BeJeweled!

Agar Jello, featuring Hibiscus

* EDIT August 9:  To correct typo in the jellos — the agar powder for the “Hibiscus Jello”  is 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp;the “Chia Jello” is 1/4 tsp agar only. If you copied the recipe with the incorrect 1/2 tsp please correct it accordingly. Apologies!

I actually had to re-do and experiment to get this jello recipe ready for posting here. Reasons I rarely post recipes that I make is because, one, I never write them down; two, I don’t use exact measurements, preferring to know what I want and just work it on the fly/as I go; and three — this is most important — I usually use at least one ingredient that I *know* 99.9999% of people do not have in their kitchens and won’t find in stores. One would have to online order…too fussy. No one’s gonna make it.
Oh, and, reasons why I don’t post what *I* actually eat is because I actually very rarely  “make” a meal for myself; I eat very, very simply. And, well, I’ve just got “weird” taste preferences compared to others! or so it seems 😕

So, anyway, my hibiscus jello wouldn’t be “easy” because of the reasons stated, and so why post it? I wrote a new version below making it as easy and as accessible as possible for the majority without compromising texture — but the flavor is all on you!

A little bit of info first…

Starch Jello:
One issue with agar jello is that it results in a rubbery/hard jel. It’s actually more favorable for an aspic. On the other hand, if using too little it will just be runny.
Some fruits, like citrus, are said to inhibit the jelling ability, resulting in inconsistent finished products.

One solution is to add a bit of starch.

This works quite well, and if you have no issue with it then use 1/2 Tablespoon to 2 Cups of mixture.

You will need to cook the  cornstarch first (or microwave it. Best way is to combine the starch with a Tablespoon cold mixture then, after cooking the agar, whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and microwave for @ 30 seconds on high, or, for about a minute stove top to dissolve and clear.
Another issue is that some fruits — citrus, pineapple, etc. — will hinder the jelling. So, again the starch will help with this.

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NOW brand Agar Powder

Agar-only Jello:
I don’t use starches, so I have  found that using the inhibiting feature of citrus actually helps balance out the rubbery texture of agar to create a better, softer jello. Still, this agar-only is not “perfect,” jello consistency; however if you are opposed to starch or gums, then you may like this or experiment yourself further. Vinegars, by the way, destroy the jelling.

Homemade agar jellos will also weep. Commercial veg jellos don’t because they use multiple stabilizers.

Authentic Foods Guar Gum

Gum Jello:
Xanthan and guar are readily available, and can be bought it stores nowadays, so that’s what I used here. These help smooth it out just enough to get rid of the rubbery without turning it to a mealy or viscous texture. They also help absorption and inhibit the weeping somewhat.

I think, after making this, you will then see if you want to add a touch more of this-or-that, to your taste, if you need it.

Ultimately, if you like the taste, but not the texture, just blend it up, pour into molds or ice-cube trays, stick a stick or toothpick in ’em and you’ll have fantastic popsicles! The agar helps soften the texture of sorbets and frozen desserts, so they aren’t so hard-frozen, and they drip less. Win-win! 😀

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Hibiscus Jello: Makes @ 1 1/4 C

3/4 C Hibiscus Infusion, (make it as strong as you want the finished product to taste –for example, when I used a tea blend, I used 3 tea bags in 8-oz water)
1/4-1/2 C Sweetener (see below)

1 tsp lime juice (or lemon) or to taste, optional

1/4 tsp +1/8 tsp agar Powder
1/4 C hibiscus Infusion (see below)
Pinch (1/16 tsp) Guar Gum (see below)

Fresh fruit chunks, optional

Directions:

Prepare your fruit and place in molds, if using. Set aside.

Combine 3/4 C Hibiscus Infusion with sweetener to taste, and lime juice, if using. Set aside.

Combine in a 2 C pyrex or other deep microwavable vessel* (or cook stove top) the remaining 1/4-Cup  Hibiscus infusion, agar, and guar gum and whisk together well.
In microwave, boil mixture for 1 full minute — see important note below.

Remove the the agar mixture, from heat/oven and, while whisking, add the reserved sweetened hibiscus infusion. (Don’t add the agar to the hibiscus; add the hibiscus to the agar). Whisk thoroughly.
Pour immediately into molds, over dish of fruit,etc., and refrigerate till cold. Agar will set at room temperature within minutes; however it’sbest set for at least an hour for flavors to meld and refrigerated for best texture.

You can add fresh fruit pieces by placing them into the molds and pour the mixture over them.

Hmmm…Hibiscus jello with rogue chia seed ;^)

“Below” 😉

Sweetener: You can use up to 1/2 C sweetener — frozen fruit juice concentrate, or powdered or granulated. (Though about 1/3 C is about  sweet enough; add to taste). If using a granulated sweetener such as sugar or erythritol, you should make sure it is completely dissolved in your infusion before adding it to the agar. (Heat up the infusion or a part of it to dissolve it, if needed or sweeten it when you first make it).
You can use all or almost all  fresh fruit juice if you use the concentrated form of hibiscus (as I describe in the recipes below), just make sure you have a total of 1 C liquid mixture as per the recipe. You may add a bit more sweetening from there if it needs it. Basically, to your taste. I also want to impress that your choice of sweetener is important. Having tried several, it makes a big difference in flavor.

Hibiscus Infusion: This is simply the hibiscus flavor and concentration you want. If using a pre-made blend such as the Celestial Seasonings “Zinger,” I’ll use 3 bags per cup. That’s my preference; you may like a 2-bag steep. Again, taste is up to you!

“Pinch”: This direction can be annoying because there is actually a pinch measuring spoon! What I have found — even though, have you noticed how a brand of measuring spoons can differ in volume from another?!! Drives me crazy. A “pinch” depends on the author — it could mean a finger pinch — and, whose fingers do they mean??!! — or just a couple shakes, or any other dash, sprinkle, or spoon!
Anyway, what I have found is that generally, a measured “pinch” is @ 1/16 teaspoon. So, if you don’t have a “pinch” spoon, just using half your 1/8 teaspoon should be fine.
It may sound fussy, but with gums it’s important not to use too much or too little. Too much is really awful…Sorry!

* You need a 2-Cup Pyrex cup because it is deep enough with a small enough diameter bottom to cook the mixture over a minute without having it boil over and all over your microwave and not evaporate at the same time. A too-large bottomed bowl or 4-C pyrex cup is too big and yourmixture will evaporate.

If you don’t have one, use a similar deep cup or bowl and perhaps test it with some water first to see if it boils over so you don’t waste your agar.

Note: *IMPORTANT* The agar mixture needs to full-boil for 1 minute minimum. So, you need to watch your microwave to start the countdown once it boils. So, for example, if mine begins boiling at about 30 seconds, I need to make sure it goes at least an additional 1 minute from there.

A little longer is okay, just don’t let it full-boil for more than 1:15 or so (your mixture will evaporate!)

Ultimately, the flavor is entirely up to you. I find I like strong flavors in general, and hibiscus is no exception. I like to be able to taste the hibiscus so I make it strong, and don’t want the sweetener to mask it.
The addition of your favorite fresh fruit is great here.

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Fun with your jello!

Using molds is a fun way to make these even more visually exciting.

These are my old round cutters I used to use for baking

You can use your holiday or other cookie cutters and molds too. Here are my old — and I mean old – aspic cutters!

You can see how well-worn they are. I used to use these to make little pasta shapes for soups, and vegan gummis; lots of decorations, etc.

They are deep, which is nice because you can choose how thick you want your items to be. Not expensive at all, by the way. I believe I got mine and Sur La Table or perhaps some other cook’s shop.

These are really great in fruit salads! Just mix some in with a medley of fruit.  Or freeze some and plop them into drinks!

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Aren’t chia seeds gorge?!

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Chia Jello!

Hibiscus Chia Jello:

3/4 C Hibiscus Infusion
1/2 C Fruit Juice Concentrate (see about sweeteners above), or to taste
2 tsp Chia seeds
1 tsp lime or lemon juice, optional

1/4 tsp agar powder

1/4 C  Hibiscus Infusion

Directions:

Yep, you can mold the chia jello too! ;^)

Combine 3/4 Hibiscus Infusion, Sweetener, chia seeds, lime juice, if using. Set aside.

Combine in a 2 C pyrex or other deep microwavable vessel* (or cook stove top) the remaining 1/4 C Hibiscus infusion + agar and whisk together well.

In microwave, boil mixture for 1 full minute — see important note “Below” above 🙂

Remove the the agar mixture, from heat/oven and, while whisking, add the reserved sweetened hibiscus-chia infusion. (Don’t add the agar to the hibiscus; add the hibiscus to the agar). Whisk thoroughly.
Pour immediately into molds, over dish of fruit,etc., and refrigerate till cold.

Agar will set at room temperature within minutes; however it’s best set for at least an hour for flavors to meld and refrigerated for best texture.

You can add fresh fruit pieces by placing them into the molds and pour the mixture over them.

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Chia Jello has a great texture. This is a nutrient -dense dieter’s dream! Chia? Hibiscus?! Wow, loaded with healthful benefits!

Next Up…

TAZO tea “Passion” Hibiscus Popsicle

A Couple Fruit Popsicles

Hibiscus-Pineapple Popsicle

Hibiscus-Pineapple Popsicle

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Hibiscus pineapple Popsicles

Pineapple is awesome with hibiscus. Try mango too!

8 ounces or 1 heaping Cup of chopped pineapple

3/4 C coconut water, (or water, tea, or juice*)
+ Hibiscus infusion/concentrate,** to taste
OR –
1 C total of a strong Hibiscus infusion

2 TB lime juice

Sweetener to taste, optional/if needed*

Chunks of fruit or berries, optional, added after blending, or place in molds and pour the blended mixture over them. Freeze.

Directions:
Prepare your fruit if using; place in molds. Set aside.

Blend first 4 ingredients in a blender till smooth. (You can strain the blended mixture, if you wish.) Adjust sweetening, if needed.
(You can remove foam, if desired I find it yummy and, oddly, creamy and delicious)

Pour into molds, over the chunks of fruit, if using, and freeze.

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Notes:
You can add chunks of any fresh fruit. Mango is great in these. Fresh fruit is a Mexican tradition, and really makes these wonderful.
*You can use fresh juice or frozen juice concentrates to your taste for sweetening (white grape is good); 100 percent fruit juice is best

If you use canned pineapple, you can use the juice for the water (just be aware it may take over the hibiscus flavor). Maybe you like a bottled tea, etc.; use that if you like.
I find the faux sweeteners “iffy” and can add odd or “off” flavoring; fruit juice, for my taste, is best. You choose your favorite.

To make a smoother texture that hinders dripping, breaking, and an icy texture, you may use about 1/2 tsp agar powder (cooked first, per jello instructions for a minute)
You can make this as a sorbet as well; you can use agar or not.

Flore de Jamaica

Aren’t they beautiful!

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 Hibiscus Concentrate

 

You make your concentrate however you like. I like to make a very strong infusion so that I can easily incorporate it into any dish. I like mine 2:1 at least. I freeze it in ice cube trays and have it available at any time!
You can also make a concentrate from your favorite tea, such as the TAZO brand or the Celestial Seasoning blend. You can also make/use your own creation to taste.
For the popsicles, you want to end up with about 2 C of total blender mixture, but more or less is okay. After adding lime, additonal sweetening and your concentrate, it will vary. Taste it and it should be good. The 2 Cups is just an amount to work around. Then it’s extended further and you get more pops when you add fresh fruit!

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My Basic Hibiscus Concentrate – 2:1

I use whole flowers that I get from Mountain Rose Herbs

1 full Cup of whole Hibiscus flowers
2 or 2 1/2, 8-ounce Cups boiling water (16 or 20 ounces total) (I sometimes like to use cinnamon sticks simmered in water and use that)

Steep at least a few hours till cool, for best extraction, or overnight is best. It can be used sooner, though, if needed.
Squeeze out all the liquid you can.
Also, don’t throw out those flowers! They contain a lot more essence! Re-steep for a less concentrated form or tea.  They are also edible.

Makes @ 1 to 1 1/4 C concentrate

Tip: You can also steep hibiscus with cold water, either make sun tea, or leave it  to steep room temp. It can also be steeped in the refrigerator.

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Strawberry Flower Popsicles

1 C (8-oz.)hibiscus infusion, sweetened** to taste (make to taste – double strength at least)
1/2 lb. (8 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled, (ripe and good or get frozen!)
1-2 TB lemon or lime juice (or to taste, I like 2)

Optionals: Fresh fruit pieces (not for blending) fresh Mangos are great here; zests; spices; herbs; flavorings;etc.. Ginger is really yummy. I like a pinch of cayenne! Tastes like  — remember “hot tamales”? 😀

Prepare your fresh fruit, if using. Place in bottom of molds. Set aside.

Blend. Pour into molds. Freeze.

Notes:

To make a smoother texture that hinders dripping, breaking, and an icy texture, you may use about 1/2 tsp agar (cooked first, per jelloinstructions for a minute)
You can make this as a sorbet as well; you can use agar or not.

** This is about 3/4C of your “tea” + the sweetener you choose. Make your hibiscus strong so you can taste it. fresh fruit juice to sweeten will be a very light sweetening; if you use a sweetener without bulk, such as stevia, a fruit juice to make up the volume is a good choice.  For frozen concentrates, you would use it as for sugar; white grape is best, if you want the hibiscus to come through; otherwise, you can flavor it as you like with a tropical fruit juice blend, for example. Concentrates can be used in recipes that call for it, 1:1, as you would a liquid sweetener, such as simple syrup, maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, as well as dry sugar.

Be careful with the fake sugars  for some reason, they can taste really awful in a frozen dessert. To me, fruit juice concentrates are the best for sweetening popsicles.  But whatever floats your boat! Just make it good; make it to YOUR taste. The sweetener makes a difference in the *flavor* of final product.

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For sorbet,

pour into a flat pan or plate (I used a pie plate)

Freeze a a couple hours, or till half-frozen, and scrape with a fork

Repeat this a couple times, then add to a processor and consume as is, or

pour into a container with a secure lid, place back in freezer till frozen and scoop!

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Basic Fruit Popsicle

Kumquat Popsicles

When it comes down to it, just freezing some fresh fruit or juice, is all you need!

You just blend or pour into a plate and  scrape it as described above, or continue on for more ideas!

Coconut water makes a great after-workout electrolyte replenesher on these hot days! You can use fresh, or store-bought (a good one will have nothing but pure coconut water)

Just pour into a flat pan/plate…

Then freeze…

Doesn’t coconut water freeze beautifully?

you can break it up …

Then use the processor…

Or, if you don’t have a processor, scrape for a snowcone — I like using my zester  to get a fine grate — or use a fork

Scoop ‘er up!

Here’s apple juice:

Just 100% Fresh juiced Apples!

Or, turn them into slushies!

Apricot-Peach “Slurpee,” Slushie or whatever else you wanna call it :’)

Or you can pour fruit juice into ice cube trays, freeze and then blend in the food processor for sorbet!

This is a great replenesher of green apple and celery. Oh, and it tastes yummy!

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Blending whole fruit is the same:

Here is an apricot popsicle

Apricots are true jewels, aren’t they?! So rare, they appear for only a short time, so get ’em at their peak! They must be, for that super sweet nectar to make good popsicles.

Oh, and you can do the same fun shapes with ice cubes and fruit juices as you can with the jello! Why should they have all the fun? 😉

I like this particular ice tray mold because it look great in drinks!

Berries, fruit pieces, zests and herbs, such as mint also make for nice cubes

Zesty cubes!

There’s still so much more to write about these subjects! But I think all this will give you  brain freeze, just the same :D.

Enjoy, and have fun!

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Just Like Candy…

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Maybe shoulda put this one as a What Is It? ha? 🙂  Looks kinda…Autumnalish… pumpkiny even!

Hmmm…look at that color!

Well, I’ll tell ya, this is serious dried fruit. Did you guess it? Yeppers those are TOMATOES!

Don’t know ’bout where Y’All are from,  but Southern Cali Summer Sweet Tomatoes (yes, they deserve the capitals!) are  bloody fantasmic.

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Oh, yes, I kid you not. I’ve had sweet tomatoes sweeter than cherries, yep, I said that. If you never have, well, then there’s nothing to do but get yerself to SoCal or go get some sweetness from these   Southern Cali nightshades.

Now, you are asking: Why on Pluto would one dry these if so awesome?! Good question; I’d ask the same thing. Firstly, when you get loads, like I do, you want to have that goodness last as long as you can; dehydrating the excess is a great way to do this. Secondly, well, sadly — kinda — we’ve had the mildest summer I can ever recall (as I write this we’re now in the throes of the one of the hottest, record-breaking heatwaves ever reported...figures! .) In fact, our weather has changed dramatically over my lifetime (don’t ask) . Anyway, before I go off topic, the reality is that this year, the sweet tomatoes —  number one, arrived VERY late; and, two, they have been less than their usual stellar selves 😦  BUT…

they ARE summer sweet tomatoes!! so they are utterly delicious; it’s just that they aren’t cherry-peach–OMG-these-are like-grapes-I’m-gonna-pee sweet… like I expect come August. Hmph.

So, while these are sweet and  delicious to eat straight — by anyone’s standards — which is how I eat them, they are also perfect for drying. Why? ‘Cause no matter what kind of tommy you get, even if not what you wanted or needed for a dish, you can always use your handy-dandy dehydrator to transform them into dried goodness…

…I promise you, you WILL use them: Soups; dressings, sauces; veggie mixtures; blended smoothies; to make your own ketchup; make your own tomato paste (better than storebought, I tell ya); the best “pasta” sauce ever…  salads…on and on AND easy to store! some may birth savory, some medium-sweet, others sweet — come what may! But the umami in them all is sure to please 😀

Yea, they’ll take a long time to dry — do it overnight and it won’t seem so bad. However, depending on how many you do (and how good your dehydrator is – it can take 48 hours or just overnight. It will just depend.

Some of these regular ol’ sweet tomatoes are sweeter than raisins and are awesome in trail mixes, cereals, granola —  or better —NoGrainola 😀 They don’t taste “tomatoey”; they are a different thing altogether. They are a fruit, afterall!

The benefit of drying sweet tomatoes — and the great thing is that they don’t have to be THAT sweet to start — is that the sugars concentrate just like any other fruit; so your resultant product will be sweeter than it started, and is akin to a raisin. Now, if your sweet tomatoes are uber-sweet, well, you may just lapse into a comato 😉  Personally, I can’t  bring myself to dehydrate the bursting-with-juice-running-down-your-chin, sweet-as-syrup – but-with-no-crash-nectar of lycopene-OMG-they’re-plumper-than-Lisa-Rinna’s-lips ones; they are just too good, and the season way too short to not eat them fresh. Nevuh the less!  These penultimate sweet tomatoes are fab for drying.

And, the goodness just keeps on comin’ — What’s awesome and different with these, is that the skin, as you can see…


is paper thin and  crispy! Yep. So when you bite into it, you get a crinkly crunch and then the raisin-like sweet chewy goodie inside. I’ve had a few that were actually totally crunchy. Fantastic.

Washing the Plethora  of Pleasurable Pops


The little green hats are cute and all, but a pain in the bud! So one way to facilitate their removal (and save water) is to bathe them. They clean and, as you see…

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…the little tops float to the surface. Now, most of these are already-loose tops, however, you are now in the perfect position to agitate the little jewels to clean them and have the tops come off with a little hand action ;). Most come off this way. Then you can just skim them off before you remove the tommies from the dirty bath water by scooping : Don’t pour them into a sieve; you’ll be pouring the dirt back on to them! (Same deal for cleaning greens/salad greens-you pour the dirt you just removed over them as it sunk to the bottom)

I wash mine right before using (or that day) to avoid having them rot from sittin’ in water. You can also towel dry them, or spread them out on towels and let them dry.

AND as always, never refrigerate tomatoes! Only time I ever fridge ’em is if they are too ripe and at risk of going bad, and I won’t be using right away.

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Now, to storage…

 


Well, I mentioned a bit about it, but what about those dreaded moths?! Seriously, they are annoying and they love to burrow amongst my precious cargo — how they dare! — and do who-knows-what? to my treasure. Only one, 100% way I’ve repelled them (’cause I try not to kill stuff):

How to Repel Those Suckers,  or…

A Little Bay Keeps the Moths Away…

NOW brand Bay essential oil – one of the more inexpensive, but, potent oils, good for this application. More often available in stores and vitamin shops


Bay essential oil. Now, bay leaves are great to keep moths out of your pantry, and I throw several leaves into my cupboards where I store dried goods which attract them such as beans (closets, linen/drawers;laundry rooms; and sewing/craft rooms are good places as well). My house used to be a Nightmare on Lepidoptera Street when I had lots of flours and grains. Since those are gone, I’ve been moth-free…for the most part; my sewing room is another story 😕

Back to the bay —

Bay leaves are okay, but not ideal and iffy; bay oil is stronger and really works. Here’s what I do:

First, I MUST remove any that are rotting, of course, but most importantly, ANY that have been broken in any way. Even a little slit is too much. Remove those first, and put those in the fridge and eat those soon.

See here: The rotting ones are obvious, but this one could easily get past you, but it should be removed from the group:

eat it sooner 😉

Feel around and if any are wet for whatever reason, but not broken, then remove those too, and either dry off or just set aside to dry or eat soon — just get them away from the others; you know the “one bad tomato spoils the whole bunch” thing.

Okay, then I put them in paper bags and…

…Simply drip a few drops onto the tops of the bag to keep the invaders out. Do not let it drip onto your sweet tomatoes! Just on the bag. (Oh, and never do I leave them in plastic bags! That’s just asking for it; the moisture condenses and creates an environment ripe for rot. Let ’em breathe.)

You should reapply when it no longer is fragrant or if, like it is right now here,  it’s very dry and hot weather/environment and evaporates the oil. I’m reapplying much more during these uber-hot days than normal mild SoCal weather. I don’t get new bags; I just reuse the same ones so that the fragrance is nice and strong.

Now, I happen to love the smell of bay; if  you don’t, it’s not that bad; get over it 😛

Now you’re asking — cuz I’m clairvoyant — “So are my $6-a-basket sweet tomatoes now going to taste like bay?!#! ” Mm, not really. I mean, the fragrance may be strong to you, and you may *think* it does; but it hasn’t penetrated the sweet tomatoes; it’s all in your head.

Not-ta moth in sight – Yay! Notta one! 100% effective; gone. Awesome. Don’t know where they went – probably plotting against me at some moth watering hole (or feastiing on my good yarns and fabrics!) — but they are cursing me, I know it. Curse away! For me and my summer Tommies, it’s bountiful bliss forev — well, for a season 🙂

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Since I have SO many sweet tomatoes I do it this way; however, a few drops on a cloth or on paper kept very near your moth-attracting produce will do. You can keep them in bowls — don’t cover — if brown paper bags lining your entryway ain’t your idea of accessorizing your home.

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So are YOU matomaniacal like me? Do you have a secret fruit fetish from which you deviated to dappling in sweet tommies? Do you suffer from lyco-pondria? Well, as I have confessed to being a mushroom head, a GREENS queen, a coco-nutter <- bigtime; a sprouting fool of course, an avocado aficionado, an Olive FrEak …  I am now revealing that I lapse into  tomatose on a regular basis — yep, I do — Oh, don’t worry, it’s all good: Dr. Fuhrman, even praises the plums!

Okay, I  was so seduced by these tantilizing tomatoey teases, that I went on a photo rampage.  Here, just for  you fellow tomato fiends to enjoy is a slideshow of their deliciousness on display — only fellow fiends will realize how this is NOT internet time wasting 😀 Watch and, between drools, let your mind dream up the tons of ways to tomatize your life!

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Now don’t tell me looking fresh, REAL food isn’t more pleasing than looking at dead, processed junk! Did your creative juices get flowing?

so that’s long, all right — Not as luscious, but here’s a short 4-minuter for those of you who don’t quite do crazy 😉

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So what do Y’All do with tomatoes?

Mmmmmmmmmm…don’t ya want some?

 

Oh, lordy lordy…

 

So…Don’t be jealous: Go get some!

Poxacuatl

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CV Sunday!

whew, finally got around to making a much needed batch of  my cultured veggies last Sunday…

Not much to say (for once 😉 ) except that the absolutely cRazY weather Southern Cali has me a bit worried about how my fermented goodies will fare. So far so good! Taking extra care with cleanliness and sterilizing EVERYthing that comes in contact with the contents is the only real assurance the handmaden 😉 can expect.

So, without further ado, some CV porn … ahoy! 😀

Great colors…Imagine the flavors!

This older one…THIS ONE…Oh, the umamity! THIS was the most delicious thing I think I’ve ever tasted in my entire life — no kidding. It was…well, it’s un-limnable.  AND, to my chagrin, non-replicable 😦  — Believe me, I tried! O’ how I tried…I sweat and strain…body all achin’ and racked with pain…Nothin’ 😦

:sniff: It was one of my “everything cultured veggies” : When making batches, I gather the leftovers from each combo and just throw it into a bowl, mix it all, then place in a container; so I’m getting every ingredient I used that day! So it would be impossible to know all the stuff, much less the amounts. O’ the agony

Note the gorgeous black berries in there!…If only I could recapture the moment… 😀

Obviously, I make LOTS :^) It’s best to do it all in one swoop: It takes a day, but better to get it all done in a few hours, and then have MONTHS of not having to deal with it. Then…ahhhhhhhhh, just reap the rewards ;’)

So, enjoy the photos!

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*Oh, here’s an example of one foaming over; I mentioned this previously. Nothing goin’ wrong here; this is fine. If it were  bad, it would be very evident, if not looking at it before opening, upon doing so! Right quick like…

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~ Intermission ~

Here are some of the goodies in my latest batch:

Mustard seeds, Black peppercorns, whole Tumeric, Cumin seeds, Coriander seeds, Galangal, Ginger,

Onions, Garlic, whole Sumac berries

Green Apples; Peaches (first time using them; can’t wait to try!);Papaya ;Kumquats; Goji Berries

Broccoli Sprouts (fantastic price; outstanding quality); Savoy Cabbage; Green Cabbage; Purple Cabbage; Baby Bok Choi; Adult Bok Choi; Curly Kale; Dandelion Greens (fab in CV’s); Cauliflower, Zucchini…

That’s all I recall; I’m sure there were other goodies thrown in. I was low on fruit, so was unable to use some of the great summer fruits I would have liked; though, I’m willing to gear up for another round of CV Sunday if I come across some stuffs that I can’t pass up.

Oh! I also made a “pasta sauce” CV! I was inspired by someone’s blog ages ago; sadly, I cannot find it. A woman had experimented making CV with all the herbs, spices, and veggies one would put it a sauce and raved about it. Sounded weird to me, but, then again my concoctions may sound strange too, and they are delectable! Sooo, I gave it a try. I’ll give it a review once I taste it.

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Then I made…

… Pickles!

Previously,  made some delicious relish …

which was actually not pickled; it was cultured relish! Try finding that at any hippy-store 😉

So am hoping these pickies come out great. They should be easy to turn into relish when I need it, too!

And jus *had*  to make some more of the crazy-yum pickled papaya — fingers X they come out right!


~***~

Does the potpourri of ingredients give you any ideas? I hope so! (read my “How To” for more ideas) It’s a great  medium to be wonderfully whimsom 😀 and take advantage of the “anything goes” possibilities that making your very own. original cultured vege-fruit blends offers you!

I also suggest using organic ingredients, and strongly advise ( 😉 ) to not use any waxed foods — cucumbers, citrus, apples, etc.)

Ooh, I cannot wait for the Autumnal foods: My favorite season brings deliciousness that I can jar and enjoy all year long!

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Got some kickin’ it outside, too 🙂

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Okay, enough?  Me thinks I’m good for a while, right? 😉 ALthoooooogh…this reminds me

I still haven’t posted those other fermenting drafts (I’ve had sittin’ for years now!)

Hooray for CV Sunday — or  CV any day!

* I learned the basics from Body Ecology and, a great raw, commercial (but expensive) product recipe, Rejuvenative Foods brand (instructions at end of article).  As ALWAYS, use your own judgment, common sense, and be vigilant with all cautions — resultant product is your sole responsibility.

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Poxacuatl

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Deodorant Recipe


My New Fave Formula


Beautiful nourishing Calendula Flowers, dried and organic from Mountain Rose Herbs

I love my current, new favorite deodorant recipe!  It is very floral, and it grows stronger in scent as the days pass, becoming sweeter and more beautiful (as it “ripens” in the bottle). It is fragrant, but dissipates to a pleasing light scent, which actually lasts all day; So it does not obnoxiously, overpower and have that horrible perfume odor. My current favorite! AND, it actually works: summer days, all day long, I’m good to go. (By the way, nothing in this would prevent  using it as a light fragrance/body spray, if you wish!)

My Summer Whimsy Deodorant

1/4 C Calendula Hydrosol or Calendula water (Or you can use your favorite, if you wish; I made my own calendula water concentrate, so it is nice and fragrant. Alternatively, add some Calendula ESSENTIAL oil, which is a rare find , but, if you have it, awesome.)

1/4 C good-quality Witch Hazel

1 tsp Vodka, preferably organic, if available (see note)

10d Jasmine Essential Oil

8d Bergamot Essential Oil

5d Geranium-Rose Essential Oil

4d Lavender Essential Oil

3d Black Pepper Essential Oil

2d Lemon Essential Oil

3d Benzoin Resin Oil

Combine Witchypoo, Calendula water, vodka and benzoin.

Shake.

Add essential oils, drop by drop, swirling after each oil.

Shake well, and pour into 4-ounce glass* bottle with a Mister top.

Shake well before using. Can be used right away.

Enjoy it!

Notes:

I use about 4 sprays per underarm most days and winter; summer or humid days, I go 6.

* Please store your handmade products in glass bottles, especially when using essential oils.

**Always know your ingredients: Check for sensitivity, for example, or do not use products which will cause you an allergic reaction. Some oils should not be used by pregnant women, for example — Use responsibly.

*Note on Vodka: Square One organic Vodka is what I use to render various formulas. I have seen this at only a few regular liquor stores, but it is stocked at BevMo stores, if you have one near you. It may be elsewhere, too.

Also — again — keep in mind that many alcohols are made with grain, and, just like many vinegars, the grain is not listed. Corn is a big one, as well as wheat. So, if you have an allergy to or a sensitivity to any grain at all, please take the time to find out what type of grain is the base for your vinegars, flavorings/extracts, tinctures and alcohols. Many people think have allergic reactions to food and think it is a vegetable or other item in their food and the culprit is actually the vinegar. The Square One is made from rye, for example, so it would be unsuitable for those with a wheat allergy; however, it may be worth a taste test, as everyone has sensitivities and allergies to varying degrees.

The Spectrum, organic, white, for example, lists rye and corn in their ingredients, which is rare, but definitely welcome.

*

You can make your own floral waters, using organic, fresh flowers by steeping (petals only) for a few hours in hot water, or with good-quality dried organic flowers.

**

Dried Rose Petals, MRH

For longer storage, I freeze and use as needed — very convenient!

Dried Calendula Flowers

Calendula water concentrate, frozen

Poxacuatl

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The interpretation, usage and/or execution of any of the above information is the sole responsibility of the reader; none of the content in this post or this blog is intended to, or claims to treat, prevent, or cure any condition and is for informational purposes only. Take care and inform yourself. Also mind any medications you take and consult your physician as to what is or what is not safe to use with them, topically or internally.

What Is It?

Okay, so what is it?

Ahh, beautiful and sun-like!

tumeric_turmeric_fresh-52

Bathe in the beauty…

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Ack! What the..??

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*

Reminds me of that great Twilight Zone episode, no?

Hm…kinda wormy…

tumeric_turmeric_fresh-60

*…tentacles??!

tumeric_turmeric_fresh-12

*long litter fellers…

She breaches!!

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Oh. No, guess not …

Eeoow!

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*They are multiplYING……….

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*

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*

Okay, you probably have it now, right? 🙂

*

Ah, the turmeric! Fresh — there’s nothin’ like it!

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That is the real color, yes it is! No photoshoppery  needed 😉

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*I ould just look at the stuff all day and feel brighter! 😀

Slice it…it freezes well, too…

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Chop it up!

*

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use it in cultured veggies — oooooh 😉 (Teach Me, Alice 😉


Dehydrate it….

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Ground it…

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*Make mustard! 😉 Nothin’ like custom made mustard — no salt necessary!

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*

*Basically, use it to flavor any dish. Of course, your Indian or curry flavored dishes will taste that much better with fresh turmeric!

It boasts some benefits, but has cautions, too. (Always do research if you have a condition, are taking medications before consuming a new herb; consult your doctor.)

*

whew! Reveling in rhizomes is tiring stuff. So…how about a cuppa? Cup of turmeric tea, that is 😀

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*

Turmeric Tea

2  cups water
1 tsp fresh grated ginger, (or galangal 😉 ) Or more to taste – I like more (or 1/2 teaspoon fresh, powdered)
1 tsp fresh grated turmeric or juice (or 1/2 teaspoon fresh powdered turmeric)
Stevia, to taste (or 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or lime, other citrus; etc.)

For fresh, bring water to a boil, pour over fresh rhizomes and steep 10-15 minutes or to taste. Strain. Add Lemon and sweetener.

For dried, bring water to a boil, then add powdered herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain  and sweetener and citrus to taste.

*

And, of course, we all know…

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*Uh, just gorgeous, no?

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Very fresh or young ginger is often referred to as blue ginger or Thai ginger. Too many names! Galangal is also  “blue ginger.”

If you happen across these rhizomes, try them!  😀

Strix

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Try Something New…

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Beautiful Blue Poppy Seeds

~ *** ~

Sesame Milks

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Seed_Mylk


The Gold…

Ever had sesame milk? Why not try something new?! 🙂 May surprise you.


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Calcium rich, sesame milks are an excellent nightcap 😀 Who needs “a glass of warm COW milk?!!? Do you really want that? Eeeoow Double YUK! Hip, hip, Hurray for sesame milk, a great alternative 🙂 It’s soothing and So nutritious. Calcium is great before bed, as it aids in sleep (and mental health through seratonin production!) Tryptophan seems to be key — if you have trouble getting those Z’s, have a couple of walnuts with that milk 😉 Sesame seeds are rich in methionine and tryptophan, and are 25% protein. Good anytime, and in recipes, too,though! I tried it in my Indian Spiced Lentil Soup, and it was delicious.

Sesame milks are much more difficult to “perfect,” since the flavor is a pronounced one, and everyone’s palate is different. Experimentation is definitely advised! However, if you love tahini or sesame seeds, you’ll probably be a fan of sesame milk :). Alternatively, you may like to combine it withalmonds for a delicious combo, and a tempered “sesame” flavor.

sesame-mylk_brown_unhulled-2-copyI used to love the idea of sesame milks, but all the recipes called for way too much sesame, and the result, cloying, especially using the hulled seeds. I think the key with these nut and seed milks is finding the right ratio of seed to water. And, of course, we all have varying palates 🙂 so finding the right ratio for you is the real key. The brown, unhulled (with shells) must be soaked and rinsed to alleviate the bitter components in the hulls.

My experience has been that the following are well received by most everyone to whom I served them. You can, however, make these with less water; it’s then easier to just add water if it needs it. Folks unaccustomed to natural flavors find sesame strong; but if you like sesame, by all means 😀

==

Sesame Milk, unhulled

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1/4 C unhulled, organic Brown Sesame Seeds

Water for soaking

1 1/4 (or up to 2) C Water (I like 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 )

Soak Sesame seeds in water 4 hours. Drain.

Rinse well until water runs clear.

Place in a blender with 1/2 C water and blend till creamy.

Strain into a glass storage jar.

Add remaining water to the milk and mix well or shake.

Store, well-sealed in the refrigerator.  Shake well before using.

Makes 1 1/4 – 2 C

Lasts 3 or 4 days.

Notes:

Optionals: You can add sweetener (fresh date) or vanilla. A piece of banana is also very good here.

I  like it richer tasting, so you can try 1 C water; conversely, if it’s strong-tasting, adding more water, combining with another milk, or using optionals are all possibilities.

If you are in a big hurry or don’t mind that the seeds get slightly cooked, then you can pour hot or boiling water over the seeds, and let soak till cool. Then drain and rinse till water runs clear.

Alternatively, after soaking 4 hours (not the hot-water soak), you can sprout the sesame seeds for 24 hours to maximize nutrients. Do not sprout for longer than 36 hours or they get bitter. I usually do 24 or so. According to SproutPeople, they also do not store well; so use them up within 2 days.

~ *** ~

Straining sesame seeds through cheesecloth works well…

sesame_mylk_brown_unhulled-2-copy

~Beautiful and delicious!~

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~ *** ~

And the Black...

Ever had black sesame? Hey, it’s ALL a crapshoot — why not just try something different? 😉

I love black sesame, and they are part of my regular fats rotation 😀

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Black Sesame – More nutrient-rich than white or brown! CalciYUM!

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Be more adventurous :D…

~

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Now that’s an NDE* nightcap 😉

~

Midnight Milk

1/4 C Black Sesame Seeds

Water for soaking

1 1/4 – 2 C Water (I like  1 1/2-ish)

Soak Black Sesame for 4 hours. Drain and rinse well. (Sprout, if desired)

Combine Black Sesame and 1 C water in a blender. Blend on “High” till thoroughly creamy.

Strain into a glass storage jar. Add remaining water and mix well.

Shake well before using.

Makes 1 1/4 – 2 C

Optionals: Sweetener of choice; Vanilla to taste

I also like this at about 1 1/4 -1 1/2 C water because I love the taste of black sesame; however, to some, it has a strong taste. You can try it with less water to start, then just add as you go. I found the up to 2 C to be acceptable to most people; you’ll have to just try it — your mileage may vary 😀 .

Try it warm; it’s delish.

And don’t forget, it’s easy-peasy to make your own tahini.

~ *** ~

Feeling even more adventurous?

How about Poppy Seed Milk?

I was pleasantly surprised when I attempted this “milk”; it’s delicious. It is often my go-to “milk. High in calcium, this is an excellent bedtime milk:

One Tablespoon Poppy Seeds contain 13% the Daily Value of CalciumWow!

poppy-mylk_fini-6

…an excellent “regular milk” substitute:

~ *** ~

Poppy Milk


1/4 C organic Poppy Seeds

Water to soak

1 C water

Soak seeds in water 4 hours.

Drain.

poppy-seeds_strain

Rinse well. Interesting color! 😀 Must be the anthocyanidins changing shades 😀 – (Save that Pulp!!)

Place in a blender with 1/2 C water and blend till creamy.

poppy-mylk_tribest

Wasn’t sure my little Tribest Personal Blender would handle those teeny-tiny seeds, but, yep, it broke ’em up….however, I blended it a few minutes, and I did use the flat blade…

poppy-seeds_tribest_blade

Strain into a glass storage jar…

poppy-mylk_strain-4

,

I like to use my handmade tea bags (no waste!), but use these tea filters, too (although, these don’t work well with “fluffier” pulp); use cheesecloth, if you have it. The grainy little poppies are sand-like and the drainage is good. Here you see it oozing out the bag…

poppy-mylk_strain-9

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squeezing out as much as possible.

BUT be careful! The tea bags are light and delicate; Don’t squeeze too hard or…

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…and you don’t want that pulp dropping back in to your milk 🙂 As much as I know this, I still get too rough with my poor seeds :D. (Wetting the filter bags first, before filtering, helps a lot.)

Add remaining 1/2 C water to the milk and mix well or shake.

This tastes best the following day, too. Makes 1 C of delicious, creamy white milk…

poppy-mylk_fini-4

I think this is better than cashew milk. Another surprise, it actually tastes better a couple days later.

Store, well-sealed in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.

Makes 1 C

Notes: This ratio of seed to water makes a milk suggestive of regular milk. I found the 1:4 seed to water formula to be excellent as a milk substitute. The poppy seed flavor is so mild, it’s undetectable and much lighter than I anticipated.

I also found it to not need anything added at all. Of course, optionals such as vanilla, or sweetening can always be used.

This would make a good base for any recipe calling for plain milk, since the taste is mild and more like “cow’s milk” (but trust me tastes better!)

A little aside: poppy seeds have a thickening quality! Very nice in dressings.

Important Note: I’ve read that poppy seeds do not contain opium and that they do contain trace amounts. From what I’ve read, it is within certain varieties, which are grown specifically for the drug.  However, either way, it’s only from the plant that the drug is made,and the seeds contain trace amounts only. And,  again, it’s possible that only a select type has it .

Poppy seeds do seem to possess “sedative” qualities, often recommended for insomnia (Walnuts and sesame are high in tryptophan, and also recommended as good sleep aids; so they could also be “sedative”). I’m not sure if this would even be true for so small amounts that one eas (as opposed to the type of poppy used medicinally). Please make a choice based on knowledge and thorough understanding; the consumption of this milk is your sole responsibility. False positive drug tests have been reported with ingestion of poppy seeds (similar to the false tests that hemp seeds can render); however, there is a specific tell-tale chemical, thebaine, which will be present only with ingestion of the seeds, so no need to worry 🙂

NOTE: I wouldn’t  serve this this children — just to be on the safe side; there are many other alternatives, anyway (After running this past Dr. Fuhrman he advised against serving a lot of poppy seeds to children; so this may be too-concentrated a source, I think; better to err on the side of caution) However, it certainly is “something new” and interesting to try for us responsible adults 😉

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Sweet Sesame Dreams 😉

sleep _ Strix

sm row smiles

*Nutrient Dense Eater 😉 – NDD– Nutrient Dense Diet

Rediscovering Sumac

Sumac, ground: Related to the pistachio, no wonder I love it!

*
Some of my favorite flavors come from the Middle East. I don’t think I’ve ever  had anything that didn’t taste good from the region!  Haven’t had these flavors in ages.

Ever had Za’atar? It’s a  delicious combination of flavors, used in various cuisines, each expressing a unique version, while maintaining a similar base of sumac, herbs, sesame seeds, and salt. Can make most ANYthing taste gourmet- delicious.

It all starts with the amazing little berry that is…sumac. Bursting with flavor, this little fruit contributes a flavor complexity to your dishes. I had all but forgotten about sumac since I started my simple way of eating — how sad!  It is tart, with a lemony flavor, and slightly salty-ish and used as a substitute for citrus and vinegar; but it has that something special that makes it unique.

Use it in place of lemon or tamarind. Also, note that a lot salt substitutes use lemon or citrus in their formulas.Try using it in your favorite home-prepared salt substitute or storebought herbal. It brightens up any mixture 🙂

Of course, on its own, sumac brings out lots of flavor in your dishes 🙂

BUT

Sumac-package

Yes, there is a “but,” unfortunately. Sumac, without added salt is a real challenge to find. Why add salt to an already salty spice? A couple reasons — for preservation: Sumac loses potency very quickly; salt helps to preserve it in the form of a dried spice. Another reason is to keep it from clumping during the processing of the berries; it also extends storage life.

Okay, now why such a challenge? Well, for starters, the kind found in ME markets (like the package above)  are not labeled with an ingredients list. I would suggest that one should assume it contains salt.  It usually does. But those packages are very inexpensive — below a dollar, usually — so may be worth trying. To further complicate things — How to tell if an already-salty-tasting spice has salt added?! It’s very close to impossible, unless you taste truly unsalted at the same time or have a very keen taste for added salt, which can be tricky!

On the plus side, the sumac purchased from Middle Eastern sources are not over-the-top salty, and using it in your mixture would not add a lot of sodium to your finished dish.

However, the best way to know is to buy whole sumac berries and, yep, crush them yourself. Okay, easy enough…hm, not really: If ground sumac is hard to find, the whole berries are even harder. Still worth a look at the markets or specialty-foods sections, though.

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Now for the good news,

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Aren’t sumac berries gorgeous!

After wasting what seemed like hours emailing and e-searching for salt-free, pure sumac — ground and/or berries — guess where I found it?

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MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, for goodness sakes! Well, DUH! I’m forever rambling about MRH — they are referred here a zillion times over, and yet, I failed to look there FIRST, like I usually do…heh. Silly me. 😉

Sumac-leafWell,  they have both the ground sumac and the whole berries, and, for good measure, the dried leaves — all salt-free. Never even knew about the leaves, but am looking forward to using them in lots experiments; soups are a no-brainer.

World Spices also has no-salt added ground sumac — confirmed via email inquiry — but it is not organic. Remember, too, that you just may find sumac tucked away in a gourmet-type, or specialty foods store or section; but know it is available, organic, without additives or preservatives via a reputable source: Mountain Rose Herbs.

As always, keeping within Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations for added salt to the diet would be best; but you may want to buy one little package of sumac just to taste test (they are usually under $1), if you don’twant to haul off and buy a package of sumac berries 😉

SO,

with that difficulty resolved…

It is exceptional in beans — any bean dish! Test it on a portion of your favorite hoummus or other beany creation.

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Soupy Ful Madammas

**

Here is one of my favorite ways to use sumac — in za’atar, of course! You can add/tweak as you like, or according to how you prefer your za’atar; it varies from region to region as well as from taste buds to taste buds!

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ZA’ATAR

2 TB ground Sumac

1 TB Thyme, whole, dry leaves

1 TB Sesame Seeds, raw, hulled

Pulse to a med-course powder, the 1 TB sesame, making sure not to cream it. I used my small personal blender with the flat blade; a coffee grinder or similar appliance will work.

Add the thyme and sumac and pulse @ 5 or so times to combine and break up the thyme a bit, but not powder it.

Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. I use an old spice jar.

Variations: …are endless! a few common are to use some oregano, marjoram, or savory in place of OR in addition to the thyme.

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Za’atar ingredients. Fresh or dried thyme can be used.

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Pulse-grind sesame seeds to a meal, taking care not to butter it.
Pulse-grind sesame seeds to a meal, taking care not to butter it.

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Combine thyme, sumac, and optional black pepper
Combine thyme, sumac, and optional black pepper

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Add spices to the sesame meal; pulse to combine
Add spices to the sesame meal; pulse to combine

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Enjoy! :^)
Enjoy! :^)

~ ** ~

Here is how I enjoyed za’atar recently: (Miss Olives? You don’t have to 😉 Click here)

Za'atar_Olives

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Za’atar Olives:

1 garlic, clove (see note on prep)

2 tsp za’atar

2 t – 1 TB fresh lemon juice, or to taste

blackpepper, to taste, optional

12 unsalted raw olives

Directions:

Pit olives or smash (see pic).

Toss well with lemon juice and galic (note: you can use slivers or slices, if you don’t want minced, raw garlic all over your olives); alternatively, maybe some lightly roasted or carmelized garlic would be nice.

Add the za’atar and toss lightly till thoroughly covering the olives.

Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to marinate.

Eat!

*

If you want to leave the pit in, then give each olive a good whack with the side of a sturdy knife to break up the olive innards to release flavor as well as allow the flavors to permeate…like so:

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then toss as per directions. Otherwise you can pit them all like so…

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Toss in the ingredients; Marinate:

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And devour ;)!

These are utterly delicious; you feel deceptively decadent eating these morsels of olivicious goodness! These feel like they’ve been soaked in the best olive oil, yet not a drop of oil added — only the fruit’s own natural oils.

I’ve rambled about my love of these olives: Give a looksee ;^)

Interestingly, I found that, like most marinaded foods, the flavor improved with time, but they also mellowed. In other words, the potency (think the garlic punch) lessened, but the flavor developed. Either way they are delish. Something to note anyway, just in case you find you may have added too much garlic, it will mellow over the next day and longer. So don’t worry 🙂 You can use thicker cuts or slices of garlic, if you want to be able to remove them.

Also, za’atar mixture (stored)  has a bad habit of losing flavor quickly, so make in small amounts. For this olive recipe, it preserves quite well. I imagine it is the natural oils — I guess there is quite enough in the olives — which acts as the preservative, the same as covering with a load of oil would. The lemon helps too.

*

Here’s an idea:

garbanzo-beans_za'atar-spiceFul Za’atar

Toss heated home-cooked fava beans, garbanzo beans, a combo (or baby limas are a fantastic substitute in a pinch) in a little bit of their broth with lemon juice; za’atar; add garlic, if desired. Let sit at room temperature till ready to eat – flavor improves as it marinates. Serve cold or room temperature. Add chopped parsley, (add a bit of fresh thyme or oregano, optional; can add chopped tomatoes and/or onions, too) before serving.

OR

“Toast” in your oven at 248-degrees or below (to avoid acrylamide formation) OR, my preference,  dehydrate cooked garbanzo beans, tossed in their broth, some lemon or lime, and the za’atar spices (and garlic if you like) for some healthy, crunchy no-fat, no-oil, no-salt needed, no-acrylamides Garbanzo Nuts!

Crunchy-Yum Garbanzo Nuts

Crunchy-Yum Garbanzo Nuts

OR…Add za’atar to any soup as a topping, or mix in (sort of like Italians add pesto to soups). It changes ordinary soups into something special.

~ The limits are defined by your imagination ;^) ~

~ *** ~

For dinner guests, I utililzed sumac: For example, lentil, and green chips; leafy salad; soup; fava hoummus; some bean “flatbread”; cucumber mint salad; Rose spiked sumac-ade (aka “sumac lemonade”); and Figs in Spiced Syrup. For me? Well, a giant ETL salad is enough; but I also like  simple side dishes, such as prepared mushrooms or olives, etc. ;); But, you can make most any style of eating you or your family likes nutrient-dense or ETL-ish with just a little bit of effort.

Here are a few pics of some preparations:

One popular way to enjoy sumac is to make a refreshing “lemonade-ish” drink. I haven’t had the fortune to taste this with fresh berries, which is purported to be the best; however, the dried is also employed. I like it well enough 🙂 It doesn’t taste like anything else, but if I had to give a likening, I’d say it would remind you of Agua de Jamaica, (Jamaica flower tea), aka, “Habiscus” tea/drink, and would make a wonderful substitute or change. It is has the traits of unsweetened cranberry juice — tart but fruity. I’ve added it to my GJGS‘s… too.

(simply crush or pulse-grind the berries…

add water and       soak in water…


Strain…


… add sweetener, a few slices of lime, – ooh, a knob of ginger! —  and serve! Chunks of chopped fruit and you have a delicious ETL Sangria ;).

*Cucumber-Mint Salad with Orange

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Lentil Chips

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Za’atar spiced Olives with Lime and Mint

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No-grain “Flatbread”

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Turkish Figs in Spiced “Syrup”

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This was a thoroughly ETL meal, simple, but with more than enough authenticity.

Make your nutrient-dense food GOOD. It can be done!

Pick up an inexpensive bag of sumac  and give it a try 🙂

Poxacuatl
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