Move Over Potatoes – Zucchini Is Taking Over

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini squash knows how prolific it can be. After you’ve had your fill, and your pantry and freezer are well stocked and you have given your friends and neighbors all they could eat you’ll find you still have an abundance of left over zucchini. Short of using them for skeet shooting, what to do?

Well, it’s time we think outside the traditional zucchini box. When they ‘re young we sauté them and fry them, turn them into pickles, breads, muffins etc. but once they get too large the centers are stringy, the rinds are tough, what now? Compost?

Fall is the time for savory flavors so I vote we make some healthy zucchini fries.

 

HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES
HEALTHY ZUCCHINI FRIES

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 large zucchini

Salt

Seasoning of your choice (I use Lawrys)

Cooking spray or olive oil to brush on fries.

 

DREDGE INGREDIENTS:

Buttermilk or kefir or egg

Organic flour (I’m sure gluten free flour would work if gluten is an issue)

Bread crumbs (panko or Italian or homemade, your choice)

 

Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients
Healthy Zucchini Fry Ingredients

 

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and slice the fleshy part of the zucchini into ¼ inch sticks 2-3 inches long. Compost the pithy center. Line the zucchini sticks on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt to draw out moisture. Leave set for about an hour. Pat zucchini sticks dry with another paper towel. Dredge the zucchini sticks in the flour, then the buttermilk, then roll in the bread crumbs and place them on a baking rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 or 15 minutes, then remove them from oven, spray lightly with cooking spray, turn the fries and lightly spray the other side. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, remove from oven and season with your preferred seasoning. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I love these paired with my kefir ranch dressing. YUM!! Tasty and healthy and kid tested and approved.

375 degrees, 30 minutes.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Attitudes are contagious, Is your worth catching?”

 

 

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“An Apple a Day in a Whole New Way” – Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

Last year was we had a beautiful summer but as much as I love the summer I hate the way cooking heats up the whole house, so I set out to find and/or create simple easy healthy no cook recipes for the summer months. Simple? Easy? Healthy? No Cook? And Tasty? Yup, I won’t settle for anything less on my blog. If it’s not tasty why bother making it. I’ve read so many recipes on chia pudding and how good it is for you but most were with nut milk. I didn’t have any of the ingredients around except the chia seeds. That said, I did notice the 5:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. So I thought, since I’ve got some left over apple juice I’d give that a try. It turned out delicious and it was so simple. If you can stir you can make it and a half cup makes a “stick with you” breakfast cup. It’s a great make ahead dish to grab when you’re in a hurry, just put it in little ½ cup jelly jars, cover and store in the fridge.

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups apple Juice (I make my own and preserve it in mason jars)

¼ organic chia seeds

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

½ cup of applesauce or chopped apples or walnuts (optional) whatever you like

Whipped heavy cream sweetened with maple syrup (optional) (Omit for vegan)

Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients
Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding Ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Put the apple juice, chia seeds, maple syrup and cinnamon into a medium bowl and stir until there are no clumps. Cover and put in fridge overnight. Stir in optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve with maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes about 4 – ½ cup servings.

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. http://thecrunchymoose.com/ferment-garlic-using-kefir-grains/. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”

 

Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

Ingredients:

Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)

 

Preparation:

AS WITH ANY FERMENTATION PROCESS, CLEANLINESS CAN’T BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE CULTURING BACTERIA AND YEAST AND IT IS JUST AS EASY TO GROW HARMFUL BACTERIA AND YEAST AS IT IS GOOD.

Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

SPROUTING GRAIN TO MAKE FLOUR

My first attempt at sprouting wheat and grinding my own sprouted grain flour went very well!!

 

sprouted grain sour dough bread
sprouted grain sour dough bread

SPROUTING GRAIN TO MAKE FLOUR

Directions:

Use only whole raw non-gmo seeds to sprout

2 cup organic raw whole non-gmo grain seeds (I used red winter wheat berries)

non-chlorinated water (enough to cover the grain to two inches above grain)

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Preparation:

Put the rinsed grains into a soaking vessel and cover with water to two inches above the grains. Add the acidic vinegar or lemon juice to help keep bacteria from forming. Stir and cover with a kitchen towel, cheese cloth or other loose fitting lid. Let soak for 12 – 16 hours. Drain thru a mesh sieve and rinse with cool non-chlorinated water. Return to vessel. Rinse 2 – 3 times a day until you see little sprouts start to form. Once you see sprouts put the grains in a dehydrator at 105 degrees for about 18 hours. Remove from dehydrator and grind into flour. The finer the grind the lighter the bread.

soaking grain
soaking grain
sprouted grain
sprouted grain

sprouted-grain-flour

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

Harvest season is almost a magical for me. I love to watch as my pantry shelves slowly fill with jars of all shapes and sizes and colors. It makes me feel “warm and cozy” inside. It’s kind of therapeutic. I have to admit that once all my “staple” canning and freezing gets done I like to make my “special” pickles and relishes. On the menu this harvest season is Giardiniera, a wonderful savory mixed veggie relish. This year I had a nice crop of Greek oregano that I dried so I will be using that even though Giardiniera is traditionally Italian.

Note: I found that pressure canning will cause the veggies to lose their crispness. Now I hot pack this and store in the fridge once cooled. If you make a half batch it stores well in the fridge in a covered container and tastes great even raw. Experiment! Send me your feedback I’d love to hear from you!

giardiniera
giardiniera

Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

 

Mix First Ingredients in Large Bowl

 

2 organic large green bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic large red bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

1 organic large yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced small)

2 organic jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic stalks of celery (diced small)

1 organic large carrot (diced small)

1 organic medium yellow onion (diced small)

2 cups small organic cauliflower florets

1/2 cup sea salt

Enough Non-chlorinated water to submerge veggies

 

Submerge veggies below salt water, cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Drain water.

 

Mix in Remaining Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 6 oz jar green salad olives with pimentos

1 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil

 

Directions

Mix well, cover and let marinate for a few hours. Transfer to large pan and bring all ingredients to a boil. Pack into hot 8 oz jars and wipe rims well. Seal jars with hot lids. (I cheat and use my dishwasher sanitize cycle to get my jars, rings and lids hot.) Store in fridge once cooled. Makes 9 cups.

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

I wanted to make a Cornish dish called pasty the other day and after I chopped all the vegetables and mixed in the meat and seasoning, I found I didn’t have any vegetable shortening to make the pastry crust. I considered butter but thought that might make it a little too rich so I substituted coconut oil for shortening. I knew coconut oil melted easily since I use it on my skin so I chilled everything before I started and handled the dough as little as possible. The flavor was light and nutty and it had the most delicate flaky texture. THIS IS MY NEW GO TO RECIPE FOR ALL MY PASTRY CRUST NEEDS. Another Happy Accident!!!

Note: This pastry crust is vegan but the Cornish pasty filling is not, however you could leave the meat out of the filling and just fill with the veggies and a bit of vegan margarine.

Cornish Pasty
Cornish Pasty

MULTI-PURPOSE COCONUT OIL PASTRY CRUST

Ingredients:

1 cup organic unbleached flour

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (keep cool)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Aluminum free)

1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (very cold)

Preparation:

First of all I chilled all of my bowls and utensils prior to starting my crust preparation. Sift together all dry ingredients then cut in coconut oil with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Add cold water and mix until it forms a ball. Split dough in half and dust with flour and knead slightly. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about an hour. Roll out each half on waxed paper to form desired size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

Makes 2 crusts.

Pasty Filling
Pasty Filling
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust
Multi-purpose Coconut Oil Pastry Crust

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

This wonderfully light, crisp, effervescent beverage has many health benefits, delicious and easy to make. I was recently on a long and strong course of chemotherapy and it did a lot of damage to my immune system and many other areas while it was eradicating any remaining trace cancer cells and I suspended my use of this powerfully beneficial beverage. Now that my treatment has ended I’ve resumed drinking JUN and feel much healthier and more energetic. I suppose it’s because it’s a simple drink made from simple ingredients that’s simply wonderful! Here’s how you can make your own.

Note: Unpasteurized JUN or Kombucha will continue to develop a new baby SCOBY so if you are squeamish about them floating in your brew just pour thru a nylon or high quality stainless steel tea strainer into your glass and put what it catches into your compost.

You can get a JUN SCOBY here or you can get a daughter from a fellow brewer. I use a 1 gallon glass jar as my fermenting vessel and a coffee filter to cover the top securing it with a rubber band or breathable cap.

 

JUN TEA

Ingredients:

3 ½ Quarts of non-chlorinated water

8 organic Green Tea Bags

¾ Cup Raw Honey (I use clover due to tree allergies)

1 JUN SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast)

2 Cups of previously brewed JUN that your SCOBY was stored in

(this is known as a SCOBY Hotel)

Jun Ingredients
Jun Ingredients

Directions:

In a large pan bring to a boil 3 ½ quarts of non-chlorinated water. Add 8 organic green tea bags and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and cool to 117 degrees. Remove tea bags and add ¾ cup of raw honey and stir until completely dissolved. Continue to cool until it’s room temperature then pour it into your fermenting vessel. Add 2 cups of previously fermented JUN from your SCOBY hotel and your SCOBY. Cover with the coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or breathable cap. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 6 – 8 days. It will grow a daughter SCOBY on top. (This can be used to brew your next batch of JUN). Remove the mother and daughter SCOBY and 2 cups of brewed JUN and put them back in your SCOBY hotel and refrigerate until your next brew date. You can strain and bottle at this point or add flavorings like fruit or ginger root if you prefer. If you add flavorings put them in with the JUN and cover with coffee filter for a couple of extra days then strain and bottle. If you store the bottles in the fridge right away it will not become effervescent. I leave my bottled brew on the counter for 2 – 3 days before I refrigerate so that it has some carbonation.

Brewing Tea
Brewing Tea
SCOBY Hotel
SCOBY Hotel

 

Fermenting the JUN
Fermenting the JUN

 

Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”