Friday, August 08, 2008

Fresh Salsa

There is nothing like the taste of fresh salsa made exclusively from ingredients that you grew. This is my first batch of salsa this year and I predict it won't last through the weekend!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I've been trying to make sugar free jelly

I haven't been blogging because I've been in my kitchen experimenting.

The goal - to make an all natural sugar free jelly that tastes good.

The problem - sugar is a big part of what makes jelly "jell" so making one without any sugar is tricky. I don't want to used processed nutrient dead calorie rich white sugar. I also don't want to use artificial sweeteners. It also has to be gluten free and casein free. Since sugar also acts as a preservative in jellies, if I do succeed it will probably have a shorter shelf life.

I didn't want to use honey or maple syrup for fear they would add too much flavor - I really want to taste the fruit.

I decided to use stevia for my first trials. I also picked currants to be the fruit since I have a bumper crop of them this year and I won't be upset if I ruin a batch or two.

Batch #1 was a complete bust. It did not jell at all and wasn't even thick enough to use as syrup. It was also way too tart.

I decided to increase the pectin and the stevia and try again.

Batch #2 was better. It jelled. A soft jell that set up a little firmer in the fridge - definitely a texture I could be happy with. But it was still way too tart.

I'm not sure what to do next. I'm not sure if I need to add more stevia or less. Stevia can get bitter if you use too much so you want to use it sparingly. It wasn't bitter though so I think I could add more - or should I just switch to a different sweetener?

I'm going to mull it over a bit before I give it another go. I'll keep you all posted and post a final recipe and pictures when I get it all figured out.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What to do with all of the zucchini.....

I made muffins last night and they were super yummy. If you are not gluten free, you can subsititute regular flour and omit the xanthan gum.

GFCF Zucchini Muffins

1 ½ cups GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup finely shredded zucchini – peel and all
1 egg
¼ cup coconut oil
Zest of one lemon
1 cup chocolate chips (optional – you could also add nuts if desired)

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the first seven ingredients and set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl beat together sugar, zucchini and egg.
Add oil and lemon zest; mix well.
Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into muffin cups that are lined with paper liners or well greased.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen muffins

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Just look at the size of this bell pepper in my garden! It is over 6 inches long - I noticed it last week when it was about 5 and thought it was huge then - I think it is done growing, but I could be wrong........

Friday, August 01, 2008

Won't be long now

until the plums are ripe. There are only 7 on the tree - this will be the first year it produces. Regular readers might remember that Dan planted it for me two years ago for my birthday. I'm hoping for another fruit tree for my birthday this year. Hard to believe I will be 50 in less than two weeks!