Saturday, August 21, 2010

blueberries, blueberries

biscuits and jam ii

Blueberry season seems to be going on and on this year. I got a huge thing of bargain blueberries about a month ago, and I'm still seeing blueberry bargains at the store, so I thought I'd better post a couple of blueberry recipes before it's too late.

First, a blueberry-banana jam. Though you might not think it, bananas are high in pectin which helps this jam gel nicely (blueberries seem to have less pectin than black and raspberries). Starting the jam the night before and letting it rest overnight means you'll heat up the kitchen a lot less than you would if you cooked it all at once.

Following that, a recipe for blueberry muffins. Rachael thought these weren't sweet enough and I thought they were just right: if you like your muffins to taste like cupcakes, feel free to add half-again as much sugar.

blueberries and bananas

Bluebana Jam

makes 6-7 1/2 pints

1 small lemon, halved and thinly sliced, pips tied in a cheesecloth bag along with
4 cloves
1C water
3 bananas, sliced (200g)
2lb blueberries
2lb sugar

Simmer the lemon slices and the little bag of pips and cloves in the water till the lemon's tender. Add it to all the remaining ingredients in a big pot, bring to the boil (stirring frequently so the stuff at the bottom doesn't stick) and cook till the sugar's dissolved. Take off the heat and cover, and let rest overnight.

The next day bring it back to the boil and cook for about five minutes, till it's turned to jam (it should be 221 or 222ºF). Pack into jars and boiling-water-bathe for five minutes.


muffin batter

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

makes 12 muffins

325g whole spelt flour
110g sugar
2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
2t powdered ginger

1/2C soy yogurt
1C soy or other milk
1/3C oil, your choice
1t vanilla

220g blueberries

Heat the oven to 425ºF and prepare your muffin tins (grease or line with cupcake papers). Whisk the dry ingredients together in a biggish bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, then combine them along with the blueberries. Mix just till it looks like nice batter, then fill your muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes.

muffins iii

Friday, August 20, 2010

canning fun

Jennie iv

My friend Jennie came over for a day of canning--we made lavender peach jam (we cooked it till it was 224ºF this time, and it set nicely) and Yummy Banana Chutney. The chutney has to rest for six weeks before it will be truly ready, but it's already pretty yummy. The chutney had to cook for quite a while, so while we waited we had okara oaty bread and tomato eggplant salad for a treat.

bread ii

tomato aubergine salad ii

The okara oaty bread was a regular soda bread incorporating the sludge I had left after making almond-hemp milk yesterday. I'm sure any similar stuff would work--genuine soy okara, or ground-up oats from oat milk....

almond hemp okara

Oaty Bread

makes 1 small loaf

160g coarse, wholemeal flour
100g all-purpose flour
1/2t each salt, baking soda
25g oleo
1 batch of okara
100g rolled oats
200ml soy yogurt, about--the amount needed will depend on how thoroughly you squeezed your okara

Heat your oven to 425ºF and grease a smallish bread pan (my 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" one is a little too big). Whisk together the flours, salt, and soda, and rub in the oleo. Rub in the okara, stir in the oats, then mix in the yogurt till everything's wet. Add more yogurt if necessary to get a nice wet dough. Spread it into the greased pan, cut a deep slash down the middle, the pop it into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. It won't darken much, but should smell nice and sound hollow when you thump its bottom.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Almond hemp milk

I got a soy milk maker a couple of months ago, and I really like it--it can make grain milks, mung bean milk, and nut and seed milks as well as soy milk, and all for much less than buying them at the store. A quart of soy milk costs at least $2.00, and enough soybeans to make a quart only costs about 15¢. My favorite milk so far has been using half soybeans, half brown rice: the brown rice gets rid of the beany flavor and adds creaminess to the milk--it's as thick as whole cow's milk, but without the unpleasant (to me) mouth-coating unctuousness.

Today I made a quick-and-easy milk that didn't require my new machine or any cooking at all--just a good blender and some cheesecloth. It has a nice, nutty taste and should have some omega-3 from the hemp seed.

Almond-Hemp Milk

1 1/4 oz hemp seeds
2 oz almonds
5C water
optional: salt, sugar, vanilla to taste (I like my milk plain)

Soak the seeds and almonds in a couple of cups of water for a few hours, then blend thoroughly in your blender. Add the rest of the water and blend some more. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a big bowl. When most of it's gone through, gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze the rest of the milk out. You can add the remains to some muffins or something if you feel bad about throwing them in the compost.