Our garden is overflowing with ripe juicy raspberries and I’ve been busy picking them to freeze for smoothies this winter. I’m not a huge jam eater but I do like to have a little on hand for when there is nice bread around for toasting. Here is a simple raspberry jam recipe made with honey instead of refined sugar:
- 4 lbs Fresh Raspberries
- 2 cups Honey
- 1 1/2 cups Grated Apple (for pectin)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- *Optional zest of 1 lemon
- *Optional 1 packet pectin (for a really thick jam)
- Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a simmer, simmer for 30-60 minutes, until thickened.
- Freeze jam or I like to can my jams to use less freezer space:
- Pour into hot sterilized jars and top with freshly boiled lids, screw on rings to just barely tight.
- Process in boiling water for 10 minutes from when the water starts to boil, remove from canner to cool then screw lids tight.
Oh zucchini season! They taste great bbq’d or spiralized into raw pasta but it is really hard to keep up with them! Luckily I fell in love with zucchini relish while I was down in New Zealand, it is as common as ketchup there! Try it with a grilled white cheddar cheese sandwich or on a burger and you’ll know why! This year I’m making all my pickles and preserves with honey so I had to do some hunting and combining but here is the winning recipe for my Sweet & Spicy Honey Zucchini Relish:
- 8 cups Grated Zucchini
- 2 cups Minced White Onion
- 2 cups Minced Red Pepper
- 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 cups Honey 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tbsp Mustard Powder
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Coriander Seed (crush slightly)
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1/4 tsp Ground Clove
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
- Spoon into clean hot canning jars and top with boiled jar lids. Screw on rings to just barely tight.
- Process in a hot water bath 10 minutes once the water has reached a boil.
- Remove from pot and let cool completely. Screw lids on tight.
I hope you caught my earlier post about my adventures into the best little used book store on the planet! “The Book Shop” in Penticton BC. While there I picked up the amazing new cookbook Quinoa Revolution, my last post features the awesome Basil Watermelon & Feta Quinoa Salad, a true taste of summer sensation. What better to have for dessert than a decadent Cherry Lavender Cake! Yum, here is my take on their recipe, it is basically the same but made with honey instead of cane sugar, a little lemon and no cornstarch… Summer garden party here we come!
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Arrowroot or Potato Starch
- 2 cups Fresh Pitted Cherries
- 1 cup Quinoa Flour (I made mine in the blender from whole quinoa, you do have to sift it through a fine sifter and return the less fine parts to the blender to get a nice flour…)
- 1 tbsp Dried Lavender Flowers or 2 tbsp fresh (if you don’t have this don’t worry the cake will be fabulous either way)
- Zest of 1 Organic Lemon
- 1 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/4 cup Honey (or less, I’m sure 1/8 cup would be fine!)
- 1/2 cup Milk of your choice
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter, Coconut or Grape Seed Oil
- 1/4 cup Apple Sauce
*Pre-heat your oven to 350° and lightly grease a 10-inch spring-form pan or round cake pan.
- In a medium pot combine the honey, lemon juice, arrowroot and cherries. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside for later.
- In a large bowl combine the quinoa flour, lavender, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
- In another bowl whisk together the egg, honey, milk, melted butter/oil and apple sauce.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and then pour the cherry sauce on top of the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a thooth-pick inserted into the centre comes out clean, let cool 10-15 minutes then serve with a scoop of thick greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream (my favorite is the dairy free coconut vanilla ice cream!)
Recently I was in the sunny Okangan for my sisters wedding (Congrats Anna!) and whenever I get to visit down there I always end up in the best little used bookstore on the planet (okay its not little!) “The Book Shop” in Penticton is an amazing shop with used books stacked from floor to ceiling and in crates and boxes all over! The aisles are tight and you have to be careful to not knock over random stacks of books or people as you squeeze yourself in for a seat in front of your favorite section! I always go with a coffee in hand and at LEAST an hour to spare and never leave empty handed! One of the books I picked up was the brand new (another bonus of this store is half price new books!) Quinoa Revolution, by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, they also authored Quinoa 365. The new book looks amazing and every recipe features quinoa the healthy gluten free & full protein super seed! So far I’ve made the Cherry Lavender Cake, which was divine (featured in the next blog post) and the Basil Watermelon & Feta Salad, amazing, like summer in a bowl!
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Quinoa
- 3 cups Diced Watermelon
- 1/2 cup Cubed Feta Cheese
- 2 tbsp Thinly Sliced Basil
- 1 tbsp Minced Red Onion
- Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a small pot, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool, you can speed this up by pouring the quinoa into a bowl once it has cooled a little and popping it in the fridge.
2. Once the quinoa has cooled combine all the ingredients and toss to combine. Easy, Peasy, Summer!
What a great time to be visiting the Okanagan, cherry season!
- 1 cup Ripe Pitted Cherries (Frozen is fine)
- 1 Frozen Banana (or add a handful of ice)
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- 2 tbsp Cacao Nibs or Cocoa Powder
- Honey to taste if desired
- 1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 1 tsp Maca
Blend and enjoy!!!
1. Cherries they are packed with antioxidants which fight heart disease and cancer.
2. Cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycles.
3. They are an excellent source of beta carotene (vitamin A). In fact they contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries!
4. Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and *fiber, which is important for digestive and heart health.
5. Because cherries contain anthocyanins, they can reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis.
*Bonus Benefits of Cherries: Cherries make excellent earrings when found in pairs and are great for pit-spitting contests!
The Strawberries are ready here in Golden, wild and in the garden so it’s the perfect time to make this simple and delicious salad dressing. I love this dressing on a mixed greens salad with fresh strawberries, goat cheese and maple toasted pecans! Devine!
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Red Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Strawberries (frozen berries work too)
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (I do this in a coffee grinder)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup Grapeseed Oil or other cold pressed vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Water
- Combine the strawberries, vinegars, honey, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
- With the blender running on medium/high slowly add the oil through the hole in the lid, then the water.
My Sister and her man are getting married in a few weeks and I am doing some of the catering. They got in engaged in Morocco (on a sand dune, at sunset, after a camel ride into the desert where they were to camp….) but I digress, anyway one of the dishes I am making is a Moroccan Chickpea Salad. I’m not sure on the final recipe quite yet but this is one I made up as a sampler and am loving right now.
- 2 cups cooked & cooled Quinoa or Couscous
- 2 cups Chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp each Mint, Parsley, Dill & Cilantro, minced
- 1/2 cup Red Pepper, small dice
- 1/4 cup Red Onion, minced
- 1/4 cup Dried Apricots or Dates, diced
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries, chopped (not moroccan but my sis’s favorite)
- 1/4 cup Toasted Pumpkin Seeds or Other Chopped Nut
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/8 cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (if you have it)
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 45 ml Plain Greek Yogurt
- Mix all ingredients in the first list in a large bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium heat, drop a cumin seed in, if it starts to sizzle it is ready, add the seeds, cover and let cook 1-2 minutes until the all pop being careful not to burn them! Let cool then crush with a mortar & pestel.
- Combine all dressing ingredients with a whisk, pour dressing over the salad and mix.