Thanksgiving-Is-My-Favorite-Holiday Breakfast Bowl: Yogurt with Sweet Potato, Fall Fruits, and Pecans and Walnuts

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So, since it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I obviously didn’t make this breakfast bowl with holiday scraps; I’ve been enjoying this yogurt-with-everything-I-can’t-wait-to-eat-on-Thursday combo for the past week. I’m sure that you could make it with leftovers and that it would turn out great, and in fact I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving leftovers are the best and that it’s severely disappointing when there aren’t enough of them. You may swear you don’t want to even want look at food ever again after Thanksgiving dinner, and yet, the next day, you find yourself rooting around in the fridge for that turkey and stuffing and giving the stink eye to your brother who already polished off the last of the gravy. Or maybe you come from one of those families who purposely makes a second turkey and way more mashed potatoes than necessary, just so that you can have plenty extra to enjoy for the rest of the weekend. (If so, your family and my family would get along real well.)

If the meals after Turkey Day make for such good eating, why don’t we make those foods more often? Sure, some special-occasion dishes are super rich and you don’t necessarily want to be chowing down on them on the reg, but let’s stop treating the cranberry like we only want to see it two days out of the year and starting eating it all winter, not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even if we’re not making an all-out casserole, let’s keep adding toasted pecans to our sweet potatoes, because that’s a great combination. Let’s expand beyond apple pie and experiment with apple purée because “purée” sounds wayyyy more appealing than “homemade unsweetened applesauce.” (And also it’s loads better than the store-bought kind. I mean, until I made some on my own, I thought unsweetened applesauce was a bland and useless concoction that only got included in “healthy” baked goods recipes where people where trying to reduce the butter content.)

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This is how this breakfast bowl happened: Nuts and yogurt are staples in my house, and I’ve been enjoying fall produce, so I also had oranges, pomegranates, and sweet potatoes on hand. The fresh cranberries and homemade applesauce were left over from making this baked oatmeal (which, by the way, was really good—I cut back on the sugar and syrup, but it’s definitely a keeper). Then I read this sweet-potato-for-breakfast recipe from The Kitchn and got intrigued: the idea of eating a whole sweet potato in the morning didn’t sound particularly appealing, but I could definitely be convinced to add some to my yogurt. I made a lightly sweetened compote with the cranberries, toasted up the nuts, and basically used it all to top the plain yogurt. It’s like Thanksgiving for breakfast, and it would be super simple to throw together with Thanksgiving leftovers. So this year, in addition to that giant turkey and second pan of stuffing, be sure to factor in some extra sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

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Note: I used this recipe (and a combination of Gala and Granny Smith apples) for the apple purée. For the cranberry compote, I simmered 3 cups of fresh cranberries with 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar and about 1/4 cup water over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries had broken down some and the sauce had thickened. It is barely sweet compared to a traditional cranberry sauce; add more sugar if you like. Lastly, you can prep everything in advance and just make one bowl at a time, which I was I did. If you do, I recommend reheating the sweet potato in the microwave for 30 seconds or so just before you assemble the bowl.


Thanksgiving-Is-My-Favorite-Holiday Breakfast Bowl: Yogurt with Sweet Potato, Fall Fruits, and Pecans and Walnuts

makes 4 servings

  • 1/4 c. raw pecans
  • 1/4 c. raw walnuts
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 large pomegranate
  • about 1/2 c. apple purée (see note)
  • about 1/2 c. cranberry compote (see note)
  • 2 c.plain yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 1 medium orange, washed well
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the nuts until just fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. After they’ve cooled, chop them finely and set aside.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Line a small pan with aluminum foil. Scrub the sweet potatoes well, rub them with some olive oil, prick them with a fork, and roast until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven, let cool, and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
  3. Remove the seeds (ok, arils, if you must) from the pomegranate. Some people like to do this by cutting it in half and whacking it over a bowl to make the seeds fall out; some people like to do it underwater to reduce mess and help separate the pith from the seeds. I just cut it in quarters and do it by hand.
  4. For each bowl, top 1/2 cup of yogurt with a quarter of the chopped sweet potatoes, a quarter of the pomegranate seeds, and a two tablespoons each of cranberry compote, apple purée, and toasted nuts. Garnish each bowl with a little bit of finely grated orange zest.

 

 

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A (Peanut Butter and Banana) Smoothie for Non-Smoothie Lovers

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There is something about smoothies that makes me think of the Three-Course Dinner Chewing Gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s the notion of having a meal without consuming anything solid. In Roald Dahl’s book, if you chew Willy Wonka’s incredible gum, you feel like you’re eating whole a dinner, complete with roast beef and a baked potato. With the smoothie trend, there’s a similar illusion that you’re consuming a balanced meal, thanks to the handful of greens and scoop of chia seeds that you’re sucking through your straw. At least you don’t turn into a blueberry after you have a smoothie.

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When you have too many over-ripe bananas but don’t want to make banana bread.

I enjoy a smoothie every once in a while, but I have a hard time appreciating their popularity. First, the whole idea of drinking something substantial is not particularly appealing. Besides smoothies, when else do people drink their food? When they go on trendy diets, or sometimes after medical procedures. Neither of those situations is enjoyable. It’s undeniable that the act of chewing and eating makes food more pleasurable. Moreover, it lets us experience texture. Wouldn’t you choose a bowlful of thick, creamy yogurt topped with fresh, ripe berries over a homogenous yogurt/fruit/juice beverage? Or, let’s imagine that you get to choose between a gorgeous, fresh navel orange and….a glass of orange juice. Or between a cool, crisp apple and…a bowl of applesauce. Which do you choose? Almost 100% of the time, I’d choose the whole fruit over its liquified or puréed form. In a smoothie, juicy strawberries, firm pineapples, and buttery mangoes all get sadly blended away into plain old strawberry, pineapple, and mango.

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Second, let’s talk about that kale and spinach that found their way into your smoothie. I don’t know about you, but I’m an adult who likes leafy greens, and it’s been quite a few years since anyone has had to use any gimmicks to get me to eat my vegetables. Unlike my coworker’s son, whose peas and zucchini have to be diced into infinitesimal pieces and elaborately disguised in pasta sauces and meatloaves, I actually choose to eat vegetables because I like them. There’s not really a need to drink green veggies that taste like pineapple and strawberry when you’re getting enough in the salad you’re having for lunch or vegetable frittata you made for breakfast.

Lastly, I’d like to give the muffin (aka “cake for breakfast”) some company by embracing the smoothie for what it really is: a milkshake for breakfast.  Okay, okay—smoothies are not completely devoid of nutrition, and they can help people who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables increase their consumption of produce. But they can also have quite a bit of sugar, and they don’t usually stick with you for a long time. So, when I make a smoothie, it’s not with the goal of adding extra fruits or veggies into my diet, or because I’m convinced that they’re nutritionally superior to other breakfast options. It’s because it’s hot out and I want a milkshake for breakfast. Or at least something cold, sweet, and creamy like a milkshake, but not quite as bad for you as a milkshake.

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The combination that I keep coming back to has banana, peanut butter powder, and dates. (Powdered peanut butter is kind of gross as a reconstituted substitute for the real thing, but it’s great for smoothies, or peanut butter pudding pops.) If I were in advertising, I would also tell you this smoothie has “no added sugar” and “more protein than an egg”! But honestly, the dates are really high in natural sugar, plus there’s extra sugar in almond milk if you go that route, and even though it has some protein, I’ll freely admit that it doesn’t keep me as full as things like oatmeal. However, none of that matters if you’re embracing the smoothie as a milkshake. Instead, you can just enjoy the classic peanut butter-and-banana combination in a cold, creamy, not-overly-sweet breakfast form.

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Note: You can use regular dairy milk or light vanilla almond milk. If you choose regular milk, it will make the smoothie creamier and increase its protein content, but it will be less sweet. If you go for light vanilla almond milk, the smoothie will be sweeter and nuttier but have less protein. I’ve never tried it with plain almond milk or fully-sweetened vanilla almond milk.


serves 1

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 2 dates, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk, regular dairy or light vanilla almond (see note)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, optional, only if using dairy milk
  • 5-10 ice cubes
  1. One night to several weeks in advance: Peel the banana and cut or break it into chunks. Place the banana pieces in a plastic bag and freeze until solid.
  2. The night before: Pit the dates, chop them, and place in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the peanut butter powder, milk, and vanilla extract (if using). Put the lid on and shake to mix. Refrigerate overnight. (This will help the dates plump up and blend more easily, and it will make the smoothie a little thicker. If you skip this step, you could end up with unblended date chunks (if your dates are especially dry and/or your blended is especially crappy, like mine) or a slightly watery smoothie.)
  3. The morning of: Place the frozen banana chunks in a blender, then add the milk, date, and peanut butter mixture. Blend well. Add ice cubes and blend until you get the desired texture.

 

 

Grilled Ratatouille and Wheat Berry Salad

If I didn’t do a major eye roll every time I read an overly-detailed recipe name, I’d call this “Double-Tomato Grilled Ratatouille Salad and Wheat Berry Salad with Tomato Seed Dressing.” Or perhaps I should go with “duo of tomato” instead; it sounds so very Top Chef-y. But wait, does that make it triple tomato if they’re fresh, roasted, and in the dressing? “Trio of tomato” does have a nice ring to it. Ah, let’s just call it what it is: a good, hearty, vegetarian one-dish meal that’s a nice salute to the last of summer produce. I wish I could tell you that all of the vegetables came from the garden, but alas, my green zucchini was a victim of the dreaded squash wilt, and the sweet basil just didn’t bounce back after being neglected while we were out of town during one of the hottest, driest weeks of the summer.

So what garden goodies (besides boatloads of jalapeños, of course) are still coming in now that the weather is starting to cool down? Tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, and tons of fresh herbs that aren’t sweet basil. You name it (besides sweet basil) (ok, and dill; it went to seed) (alright alright I never have luck with cilantro either), I’ve got it: rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley, lavender, thyme, Thai basil, tarragon, sage…

With the abundance of eggplant, peppers, herbs, and tomatoes, ratatouille (even though I’d never made it before) seemed like a good direction to go in, with one problem: I wanted it to be a main dish, and—as much as I love vegetables—I knew I would be headed for a hangry meltdown in the afternoon if all I ate for lunch was a pile of veggies. I could just see myself losing all patience in the classroom and turning into That Mean Teacher Who Gets Really Angry About Everything And Doesn’t Have Any Patience.

Not wanting to be that person, I added wheat berries to the salad to make it more of a meal. I am a fan of the kind labeled “hard red winter wheat berries,” which is code for “you have to cook them a long time, but they don’t get mushy.” It’s kind of like the difference between steel cuts oats and instant oatmeal. Bonus: they are way less expensive than trendier items like quinoa. Even at the bulk bins at Whole Foods (Whole Foods!) they cost less than $2 per pound.

To put everything together, I grilled all the vegetables except the tomatoes, which I used fresh; I also tossed in some roasted cherry tomatoes that I’d made earlier this summer and had stashed in the freezer. For the dressing, instead of lemon juice or vinegar, I used  the seeds and the juice / gel around the seeds from the fresh tomato, and I didn’t skimp on the herbs. Mission accomplished: a ratatouille-inspired vegetarian lunch that’s substantial enough hold its own as a main dish.



Note: This salad—minus the fresh tomatoes and basil—can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for several days. You can also cook and freeze the wheat berries and the roasted cherry tomatoes ahead of time. 

Also, the bell peppers I’m growing this year are really small and have very thin walls, so I used 5 of them, but I call for 1 large in the recipe because the grocery store kind are significantly bigger and fleshier.


Grilled Ratatouille and Wheat Berry Salad

makes 4 main-dish servings

  • 1 cup uncooked hard red winter wheat berries
  • 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus some
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus some
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes—heads up, you’re going to save their seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seed, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • scant 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted cherry tomatoes (see recipe below)
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  1. Cook the wheat berries: Put them in a sauce pan with the 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt, cover with plenty of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover the pot with a lid, and cook until tender but chewy, 45 minutes to an hour. Drain and cool.
  2. Roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 350º. Put the unpeeled garlic cloves on a piece of foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and wrap tightly. Cook until the garlic is soft, about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool, and then peel.
  3. Grill the veggies: Preheat a gas grill to high heat and oil the rack. Slice the zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into strips about 1/4″ wide, and slice the onion crosswise into disks about 1/4″ wide. Deseed the bell pepper and slice into strips about 1″ wide. Brush everything with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill the veggies about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked to your liking. (I did this in 2 batches: I cooked the zucchini, onions, and eggplant directly on the grill, and then used a grill pan for the peppers.) When done, remove all the vegetables from the grill, and when cool enough to handle, chop everything into bite-size pieces.
  4. Make the dressing: Deseed and chop the fresh tomatoes, reserving 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the seeds and juice / gel that surrounds the seeds. Put the 1 1/2 Tbsp. of tomato seed-juice into a small (1-cup) food processor, and add the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil, the peeled roasted garlic cloves, the fennel, thyme, and oregano, and the table salt. Blend until emulsified.
  5. Assemble the salad: Toss together the cooked wheat berries, the grilled vegetables, the parsley, and the dressing. (At this point, the salad can be refrigerated for several days.) Top with the chopped fresh tomatoes and sliced basil leaves just before serving.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:

Note: I make these in the summer when the cherry tomato plants in the garden are producing more tomatoes than I can eat. After the tomatoes are roasted, I freeze them on plates and then transfer them into plastic bags to keep in the freezer. They’re great to add to salads, sandwiches, frittatas, etc in the fall and winter.

  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 300º.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a baking sheet.
  3. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Roast until shrunken and drier but not crisp, about an hour.

Mango Eton Mess

Before we even get in to this concoction, I should just go ahead and tell you that I’m not sure it qualifies as “Eton Mess.” So I hope there aren’t any British readers out there who have gotten their pants (that’s what they’re called in Britain, right?) all in a wad if I have overextended the definition of an Eton Mess.

My understanding of Eton Mess is that it’s a dessert consisting essentially of meringue cookies, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries all mixed together. I wish I could tell you some cute story about trying my first Eton Mess on a lovely holiday in the English countryside, but the truth is that the only time I’ve ever been to Britain was for a few days in 2003 during a post-studying-abroad backpacking trip around Europe, and wow! the pound made things budget-blowingly expensive for a college student. I was traveling with an equally-poor friend, and our M.O. to save money while in London was to gorge ourselves at the free breakfast offered at our hostel so that it would see us through past lunch, and then buy a pre-made sandwich at a petrol station for dinner. And those sandwiches were pretty darn good! You might argue that we were hungry enough from skipping lunch that anything would have tasted decent, but this Google books result from An American Guide to Britishness by Alana Muir backs me up. In fact, eating pre-packaged sandwiches from England was how I discovered what arugula is. It was on every sandwich we bought, and I couldn’t figure out what that delicious new flavor was until I finally found a sandwich with the ingredients listed, realized “rocket” was the one thing I wasn’t familiar with, and made it to an internet café to look up what the heck “rocket” was. This was pre-smart-phone era, obviously.

So, this Mango Eton Mess was my first time both making and eating Eton Mess. I had only even heard about Eton Mess because my mom made it once last year for a dinner party and told me about it. I checked out some recipes for it online, and since most of them called for macerating the strawberries to increase their juiciness, I pureed one of the mangoes and added some lime juice to it to create that liquid factor.

Mangoes are kind of a pain to peel, but they are delicious, so it is totally worth it. I like to first hold the mango stem-end down and then slice off the fleshy cheeks around the pit. I just aim for where I think the pit will end and slice gently. If your knife hits the pit, you’ll be able to tell, and you can just jiggle your knife a little away from it. After that, if I’m making small dice, I slice each cheek in half crossways, and then just run a knife around the contours of the skin to remove as much fruit as possible. If you want bigger chunks, you can also just score the mango half after removing the pit, and then remove the skin the same way. I also run my knife along the sides of what is left attached to the pit, and get as much mango off of that as I can. And then—I’m not ashamed to admit it—I treat the pit like it’s corn on the cob and gnaw off everything that I couldn’t get with the knife. Because I. Love. Mangoes. That much.

I didn’t want plain or vanilla flavor for the whipped cream; I was looking to complement the mango flavor but not overwhelm it, but I didn’t think that vanilla was the addition I was looking for. I flavored the whipped cream with another squeeze of lime and a hint of ginger for a little spice. I used ginger juice, which might sound fancy and complicated, but it’s not. If you microplane fresh ginger, you wind up with a little pile of ginger pulp, which you can easily squeeze juice from. I bet you could also use the smallest holes of a box grater if you don’t have a microplane.

For the cookies, all of the recipes I looked up called for plain meringues, I suppose because they are more for texture than anything else. That sounded a little bland though, so I added chopped, toasted macadamia nuts to my meringues. It was a nice contrast to the tartness of the mango and lime, and it was still light-tasting. I imagine this dessert would be easy to do with other fruits and flavorings. And I think we could still call it Eton Mess.



Note: The meringue cookies are adapted from Claire Robinson’s Nutty Meringue Cookies from the Food Network.

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, the type of mango is key: use the Ataulfo / Champagne variety. I would not recommend making the mango purée with a Tommy Atkins mango because it would be way too fibrous.


Mango Eton Mess

serves 4

For the meringues:

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature (I leave them on the counter overnight in a small cup sealed tightly with Saran wrap. If you’re worried about salmonella maybe don’t do that.)
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 225º and line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until foamy.
  3. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form. This will take about 3 minutes.
  5. Fold in the nuts with a rubber spatula.
  6. Form 16 cookies by dropping heaping tablespoons onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie.
  7. Bake until the meringues are dried through, about 1 1/2 hours. They will peel easily from the parchment when they’re done.
  8. Let cool completely. Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week after being cooled.

For the mango part:

  • 2 Champagne mangoes (also called Ataulfo mangoes), divided
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  1. Peel and coarsely chop one of the mangoes. (See the post above for more detailed instructions on peeling the mango.) Purée it in a small food processor with the 1 Tbsp. of the lime juice until completely smooth. Taste. Add more lime juice if you want. It will depend on the sweetness and size of your mango. No need to strain if your mango was good-quality.
  2. Peel the other mango and chop it into 1/3″ dice.  Stir it into the purée and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the whipped cream:

  • 1″ section of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup well-chilled whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  1. Finely grate the ginger on a microplane. Take the clump of grated ginger and squeeze its juice into a small bowl.
  2. Measure out a scant 1/4 teaspoon of the ginger juice. Add it and the lime juice to the whipping cream.
  3. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until nice and thick.

For the assembly:

  1. If you want it to be pretty, use 4 nice glasses and, in each, layer a couple of tablespoons of the mango mixture, a dollop of the whipped cream, and 2 crumbled meringue cookies, then repeat each layer.
  2. If you want to embrace the Mess of Eton Mess: For each serving, stir together about 1/4 cup of the mango mixture, 1/4 of the whipped cream, and 4 crumbled meringue cookies.
  3. Eat it right away so the meringue cookies don’t lose their crunchiness.

Strawberry-Pomegranate Sauce (and Three Things to Do With It)

Most of my friends are not fruity-drink drinkers. In general, they are wine and beer people, and they can put away quite a lot of that liquid refreshment. I have, one more than one occasion, been simultaneously shocked and amused when our huge, blue, regular-trash-can-sized recycling bin has ended up nearly full to the brim of bottles and cans after having friends over. I’m just glad that it has a lid so that I’m not embarrassed by having to leave the hard evidence of our excesses out in the open for all of the neighbors to see.

Again, despite their propensity for consuming copious amounts of adult beverages, my friends aren’t usually particularly excited about things like frozen drinks, so when my husband and I were grocery shopping for a big cookout last August, I should have known better than to be enticed by the 4-for-$5 sale on 1-pound packages of strawberries. But I could make strawberry daiquiris with them for the cookout! They were so cheap! Oh yes, also, they looked and smelled amazing! I didn’t have the willpower to resist such a good deal on such good-looking seasonal produce. I took my four pounds of strawberries home and did the wash / dry / freeze on a tray so they don’t stick together / dump in a plastic bag thing with them. At the cookout, after some of our guests humored me and politely drank one daiquiri, they all switched back to their beer and wine. I think we polished off one pitcher of daiquiris and threw the second one away after it melted to watery grossness when no one wanted any more. And that is how I ended up with two large ziploc bags of strawberries in the freezer.

Later in August, I managed to put a dent in some of the leftover berries by making some balsamic strawberry ice cream, but then I forgot all about them until I was cleaning out the freezer a few days ago. I tasted one and it was surprisingly un-freezer-burned. But here was my problem: it’s the middle of winter so I have no desire to make anything cold like ice cream or a smoothie, but I loathe the texture of frozen strawberries that have been defrosted. For me, that texture is spit-it-out bad, right up there with getting a chunk of unexpected fat in your mouthful of meat, or taking a nice big bite out of a soft, mealy apple. So, I started thinking about the strawberry purée from the ice cream recipe. It was packed with flavor and basically like a super-thick syrup. I redid the purée, cutting back on the sugar a little bit and swapping out the balsamic vinegar for pomegranate molasses, which makes it decidedly tart. I used it like a jam to sweeten some winter-y dishes and add some summer flavor to them. Truth be told, calling it a sauce is not really accurate because it’s not thin enough to be pourable. “Goo” might be the best word to describe its consistency, but that doesn’t really make you want to eat it, so I’m just going to stick with “sauce.” I tried using the sauce mostly in breakfast dishes with different winter fruits, and the three suggestions below were my favorite.

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal with Strawberry-Pomegranate Sauce and Toasted Walnuts. Here, I basically used the sauce instead of sugar to sweeten my oats. Cook 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats with 1/4 c. water, 1/2 c. milk, a pinch of cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries. After 5 minutes, when the oats are all nice and creamy, stir in 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind and 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. strawberry-pomegranate sauce. Top with chopped toasted walnuts.

Double-Pomegranate-Kiwi Yogurt Bowl with Macadamia Nuts. Here, again, I essentially used the sauce instead of honey or another sweetener to mix in to plain yogurt. I really liked the super-crunchy texture that the kiwi seeds / pomegranate seeds / toasted nuts combo created. Swirl 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. strawberry-pomegranate sauce into 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt. Top with 1 peeled and chopped ripe kiwi, a handful of fresh pomegranate seeds (okay, okay, pomegranate “arils” if we want to be technically correct), and a tablespoon or two of chopped toasted macadamia nuts.

Lastly, you could put a spoonful of the sauce on top of some cheesecake. Or a mini cheesecake. Classic and yummy.



Note: The sauce is based on the fruit purée for the Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream in the book Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough. (Which, by the way, is a great ice cream recipe.) I did not want the sauce to be super sweet, but you might adjust the amount of sugar depending not only on your taste but also on how sweet your berries are to begin with. I got my pomegranate molasses at a Lebanese market, and it’s sold at some Asian supermarkets. After a quick Google search, I also found out that you can apparently make it at home by essentially reducing a mixture of pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice. Or, like practically everything else, you can find it on Amazon.


Strawberry-Pomegranate Sauce

makes about 1/2 cup

  • 2 generous cups frozen strawberries (about 7-8 oz.)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  1. No need to defrost the strawberries. Cook them with the sugar in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and released a bunch of juice, about 10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture has a syrupy consistency.
  3. Let it cool down some, then purée in a small food processor.
  4. Pass through a fine mesh strainer, then add 1/2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses. Taste, and add the other 1/2 Tbsp. if desired.
  5. Transfer to a small container, and cover and refrigerate until needed.