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Archive for November, 2009

Pear Cranberry Crisp

I celebrated my first (of three) Thanksgiving dinners this past Sunday with our friends.  Stephanie, Christopher and Andrea hosted our annual Family Dinner Thanksgiving  and they pulled out all the stops- it was delicious!

My dessert contribution was this Pear Cranberry Crisp:

Ingredients

  • 6 pears, peeled and cut into thin pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups whole cranberries
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (divided)
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and slice 6 pears. In a large bowl, toss pears with lemon juice, cranberries and ¼ cup light brown sugar. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish.  In a blender, food processor, or Cuisinart Mini Prep (which is what I have), pulse ½ cup flour with butter for a few seconds. Add ½ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, flax and a pinch of salt; pulse again until moist clumps form. This is much easier than using your hands, which is how I’ve always made crumble toppings before. Works just as well!

As you can see from the ingredient list, I tried to make this as healthy  as possible.  This is something to definitely keep in mind over the holidays when there will be baked goods around every corner for the next two months. Most often you can’t taste the difference. Some changes that are easy to make are:

  • Use white whole wheat flour instead of white flour
  • Replace white sugar for natural sugar or brown sugar
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by 1/3
  • Substitute applesauce for oil
  • Add ground flaxseed

One new ingredient I’ve incorporated into my daily life is flax!

What is flax you ask?! A nutty tasting seed that is a great source of essential omega-3 fatty acids as well a laundry list of other healthy benefits and nutrients. It’s important to buy flaxseed meal, opposed to whole flaxseeds, because the nutrients in the ground seeds are easier for your body to absorb.

You can’t even taste flax when its incorporated in a recipe, like above. However it adds a nice crunchy, nutty taste to salads, yogurt, cereal, etc. I sprinkle a tablespoon on my cereal every morning now. I cannot honestly say that I am leaping tall buildings in a single bound since incorporating flax into my daily diet, but I like the way it tastes and the extra boost of nutrients can only help. Try it!

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