PT Food Co-op

Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Open Every Day 8am-9pm
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Archive for the ‘Local Recipes’ Category

Sweet Cherry Pie — Yum!

July 14th, 2015 by Kathie

Valentis-Cherry-Pie-735x380As you may have noticed, fruits and berries are all early this year because of the dry, hot weather. What that means for Washington farmers is an early harvest, especially for organic sweet cherries. For us that means we need to move them out of the store….fast! For you, our customer, that means a SALE! Now, until supplies last, organic sweet cherries are $2.99 lb. Buy as much or as little as you like and freeze some for later! One pound of cherries is approximately two cups. You do want to buy cherries with their stems attached as they keep longer and are fresher.

Let’s say you love cherry pie. But let’s also say that you think you need sour pie cherries for that. Untrue! A lot of people think only the sour pie cherries are suitable for pie, however you CAN make cherry pie with sweet cherries. It might have a different flavor than sour cherry pie, but it’s still cherry pie with less added sugar. And less sugar is a good thing.

Try this recipe for Sweet Cherry Pie from the Smitten Kitchen blog, and see for yourself!

Some folks cook the cherries on the stove before assembling the pie. This recipe for Cherry Pie-in-a-Jar does exactly that. Pie-in-a-Jar makes a great gift when you have run out of ideas or are short on cash, especially if you already have frozen cherries on hand.

One other thing about cherries in general is that they can be a real pain to process for freezing. The trick to making it easier, it has been said, is to de-stem the cherries, but leave the pit in, and freeze. When you decide to use the cherries, let them defrost about halfway and the pits will just pop out. You can also freeze the cherries halfway, pit them, and then stick them in the freezer. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Here’s another way to pit cherries that looks pretty easy. All you need is a chopstick and an empty bottle.

Cherries are a lot more versatile than you might think, so load up, freeze them, and explore the possibilities!

 

 

Ways With Lavender

July 3rd, 2013 by Kathie

lavender

Try these ideas for that bloomin’ lavender! Click the image to see a bigger version of the recipe and enjoy!

Vegan, Low-Calorie Cabbage Soup

March 13th, 2013 by Kathie

Zero Cabbage SoupNot only is this recipe low-cal, it’s also delicious! We know because we tried it! You don’t have to go low-cal, of course. Try it with beef or chicken broth and add meat if you wish because recipes are just guidelines. Click the image to see a bigger version of the recipe and enjoy!

Local Focus: The Winning Apple Pie

January 27th, 2012 by foodcoop

This recipe won the Apple Dessert Contest at the Port Townsend Food Co-op’s Apple Festival in October 2010. The winning apple pie was made by Jan Tobin, the Port Townsend Food Co-op’s Wellness Manager. The recipe is adapted from Barbara Rider of Bruce Rider and Sons apple growers in Watsonville CA.

Crust:
3 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1 ¼ cup Spectrum vegetable shortening
1 organic egg
4 Tbsp water
1 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

Filling:
8 Jonagold organic apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
scant 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 Tbsp organic brown sugar
small amount of organic milk
dash of organic sugar

  • Loosen up flour and measure into bowl. Add salt and shortening to flour and crumble with fingertips until meal-like.  Mix together egg, water and vinegar. Dribble over flour mixture. Mix with fork until all holds together.
  • Mold into two rounds. Roll each out to size of pie pan on floured board. Place one round in bottom of pie pan. Place a layer of apples on bottom crust. Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Sprinkle half over layer of apples. Repeat for two more layers of apples. Sprinkle brown sugar over the last layer of apples.
  • Place top crust over apples and secure sides of top and bottom crust. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle on sugar. Make knife slits down center of pie. Cover edges of crust with tin foil, removing last 15 minutes. Bake at 450º for 5 minutes and 350º for 45 minutes or until apple slices are tender. Remove and let cool before slicing.

Local Focus: Making Your Own Apple Pectin

January 27th, 2012 by foodcoop

By Sam Thayer, From The Forager. Volume 1, Issue 3. August-September 2001

When making homemade jams and jellies, commercial powdered pectin is usually the most expensive ingredient. A few generations ago, powdered pectin wasn’t readily available, and the skill of making pectin at home was common knowledge for the family cook – yet today it is a rare individual who knows how to do this. I learned how to extract pectin from apples a few years ago when I made jams and jellies for a living (as many as 600 jars per day). Not only does this save money, but more importantly, it provides the satisfaction that only comes with doing things from scratch – one of the reasons that I love using wild foods.

To prepare liquid apple pectin, it is best to use under-ripe apples that are still a bit green, hard, and sour. Ripe apples contain less pectin, but the level varies greatly from one tree to the next; some varieties are suitable when ripe, while some have virtually no pectin by that time. Over-ripe apples are the worst.

You can use your damaged or misshapen apples for making pectin. Chop them in halves or quarters, fill a large pot, and then add just enough water to almost cover the apple chunks. Cover the pot and place it on low heat for a long time, until the apples are fully cooked and you have something that looks like runny applesauce with skins and seeds in it. Stir the apples every twenty minutes or so while they are cooking.

I arrange a strainer for this “sauce” by placing a cheese cloth (actually a white T-shirt) over the top of a five-gallon pail, secured by a cord tied around the rim. (A piece of cheese cloth in a colander works fine for smaller amounts.) The hot applesauce is then poured into the strainer; what drips out the bottom should be a clear, thick liquid that’s a little bit slimy to the touch. That’s your liquid apple pectin.
I usually let mine strain overnight because it drips slowly. You can get more pectin by pressing it, but then it comes out a little cloudy and carries more of the under-ripe apple flavor. I like to make a few gallons of this pectin at a time and then save it by canning or freezing – it’s not hard to get a year’s supply with one batch.

To test the strength of the pectin, pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol into a glass and then drop in a spoonful of pectin. The pectin will coagulate into a jelly-like mass. If this mass can be pulled out with a fork and it forms a heaping gob on the tines, it is concentrated enough to jell perfectly. If it can be picked up by the fork, but mostly hangs from it, then it will jell loosely. If it cannot be picked up by the fork in mostly one mass, then the concentration is too weak for it to jell. In this latter case, you just have to boil it down to increase the concentration of the pectin. (Note: the alcohol test doesn’t work right if the pectin is hot.)

You can mix liquid apple pectin with fruit or juice and boil it down until the mixture has enough pectin to jell. This can be a little tricky. If you mix it with a fruit juice such as chokecherry that has little or no natural pectin in it; you will want to boil this mixture down to approximately the same volume as that of the pectin that you put in. If you mix it with high-pectin fruit such as wild grapes, you might only have to boil it down a little. Boiling the fruit-pectin mixture will not harm the flavor unless it cooks to the bottom of the pan, which will not happen if you keep stirring it as it boils. (An overcooked or burnt flavor is generally the result of cooking the jam for too long only after the sugar has been added.)
I like to use liquid pectin instead of water to cover fruits such as currants or wild cherries when I boil them to extract the juice. After boiling down a little bit, such juice often has enough pectin to jell. If it is cooled down, the pectin concentration of the juice can be determined using the alcohol test described above. One great thing about apple pectin is that it can be used to dilute or balance the flavors of certain fruits that are not tart enough to make superb jam by themselves, such as elderberry and chokecherry.

When using homemade pectin, you can’t just follow the proportions found on the chart in a Sure-Jell packet; you have to understand something about what makes jelly jell. Basically, there are two factors involved in this: the concentration of sugar and the concentration of pectin. Too little of either one and you end up with syrup. It is possible to compensate for a little less sugar with more pectin, or vice-versa – but you can only stray from the recommended ratios a little bit. The most common reason that people have batches that do not jell is because they want to add less sugar than the recipe calls for. If you are going to make jam or jelly, you may as well accept right now that these confections are mostly sugar; that way, hopefully, you will avoid this temptation.

When you reckon that your fruit-pectin mixture is about right, mix in sugar at a ratio of about 5 cups of fruit-pectin (or juice) to 7 cups of sugar. Stir constantly – especially with jam – to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan. After the jelly comes to a full, rolling boil, let it do so for about a minute. Then, if everything has been done right, it should be ready to pour into jars. If you are not confident, however, this is the stage for the final jelly test. Turn the heat down low when the boiling begins. Dip a large spoon into the mixture and then hold it over the pot sideways. If the last jelly falls off the spoon in a sheet rather than a drop, or if you get a drop that hangs down bulging at the bottom and doesn’t fall (this happens especially with wooden spoons), then you’re in business.

If the jelly passes this test in either way, bring it briefly to a vigorous boil on high heat. Here you will find yet another indicator of whether it will jell or not. It will not just boil; it will boil up, get foamy, and probably make you scared that it will boil over. (If you don’t turn the heat off soon enough, it will boil over.) This is when you pour the jam into clean mason jars and cover with clean lids. Turn the jars upside-down for a minute or two to sterilize the lids, right the jars, and try to ignore them for a few hours while they set. (Note that home canning of jam and jelly is not dangerous, and you do not need to sterilize the jars in a boiling-water bath or use a pressure canner!)

Hopefully this doesn’t make the whole process seem harder than it is. Like many skills, once you learn how, it’s a piece of cake. It may be encouraging to know that I never use the alcohol test anymore, and rarely even rely on the last jelly test. After making a number of batches, you can tell just by looking at the jelly if it’s going to jell.

Is it worth all this trouble just to make your jam from scratch? Trouble? There’s no trouble when I do it – just a lot of fun. And that’s what it’s all about.

Source: http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/The_Forager/pectin.htm

Local Focus: Apple Juice and Apple Cider, What’s the Difference?

January 27th, 2012 by foodcoop

Apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. It takes about one third of a bushel to make a gallon of cider.

To make cider, apples are washed, cut and ground into a mash that is the consistency of applesauce. Layers of mash are wrapped in cloth, and put into wooded racks. A hydraulic press squeezes the layers, and the juice flows into refrigerated tanks. This juice is bottled as apple cider.

Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer. Vacuum sealing and additional filtering extend the shelf life of the juice.

The flavor of cider depends on the blending of juice from different apple varieties. The term “flavor” refers to the palatability of a distinct apple juice flavor and the aroma that is typical of properly processed apple juice. Cider makers are most particular about concocting a blend that will create the desired flavor and produce the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness.

Cider needs constant refrigeration because it is perishable. It will stay sweet and unfermented for up to two weeks. Cider can also be frozen, but be sure to pour off an inch or two from the container for expansion during freezing.

Although a glass of cider a day cannot guarantee good health, the sweet juice is a good source of potassium and iron. Apple cider is pure and natural with no sugar added. A 6 ounce glass has only 87 calories. Apple cider, like other juices, fruits and vegetables, contains no cholesterol. Pectin, contained in apple cider, has been shown to keep serum cholesterol levels down.

Fresh cider can be purchased at roadside farm stands, local orchards, and many supermarkets. When you buy locally produced cider, you help local food producers and boost our economy. So drink up!

Source: http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/cider_juice_difference.htm

Local Focus: Apple Recipes

January 26th, 2012 by foodcoop

apple-photo-web.jpgIf you are enjoying an abundance of apples, here are several ways to use and preserve your apples, from apple sauce to apple cider to apple pie.

Orchards are even more personal in their charms than gardens, as they are more nearly human creations. Ornaments of the homestead, they subordinate other features of it; and such is their sway over the landscape that house and owner appear accidents without them. So men delight to build in an ancient orchard, when so fortunate to possess one, that they may live in the beauty of its surrounding. Orchards are among the most coveted possessions; trees of ancient standing, and vines, being firm friends and loyal neighbors forever. The profits, too, are as wonderful as their longevity. And if antiquity can add any worth to a thing, what possession has a man more noble than these, so unlike most others which are best at first, and grow worse till worth nothing; while fruit trees and vines increase in worth and goodness for ages.

– Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)


1. New York Stove Top Applesauce
2. Apple Butter
3. Apple Preserves
4. Old Fashioned Apple Pie
5. Making Vinegar at Home
6. Apple Cider
7. Apple Jack
7. Apple Snacks


New York Stove Top Applesauce

Ingredients
6 cups (6 medium) of McIntosh, Crispin, Jonagold and Cortland apples cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Combine apples, 3/4 cup water and sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are very tender and skins are softened, about 40 minutes.

Uncover and simmer until almost all liquid in saucepan has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cinnamon. Cool 30 minutes
Using fork or potato masher, mash apple mixture until coarse and chunky. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until cold.

Makes about 3 cups.

Source: http://www.nyapplecountry.com/recipes.htm


Apple Butter

8 lbs. apples
2 cups cider
2 cups vinegar
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground cloves

Wash, remove stems, quarter and core fruit. Cook slowly in cider and vinegar until soft. Press fruit through a colander, food mill, or strainer. Cook fruit pulp with sugar and spices, stirring frequently. To test for doneness, remove a spoonful and hold it away from steam for 2 minutes. It is done if the butter remains mounded on the spoon. Another way to determine when the butter is cooked adequately is to spoon a small quantity onto a plate. When a rim of liquid does not separate around the edge of the butter, it is ready for processing.

To preserve apple butter:
Sterilize canning jars. Pour hot butter into hot half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. (Use a good reference book for more about the water bath canning process.)

Source: So Easy to Preserve, 5th ed., Cooperative Extension, the University of Georgia (2006)


Apple Preserves

6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples
1 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
4 cups sugar
2 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine apples, water and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in pectin and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring frequently. Add lemon slices (optional) and sugar. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add nutmeg.

To preserve:
Sterilize canning jars. Pour hot preserves (after boiling hard 1 minute) into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. (Use a good reference book for more about the water bath canning process.)

Source: So Easy to Preserve, 5th ed., Cooperative Extension, the University of Georgia (2006)


Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Pastry
Have everything cold; do not make the dough too moist; use pastry flour if possible; roll only once. Paste kept on ice over night becomes much more flaky than when first made. To prevent the lower crust from becoming soaked brush with whites of egg. Brush the edge with unheated whites of egg or water and press the two crusts together with the thumb and finger, a pastry roller or the tines of a fork. Always leave an opening in the center of the upper crust that the steam may escape. Bake pies having a cooked filling in a quick oven and those with an uncooked filling in a moderate oven. Let pies cool upon plates on which they are made because slipping them onto cold plates develops moisture, which always destroys the crispness of the lower crust.

Plain Pastry
Sift one cup of flour and one-fourth teaspoon of salt into a bowl rub into it five level tablespoons of shortening until the whole is reduced to a fine powder; add cold water slowly to make a stiff dough. Place on a slightly floured board and roll into a circular shape to fit the plate. Fit it loosely into the plate as it shrinks when baked.

Apple Pie
Line a pie plate with good paste. Fill with thin slices of good cooking apples; sprinkle with one-half cup of sugar which has been mixed with a heaping teaspoon of flour and a pinch of salt; cover with an upper crust and bake in a moderate oven for half an hour.

Apple Custard Pie
Heat a pint of milk steaming hot and pour it into a mixture of three eggs slightly beaten, three heaping tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a very little nutmeg or lemon. Grate one cup of apple using mellow slightly tart fruit; add to the milk mixture and bake in a very moderate oven without an upper crust. If the pie is baked too quickly the apple will separate from the milk.

Dried-Apple Pie
Soak and stew apples until tender, pass through a sieve and add sugar, a little orange or lemon rind, and a small amount of butter. Fill and bake as any other pie. Serve warm with sweetened cream.

Shaker Apple Pie
Pare, core, and cut into eighths sour apples and put into a lower crust; add a half a pint of seeded raisins. Put on the upper crust being careful to not let it stick to the lower crust. Bake in a slow oven until the apples are thoroughly cooked and the crust is nicely browned. This will require about forty minutes. While the pie is hot take off the top crust and lay it aside, then with a wooden or silver knife stir the apples and remove any hard pieces that may be left. Add sugar, nutmeg, and a small piece of butter and replace the top crust.

Recipes from The Encyclopedia of Practical Horticulture published in 1914 in North Yakima, Washington. Quoting associate editor Wm. Worthington, “A very complete department of recipes for cooking, preserving and serving the various fruits and vegetables is given.”  The collection was edited by Miss Alice M. Hodge, Stout Institute, Menominee, Wisconsin. 

Source: http://www.applejournal.com/ofr003.htm


Making Vinegar at Home

Two factors require special attention when making vinegar at home: oxygen supply and temperature. Oxygen is spread throughout the mixture by stirring it daily and by letting air reach the fluid through a cheesecloth filter, which is used in place of a regular lid. The temperature of fermenting cider should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Lower temperatures do not always produce a usable vinegar, and higher ones interfere with the formation of the “mother of vinegar.” Mother of vinegar is a mat that forms on the bottom of fermenting wine that has gone bad.

Do not use a metal container when making vinegar; acid in the mixture will corrode metal or aluminum objects. Glass, plastic, wood, enamel, or stainless steel containers should be used for making or storing vinegar. The same holds true for making or storing foods that have more than 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in the recipe.

Steps for Making Cider Vinegar
The following steps must be followed to make a high-quality cider vinegar:
1. Make a clean cider from ripe apples.
2. Change all of the fruit sugar to alcohol. This is called “yeast fermentation.”
3. Change all of the alcohol to acetic acid. This is called “acetic acid fermentation.”
4. Clarify the acetic acid to prevent further fermentation and decomposition.

Step 1–Making Cider
Cider is made from the winter and fall varieties of apples (summer and green apples do not contain enough sugar). Fruit should be gathered, then washed well to remove debris. Crush the fruit to produce apple pulp and strain off the juice. Use a press or cheesecloth for straining.

Adding yeast to activate fermentation is not essential, but will speed up the process. Special cultivated yeasts are available for this purpose at wine-making shops and biological labs–bread yeasts are not recommended. To make a starter, crumble one cake of yeast into one quart of cider. This makes enough starter for 5 gallons of cider; double the recipe proportionately when making more.

Steps 2 and 3–Making Alcohol and Acetic Acid
Pour all of the liquid into one or more containers to about three-quarters capacity; do not close the lids on the containers. Stir the mixtures daily. Keep the containers away from direct sunlight and maintain the temperature at 60 to 80 degrees F. Full fermentation will take about 3 to 4 weeks. Near the end of this period, you should notice a vinegar-like smell. Taste samples daily until the desired strength is reached.

Step 4—Filtering
When the vinegar is fully fermented, filter the liquid through several layers of fine cheesecloth or filter paper–a coffee filter works well for this. This removes the mother of vinegar, preventing further fermentation or spoilage of the product.

Storing Your Vinegar
The vinegar is now ready for storage in separate, capped containers. Stored vinegar will stay in excellent condition almost indefinitely if it is pasteurized. To pasteurize, heat the vinegar before pouring it into sterilized bottles, or bottle, then place in a hot water bath. In both cases, the temperature of the vinegar must reach at least 140 degrees F to sterilize the product, and should not exceed 160 degrees F. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure the correct temperature is met. Cool the containers and store at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

Flavored Vinegar
Flavoring can be added to homemade vinegar just before bottling. Good examples of additives include green onion, garlic, ginger, or any combination of dried or fresh herbs. To make flavoring, place material in a small cheesecloth bag and suspend in the vinegar until desired strength is reached. This will take about 4 days, except for garlic, which takes only 1 day. For every 2 cups of vinegar, use one of the following: 1/2 cup crushed fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon of dried herbs, 2 large cloves of garlic, or 8 small green onions. Other good flavorings include tarragon, basil, nasturtium, chives, mint, chervil, borage, hot chilies, and raspberries. Adjust the amounts to taste, but be careful not to overload the vinegar. Too much vegetable matter can destroy the acid and ruin the preservative quality of the vinegar.

Some flavorings may not go well with cider vinegar’s distinct taste and color. When flavoring store-bought vinegar, use more delicate or decorative flavors. When flavoring store-bought vinegar, you will still need to pasteurize it and use sterile bottles.

Flavored vinegars taste great and have a beautiful color, making them excellent for use in salads. You will be tempted to display flavored vinegar; however, be sure to keep your bottles out of direct sunlight, which will destroy the flavor, acidity, and color of the vinegar.

Because the acidity of homemade vinegars will vary, do not use them in foods to be canned or stored at room temperature. Homemade vinegar is, however, excellent in salads, cooking, or freezer and refrigerator pickled products.

Prepared by Christine Nicholas, Intern Doris Herringshaw, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, The Ohio State University Extension, Human Nutrition, Columbus, OH

Source: http://ohioline.osu.edu


Apple Cider

Ingredients
* 1 gallon apple juice (or 16 pounds apples)
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon yeast energizer
* 1 1/2 teaspoon acid blend
* 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
* 1 campden tablet
* 1 package champagne yeast (for 1 to 5 gallons)

Place chopped fruit or juice in primary fermentor. Add balance of ingredients. Stir to dissolve sugar. Stir daily for 5 to 6 days or until frothing ceases. Strain out fruit and squeeze as much juice out of it as you can. Siphon into secondary fermentor and attach airlock.
Rack in three weeks, and again every 2 months until the cider is clear.
Gently stir in 1/4 cup sugar per gallon. Bottle in champagne bottles or clean pop bottles. Age three months.

Read post “Apple Juice, Apple Cider: What’s the Difference?”


Apple Jack

Early settlers made this by setting their apple cider outside in the winter and allowing it to become slushy. They would then skim the frozen water off of the surface, leaving a “hardened” cider behind. Commercially, it is now distilled. This is illegal for the home brewer, but the freezing method is effective.

First, make Apple Cider (recipe above). Skip the final step, and allow it to age the three months in the secondary fermentor.

Second, siphon it back into the primary fermentor. If you have a deep freeze, put the primary fermentor in it overnight. If not, use ice cream buckets and the fridge freezer. Remember to leave room for the water to expand when it freezes.

The alcohol will not freeze, so it is forced into the center of the container when the cider is frozen. The brewer then has the option of either skimming the ice off of the surface, or siphoning the alcohol out of the center. The siphoning method will result in a higher alcohol content than the skimming method.

Alternatively, you could follow this method using your favourite Apple Wine recipe.

Source: http://scorpius.spaceports.com/~goodwine/applejack.htm


Apple Snacks

Start with a good quantity of fruit! The process of drying fruit removes moisture which results in considerable shrinkage of volume of fruit. You will need to start with a lot of fruit to be sure of a good quantity of dried product at the end of the process! Dried pear slices or pear leather make delicious, take anywhere, eat anytime snacks!

Drying Apples
Select firm textured apples for drying. To prepare the fruit, wash and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Pre-treat with a lemon juice/water solution (1 cup of lemon juice to 1 quart of water) or an Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) solution to prevent browning. Place slices onto drying rack. Dry fruit at 135° F. When fruit is pliable and there is no sign of moisture it can be stored in air tight bags or jars. After proper drying, apples and pears will keep in a cool, dry place from six months to a year.

Drying Pears
Any summer or winter variety of pear is suitable for drying. Pears should be ripe. Wash and slice. Pre-treat with lemon/water or ascorbic acid solution if you like. Dry at 135° F until leathery and there is no moisture present. Makes a great, sweet snack. Store carefully in air tight bags or jars. Keep in a cool, dry place.

Basic Fruit Leather
Pureed fruit can be dried on special, heavy plastic sheets in your electric dehydrator. To prepare apples or pears for leather making, wash fruit thoroughly, remove seeds, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Mixture should be of pouring consistency. It is important to add honey to help keep the leather pliable when dried. If the puree is too thick, add liquid to thin. If too tart, add more honey or sugar. Heat apple or pear mixture to 190° F to prevent oxidization, cool before pouring onto dehydrator trays. Coat trays with a layer of fruit puree about 1/8 inch thick. Dry at 135° F until leathery. Be careful there are no moisture pockets. Roll up fruit leather while warm, wrap in plastic and store. Makes a great, easy to pack snack for any outing.

Applesauce Puree for Fruit Roll-ups
Make applesauce by quartering the apples, trimming off the blossom and stems ends, put in pan and add a little water. Simmer, stirring frequently, until soft. Put the cooked apples through a food mill or strainer to remove the peels and seeds. Add about 1 tablespoon honey per cup of applesauce to keep the fruit leather pliable so it can be rolled up. This results in a nice smooth puree for making fruit leather. (If it’s too thick to spread easily, add more water.)

Fruit Leather Made from Applesauce Puree
Lightly grease dehydrator trays and spread puree evenly and thinly onto trays. Set temperature at 130-140° F. (55-60° C.) and dry until fruit leather feels dry and pliable, with no sticky spots. Remove from trays and cut into pieces. Roll in wax paper and fasten rolls with a strip of freezer tape. For long-term storage, put roll-ups in freezer bags or quart yogurt containers and store in freezer.

How to Prepare Dried Apples for Use in Apple Pie Filling and Sauces

1/2 pound dried apples
2 1/2 – 3 c. water (or more)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Sugar to taste (1/2 c. for slight sweetness up to 2 c. for those who like it super sweet)
Combine dried apples with water in heavy saucepan, place over low heat. Simmer, covered, until apples have the consistency of thick preserves. Add more liquid as needed. Be careful heat is not too high. Stir periodically to prevent scorching. When thickened consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir in spices. Taste and add sugar as need. Let cool completely. Use as filling in such recipes as Fried Apple Pies. Left over filling will keep covered in the refrigerator for about a week. Also makes a nice sauce garnish for roasted pork and poultry.

Source: http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/Recipes/drying_fruit.htm#leather

Savory Quinoa Flakes for Breakfast (or anytime!)

January 26th, 2012 by foodcoop

Gluten-Free. Serves 1-2 people, depending on how hungry you are and if you are adding any other foods to your meal.

Recipe from Food Co-op Member Adrienne Robineau

I make a savory hot cereal for breakfast using quick-cooking Quinoa Flakes. It’s very quick, easy to make and really good to eat and I wanted to share it with Co-op members.

Ingredients:
Onion
Broccoli (or zucchini or other green veggie)
1-1/2 tsp your choice of seasonings (I recommend Mrs. Dash)
1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup vegetable broth (I recommend Pacific Brand)
2 tsp freshly ground flax seeds (optional)
1 tsp freshly ground sesame seeds (optional, I use a combo of black and white sesame seeds mixed with dried sea vegetable flakes that I mix up myself from the bulk food area of the coop—you can also buy it pre-prepared, called “Gomasio.” in the seasonings aisle.)
¼ to 1/3 cup quinoa flakes (I recommend Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Flakes.)

Preparation:
* Finely chop ½ onion and ½ head broccoli or other green veggie (you can do this in advance and freeze small baggies of them to have on hand quickly before going to work.) Add seasoning.

* Cook in small pan with olive oil or coconut oil over medium heat 3-5 minutes until onions are clear and green veggie is cooked through, stirring most of the time to keep from burning or sticking.

* Add vegetable broth, ground flax seeds and ground sesame seeds (or combo/Gomasio). (Helpful hint: keep one small electric coffee grinder solely for seed grinding—mark with Sharpie, if necessary, to keep coffee beans out; use a kitchen basting brush to remove ground seeds from grinder.)

* Bring broth, veggies and seeds to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add Quinoa flakes and turn on 90 second timer. Stir constantly until timer goes off (more flakes = drier; less flakes = wetter; your choice).

* Remove from stove and let cool a bit. Add salt to taste. (I recommend Herbamare seasoning.)

Additional protein: you can add a scrambled egg to the veggies after they cook and before you add the broth.
Alternate flavor: you can add or substitute Portobello mushrooms for the broccoli and/or use Pacific brand Mushroom Broth instead of veggie.
Less Salt: don’t add any additional salt or Herbamare and use Pacific brand’s low salt vegetable broth.

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