Apple-Beet Juice

Here’s another refreshing and envigorating juice that is a delicious addition to your pre-workout routine. 

We’ve all been hearing about the benefits of incorporating beets into our diets. They contain potassium, iron, phosphorous, calcium, trace minerals, and phytonutrients, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying compounds, such as betaine, that might protect against cancer and toxins. 

In addition, the betaine and folate found in beets act together to lower homocysteine levels and reduce arterial inflammation. 

And why are beets helpful pre-workout? Consuming beets helps convert nitrates into nitric oxide, which “may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise” (Mercola).

This juice also gets its sweet, ever-so-slightly spicy, and tart character from pinepapples, apples, ginger, and lemon. The proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, found in pineapples, is restorative to the immune system; apples contain antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins; ginger boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties; and lemon juice provides hefty amounts of vitamin C and a myriad minerals.

In one of his recent You Tube videos, Dr. Josh Axe https://draxe.com suggested atheletes drink beet-pineapple juice before working out, as it enhances circulation and performance. I totally agree. I find this juice not only refreshing and nourishing in the morning, but I do believe it improves my stamina during my morning run. It’s also just plain delicious. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Apple-Beet Juice

In a juicer, such as Breville, juice 4 medium organic red apples (such as Gala), 2 medium organic beets, 1 cup diced organic pineapple, one 2-inch piece fresh ginger, and 1 organic lemon (peel removed). Strain into a glass jar or bottle and cover.

Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Makes about 3 cups

Blueberry Jam Crumble

Blueberry Jam Crumble

Blueberry Jam Crumble

Here’s another way to enjoy your homemade or favorite store-bought jam this summer. Like so many of my favorite homey desserts, this dish is less a recipe than a method of combining a handful of flavorful ingredients.

Toss together about equal parts jam and fresh fruit, in this case blueberry jam and fresh blueberries, drizzle in a bit of lemon juice, and season with a scant pinch of salt. Make my quick Crumble recipe (see the one below) and simply layer the crumble and fruit filling in individual oven-safe jars (I use Weck), bowls, or cups. I like to layer thusly: crumble, fruit, crumble, fruit, crumble, fruit. I then speckle the tops with coarse sugar and bake the crumbles in a 375 oven until they are bubbly, golden brown, and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Serve these fruity crumbles warm or at room temperature.

Crumble

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)

Pinch of sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients, lightly stirring with a fork, until the mixture is crumbly. Sometimes it will look damp and clumpy, depending on the humidity and brand of flour you’re using. Not to worry. If it does appear too pasty, simply stir in a bit more flour. This crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Easter Cookies, Continued

Cut-our sugar cookies decorated with rolled fondant, royal icing, and coarse sanding sugar

Cut-our sugar cookies decorated with rolled fondant, royal icing, and coarse sanding sugar

Although Easter Sunday has passed, many of us continue to celebrate the Easter season for nearly another 50 days (through Pentecost). If we are to maintain the celebratory mood for that long, it certainly helps to keep some decorated cookies on hand.

Here is another variation of my cut-out sugar cookie. Cut out rolled fondant using the same cutters you chose for the cookies, and then ornament them further with royal icing and/or sanding sugar. Stored in cellophane bags or airtight re-sealable bags, these cookies keep well for weeks.

Colorful Easter Cookies

Pastel-colored chicks are the perfect addition to any Easter basket.

Pastel-colored chicks are the perfect addition to any Easter basket.

Decorated cookies are a delightful and special addition to any Easter basket, but these vibrantly colored treats elevate the confection even further. Using my trusted sugar cookie dough as the base, I simply color the dough with food coloring (I like Wilton Icing Color, available at local craft stores), cut out my desired shapes, and then bake them.

Serve these cookies plain, or add additional flourish with piped royal icing and a sprinkling of clear or colored sanding sugar.

About 30 three-inch cookies

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Food coloring paste or icing, such as Wilton Icing Color

Royal icing for decorating (optional)

Colored sanding sugar for decorating (optional)

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and begin beating on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Drop in the egg and add the vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Gradually spoon in the flour, mixing on medium-low speed, just until the dough comes together.

If coloring the dough with a single color, add the Icing Color in small amounts, about 1/8 teaspoon at a time (a little goes a long way), mixing until evening distributed. Add more as needed. If using more than one color, divide the mixed dough into as many parts as colors you are using and mix in by hand or in the mixing bowl, cleaning the bowl and paddle in between colorings.

Transfer the dough (or each piece of colored dough) to a large sheet of plastic wrap, bring together to form a disc, and wrap well. Set in the refrigerator to chill and rest, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using about half of the dough at a time, roll on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and arrange about 1 ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Set in the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 20 minutes. (The cutouts can also be arranged on a plastic wrap-lined board or baking sheet, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, arrange the frozen cutouts on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake as directed below.)

Bake the cookies (depending on the size) until light golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool on the baking sheets for several minutes before transferring them to the racks to cool completely.

Decorate with royal icing and sanding sugar, if desired.