Category: Eat. Drink. Preserve.
October 10, 2014
It’s beyond easy to preserve cherry tomatoes. In fact, these may be the easiest edibles we put by to enjoy in wintery meals. No excuses for not doing this one!
These little bites of summer are the first tomatoes to begin ripening in early summer and the last to stop bearing fruit in fall the Pacific Northwest. And, when a generous variety — like these sugary-sweet Sungold — starts bearing, it’s easy to find yourself harvesting a pint or more from one plant each day from July until frost. So, even if you’re cutting tomatoes into every dish you make in late summer and early autumn, odds are you’re still finding your counters overrun with a glut of tomatoes.
When slicers are juicy and ripe, the cherries just don’t seem as exciting anymore, so we preserve them right off the vine every day from about August through, well, October (this year). That might sound like a lot of work, but it requires just a few moments to complete these simple steps: (more…)
September 19, 2014
Every year I preserve tomatoes into frozen chunks, dehydrated pucks, and ready-to-serve marinara. This year I tried my hand at making tomato water, which can be used in cocktails or as a salty tomato essence seasoning for many other dishes. Everything I read about making tomato water included the direction to “dispose of strained pulp,” which sounded like a big waste to me. So, I decided to see if the pulp would dehydrate into another preserved tomato food I’ve always wanted to try: tomato powder.
Every recipe I’ve read for making tomato powder suggest pulverizing dehydrated tomatoes, but I found it’s easy to whip up both tomato water and a tasty tomato seasoning salt out a single four pound harvest of tasty red orbs. Nothing wasted!
Here’s how: (more…)
September 05, 2014
If you’re looking to learn how to preserve peppers and you’re even just a little bit lazy about food preservation, we’ve got a few methods you’re going to love. Plus, you’ll find our recipe for a sizzlin’ hot pepper Margarita!
This year we’ve got a bumper crop of Hot Pegasus peppers, tomatillo, jalapeno, and a tiny little fiery red one whose name I can’t recall. But, there’s only so many of these spirited fruits that we can eat fresh-picked, so putting them up is key to maximizing our bounty.
Here’s how we’re doing it. (more…)
August 29, 2014
Growing a Makrut lime may be the perfect citrus solution for those of us gardening in locations where getting citrus to form fruit isn’t easy. Why? Well, it isn’t so much that this variety of citrus tree is hardy through icy winters. Rather, it’s about what we harvest from these trees.
If you’ve dipped into a bowl of soup at Thai restaurant, odds are you’ve enjoyed the Makrut. If you buy those plastic packages of lime leaves for curries at the grocery store, you’re buying Makrut lime leaf.
Hey wait a minute! Isn’t that called a K-something lime? (more…)
August 22, 2014
Growing strawberries or have a bag in your freezer from an earlier harvest?
Wondering what to do with the leaves from your stevia plant?
Want an easy-to-make freezer pop recipe that’s diary-free and requires no added refined sugar^ or honey?
Us too! That’s how we came to develop this recipe for tasty, frozen Strawberry Chocolate Rockets, which you could make in any kind of freezer pop mold, but the rockets are darned cute!
Since so many of you have asked on social media, we’ve added a link to buy rocket molds – and other molds – following the recipe.Strawberry Chocolate Rocket Freezer Pops Print
(makes about 6-8 treats, depending on the size of your mold.)
1 bar Theo’s 85% dark chocolate
(we like this specific chocolate because it is local in Seattle & because it has just a few ingredients, which are organic and fair trade: cocoa beans, sugar & ground vanilla bean. That’s it. Plus, it offers very low sugar to carb ratios. The nutrition facts on the wrapper indicates each bar equals two servings, each with 17g carb and 7g sugar, which means much of the carbohydrate doesn’t come from refined sugar! And for this recipe, one bar of chocolate becomes 6-8 servings instead of 2. We’ve added a link below to buy, if you’re interested)
1 can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
2-4 pitted dates (2 if they’re big; 4 if they’re small or you have a real sweet tooth)Skip the dates & the pops still taste great with even fewer carbs!
1 vanilla bean (or 1.5 T. vanilla extract)
6-8 fresh stevia leaves (or more to taste, but remember that a little stevia goes a very long way.)
1/2 cup fresh or defrosted strawberries (yes, we’ve made them with raspberries too, and the raspberry-chocolate lovers liked them best!)
Break up chocolate into squares. Add to high powered blender along with coconut milk, pitted dates, entire vanilla bean & stevia leaves. Begin blending on low, increasing power to high. Blend until smooth; about 2-4 minutes. Be patient & get the mixture as creamy as possible. As needed, turn blender off and scrape down sides so everything fully blends and you don’t end up with clumps of coconut milk.
While chocolate mixture is blending, roughly chop strawberries.
Pour a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture into your freezer pop mold. Drop in about 2-3 T of chopped strawberries into the mold & stir berries and chocolate together with a knife or something thin and long. Top off with more chocolate mixture to the recommended fill point on your pop mold. (It isn’t likely, but your mixture might expand while freezing, so be sure to leave some head room so it can do what it needs to do.) Stir again briefly so berries are dotted throughout the pop and there are no air gaps along the sides of your mold. Insert sticks with lids.**
Place into tray. Set into freezer. Allow at least 2-3 hours for the pops to set up.
If you have extra of the chocolate mixture, put it in a sealed container in the fridge. Use the extra mixture to refill emptied pop holders another day.
When you remove your pops from the freezer, you may want to have a measuring cup filled with hot water handy. Dip the frozen mold into the hot water for couple of moments (not minutes). This will help it melt a bit on the outside, making it easier to remove the pop whole from the mold.
Enjoy…just not too fast. You don’t want this freezer pop recipe to turn into an ice cream headache maker.
**If you are using homemade freezer pop molds, you may need to fill your molds part way, stick them in the freezer until the mixture is partially frozen. Then, remove from freezer, insert your pop sticks, fill the molds the rest of the way with yumminess, and then complete the final freezing of your complete pops.
Want rocket molds, Theo’s chocolate, or another style of fun freezer pop mold? Get’m here!