Liz Schmitt’s cooking changed dramatically following her husband’s heart attack in 2011. Now thirty-five pounds lighter, she adheres to a low-salt diet, avoids “white” foods and treasures every day with her now heart-healthy husband. She shares her recipes on her blog, Liz the Chef, and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Most diets designed for weight loss become pretty boring with the passing weeks and months. I’ve been working on mine since March, fixing lots of simply prepared fish and chicken. We eat so much of the stuff that I sometimes look in the mirror and expect to see that I’ve sprouted feathers or grown gills.
Homemade chutneys are a terrific way to amp up either a snack or a meal without adding too many extra calories or salt. Making chutney is easier than most jam recipes, and are a nice alternative to a bottle of wine for your host/hostess gift. I have about a half a dozen recipes I make, depending on what is in season. Whenever possible, I use organic ingredients.
Pomegranate molasses can be found at Whole Foods, online, or in Middle-Eastern markets, or you can follow Beth’s instructions for making your own.
Apple & Fig Chutney
There are so many different ways in which this condiment could be used it is incredible how many options one dish opens up.
- 2 ½ cups honey
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 pounds Honey Crisp apples cored, chopped, unpeeled
- 1 pound dried figs stemmed and chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 Meyer lemon – or any lemon juiced and zested
- 1 large clove garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, combine the honey and vinegar. Over medium heat, stir until the mixture comes to a boil.
Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well, bring chutney back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle into sterile jars, and can in a water-bath according to safe canning procedures. Alternatively, chutney can be stored in fridge in covered containers, for up to a month.