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A Freehold of My Own

Documenting my journey toward being a self sufficient family

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Zucchini Hummus

Hello dear readers! I know it has been quite some time since I posted, pregnancy and Fibromyalgia and all that. I’m back for this post at least. I am due in about five weeks so don’t be surprised if things are still pretty sporadic.

A few days ago I came across a post on the unholy Facebook regarding Lara Bar’s. If you’ve never had one it’s kind of like a granola bar on crack….but in a good way. They are insanely tasty but horrendously expensive. This recipe showed up though on how to make a bar that is reasonably close. I will be posting on my adventures with this recipe but obviously not here. This led me to researching the raw food diet. I was never overly attracted to the idea, one reason being that my colon doesn’t get along with raw vegetables very well, the other reason being that I just have never had the urge to eat a “raw cinnamon bun” made of nuts and dried to a certain consistency in a dehydrator. No offence to the folks who like them. The idea just doesn’t appeal to me. Among my travels through the raw food world I came across a recipe for Zucchini Hummus from the Experience Raw site. I love hummus and hummus type dips in any form. I could happily live off them with flat bread and fresh veggies or crackers. I altered this recipe slightly, if you want to try the original please see the link above. I will warn you…this will give you INSANE garlic breath but it is SO GOOD.

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, washed and chopped
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon paprika
1 and a half teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
dash of dried chipotle powder
6 Tablespoons tahini
1 cup of whole raw almonds, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed. 

Combine all ingredients in food processor, puree until smooth and creamy.
Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to four days. (The original recipe says four days, I’m sure it would last a week).

Oven Dried Bananas

I do apologize for the long delay. For a explanation please go here.

Shortly after the dried apple experiment I tried an old recipe with a new twist. Many years ago when I was diagnosed with IBS, one of the recipes I came across was oven dried bananas (or banana chips). When done this way they are AMAZING. Nothing like the deep fried greasy bits you find in stores. All I really did differently was dipping them in the water/lemon juice mixture and dried them for longer at a lower temperature. They were crunchy yet chewy when I first tried them. I tried them again about a week ago and they seem to have dried out a bit more and are quite difficult to chew on. I’m not sure if this is because my bananas were a little too green and therefore did not have a high enough sugar content, or if I just simply dried them too long. My tip for you is to dry them for 3-6 hours and see if they are at the consistency you want. If you prefer them softer like I do then store them in the fridge in a air tight container. If you like the super crunchy ones dry for 6-9 hours and store them in an air tight container in the cupboard.

Oven Dried Bananas

6 slightly green tipped bananas
1 L of water
2 TB lemon juice
2 Drying Racks (I use cake cooling wires)

1. Preheat oven to your lowest setting. Mine gets down to about 130 degrees F.
2. Mix lemon juice and water.
3. Peel bananas and break or cut in half. Using your thumb press into the middle of the flat end of the banana, it will split into three wedges quite easily. Put these wedges into the lemon water. Do this with all the bananas.
4. Place onto drying racks and place onto the oven rack.
5. Close door, propping open with a wooden spoon to help keep the temperature low. Let dry for 3-9 hours, depending on how dry you want them.
6. Let cool and enjoy!

Homemade Extracts

Since I got pregnant oranges have been my best friend. I don’t know why, it’s just the only fruit I seem to be able to stomach. Outside of the dried apples anyways. First it was those tiny mandarin oranges. It has recently switched to regular old naval oranges. The idea for this started with an abundance of mandarin orange peels. I hate throwing things out, especially when I know they can be used for something so I roamed the internet looking for ideas in what I could do with them. I tried putting a bunch in a jar with white sugar like I used to do with vanilla beans at work. I was a little over zealous though and overnight most of the sugar liquefied. Will have to give that another go.

I stuffed the rest into a 250ml mason jar and covered them with white rum. I’ve been sober for a year and a half and since my darling husband pretty much quit drinking with me as a show of solidarity, so the rum has been sitting there for ages. Something needed to be done with it. That started the mandarin orange “oil”, as it’s called online, in my universe it’s an extract but whatever. A few days later I rediscovered the bag of lemons I had bought, hiding in the back of the fridge. Once again, something had to be done with them before they spoiled. I peeled the zest off a few with a regular old peeler and stuffed those into a 250ml mason jar and covered those in rum. I juiced the rest. After a few weeks sitting in a dark cabinet I pulled them out yesterday and removed the peels. They both smell amazing, WAY better then any extract I have ever bought from a store. Below is a basic outline of the steps involved.

 

Implements:
2 – 250ml mason jars with lids and screw tops (I used lids that had been through the canner once already)
1 bottle of white rum (or vodka)
1 vegetable peeler
2-3 lemons
2-3 oranges (more of they are the little mandarins, possibly less if you are using naval’s)

Steps:
1. Ensure jars and lids are clean
2. Peel the zest (the coloured part) of the fruits off, filling a jar with lemon peel and the other with orange peel, leaving about an inch free at the top.
3. Cover with the alcohol, making sure to cover all of the peel.
4. Cover with lids, screw tops on, label and put into a dark cool cupboard for 2-4 weeks. About once or twice a week give the jars a gentle shake.
5. After a few weeks remove the peels and discard, closing the jars up again, leave them in the cupboard and use as you would any other extract.

*I haven’t used them yet, but I have a suspicion they will be stronger then the stuff you get from the store, so maybe try a little less then the listed amount on your recipe the first time just to be safe.

Mandarin Orange in the left, Lemon on the right

 

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