Buying organic is a great way to make sure you are buying healthy, sustainable foods. It will also help ensure that a lot of the items you buy are local and/or in season. Often in the winter, many of our favorite items are not in season, so many suppliers either don’t have them available, or ship items that have been saved or grown out of season, driving up the price and placing a burden on the growers and the shipping industry. Since these items have to travel long distances, or be sold to consumers out of the natural growth cycle, the biggest cost is often the environmental one.
Do some good for your health and the environment by buying local or in-season foods, like the ones used in the following delicious recipes. Your taste buds will thank you!
Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup pomegranate seeds (see Tip)
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
6 mint sprigs for garnish
To prepare compote: Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice and lemon juice; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate while you prepare the pudding.
To prepare pudding: Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium heavy saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (or add vanilla extract). Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium bowl. Reheat the milk mixture just until steaming. Carefully whisk one-third of the steaming milk into the egg mixture. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter.
To prepare parfaits: Divide the pomegranate compote among six 6-ounce (3/4 cup) parfait glasses, ramekins or other small dessert cups. Spoon the pudding mixture over the compote. Cover and refrigerate until the pudding is well chilled and firm, at least 3 hours. To serve, garnish each parfait with pomegranate seeds and a mint sprig, if desired.
Tip: To seed a pomegranate, fill a large bowl with water. Lightly score the fruit into quarters from crown to stem end, cutting through the skin but not into the interior of the fruit. Hold the fruit under water, break it apart and use your hands to gently separate the plump seeds (arils) from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the surface. Discard the pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry. Seeds can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipe from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/vanilla_pomegranate_parfaits.html
8 servings, 1/2 cup each
1/2 cup organic coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled fresh organic ginger, crushed
1 organic pineapple, (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons lime juice
Combine coconut milk, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain into a large bowl.
Place pineapple in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the pineapple puree to the coconut milk mixture and whisk until blended. Whisk in lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Pour the pineapple mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. (Alternatively, freeze mixture in a shallow metal pan until solid, about 6 hours. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.)
Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container and let harden in the freezer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve in chilled dishes.