Issue: # 2009-1



Happy Holidays!Hopefully everyone is keeping warm and enjoying their holidays!  Here are two recipes for people who want something homemade, that’s tasty, pretty easy even though its not out of a can.

So for all those aspiring chefs out there, give this a go!!


Still looking for a special present? Share your cooking results or just send a recipe from this newsletter!   Order Brain & Body Healthy Nutritional Supplements (20% Winter Rebate!) or my Memory Preservation Nutrition booklet, or my personal Brain Wellness coaching/consulting services from our website:         Also,  Check out the other websites listed under Quick Links.


Hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with cheer and good fun.


Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D.

President, HealthCare Insights, LLC


MPN™ Nancy’s Cranberry Fruit Nut Holiday Sauce- a Brain Healthy (No Added Sugar) Recipe © 2009 Healthcare Insights, LLC

Yield:  25 servings (2 Qts)                       

           INGREDIENTS                               AMOUNT

Fresh Raw Cranberries – rinse and remove any soft berries 1 ¼ pound (1 &1/8 quarts after cleaning)
Diced ripe pear (Overripe is best.Leave skin on.  May substitute ripe grapes, plums. ) 1 cup plus
Diced ripe apple (Skin on, remove any bruised or spoiled areas. Soft or wizened fine.) 1 & ½ cups
Fresh pecans or walnuts (shelled & chopped) 1 ½ cups
Zest of 1 (or ½) Orange (dice the rest or just squeeze into sauce) 1 (or ½) medium orange
LIQUIDS: need total of about 2 cups any combination – may substitute other sweet fruit juices as available:
Apple cider or juice ¾ cup
Orange Juice ¾ cup
Water ½ cup
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Pumpkin Pie Spice mixture 1 tsp
Natural non-sugar sweetner:optional  
Stevia powder  TINY pinch  (1/8 packet)  


 Truvia® (mixture of stevia & erythritol) 2 packets


Honey (this adds over 100 calories and carbs) ¼ cup


  1. Wash, clean, dice or chop all fruit and nut ingredients
  2. Grate orange for zest, chop orange sections
  3. Combine fruits, chopped nuts and zest into large 4 qt. cooking pot.  
  4. Pour in 2 cups of liquid (mixture of fruit juices and water)
  5. Stir
  6. Add cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices
  7. Optional: add minimal amount of natural, no calorie sweetener (you really don’t need this as the fruit juices, apples, pears etc are sweet enough to balance sour of cranberries).
  8. Stir.
  9. Place pot on the cooktop, on high or relatively high heat.
  11. Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring as the cranberries “pop” and split.
  12. Remove from stove and allow to cool to room temperature
  13. Store in refrigerator until ready to be served.




Place in serving bowls and serve….

NOTE:     May be served cool or at room temperature.




Any leftovers can be stored in refrigerator, usually keeps 1 month or longer. 


Or, you can heat to boiling and use sterile canning processes to put into cup or pint-sized sterilized glass jars for future holiday meals. (or holiday gifts!)


The Story Behind the Recipes and Natural Brain Healthy Sweeteners
Your friends at HealthCare Insights thought a holiday recipe, red in color, was in order. We’ve added a couple more brain healthy recipe’s since many of you might be doing extra cooking this season. 

The first recipe, Nancy’s Cranberry Fruit Nut Holiday Sauce is my personal “brain child” -and is this year’s variation on a long running theme. This year’s version is totally healthy, with no processed sugar, using only nature’s sweet tastes and extra cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices which add both flavor and concentrated healthy nutrients.


As many of you other good cooks know, it is hard to stick to a precise recipe when you are having fun in the kitchen….and also when you are seeking to use what you have on hand rather than running to the store for a missing ingredient.  The beauty of cranberry sauces is, as long as you have cranberries, the rest of the ingredients can be varied to suit your taste and available provisions. I’ve added some photographs for fun, so you can be inspired by the luscious colors and imagine the flavors.


Brain Healthy No Carb Natural Sweetners

The second recipe Brain Healthy Baked Sweet Potatoes with Orange Raisin Sauce, I adapted from a similar recipe in this month’s Environmental Nutrition. I recommend ditching the brown sugar and instead using natural sweeteners that have neither sugar nor glucose metabolism challenges. You have a choice of using either one of two “sugar alcohols” that look and taste like sugar, but aren’t (you use the same volume)….Erithritol (no calories) or Xylitol (50% less calories than sugar), or stevia (extracted from a green plant!) which is 200 times sweeter than sugar…so use only a very small amount!   All three of these natural non sugar sweeteners actually help decrease plaque on your teeth! And are healthy nutrients rather than health challengers such as all sugars are.  Take note that removing 3 tablespoons of brown sugar eliminated 135 calories and 36 grams of  simple carbs.


Another adaptation is to add cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice mix to enhance both flavor and nutrition. Cinnamon and the other pumpkin pie spices (usually cloves, nutmeg and sometimes cardomon) are all powerful antioxidants.  Clinical research has also proved that cinnamon helps regular our blood sugar and reduce cholesterol.


Stay tuned for January’s newsletter where I plan to include my delicious carrot soup recipe and another healthy dessert.



Holiday Tips
  BRAIN HEALTH RESOURCES:  Check out websites of brain health colleagues, each of whom has written one or more marvelous “must have” books:  Dr. Lynn Lazarus Serper Ed.D is a super star and expert in cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation, Joyce Simard MSW, is expert at “memory enhancement programs” and a star with late stage AD programming called “Namaste”, and Beverly Moore, RN is a star in Alzheimer’ care and coaching, helping families (and assisted living communities) deal with the most challenging situations and transitions.  Each has a book or two available for purchase on their websites:


Here are their websites:  






 Consider giving yourself and those you love a brain healthy beginning to 2010.  Go to to order the Memory Preservation Nutrition® program booklet, personal Brain Wellness coaching/consulting services from Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo, or brain and body healthy nutritional supplements (including some to boost immune systems during the winter cold and flu months!).

“Hot” From Environmental Nutritionist December Newsletter
Sweet Potatoes Glow with Health and Flavor.  The deep orange color of sweet potatoes is a calling card for its stash of antioxidants called carotenoids – the major one being beta-carotene, which can be turned into vitamin A in your body.  Sweet potatoes also contain unique root storage proteins with antioxidant properties that protect the plant from disease, pests and stress.  Epidemiological studies suggest that diets high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, but beta-carotene supplements do not show the same benefits.  Recently, Swedish researchers discovered that eating three or more servings a week of carotenoid-rich vegetables, such as green leafy vegetables or root vegetables, could reduce the risk of stomach cancer by between 35 and 75 percent.”Shopping and Storage. “Look for firm sweet potatoes that show no signs of bruising.  Store them in a dry, unrefrigerated bin, as refrigeration can alter texture and taste.  Simply scrub sweet potatoes, trim off any woody portions, and bake, broil, roast, or microwave them.  The rich flavor of sweet potatoes pairs well with fruit flavors such as citrus and apricots and nuts like pecans and walnuts.”

by Sharon Palmer, R.D. for Environmental Nutrition

(Plain) Sweet Potato1 cup, baked, with skin


Calories: 180

Vitamin A: 38,433 International Units (796% DV)

Vitamin C: 39.2 milligrams (65% DV)

Manganese: 1 milligram (50% DV)

Vitamin B6: 6 milligrams (29% DV)

Potassium: 950 milligrams (27% DV)

Dietary Fiber: 6.6 grams (26% DV)

Sharon Palmer, R.D. © Environmental Nutrition December 2009.





© 2009   Environmental Nutrition






Brain Healthy Baked Sweet Potatoes with Orange-Raisin Sauce© 2009 HealthCare Insights, LLC MPN™


Yield: 8 servings


Small Sweet potatoes


Orange Juice

1 ½ cups

Pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice (reserving juice)

8 Ounce Can


½ cup

Xylitol, Erythritol , (or packed brown sugar)

(or, preferred, ¼ teaspoon Stevia)

3 tablespoons

Arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons



2 teaspoons

Pumpkin Pie Spices

1 teaspoon


3 tablespoons

Shredded Coconut

(optional) Add as topping as desired



1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash, scrub, and pierce sweet potatoes.  Bake for 45 Minutes.



Combine orangMethods:




1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Wash, scrub and pierce sweet potatoes.

3. Bake for 45 minutes in hot oven.

4. Combine orange and reserved pineapple juice in a saucepan.

5. Halve pineapple chunks and add to juices, along with raisins, natural sweeteners, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spices.

6. Bring to simmer on top of the stove.

7.   Mix arrowroot powder with water and add to sauce.  Stir until sauce thickens.


8. To Serve:

Cut each sweet potato open, fluff with fork, and top with sauce.

Top with coconut, if desired.


Nutritional Information per serving:100 calories (if you add brown sugar add 135 calories!), 20 grams carbohydrates (if you add brown sugar add 36 grams of carbs!), 3 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 21 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber, 26,788 International Units vitamin A.



May you have a healthy and heart-warming closing of 2009.



Happy & Healthy New Year 2010!
Nancy Emerson Lombardo, PhD


HealthCare Insights, LLC

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