… it’s OK if the batter is a little bit lumpy!

Step 5) Gently fold in blueberries.  Save a dozen blueberries for the next step.

Step 6) Transfer batter to loaf pan. Sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and a few extra blueberries if desired.

Step 7) Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy!

Cran-Blueberry Cobbler

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Fresh Cranberries

Cranberries and blueberries offer up a whole lot of nutrition in a tiny, colorful package!  Both are high in fiber, high in Vitamin C, and pretty low in calories (around 50 and 80 calories per cup, respectively).  This simple cobbler makes cranberries and blueberries look all fancy schmancy using ramekin dishes and a drop biscuit topping.  What this recipe doesn’t offer is a lot of added sugar – only half a tablespoon her serving.  If you’re feeling rebellious, go ahead and make this dessert for breakfast.  I won’t tell.

picture455Ingredients (makes 6 dessert servings)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water

2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

For the biscuit topping:

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

Directions

picture456Step 1) Stir together 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water in a medium saucepan until sugar and starch are dissolved.

Step 2) Add blueberries and cranberries.  Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Step 3) Carefully ladle fruit mixture into greased ramekin dishes.  Alternatively, you could use one large pie dish.

Step 4) Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and baking powder in a small bowl.  “Cut picture457in” butter using a pastry cutter or two forks.  When you are finished, the butter should be in very tiny pieces, evenly distributed through the flour mixture.

Step 5) Add almond extract, lightly beaten egg, and milk to the flour and butter mixture.  Stir until just combined.

Step 6) Drop approximately 1 tablespoonful of biscuit mixture on top of each ramekin.

Step 7) Bake ramekins in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  I find it convenient to place all 6 ramekins in a 9×13 cake pan, for easy insertion and removal from oven.

Step 8) Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Amazing Oatmeals

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I can’t think of a breakfast more devoted to overall wellness than a bowl of properly dressed oatmeal.  I really can’t.  For only 150 calories, a single cup of oats contains about 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.  The soluble fiber in oats, called beta-glucan, is special.  This fiber has repeatedly been shown to lower cholesterol levels, which in turn lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Still not convinced?  What if I tell you that the beta-glucan in oats has also been linked to more stable blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes?  It’s true.

How much of this special fiber does it take to improve your health, you ask?  Only the amount found in a daily bowl of oatmeal.  So, let’s do ourselves a favor this morning.  Let’s both agree to say “No” to preservative-laden boxed cereals, skip the donuts with our coffee, and instead enjoy properly dressed bowls of oatmeal together.

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Directions

Stir together the ingredients for the blend of your choice, below, in a small mixing bowl.  Pack into a pint size mason jar.  For each serving, scoop out 1/2 cup of mixture from the mason jar and place in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add 1 cup of water and microwave for 2 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Enjoy!

Apple Walnut Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/3 cup chopped dried apples

1/3 cup raw walnuts

Blueberry Quinoa Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup quinoa

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Cherry Almond Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup raw almonds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup dried tart cherries

Coconut Almond Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup raw almonds

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/3 cup dried, shaved coconut

I feel better already, don’t you?