All things yummy

Preserving the Harvest

How do You Preserve the Summer’s Bounty?

Summer in Canada is a wonderful time of year. Warmth and green begin to surround us. It is also a bountiful time as gardens and markets begin to fill be ripe delicious produce. Part of the dilemma in Canada is how do we keep the mouthwatering goodness of summer for the cold long days of winter? Preserving the harvest by freezing, dehydrating or canning creates endless opportunities.

I have to admit last year was a bit of a flop for me, my garden failed and I put away very little for the winter. This year is a new year and I am determined to fill the freezer with fresh beans, corn, peas and more! I also have many empty jars waiting to be filled with jams, pickles, relish and salsa. If you have a favourite recipe to preserve the harvest I would love you to share it with us!

This is my favourite strawberry jam recipe I have used for years. It comes from “The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. (you can pick up a copy at Read’s Bookshop here in Carleton Place!) It takes a little planning but very little energy and doesn’t heat up the kitchen on those hot days! It contains no added pectin or Certo and because of the shorter cooking time it retains its colour and fresh flavour. For best results make sure to use a few under ripe berries with green tips to up the natural pectin content.

-Mix 4 cups strawberries with 4 cups sugar and let stand for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
-Place mixture in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
-Add 1/4cup lemon juice and boil rapidly for 5 min.
-Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 24 hours
-Bring berries to a full boil on high heat and boil rapidly for 5 min stirring constantly
-Remove form heat and ladle into hot canning jars and process in hot water bath for 10 min
Makes 2.5cups and recipe can be doubled

Celebrate Summer with Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes are the long, curly, stringy, flowering stems from the top of the garlic plant that are usually cut off to ensure the plant’s energy goes into making the delicious garlic bulbs bigger. You may recognize garlic scapes from the farmers market or maybe you have more than what you know what to do with of your own! Whatever you do, do not throw these nutritious, delightful scapes away. Scapes are more delicate and have a milder flavour than garlic. They can replace garlic, onion or scallions in other recipes. They are a great source of fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium. Further, current research supports the role of garlic in enhancing immune function and improving health. Garlic is also being studied extensively for it’s potentially protective role from the development and progression of cancer and heart disease.

Garlic scapes work as a substitute for both the basil and garlic in traditional pestos. The garlic scape pesto can be spread on bread or crackers, served over pasta, on pizza, in salads, as a dip, the possibilities are endless.

Be sure to swing by The Granary to check out our extensive selection of nuts, seeds, oils and spices and get started on your pesto.

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 cup of any nuts or seeds (pine nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower seeds or a combination of a couple)
1/2 cup of olive, flaxseed or Camelina oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4-1/2 water
fresh pepper to taste

Combine the first 5 ingredients and blend in a food processor. You may need to scrape the sides down with a spatula part way through and blend again until an even paste is formed.
Add desired amount of water (more will make it creamier) and blend again.
Add pepper to taste and enjoy!

Makes 2 cups and will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks or can be frozen for a few months.

Coconut Banana Creme Brulee

This Gluten Free, Dairy Free recipe created by nutritionist Peggy Kostsopoulos is packed with the health benefits of coconut.

1 cup vanilla coconut milk
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/3 cup coconut sugar plus extra for topping
1 small ripe banana, whole
1/2 banana, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground chia

In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine cashews, coconut milk, banana, coconut sugar, vanilla and coconut oil until smooth. Add ground chia and continue to blend.
Layer banana slices across bottom of four ramekins.
Pour mixture evenly over bananas.
Refrigerate for about an hour.
Remove from fridge, then sprinkle coconut sugar to completely cover top of each ramekin. Using a blowtorch, caramelize sugar until bubbling and golden. If you don’t have a blowtorch, place ramekins in oven under broiler for a few minutes.
Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
Recipe and image obtained from the Steve and Chris show website. www.cbc.ca/stevenandchris/

Spiced Toasted Almonds

An energy rich snack that makes a great holiday gift. Taken from
“The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. Nourishing, Big Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery” available at The Granary

2 cups raw almonds
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the almonds with all the ingredients until evenly coated. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 min, until aromatic and slightly browned.

Variations : For a more savory snack, swap the cinnamon and ginger for 1/4 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, sage and thyme.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free, Quinoa Chocolate Cake
No one will believe this chocolate cake is made with cooked quinoa — no flour required!
Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) round cake.
(Gluten-Free, Kid Approved, Vegetarian)

2/3 cup (160 mL) quinoa
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) water
1/3 cups (500 mL) milk or soy milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (185 mL) butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) white or cane sugar
1 cups (375 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp (15 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20 cm) round or square cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.
Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth.
Mix the sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and bake on the center oven rack for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Granary Granola

A great way to start the day. Eat it alone or add it to your favorite boxed cereal, top with almond milk and enjoy. A nice quick snack between meals or out on the trail. Nutrient rich, high is protein, fibre and even omegas.

Granola is flexible so try something new each time. How about dried cherries with pecans or blueberries and almonds…the possibilities are endless.

3c Rolled Oats (certified gluten free if required)
1c Oat bran
1/4c Sesame Seeds
1/4c Flaxseeds
1/2c Sunflower or Pumpkin seeds
1c Choped Walnuts or almonds
1/2c Apple juice concentrate or applesauce
1/4c Flax oil
1tsp Vanilla
1tsp Cinnamon
2c Raisins or cranberries etc
1/2c Flaked unsweetened coconut

Bake at 350F on two cookie sheets for 18-20mins or until golden brown and stir contents to brown. Store in airtight container in fridge.