essentials to make & store

pasta dough without eggs

29th August 2017

homemade vegan pasta 4 - 1

Once you get the feel of the dough, making pasta without eggs is easy, it is a little softer, more delicate, however the texture is divine. Home made pasta is much lighter on the system and easier to digest.

The durum wheat flour helps absorb the flavours. It makes a softer, silky, smooth dough, that you will not get from other flours it also absorbs more water then ordinary flour, so keep that in mind if swapping the flours around.

This is a recipe that has developed over trial and error, as time goes on I am sure it will evolve even more and I will update accordingly. So far, I found when rolling and thinning the dough I used a liberal amount of flour – this may have something to do with where we live as there is a lot of moisture in the air in Sintra. I found using an icing sugar shaker very handy for this purpose, a sifter or sieve will work just as well to get a fine layer of dusting. The process is quite time-consuming, however the more confident you become with the process the quicker it is. The results are so delicious and worth the effort and impossible to go back to a box of dried pasta.  Making your pasta from scratch is a very satisfying process.

homemade vegan pasta 3 - 1vegan pasta dough - 1 (11)vegan pasta sheets & noodles - 1

pasta dough without eggs

Serves 6 

Recipe inspired from Kusama via Elegantly Vegan.

If attempting for the first time halve the dough recipe, it comfortably serves 3 – 4.  The best way to get good at making fresh pasta is to make it again and again. 

ingredients:

480g/4¼ cups finely ground semolina flour from durum wheat

2 tsp fine rock salt

4 Tblsp olive oil

300 – 360 ml warm water

extra flour for dusting

special equipment :

pasta making machine

preparing the pasta dough:

In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, sprinkle in the salt and whisk to combine. Create a well in the center of the flour, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in 300ml (about 1¼ cup warm water). Using your hands, combine the dry into the wet, adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough, begin gently folding the dough on itself, flattening, and folding again, for about ten minutes.

When you finish kneading, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least half an hour to an hour. For best results knead and allow the dough to rest for as long as possible.

rolling out the pasta dough:

Unwrap the dough and divide it into quarters, and then each quarter in half again so you have eight equal portions, weighing approximately 90 – 100 grams. Work with one portion at a time, and cover the rest. Flour your work surface and flatten one piece of dough a little less than the width of the pasta maker. Feed it through the thickest setting on the machine – #0.  Lightly dust both sides of the sheet of pasta with flour and fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, dust again and feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers.  Repeat this step 5 – 6 times. This helps strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked. Change settings to the slightly thinner setting – #1, dust with flour and feed it through the machine without folding it; then set it on #2 and so forth until achieving the desired thickness – I finished at #6.

vegan pasta noodles - 1 (3)

If your pasta sticks at all, dust both sides with more flour or is too lengthy to manage, lay on a cutting board and cut in half.  Don’t tug or pull on the pasta as it goes through the machine. Let the rollers do the work. With practice you will become familiar with your machine and with the dough and will be able to manoeuvre the dough  by slightly moving it left or right so that it doesn’t go in crocked.

Now cut the sheet of pasta crosswise into pieces about 25 cm long and lightly dust them with flour again. I like to air dry the sheets for 15 – 20 minutes before cutting.

To make the process easier, roll out all the dough at once before cutting it into the desired shape. Dust the sheets of pasta generously with flour and overlap them on a floured board or hang them over racks. When ready to cut use the sheets which were rolled out first and have been sitting longer to dry.

cutting the pasta :

If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping.  If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, dust again with flour and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. As soon as the pasta comes through the cutter, dust generously with flour and gently fold into loose rounds to make a nest. Dust again with a little flour and continue with the remaining dough. Leave the pasta to air dry for 15 minutes – 3 hours before using. This helps the pasta to not clump together while cooking.

vegan pasta - 1 (3)

I usually make it around midday to use that evening. Once cut and sitting in mounds, cover loosely with a cloth and every hour gently pick up the mounds to loosen the noodles, gently replacing them into their mounds again.

to cook the pasta :

To cook the pasta immediately, bring a pot of well-salted water to a rollicking boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes – don’t overcook!  The pasta should float to the top of the pot when it’s ready and be al dente. Be gentle with it when you lift it from the water. Drain and then just drizzle it in olive oil or toss it with your favourite pasta sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

To dry, allow to air dry until completely brittle, turning the nests from time to time. Depending on the humidity it should take 5 – 6 hours.

To freeze, gather the bundles in a single layer separated with baking paper and freeze, in an air tight container, up to three months. Do not thaw them – place them directly in boiling water – may take 2 – 3 minutes to cook.

Enjoy!

vegan pasta - 1 (1)

Goodness shared by Stacey

fig & ginger cluster granola

17th August 2017

fig cluster granola - 1 (5)

quietness

garden - 1 (2)garden - 1garden - 1 (1)

Just now I went out into the garden, it was so quiet and still out there, except for a single bird, melodious and sweet.

granola - 1

tara o’brady’s fig & ginger cluster granola

Makes approximately 8 cups.

Recipe taken from Taro O’brady’s Seven Spoons Cookbook, with a few small changes.

Tara goes on to say ‘This recipe is my standard and is intended only as a starting point. By all means, add, substitute, or subtract ingredients (add ground nutmeg or ginger, cardamom; or take away the seeds and go heavy on the nuts; swap pistachios for pecans, or dried apricots and dried cherries for the figs) as long as the general guidelines are loosely followed.”

ingredients:

¼ cup/60g ghee or unsalted butter

3 Tblsp olive oil

3 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup/100g packed jaggery/light brown sugar

½ cup/120ml hot water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 cups/455g old-fashioned rolled or quick-cooking oats

1½ – 2 cups/180g slivered almonds & hazelnuts (I roughly chop my own into thick slivers)

¾ cup/65g flaked coconut

¼ cup/35g raw, hulled sunflower seeds

¼ cup/35g sesame seeds

1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder

½ cup/70g finely chopped candied ginger

1 cup/150g chopped dried figs & sultanas

preparation:

Preheat an oven to 325F/160C and with racks in the upper and lower thirds.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the ghee into the olive oil and maple syrup. Turn off the heat add the brown sugar, hot water, and ½ tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups/180g of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups/275g whole oats, the remaining ½ tsp salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds and cinnamon powder.

fig cluster granola - 1 (6)fig cluster granola - 4

Pour the ghee and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.

Line 2 half sheet pans with standard baking sheets. using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted 45 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from the top to bottom and front to back.

Remove from oven and leave the granola on the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger. Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the figs.

fig cluster granola - 1 (7)

Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

fig cluster granola - 1 (4)

Goodness shared from Stacey

garam masala powder

25th January 2017

4v7a8386_1980x1297

Garam means “heating” and masala means “spice blend”.   Garam masala is a warming spice mix – in Ayurveda, the word ‘warming’ refers to the ‘heating properties’ of the ingredients.

Garam Masala is a very simple spice to make, you can toast the spices on the back burner while you prepare the vegetables for the dish you are going to make.  When you grind the spices, the most delicious aromas fills your kitchen and puts you into a state of blissful contentment.  And that is good place to start when cooking!

4V7A8350_1_1980x1297 4V7A8081_1980x12974V7A8354_1980x1297

Food Preparation

In yogic philosophy the cook who prepares the meal is very much honoured.  The mindset of the cook deeply affects the food.   It is important for the person preparing the food to maintain a calm and quiet demeanor, thinking about divine subjects is also highly beneficial while preparing food.  If the cook is a seeker of Truth, holding the thought that her efforts to prepare the meal will support aspirants will have a positive effect to those who eat it.  

  ~ The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois.

4V7A8372_1980x1297

garam masala

Recipe inspired from ‘The Vegetarian Table’ by Yamuna Devi.

If you have ajwain seeds add ½ tsp to the recipe below.  Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant, fresher and more intense. An easy way to do this is place 3 tablespoons of cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind the bigger chunks again to a finer powder.  Make in small batches, as the spices can lose some of their flavour after just a couple of months, which can change the flavour and balance of the whole blend.  When using Garam Masala it is best to add at the end of cooking.

Makes about  cup

ingredients :

½ cup/35g coriander seeds

3 Tblsp fennel seeds

1 Tblsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cardamom seeds

10 whole cloves

½ tsp red pepper flakes

2 – inch piece cinnamon stick (roughly broken up)

preparation :

Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.  Add all the ingredients except the cardamom (as roasting it destroys the ‘sweetness’ in the seeds) and dry toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they darken slightly – about 10 – 15 minutes.

4v7a8577_1980x1297

Transfer the spices to a bowl, allow to cool completely, when cool place in a coffee grinder or blender, add in the cardamom seeds and grind to a powder.

4v7a8583_1980x1297 4v7a8584_1980x1297

Sift through, discarding the roughage – depending on how powerful your grinder is.  Use while fresh or store in an airtight container for up to a month.  I use garam masala in this gingerbread spice cake & fruit cake in replace of the all-spice, in this tofu curry or in these vegetable samosas – using a quick good quality puff pastry.

4v7a8390_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

4V7A3340_1980x1297

Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once – twice a day.  Kashaya balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – Below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

4V7A3284_1980x1297

coriander seed:

Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.  It evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. It tonifies, increases absorption, improves digestive enzymes, reduces nausea and blood pressure.  Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.  It also supports proper function of the kidneys and healthy urination. The seeds combine well with Cumin to make an excellent digestive tea.

cumin seed:

Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.  It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.   A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’.  In addition to providing flavour to food, cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It is useful to the eyes, beneficial to the heart and strengthens the uterus.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

4V7A3312_1980x1297

Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Diploma.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rolicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups Kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder :

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation :

On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch. Dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and a noticeable smell appears – approximately 1 minute. Seeds may start popping by that point.  Be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – the coriander seeds will take 1½  minutes to roast.

In a powerful blender/coffee grinder, grind the toasted cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the toasted coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

4V7A5889_1980x12974V7A5897_1980x1297

To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, it is recommended to make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

4V7A5906_1980x1297

to prepare the kashaya :

¾ cup water

1 heaped tsp Kashaya Powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5 – 10mL milk (less milk is easier on the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation:

In a small pan, pour in ¾ cup water and bring to boiling point.  Add the Kashaya powder and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (no need to strain as drinking the layer of powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for the medicinal properties). Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

4V7A3334_1980x1297

 

Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

4V7A5548_1980x1297

1 serving

Don´t throw away those left over seeds after straining, place them in a pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients :

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation :

In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the Kashaya.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

4V7A5524_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

golden honey passionfruit elixir & a chia pudding

15th August 2016

4V7A5204_1980x1297

A recipe created for  Holmes Place magazine as part of an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ through out the year.

Elixir : a substance, usually a liquid, with a magical power to cure, improve, or preserve something.

This Elixir works as a wonderful topping for your morning yogurt or warm cooked oats. At other times, mixed in with a salad dressing; drizzled over vanilla ice-cream for an evening treat; as a drink, stirred into hot, not boiling, water or gently heated and stirred into milk; or added to smoothies or juices for a flavour kick. Turmeric root is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties.   For this elixir, it is combined with the multiple wonderful benefits of passionfruit, honey and ginger, all healing and preventive powerhouses on their own.  

When buying passionfruit, the ripe fruit should be firm and heavy with wrinkled skins, and have a little “give”.  If the skin is not deeply wrinkled, but only shrivelled and unappealing, keep the fruit at room temperature until it is.

4V7A5193_1980x12974V7A5195_1980x12974V7A5203_1980x1297

Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Makes 1 cup (240mL)

Recipe adapted from Tara O’Brady – Seven Spoons.

When passionfruit are not in season, replace with an extra ¼ cup honey.

ingredients:

½ cup mild tasting honey, preferably raw

½ cup ripe passionfruit pulp (approximately 6 fruits)

2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

1 heaped tsp turmeric powder/ 1 Tblsp freshly grated turmeric root

Zest from 1 lemon

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

Grate the ginger and lemon zest.  Halve the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds to measure half a cup.  Set aside.

Pour the honey into a jar, add the passionfruit pulp, grated ginger, turmeric, lemon zest and ground pepper.  Stir to combine well.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using, or an hour if you can, then cover and refrigerate.  The longer it sits, the more the flavours balance and settle.  Stir before serving.  Use within 1 week.

4V7A5234_1980x1297-2

Chia Pudding with Berries & Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Serves 2

chia pudding :

2 Tblsp chia seeds

½ cup almond milk/or nut milk of choice

¼ tsp vanilla essence

serving options:

1 cup Greek style yogurt or choice of non-dairy yogurt

2 – 4 Tblsp Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Fresh seasonal fruits, such as sliced peaches/nectarines, strawberries and raspberries, washed and chopped

2 – 4 Tbsp chopped almonds/granola

To make the chia pudding, place the chia seeds, vanilla essence and nut milk in a jar.  Screw on the lid, shake a few times and refrigerate for 30 minutes or preferably overnight.  Stir again before serving.

When ready to serve, divide the yogurt into two individual bowls and evenly spoon over the chia pudding.  Drizzle the Golden Passionfruit Elixir over the top, arrange the fruits and berries, and garnish with fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds or your favourite granola.

4V7A5242_1980x1297-2

Goodness shared by Stacey

pine nut parmesan

28th May 2015

4V7A4492_1980x1297

and then Spring arrived…….soft bright light, growth, birth, beginnings, quiet, revel, love, glory and new life

And a proud mama!

4V7A4683_1980x12974V7A4676_1980x12974V7A4687_1980x1297six bundles of softness, fluff and feathers

4V7A4491_1980x1297

pine nut parmesan

slightly adapted from here

I enjoy parmesan cheese,  for my daughter and husband who avoid eating dairy this is a great substitute, it is so tasty that I find myself using it as well.

ingredients :

½ cup pine nuts

2 Tblsp unhulled sesame seed

2 Tblsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp lemon zest

4 Tblsp nutritional yeast (sold in the UK under Engevita & in Australia it is called savoury yeast flakes)

¼ tsp Himilayan salt

preparation :

Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts and seeds, toast until golden, stirring and watch constantly to avoid burning them.  Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a small food processor/upright blender, add the pine nuts, sesame, sunflower seeds, lemon zest, nutritional yeast and salt, grind until coarsely ground.  I like it quite coarse with a few seeds whole for a little crunch and surprise.  Check seasonings and adjust to your liking.  Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

4V7A4496_1980x1297

Goodness shared from Stacey

tamari – toasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds

2nd May 2015

4V7A4074_1980x1297

I went to India last week and came back….

Six days full of joys, challenges, moments of confusion and clarity, abundance and grace in so many ways.

I came back with a piece of gold inside my heart.  I have been holding it with heartfelt gratitude, inner joy & eternal honouring.

4V7A3926_1980x1297
4V7A3935_1980x12974V7A3952_1980x12974V7A3959_1980x1297

early morning perfection

4V7A4055_1980x1297

tamari – toasted seeds

These make a great satisfying, salty snack to travel with on a long plane journey; also great to have on hand to add as a finishing touch to salads or any grain dishes.

Makes 1 cup

ingredients :

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

½ cup raw sunflowers seeds

1 Tblsp tamari sauce

preparation :

Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add the pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds. To avoid burning, shake and stir the seeds constantly as they are toasting.  When the seeds start to pop open and release their aroma, they are done – approximately 2 – 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Drizzle with tamari sauce and stir until combined.  Set aside to cool.  Store in a sealed jar.

4V7A4063_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

raw granola

22nd March 2015

4V7A1596

I thought I would revisit this post which was posted in the very earlier stages of this blog.   The previous content & photo’s didn’t do this amazing raw granola the attention which it deserved – which is a shame because it is a well-loved staple in our house.  So here it is again with beauty and intention. 

I make this on a weekly basis adding it into my morning porridge, on its own with freshly made nut milk or in a fruit & chia bowl in warmer months.  It also makes a great travel food.  It is made in a special oven called a dehydrator that blows hot air, but never gets hot enough to burn you or your food.  This allows all the delicate nutrients that are usually burned out of cooked foods to remain.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could use a normal oven.  But, only if you set it at the lowest temperature possible (usually around 150F) and make sure the oven is no hotter than 100F, otherwise it will lose most of its enzymes, vitamins, and fatty acids (though not the protein and fiber).  If using the oven, you should use Pyrex cookware.

I will warn you in advance that this recipe is time-consuming as the almonds do have to be soaked, then blanched in hot water and the skin taken off.  This is the most time-consuming part.  It is well worth it, though.  It does need forward planning, and once you get into a roll with it, it does become easier.  If you want to go one step further, you can sprout the buckwheat (usually takes two days after soaking).

With all the soaking and dehydrating, raw granola takes about a day-half to prepare, but the time spent actually making the cereal is only about half-hour.

Just in case you do decide to get creative, here is a little guide for soaking seeds and nuts. By soaking with just a little bit of lemon juice, it helps neutralize the phytic acid.

SOAKING TIME (hours)

almonds                         8

buckwheat                    6

cashews                         8

flax seeds                       8

pecans                            2

pumpkin seeds            4 – 6

sesame seeds                4

sunflower seeds           4 – 6

walnuts                           2

Just remember to always rinse and drain the buckwheat thoroughly, as it becomes very slimy when soaked.

raw granola

Inspired by ‘I am Grateful’ by Terces Englehart, with a few creative changes.

The sunflower seeds & buckwheat can be soaked in one bowl together for 6 hours.

Makes about 8 cups

ingredients :

1½ cups whole almonds

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup whole buckwheat

6 medium sweet apples, cored but not peeled

½ cup dates, chopped into small pieces

½ cup dried cranberries/apricots

½ cup dry coconut

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

preparation :

Just before going to bed .  In a small bowl cover the almonds with an inch of filtered water.  In another small bowl cover the sunflower and buckwheat with filtered water.

The next morning, rinse and drain the buckwheat and sunflower seeds.  After rinsing allow them to sit in a fine-screen sieve for an hour, to allow as much moisture to drain out.  Stirring them once or twice.

Rinse and drain the almonds.  Cover again with hot water, allow to sit for a few minutes.  Drain and peel.  The skin will come off easily without much effort.  Pat dry and roughly chop.

In a food processor fitted with a large grater attachment, grate the apples (If using organic no need to peel).

In a large bowl combine the almonds, sunflower seeds and buckwheat.  Add the coconut, cranberries, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom powder.   Add the grated apple in small batches, mixing well after each addition so that it is well combined.

4V7A1575

I have a small dehydrator oven, so I used all four trays.  Cover the four trays both with the grid and Telfex sheets.  Divide your granola mixture in equal parts on all trays, about 3 cups of granola on each tray.  Spread out the granola with your hands.

4V7A1577

Dehydrate at 145 F for 1 hour.  Then reduce temperature to 115 F for about 22 hours.  After about 10 hours flip the granola onto a clean mesh dehydrator tray, carefully remove the silicone sheet, and continue to dehydrate until the following early morning  or until you have the right texture.  I like mine quiet dry.

I start soaking in the night and assemble early morning to dehydrate for that day (flip it in the evening) and it is ready for breakfast.

Roughly break the bigger pieces of the granola up and store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator.

This recipe is easily adjusted to your liking.

4V7A1598

Goodness shared from Stacey

almond butter

8th April 2012

4V7A1240_1980x1297

Spring is here and the garden is exploding in colours and fragrance.  The Jasmin is in full bloom and the wisteria is in its full, lilac beauty.  This also means there is so much work to do in this explosion of growth and enthusiasm.  I just unloaded my car with bags and bags of manure and a whole box full of summer seedlings, which need to be planted today after I write this post.  But first, a favourite and a constant staple in our house – toasted almond butter.

P1020637 P1020630

Roasting the nuts before grinding is optional.  I like how it brings out the wonderful nutty aroma in the almond.  If you decide to keep them raw just keep in mind the grinding process will be much longer and you will require a very powerful grinder. You can try all sorts of nut or seed butter creations, like sunflower – cashew – brazil or combining sesame – macadamia, almond – hazelnut.  Just make sure with hazelnuts you remove the bitter skins by rubbing them together after roasting.  I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts & seeds. 

If the nut butter doesn’t come together or you need to speed up the process,  add a tablespoon of walnut oil or oil of your choice after the first 4 minutes of grinding.  The process is a bit daunting, but just have patience and don’t quit too early.

My favourite way of eating almond butter is smeared on two halves of a medjool date for a sweet at the end of a meal.  My son loves to eat crunchy apple slices dipped in almond butter and enjoys it with home-made strawberry jam on bread.

Makes a wonderful welcome gift for someone special.

4V7A1230_1980x1297

toasted almond butter

Makes approximately 2 cups

ingredients :

4 cups whole raw organic almonds

¼ teaspoon rock salt (optional)

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Spread the almonds out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 12 – 15 minutes until fragrant and they are just starting to brown lightly inside, be careful not to over roast them.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Transfer the almonds to a food processor, add the salt and blend, using the highest setting for 1 – 2 minutes to grind them to a powder.  Scrape down the sides of the container.  The whole process takes between 12 to 18 minutes, all depending on the machine you are using, the quality & quantity of the almonds and how well they are roasted.

4V7A1195_1980x1297

After two minutes, it should look like coarse almond meal:

4V7A1196_1980x1297

After 4 minutes, the oils will start to release:

4V7A1197_1980x1297

As it keeps blending it will release more of the oils and look like this.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.

4V7A1198_1980x1297

Usually by 8 – 10 minutes it will look like this.  A ball may form, break it up into a few pieces and keep blending and scraping down the sides…..

4V7A1199_1980x12974V7A1200_1980x1297

After 12 – 14 minutes, it will look like this.  Keep going….you want to wait until the oils are fully released.

4V7A1202_1980x12974V7A1203_1980x1297

And finally, two to four more minutes, blend until it is completely smooth with a slight sheen.

4V7A1204_1980x1297

I find that the almond butter needs to sit for an hour or two after making it for the flavours to intensify and come together.  Store in a jar in the fridge and use within one month.

4V7A1248_1980x1297

Goodness shared from Stacey

orange marmalade jam

6th February 2012

4V7A1769_1980x1297

There is a orange tree that sits right on the edge of the vegetable garden. In Spring, the citrus trees are in full bloom and two of the triangles are carpeted with their snowy, white blossoms.  The air is sweet, pungent and glorious.  Its scent follows you around wherever you go. In Summer, the blossoms are replaced with round, green balls of fruit and in Autumn, the fruit starts to blush a soft yellow.  And by the start of Winter, the two triangles in the vegetable garden are carpeted with oranges that fall ripe and ready from the tree.  This year these oranges are small.  It was a long, hot, dry Summer and this poor little tree suffered. I did find some bigger ones though and their juice is sweet.  Perfect for a sticky, orange marmalade jam with a taste of sun on toast.

P1010668P10205514V7A1749_1980x1297

orange marmalade jam

Makes 4 jars

ingredients :

1 kg juicy oranges – approx 5 large oranges

1 lemon

500g light brown sugar

preparation :

Using a small, sharp kitchen knife, cut the oranges and the lemon in half and then in half again, so that you have quarters.  Scoop out as many seeds as you can and then thinly slice each quarter into fine shreds and small pieces (or thicker slices if you like a chunkier texture).

Place the oranges, lemon shreds and sugar into a heavy enamelled pan.  Bring to the boil, cover, then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer merrily.  Simmer, covered for 3 hours, until the peel is soft.  In intervals, lift the lid and scoop off any seeds you may have missed that have floated to the surface and stir.

Ladle into sterilised pots and seal.  I usually freeze the jars and defrost as I need them.  Because of the low sugar content, the jam needs to be kept in the fridge.

4V7A1755_1980x1297

Goodness shared from Stacey

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie