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Mindful : December 2014
December 2014 mindful 33 When the French travel, it’s our custom to return home laden with the delicious foods indigenous to the place we visit. When I discovered cranberries after moving to North America, I fell in love with these deep red, flavorful berries. So, when family and friends visit from France, I make a point of sending them home with an abundance of cranberries. Now I cook and bake using the fruit quite reg ularly because of their health properties as well as their taste. I once went to see them being harvested and it’s quite a production. Cranberries are grown in large, boggy fields that are flooded so the ripe cranberries float to the surface. Men in big Wellington boots use hoses to vacuum berries from the top of the water onto truck beds that will carry the berries to be packaged. I was fascinated to learn that while the berries are floating on top of the water, their exposure to more sunlight increases the level of anthocyanin in the berries— this is the substance that gives the berries their intense color. A nthocyanins are phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and other health benefits, and because I love to bake using healthy, organic ing re- dients, I think cranberries are a perfect ing redient for the holidays. I have chosen a basic cranberry and apple crumble but I think the pecans and the orange zest adds a new taste dimen- sion and the flavors are very seasonal. My other recipe choice is a biscotti, made with an unusual combination of flours, yet gluten free, and made unique with the addition of cranberries and beautiful green pistachios from Sicily—absolutely delicious—and they make wonderful gifts. As I always say, food is love, and here is my latest offering. I hope you enjoy it. A votre santé et bon appétit! ● Baking with Love and Cranberries 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, + butter to coat baking dish 4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced 1 cup cranberries, frozen or fresh, chopped 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 1 1⁄2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract 1⁄2 cup demerara sugar 1⁄3 cup millet flour 1⁄3 cup rolled oats 1⁄3 cup coarsely chopped pecans 1 tablespoon golden flaxseeds confectioner’s sugar, to serve Preheat the oven to 400°F and butter a 7" x 10" baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, orange zest, and 1⁄4 cup demerara sugar. Toss to coat well; set aside. In a bowl, combine the millet flour, rolled oats, pecans, flaxseeds and the rest of the sugar. Add 1⁄2 tbsp vanilla and the butter. Make crum- bles with the tip of your fingers. Transfer fruit to baking dish and cover with the crumble. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and you can see the juice of the fruit bubble lightly. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve lukewarm dusted with confectioner’s sugar, with plain yogurt, or thick cream. Cranberry and Apple Crumble Resident foodie and mindful eating advocate, Béatrice Peltre loves the rich, deep color and tart flavor of the cranberry. Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. Serves 12 food