Tag Archives: ginger

Cooking for your Health: Mango Smoothie with Chili and Lime

Mango Smoothie with Chili, Lime and Ginger

In this month’s installment of Cooking for your Health, it’s time to get serious: Let’s talk bikinis. Summer is nearly here in the northern hemisphere, and while the weather may not yet be blinding hot, it will be soon enough, which means that it’s time to haul out the swimsuits. Don’t panic. Getting in shape for our bikinis and trunks should not sacrifice good nutrition, flavor or enjoyment. That’s where this smoothie comes in as the perfect liquid meal and refreshment for when the days grow warm.

Smoothies are a blend of fruit and/or vegetables, blitzed with ice, juice or yogurt. They may be sweet, savory or a blend of both, such as in this Mango Smoothie. It’s a tropical mix of mango and pineapple balanced with citrus, the prickle of ginger and a kick of heat from chile which lends a pleasant vegetal note. It’s a refreshing, nourishing and low caloric snack in a glass. You might be parked on a chaise lounge under an umbrella, but your tastebuds will be dancing.  Continue reading Mango Smoothie with Chili and Lime

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

~ Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies ~

We’ve waited until very late (for us) to get our Christmas tree this year. Normally it’s up in early December, and by time the 25th arrives, we light the candles in a last hurrah, before dismantling it the next day. This year is a little different. We harvested our tree only this past weekend, on Saturday evening in the dark. As we picked it out, it felt like we were back in Denmark, searching for a tree in the darkness of the nordic winter. We spent Sunday decorating and will continue to do so over the next few days – after all, everyone has to have their way with the decorations. Then on the 24th, we will light the tree in its full glory as we celebrate julaften or Christmas eve, when we eat our big holiday dinner. In true Scandinavian fashion we use live candles, and it’s truly the most beautiful sight to behold.

Since the tree is so fresh, it will remain standing for a good week after Christmas, which is perfect, since we are home for the holidays this year and look forward to friends stopping in for wine and gløgg.  In anticipation, I’ve made an extra large batch of these Ginger Molasses Spiced Cookies to have on hand for any last minute tree tweaking and unexpected guests who might surprise us. The spice of these cookies goes very well with a glass of warm spiced gløgg.

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

I was honored that Food52 selected these cookies last week as their contribution to a virtual cookie swap, hosted by Food Network and Yahoo! Shine. And Alicia, the talent behind the delicious blog Weekly Greens, has featured this recipe in her Whole Foods Market Cooking Column. Christmas has indeed come early this year!

Makes about 42 (1 1/2 inch) cookies.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup finely diced candied ginger, optional
Granulated sugar for rolling

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, salt, and cloves in a bowl to combine.  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in the candied ginger. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then in the sugar. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and gently flatten. Bake in oven until set and crinkled on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool.

If you like this, you might enjoy these recipes:
Russian Teacake Cookies from TasteFood
Salted Pistachio Brittle from the Kitchn
Lebkuchen from Brown Eyed Baker
Spiced Linzer Cookies from My Baking Addiction

Ginger Pear Streusel Cake

Pear Streusel

Come in from the cold and enjoy some cake. This coffee cake is perfect for a winter afternoon pick-me-up. Spiced with ginger and not overly sweet, Ginger Pear Streusel Cake is light enough to enjoy for breakfast, tea or dessert. While it’s delicious straight from the oven, the ginger flavor will intensify nicely as the cake cools – that is, if you can wait that long.

Pear Streusel Slice tf


Ginger Pear Streusel Cake

Serves 6-8

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced crystalized ginger
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, in small pieces

Combine flour, sugar and ginger in bowl of food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If doing by hand, combine flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and rub in with fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

For the cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 firm pears, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Butter and lightly flour a 9″ springform pan lined with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add to batter and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Toss pears with lemon juice in a small bowl. Arrange pears over batter. Top with streusel topping. Bake in oven until skewer inserted in center comes clean, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Roasted Red Beet, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup with Orange Crème Fraîche

Red Beet Blood Orange Soup

Beets: I cannot help but be seduced by their brilliant color and their nutritional riches, yet their flavor has proven a more trying relationship. Perhaps I have been marred by unfortunate events in my past involving pickled versions in bottles that were redolent of, well, dirt.  This aversion has kept me at arm’s length from the enjoyment of these visually evocative root vegetables, and, ultimately, has been my loss. So, recently I decided to take matters into my own hands and learn how to love beets.

I began by roasting them. The roasting process seems to tame the beet’s unique earthiness, especially when combined with salt, olive oil and a little garlic. I then moved on to salads and found that beets work well when they are one component of many and combined with other distinctive flavors and textures: walnuts, ricotta salata, arugula and mint, for example. After some experimenting with composing salads with beets, I was emboldened. My next step was to make a soup. Looking to the salad for inspiration, I blended beets with several strong-flavored ingredients, paying attention to the balance of sweet, sour, and spice. I chose bold tastes I love, and that is how I arrived at Roasted Red Beet, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup. The beets were present in flavor, but not overpowering. Their earthiness was tamped down by the brightness of citrus and the spiciness of ginger. Chile pepper added a kick and honey sweetened and smoothed out the soup. Topped with a cooling dollop of orange infused crème fraîche, the soup was exciting and fresh, giving the sense of multi-textures, even though it was puréed. The only overpowering presentation of the beets was in the soup’s intense magenta color – which is one thing I have always loved about beets.

Roasted Red Beet, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup with Orange Crème Fraîche

Orange juice may be substituted for the blood orange juice. The soup is best served warm (not hot) or at room temperature with a dollop of cool crème fraîche.  Serves 3-4.

4 large red beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small serrano chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup water
1 cup blood orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional whole leaves for garnish

Orange Crème Fraîche (recipe below)
2 blood orange slices, cut in half

Preheat oven to 375 F. Trim the tops and ends of the beets. Place in a baking dish and fill water up to 1″ in bottom of dish. Roast beets in oven until tender, about 1 hour. Remove and cool. Peel off skin and cut beets in chunks.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until nearly translucent without coloring, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and serrano chile; sauté 30 seconds. Add beets and water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes; the vegetables should be very soft. Cool slightly. Transfer to food processor or blender. Add orange juice and purée until smooth. Return to saucepan. (If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with additional orange juice. It should not be too thin.) Stir in lime juice and honey. Add salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature. Before serving stir in 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves. Ladle into bowls. Top with a spoonful of Orange Crème Fraîche. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves and a slice of blood orange.


Orange Crème Fraîche:

1/2 cup crème fraîche (or Greek-style whole milk yogurt)
2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine crème fraîche and orange juice in small bowl. Serve with soup.

More Easy Weekend Baking: Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

Molasses Cookies

Bring on the rain. Winter in northern California often means rain, which is a good thing. Yes, it’s a nuisance, but in a climate that sees no rain from spring until fall, it’s important that the water tables are replenished in the winter.  An added plus is it’s a good excuse to stay inside and bake.

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies are an easy cookie that’s quick to make and fun to do with children. A few more baking weekends like this, and our freezer will be packed with cookies for the dry season.

Ginger Spiced Molasses Cookies

Candied ginger adds extra spice and texture to these cookies. Makes about 30.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup finely diced candied ginger, optional
Granulated sugar for rolling

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, salt, and cloves in a bowl to combine.  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in the candied ginger. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then in the sugar. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and gently flatten. Bake in oven until set and crinkled on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool.