Fresh Cranberry Salad Dressing

‘Tis the season, for fresh cranberries.

Are you craving a bright, lite, and healthy dressing to perk up your greens? Look no further.

fresh cranberry salad dressing

fresh cranberry salad dressing photo by vsimon

This one is simple, gluten free, fat free, low cal, packed with flavor and nutrition.

It can be sugar free too. I have successfully made it with Splenda for clients that want that. And I think your choice of sweetener, whatever it is, would work. Go ahead, give a go. And please let us know.

The cranberries give it wonderful body. This is a stick to your greens dressing. Not a slide to the bottom of the plate dressing.

Cranberry Salad Dressing

yield: about 1 cup metric measures
1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries 100 gm
3/4 cups water 180 ml
1/4 cup sugar 50 gm
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 30 ml
1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon to taste (it is less than 1 gm)

In a small saucepan, cook everything but the tarragon. Heat until all the berries plop apart and the sauce thickens.

Put dressing into a small bender and puree until smooth.

Add tarragon.

The dressing thickens a bit as it cools. When it is completely cool, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if you like it thinner.

Refrigerate leftovers, they keep for several weeks.

Serving suggestions

Skip the marshmallows and drizzle over mashed sweet potatoes. Oh, that is radical!

Or top a salad of fresh spinach and shredded chicken or turkey. And chewy dried cranberries, crisp apple slices, and crunchy walnuts.

What are your ideas?

Monkey Tails

 

We used to call them frozen bananas with peanut butter and dark chocolate. Not a very catchy name. Our clients kids said, “Those are monkey tails!” It was easy to agree.

They are fun to make with kids and build a stash in the freezer. Pull them out as needed to cool a sweltering day.

Nutrition in the ingredients- one by one

Bananas- a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Peanut butter- a good source of niacin (a B vitamin), vitamin E, magnesium, and the antioxidant selenium. You also get some protein.

Dark chocolate-antioxidants and some fiber!! Also many minerals, including iron and magnesium.

But I can’t eat PB.

Use another nut or seed butter instead. Almond, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, sesame (tahini). Whatever you like. They will taste different, but still delicious.

 

Dark chocolate scares me.

These are dark monkeys, not milky monkeys. Go ahead, try it. Dark chocolate is a perfect complement to the sweet banana and the creamy peanut butter. Making these with milk chocolate seems like a crime to me.

Monkey Tails serves 4

ingredients metric measures
4 almost ripe bananas about 120 gm each
8 wooden sticks 8
1 cup peanut butter 375 gm
1 ½ cup chocolate chips 225 gm
1 tablespoon oil 15 ml

Cut bananas crosswise into two tails (halves) and insert stick into cut ends. Then peel bananas.

Spread peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter) over each banana. Place bananas on plastic wrap lined cookie sheet and freeze until cold, at least one hour.

Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Warm in 20-second intervals until the chips are melted and smooth. The chips can melt without losing their shape, so be sure to stir after each heating.

Spread chocolate over the frozen bananas. Return to freezer for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm.

 

Wrap in plastic wrap if not eating right away. Store wrapped bananas in a freezer container. Loose Monkey Tails tend to stray to the far reaches of the freezer. You do not want to find an escapee 2 years from now.

This recipe is easily halved or doubled. How many Monkey Tails do you have at your house?

*This post will be submitted to the August edition of “Go Ahead Honey, it is Gluten Free!” blogging event. This month is hosted by Kim Hopkins of The Allergy Coach with a sweltering summer Chill Out theme. Naomi Devlin of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried created the very popular “Go Ahead Honey, it is Gluten Free”. Thanks ladies!!