Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


Another Festive Drink - Pomegranates, Apples and Cranberries With A Dash of Cinnamon

DrinksLina LiwagComment

It’s almost Christmas and our family is having our celebration this weekend so i’ve been thinking about salads, desserts and of course drinks!  Yes, another drink yet again …festive that is.  And my tropical roots is saying sweet, tart and a little touch of the holidays.   So as I woke up this morning, I felt like I needed to make that drink… a precursor to our weekend party.   My fruit tray happens to have all these wonderful red goodies from our organic market so why not a red drink with a holiday feel?   And then how about adding some cinnamon?  Doesn’t that make it even more festive?


Okay…okay…I’ve been a little obsessed with pomegranates and have eating them everyday for the longest time.   A friend of mine wonders at the amount of time I spend in prying out those seeds out of that fruit.  I just don’t mind the work it entails…I really love pomegranates! Anyway, here are some facts about our ingredients for this drink:

Pomegranates - they are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and potassium.  Dr. Joel Fuhrman has written a great article about pomegranates here.

Cranberries -  they have been known for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections.  Recently, there has been studiesthat this berry may also promote gastrointestinal,  oral health, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer.  

Apples - we’ve heard that saying over and over again “an apple a day drives the doctor away” and  here’s some good stats about apples that we may not be too aware of:

Apple Nutrition Facts

(*One medium 2-1/2 inch apple, fresh, raw, with skin)

Calories 81

Carbohydrate 21 grams

Dietary Fiber 4 grams

Soluble Fiber 

Insoluble fiber

Calcium 10 mg

Phosphorus 10 mg

Iron .25 mg

Sodium 0.00 mg

Potassium 159 mg

Vitamin C 8 mg 

Vitamin A 73 IU

Folate 4 mcg

*The nutritional value of apples will vary slightly depending on the variety and size.

Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory — Apple

Cinnamon - this spice has been gaining a lot of popularity lately as we have been hearing more about its ability in blood sugar regulation.  Cinnamon in other cultures like China and India have been using this spice in their healing because of its warming and energizing properties.  It contains iron, calcium, manganese, and fiber, and can be used to temper sugar cravings.  


Another Festive Drink - Pomegranates, Apples and Cranberries With A Dash of Cinnamon

Ingredients: (preferably organic)

 seeds of 1 pomegranate, about 1 1/2 c.

2 fuji or lady pink apples

1 c. fresh cranberries

4 c. filtered water

1/4 - 1/2  t. cinnamon powder 

2 Tbsp. (or to taste)  coconut nectar, maple syrup or raw honey (optional, see notes)

cranberries and lemon slices as garnish 


1. Remove the pomegranate seeds by following these steps.  

2. Juice all the fruits.  In a pitcher or a large jar,  combine the juice with the water, cinnamon powder and sweetener if using.  Stir well making sure the cinnamon powder is well incorporated.  It’s good to use either 1 or 2 jars so you can shake the drink and get the cinnamon diluted.  You can add some ice if you live in a warm climate.  This can also be warmed a little bit (don’t boil) if you live in colder places like Canada.   

3. Serve and garnish with lemons and cranberries.  Enjoy!



1. The juice yielded about 3 cups.  If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high-speed blender then use a nut bag or a cheesecloth to remove the pulp.

2. The mixture with the water is fine with just the added cinnamon.  However, it may be a little tart to some  because of the cranberry juice so feel free to add your own sweetener.

3.  You can omit the cinnamon if it’s something that you do not enjoy in a drink. 

Satsuma and Pomegranate Punch - A Festive Drink And Some Childhood Memories

DrinksLina LiwagComment

I grew up in the Philippines where eggnog was never heard of.  Christmas was warm and  we drank “punch.”  It wasn’t the healthy kind of punch mind you. We had a lot of oranges and lime called “kalamansi” in our backyard but there was a brand called “Tang” which we thought was kind of special because it came from the US of A.  Fast forward to the early 90’s and as a new immigrant in Canada, I was fascinated with those huge punch bowls at parties and at that time, it was a different mixture all together  - frozen juice, water and some pop or soda as they call it in other places.  I made and drank a few of those not knowing then how much artificial sugar it had and that their ingredients except for the water were highly processed.


So I have evolved and the healthier version of me still wants to drink punch but this time, it has to be a better quality than my childhood Tang or the 90’s sugary version.  And two fruits in season are my inspiration: satsuma and pomegranate.

Satsumas…aren’t they pretty with their golden colour?   Sweet and just the perfect tartness, refreshing, fragrant and aromatic - they are the perfect Christmas kind of fruit and an awesome ingredient for a drink.  And the ruby red pomegranate is just the “made in heaven” pair.  Satsumas are a thin, loose skinned and seedless mandarin oranges. They were originally cultivated in Japan and were brought to the United States in 1876. It can sometimes be mistaken with clementine due to the relatively similar size and appearance.  However, one of the distinguishing feature of this orange is its thin, leathery skin with prominent oil glands, making it easier to peel.  


Satsuma and Pomegranate Punch - A Festive Drink 


8-10 satsumas, peeled

seeds of 1 pomegranate, about 1 1/2 cups 

4 c. filtered water or more (see suggestions)

several thin slices of lemon for garnish


1. Juice the satsumas and the pomegranate seeds.  Mine yielded 4 cups of juice.   If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high speed blender and blend the fruits.  Use a nut bag or a cheese cloth to remove the pulp.

2. Combine the water and stir in the lemon slices.  It’s good to leave the drink for an hour before serving as the lemons will give it a nice infused flavour.  Enjoy!


 You may use up to 8 cups of water if you have more guests to serve.  You can then add 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey.  Of course you can always make your own variation. Clementines can be used if you can’t find satsumas in your area.   Apples and fresh cranberries are good options as well.  


The pictures below show mandarin oranges from my dad’s orchard in the Philippines  taken on my last visit there in August of 2011. They probably have one more month to go before they are ripe and ready.  These trees were planted when we were very young and they are still around bearing fruits today!  This variety is the Filipino relative of Satsuma I must say.  


 I had good memories eating many of these growing up in a small rural community located in the Northern-most part of the country.  When ripe, the skin of this type of mandarin does not turn orange at all but becomes lighter green with some yellow  patches or streaks (maybe due to the climate)  but they are sweet and organic.  I definitely miss home just remembering this part of my childhood.