Rediscovering Sumac

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

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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

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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! :^)

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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!

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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.

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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 ;^) ~

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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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Southern Comfort: Healthful, Healthy, Happy Peanuts

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Cuties, ha? 😉 The humble peanut. That is a raw, dried, then boiled, in-shell Virginia Peanut.

Now, I rarely cook; it’s always when I have guests. My adventures with peanuts started two Summers ago! Yep. I’ve had some of these pics since then. So please forgive me if this post is sort of jumbled and all over the place! I know I’ve repeated myself a few times…sorry.
Anyway, I came across some organic peanuts, needed to prepare something, and figured it was a sign to get this post up! I was surprised to learn they can sometimes be found at farmers markets.

“Healthy” Peanuts — yes, our peanuts should be healthy. We don’t want sicky peanuts! Luckily, ETLers don’t consume peanut butter, anyway, don’t have to worry about that contamination. Organic peanuts, however, are a better choice; and boiled peanuts are healthful like all legumes, including beans and peas.

SO, enter Boiled Peanuts  — or rather, “Bawld Peanuts”! 😀  A proud, Southern tradition. Unfortunately, boiled with loads (and I mean, “loads” of salt). If you are accustomed to low- or no-salt, then you will have no problem making them without; and you can spice them, as I describe later.

The traditional, is very basic: fresh, raw, “green” unshelled peanuts, boiled for several hours with salt. Some add some hot chile peppers!

Here are unshelled, organic, raw (dried — impossible to find fresh!) peanuts  soaking:

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Peanuts, boiled (crockpot):

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They should be thoroughly cooked; these had a bite to them, but were cooked through:

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Peanuts boiled, shelled — they look more like beans now, or Spanish peanuts:

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The following two pictures were seasoned and cooked longer than the above (with their shells). You can see they look more thoroughly done. These had perfect texture; and now they look more beany 🙂 :

Peanuts_cooked_measure

A look at another batch I made:

peanuts_cooked-throug

Here they are boiled and then dehydrated till nice and crunchy. Dehyrating as opposed to roasting, which we avoid because of acrylamides. (And acrylamide exposure is not exlusive to what you eat):

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Though, baking at a low temperature at as low a temperature as you can should be okay. Then they can be eaten like the roasted variety.

Here is a closer look at one boiled and then dehydrated:

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These are raw, soaked, and dehydrated at low temperatures to remain “raw”:

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Noodles enjoys those 😉

This is the site that was most helpful while I did my little layperson’s “research.” I love the fierceness of pride evident in the comments of  Southerners, haha. It’s a little sad, though, that some seem to be a bit defensive/ashamed of the drawl; but I understand it stems from outside cultural ignorance, which has deemed it to be. There’s nothing wrong with a regional “accents,” or any accent. Why are people so insistent upon focusing on minutiae of  “differences”? Ridiculous. Why the need to always be “better than”? Okay, there’s my little off-topic peeve of the day :D.

After soaking peanuts, they need to be drained, rinsed and fresh water added to a pot (a pot if doing stovetop). Then they should be brought  to a boil, heat lowered, then simmered covered. Online, I found varying instructions for timing — anywhere from 4-12.  Paula Dean’s (yikes!) instructions mentioned to  taste test for softness; if they still had a “bite,” then they were not done. So I assumed they had to be bean-like.

I do wonder, though, if salt in this case softens the peanuts…whereas s0me bean connoisseurs believe salt inhibits softening…hmm. Could be; however, I’d need to experiment with raw, green peanuts and dried raw, AND try with and without salt — any Southerners out there know about the salt thing?

Anyway, what I discovered is, It takes as long as it takes!

First time I made them, I simmered (first soaked, and in the crock) about 6 hours on “high,” and they had a tiny bite. I left them like that. I guess it’s a taste/texture preference thing as well as the state of the beans. Taste was really good! Really surprising was that they were slightly sweetish and didn’t need the salt one bit. It is “cook to taste,” basically. The softer, the better, for beans. The longer, cooked ones, are more savory and more bean-like in texture and taste. The ones with a bite were more peanut-flavored, in my opinion — delish, either way — but the dried, even though, raw, still take longer. And the quality of these legumes matter, just like any dried food.

If not soaking, they need longer cooking time. Up to 24 hours (in the crockpot), by some accounts!

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Is that a — ?

Little-Dipper_Crock

Yep, you’re seeing that right: I was even able to do them in my Little Dipper! I thought it was just a warmer for fondues, etc.;  but this little baby eventually simmers — at least mine did!


It worked!

Little_Dipper_Peanuts

So a regular crockpot is what most of us use. But it’s good to know this little dipper works. I suggest starting with hot water, preferably boiling. Might make a nice travel companion for use in hotels 🙂 (Best not left unattended!).
I do not have a pressure cooker; but, from what I’ve read about them, they may possibly be the ideal way to cook these — they are a tough nut for sure!  Some are traditionalists and will have nothing to do with anything but an old well-seasoned pot on a gas stovetop; others find the crockpot best for the long slow simmering; and still, some think the p.c.’s rock these ‘nuts!

These can be used like any other bean in recipes; the only difference being, having to use pre-cooked or almost-cooked peanuts.  If you start with raw, shelled, they will need the many hours to cook and, obviously, your ingredients will turn to mush and be tasteless/useless! But that adjustment shouldn’t be too difficult to figure; it would be just like adding canned beans to a recipe (more on shelled below).

Or try the following  recipe for a finger food, edamame-like dish as described above — a healthier Cajun version of “Southern Boiled Peanuts.” 😀

Cajun Boiled Peanuts


Cajun_Peanuts

This is my adaptation based on a basic recipe all over the web. None provide the amount of water needed — just “to cover,” which doesn’t work because they float! You can wing it or start with @ 6-8 C or whatever looks right to you, in a large pot or whatever fits in your crock (crockpot recommended, or experiment with your pc — and let me know how it worked!!) You should be checking it occasionally, to make sure it doesn’t run dry anyway, since the shells soak up a lot of water (more if you don’t soak before cooking).

The original recipes call for an extraordinary amount of salt.  So I think, reducing the amount of peanuts OR, adding more seasonings, such as a few garlic cloves, using a good veg stock, spices, etc., will bump up the flavor that salt usually enhances for dulled palates. As a low-salt or no-salt ETLer, you will have no problem with it without salt  😉

Boiled peanuts leaves you with lots of freedom to adjust to your taste and do some experimenting with other flavorings — how about a nice bbq-flavored? That might be nice for Summer.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts

1 1/2 lbs. Un-shelled Organic Virginia Peanuts, raw

1 bag of Zatarain’s Crab and Shrimp Boil ( see pic; it’s vegan, no salt) OR other favorite brand of Cajun seasonings, OR your own mixture.

Water to soak

Broth to cook (or water)

Spices, Vegetables, Herbs, Etc., if desired (Old Bay-LIKE Seasoning(s) for example is nice; Old Bay contains salt, unfortunately) Optional

You don’t have to soak, but I recommend it. Do rinse.

Soak un-shelled peanuts (at least 12) for 24 hours. Drain rinse, drain.

Add an ample amount of good-tasting light broth to the peanuts in a pot (seasoned with additions as mentioned above, if you wish). Bring to a boil. Cover. Simmer, checking occasionally for broth evaporation, adding more as needed.

Or add to crock pot along with hot broth and set to “high.” Check after 6 hours or so; If it needs longer, (which is most likely will, continue cooking and check again in a few hours, etc.

Continue “till done.” Again, it’s gonna take what it takes; you can’t rush a bawl p-nut 🙂  If you soak, they will be done faster.  One thing I’ve learned is that it’s almost impossible to over cook boiled peanuts!

Taste. They should be very soft like beans. Decide.

The flavor improves as they sit, as well; so they will be even better the next day after soaking in the broth in the fridge overnight. They also soften further if you let them sit after cooking for a day.

You can serve them in a bowl with their broth; as a side dish; or as a sort of starter type dish, like you would a bowl of un-shelled edamame — drained or not.

STore in the fridge with broth; or freeze without broth.

I read online someone said, “And with each peanut you crack open, you may find a small amount of the briny, spicy juice inside as special treat” True! And it is a nice treat.

So a nice finger food 🙂

Here is the Zatarain’s you want, found in regular markets (or a comparable one, if you prefer):

Zatarains_crab-boil

I use my homemade hemp bags in place of the plastic cooking bag the spices come in above. You can use a similar, cloth tea bag, or you probably have some cheesecloth, if you don’t want the plastic (both can be found in some markets):

Zatarains_My-hempbag

This next pic shows (a smaller amount I made previously) some cajun peanuts that I stored in a mason jar for the fridge; they soaked up a lot of the broth, some of it being inside the shells, and some of it evaporated. You can use any leftover broth for other soups or for steaming greens, etc.

Cajun-Peanuts_jar-w-liquid

Unlike the salted boiled peanuts, these don’t need to be drained for storage, if you don’t want to. The reason to drain is mostly because they will continue to absorb salt and become inedible (as if salted weren’t already 😉 ). So, for the cajun, I like to keep them in the broth when I store in the fridge; you choose. For freezing, I drain.


***The Shelled***

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Shelled peanuts, soaked and drained.

The following were cooked shelled peanuts (stovetop). Interestingly, they still took a very long time to cook (unsoaked AND soaked); I had assumed they would be much faster. These took over 16 hours, stovetop and still had a teensy bite. I’ve read some accounts online  (referring to peanuts with the shells on), where people state they prefer the texture they get from crock potting with these too. Many factors play in to getting ANY beans to cook properly; so peanuts are no different!

One of the ideas is that one must use “green” peanuts. Purists consider these, which are fresh, raw, peanuts, to be the only true “bawld” peanut 😀 . So, according to them, using the green eliminates a lot of the cooking issues too. I’ve looked for them and not found them organic; but, for me, I’ll swap the “authenticity” for the safety and quality of organic (especially with peanuts! Where’s “I’ll never lie to you” Jimmy Carter when you need  him?!!)  The green ones cook faster just like any other legume, and, yea, probably taste better too. And this is why some recipes will state they only need 4 hours or so to cook. (If anyone knows a source for organic green peanuts, PLEASE let me know!)

Each time I cook peanuts — whether in shell or out; whether stovetop or crock, soaked or un-soaked — the time differs. So don’t worry if you need to cook longer. It is for this reason, I have come to conclude that it’s best to use pre-cooked peanuts or almost-cooked peanuts in recipes where you are subbing for another legume. The unpredictability, and generally long cooking time required (regardless of the peanut) just makes this a smart bet.

The broth of the boiled peanuts (both with and without shells), itself, makes a nice broth. (Strain the broth of unshelled peanuts for little bits of shell debris.) It contains some of the oils released from the peanuts, adding flavor, too, which you can see here:

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Here are some more pics of the beans:

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Looks yummy even plain!

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You can flavor these as you wish. They blend well, too, and can be used like any other bean.

I also decided to make a stew out of the cooked shelled peanuts. This is something I “winged” so don’t have a specific recipe. This is not the finished soup — I added GREENS (!!!) which are fantastic with peanuts (spinach is good) and fresh veggies later;but no photos of the completed stew. But, again, you can just use (pre-cooked) peanuts in any of your bean recipes. The fragrance of boiling peanuts is yummy, itself!

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Yes, this is a vegan stew 😉

My_Peanut_Stew_fini

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*** Basic Boiled (dried) Peanuts ***


Can be made stovetop:

pot

or in a crock, shelled:

peanuts_shelled_crockpot

Or unshelled:

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Basic (dried) Boiled Peanuts:

1 lb raw shelled peanuts OR 1 1/2 lbs. unshelled

Ample water, to start (more as needed)

On HI crockpot anywhere from 6-24 hours (Yep!)

Stovetop – bring to a boil and lower to a steady low-med simmer, continuously “till done,” replenishing water as needed. These take a long time; so prepare for double digits.

And, of course, if you are lucky enough to have access to fresh peanuts, they will cook much faster.

My crockpot actually boils, I’d say at medium, if not completely full, and at least a good simmer. I used to think it was defective because it boiled; however, I’ve learned to work with it. What I do know is that peanuts need to be at a “good” simmer,continuously in order to cook through. Stovetop works, but is a huge energy waster. I like the crockpot better.

Unfortunately, I can’t give any thoughts on pressure cooking; seeing as they are extremely long-cooking legumes, no matter how you do it, it’s going to take time. As well, it could be, like any legume or bean, that the ones I got were old which makes them take longer to cook. Altitude, weather, etc., also contribute to any bean’s cooking time. AND, these were dried, raw; not fresh “green” raw.

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Some other things you may want to try with boiled peanuts:

Toss the boiled drained beans with date sugar, cinnamon and other spices and dehydrate or bake at the lowest temp you can:

Spiced-peanuts


You can also coat them with pureed dates and toss in a spice mixture and minced nuts, coconut, or sesame or other seeds — just like you’d treat other nuts.

Sweetened cocoa powder works, nicely,  too; these are chocolate-curried:
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And, of course they can be blended.

One thing you might try is using it in place of  (or as part of) the peanut butter called for in stirfry sauces, for example; I know Dr. Fuhrman has a stirfry recipe.  Some people use almond butter for the peanut butter in that recipe; so either sub it completely or maybe 1/2 boiled blended peanuts and 1/2 almond butter. Mincing some of the peanuts Probably the dried ones would be best) as well, will give a slight peanutty taste and the texture of chunky peanut butter whether you use the creamed peanuts or just the almond butter. If anyone tries it in a sauce, let me know if it was peanutty enough 😀 With peanuts, there really is no replacing the flavor of roasting, so don’t expect that!

If you happen to have any ideas or come up with anything yourself, let me know :D. Or if you’re a Southerner with some thoughts (or critiques!) your comments are welcomed! Until then, enjoy this Southern comfort delight —  “Bawww –” err, “Boiled” Virginia Peanuts 🙂

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Poxacuatl

Kale Chips…

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**See addendum regarding baking these at the bottom of this post**

Believe it or not, this is NOT a complete entry!! This is me, rushed, lol. Lots more to come, but, here we go…

Okay, I had a looooooooooooong(er!!!) post with several recipes to post for these; however, I think I’ll just post this one for today, and the others in a few days. I just moved this week, plus the holidays are here already; so I’ve been super busy. SO, let’s get to it:

I was inspiredby these kale chips online. What a shock to see so wholesome a packaged product! Unfortunately, salty and too fatty, and they use agave nectar (which is just as bad as any other sugar) and WAY overpriced. C’mon, kale does NOT cost all that much! And, hey, how hard can these be??!

There are some recipes for kale chips online, but they are — yep — LOADED with fat, some, including oil, and all include salt; none of which anyone needs, right? Right :D.

Mine are better, in my opinion 😉 These are healthiest chips you’ll EVER eat!

Recipes I’ve seen call for up to 1 C of nut or seed butters, and some add oil on top of that (!!) for a small volume of greens So, I’ve cut it down well enough to still get great flavor and texture. You will get lotsa chips from this too; whereas recipes calling for loads of dressing use less greens. You can always make these richer or less so, all to your taste. I’ve made very low fat and the higher fat — truth is they are both yummy, but the richer ones, have better flavor. It’s all going to depend on your taste, how much you want to make, how much of these you will eat (watch it: these can revive “snacking” probs, if that’s one of your demons! You’ve been warned), and for what purpose…These are an awesome way to get in those greens! Especially if you don’t like green smoothies (pshaw!) or can’t get in enough, or just want some greens variety. Great with soups! I eat these with my ETL salads 🙂
Okay, lots of pics to show you and the first recipe! (For ease of reading the recipe sans the pics, scroll down to the near bottom: It’s written out there)

Thought I’d post the curry first, since I make this most often:

You need:

A dehydrator and blender

My Curry Dressing

9- 12  -ounces Dino-Kale (weight after de-stemming)

Additional Nutritional Yeast, for sprinkling atop, Optional

THE INGREDIENTS:

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9- or 12-ounces Dinosaur Kale, Fresh, Washed, De-stemmed, torn into bite-sized pieces. Curly kale is fine; but Dino, preferred:


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1/2 C Sesame Seeds OR SunflowerSeeds, (measure before soaking, if you do so; you can use more, if you wish to make them richer)

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OR

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3/4 – 1 tsp good-tasting, good-quality, fresh Curry Powder — your favorite, or your own homemade (I recommend Penzey’s Maharajah Curry powdersee “BELOW“)


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1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds, whole (I sometimes add up to 1 tsp)


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1 tsp Coriander Seeds, whole, (or 1/2 tsp ground powder)


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8 ounces Tomato, fresh (about 2 smallish (canned, okay)


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3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar


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1/2 – 1  Red Bell Pepper (about 5-ounces; OR use just the tomato; or just the bells — but both is best)


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3 -4 TB Nutritional Yeast ( I like 4)


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1 tsp Garlic powder* (Yes, that’s only a half teaspoon in the pic — double it!)


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2 tsp Onion Powder*


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Black Pepper, to taste


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Additional Nutritional Yeast, OR  “Sprinkle” (see Notes) Optional, for sprinkling on leaves right after tossing in dressing to stick (not after dehydrated!)

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Okey Dokey?  Now…

THE PROCESS

Add ingredients to the blender



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Give it a good whiz Yes, it is watching you!:

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Pour over leaves…

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…and toss (pic is of a different sauce; I don’t have one of the curry, but this is how it’s done):

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You want them thickly coated:

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Place on dehydrator trays:

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Choose your temp (See “Notes” on temperature)

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…and let them go!! Make sure they are THOROUGHLY dry. The time they take to be done will depend on the temperature you choose and how many trays you put in at a time. I usually do 4 trays, spread, cranked to the highest temp — takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours. So it will vary.

TA DA!!



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Enjoy!! sm row smiles

*You can try this without garlic and onion powders, if you don’t consume them; It’s still pretty good

********

Below” 😉

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I like Penzey’s Maharajah curry powder for this (if for nothing else; I’m not a fan of prepared powders. I make my own, and even then I rarely use it.) This one is not hot. If you like spicy, then add some 😀

This is the key to the Penzey’s Maharajah — Saffron!

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This is what makes their Maharajah:  The subtlety is *perfect*; if you know saffron, it is — well, to me — a bit difficult to use. It’s tricky — you can easily use too much or too little; and it doesn’t always taste good in things you think it will! Anyway, it is incredible on these chips. The Penzey’s has *just* the right amount.

So make sure the curry powder you choose is one you like: the recipe depends quite a bit on it, though it will come out good anyway 😉 OR add some saffron to yours! It’s outstanding for these chips!

Not the best pic, but Here are some with a topping; makes them look a bit nicer too:

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NOTES:  You can use my cheesy sprinkle to top, if you wish; it works quite well on with any dressing on kale chips, actually.

You can use your nut/seed/or combo of choice + nutritional yeast. a commercial product uses walnuts + nutritional yeast (but they add salt), for example, which is very good. I like to add a bit of coconut to my nut-seed sprinkles; but here, I used just pignolis…

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BUT, finely minced…

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by hand: It’s best, with very delicate, oily nuts, to hand mince, or you will end up with butter :). Quite easy and quick.

Regarding, the temp — I crank my dehydrator to the highest temp. They may or may not be “RAW.” However, I’m not a “raw foodist,” so that’s of no consequence to me. IF, however, you are a raw food purist, you can absolutely make these: Simply lower the temp to whatever you believe best, and let them go. I’ve done it and they come out great. I just let them go overnight. Delish either way 😀

Here is the recipe without pics for ease of reading 😀

My CURRIED KALE CHIPS

Curry Dressing

9- 12  -ounces Dino-Kale (weight after de-stemming)

Additional Nutritional Yeast, for sprinkling atop, Optional

CURRY DRESSING:

1/2 C Sesame Seeds OR sunflower seeds, (measure before soaking)

3/4 – 1 tsp good-tasting, good-quality Curry Powder — your favorite (I recommend Penzey’s Maharajah Curry powder-see “Below”, or your homemade)

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds, whole (I sometimes add up to 1 tsp)

1 tsp Coriander Seeds, whole, (or 1/2 tsp ground powder)

8 ounces Tomato, fresh (about 2 smallish (canned, okay)

3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 – 1 Red Bell Pepper (about 5-ounces (or use just the tomato; or just the bells — but both is best)

3 -4 TB Nutritional Yeast ( I like 4)

1 tsp Garlic powder*
2 tsp Onion Powder
*

Black Pepper, to taste

Additional Nutritional Yeast, Optional

Blend up all except the black pepper, till smooth and creamy

Stir in freshly-ground optional black pepper to taste.

Toss thoroughly with prepared leafy pieces to coat.

Sprinkle with optional additional nutritional yeast.

Place on trays.


Dehydrate thoroughly till nice and crispy-crunchy
!

*You can try this without these, if you don’t consume onions and garlic. It’s still pretty good

An important consideration: The dressing is not going to taste ideal on its own; it must stand up to those greens! So try it first – maybe test a few leaves by drying; then, see: If the dressing isn’t up to your taste, then adjust the seasoning. The dressings for green leafy chips must be much more concentrated in flavor; so you must concentrate the seasoning. Just keep that in mind 😉 they will taste different once dried and ready to eat. some of the dressings taste too vinegary, for example, but, again, it’s not going to be so after they’re dehydrated; the vinegar tempers the harshness in the fiber of green leafies. Soon, like me, you’ll be whipping these out without a recipe!!

Enjoy!
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I have made DElish ones using a good hummus style, sans the beans and using only the sesame/tahini; I’ve not used one with beans, but that might be a good experiment. I have LOADS to share about these chips! But, for now, Go wild with it; it’s SUPER easy!

More to come: Here are some I’ve had success with that will be posted soon!

Avocado, based

“Ranch”

Cesar

Nacho cheesy

Until then OR if you don’t like curry-flavors, here is a GENERAL guide:

This is the one I started with when I first began:

1/2 c SESAME SEEDS OR SUNFLOWER SEEDS (or other)
1/4 C APPLE CIDER 9OR BALSAMIC +LEMON)
1 LARGE GARLIC
1 tsp ONION POWDER
1/2 C WATER
1/4 C NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1 tsp WET BROWN MUSTARD, Westbrae,
BLACK PEPPERCORNS
HERBS,SPICES, etc. OPTIONAL( can’t go wrong with cumin! It’s great with the flavor of greens)

Another quick example:

1/2 C soaked unhulled (brown) sesame seeds (measure before soaking)
3/4 – 1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
2-4 TB nuttritional yeast
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2-3/4 C Water
2-4 TB Nutritional Yeast

Lemon Zest, few scrapes, optional

Variation examples (omit water first and add later if needed):
Use bell pepper
Use tomato, fresh (or sundried)

As you can see LOADS of things you can do! You can try a favorite dressing; HOWEVER…I *strongly* advise you to concentrate your seasonings. In other words, make your dressing stronger (by doubling you seasoning (not volume), for example) than you would for simply a salad.
But do try mine 🙂 Try a few leaves if you’re hesitant; then adjust to taste. This way you can see how to do it TO YOUR liking 😀

If you share this with anyone, please link to my blog as the source. THANKS! Oh, and please leave a comment if you try these…well, if you like them that is 😉

***To give credit where credit is due, the idea of kale chips, is actually not new! It just sort of is because the raw foodies came up with it for dehydrating. Joanne Stepaniak actually made these years ago, I do recall; however, she sprayed them with oil and used just salt and pepper, I think — certainly not a sauce. They were also baked at 350-degrees (actually, I think higher, but I’ll say 350- to be on the conservative side), which is not very healthful for greens. Dry, high heat = loss of nutrients and acrylamides! May as well just eat regular chips!

From Disease Proof:

Many whole-grain cold cereals are so processed and overly cooked that they have lost most of their nutritional value. Because these foods were dry-baked to make them crisp, they are also generally high in acrylamides and other toxic compounds. Soaking, sprouting, or cooking grains in water, instead of eating pre-cooked breakfast cereals, is a much healthier and more nutritious way to eat them.

On the other hand, you can try baking these in a more healthful manner at a low temperature in your oven. Go the lowest you can and watch *carefully,* perhaps moving them around often. A forum member over at Dr. Fuhrman.com mentioned she uses her oven as a dehydrator by attaching a lightbulb in there! Very clever 🙂 . You can do the same. Some people keep their temp at the lowest and leave the door slightly ajar to let air circulate and keep the temp low (some even put small fans in); however, this may be a great way to waste energy!

So, a dehydrator is best, but you can still give baking these a try 🙂 . Please let me know if you do! I’d love to know the results

Poxacuatl

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