Tag Archives: preserve

case ‘o bananas, it’s banana butter time…

21 Jan

organic banana butter

Once upon a time there was a box of slightly unperfect organic bananas that a grocery outlet was just GIVING AWAY.  Ok, so really they were giving it away to their staff, but seriously what does one do with a whole case of bananas?

Plan of attack was to cut a bunch for freezing and to make banana butter, whatever the hell that is.

organic banana butter

I gotta say, out of all the fruit I have preserved, bananas are probably one of the easiest for prep.  Look at these babies!  Most of them were unscathed underneath their slightly browned peel.

organic banana butter

So long banana peels, off to the compost heap you go.

organic banana butter

Like any fruit butter, banana butter is just uber cooked down mashed bananas so you end up with a thick crazy concentrated version of the puree.  I added a touch of sugar and a whack of lime juice to brighten up the flavour a bit.  In they all went into my crock pot for a good 12 hours.  It did darken to a slight pinkish colour from oxidation but this stuff is mega pow in your mouth.  The consistency does not allow for canning but I jarred it up and threw it in my freezer.

I gotta say, if you use this in any recipe, it will be EXTRA banana-y, I’ve made a whoopie pie filling and cupcakes with it and the flavour is way more intense then using fresh bananas.

Banana Mission Done.

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minced organic red russian garlic for the year!

28 Dec

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Ah yes..it’s the annual minced garlic festival in the kitchen.  Last year Klippers gave me a whole whack of red russian garlic seconds to take home and process.  Each bulb had only one or two cloves that were still good and I had to peel them all by hand.  I also didn’t have a food processor last time so I minced it all by hand…seriously I’m retarded.

This year I smartened up and got myself a mini food processor!  My friend and farmhand of the farm brought me seconds again this year and they were already sorted!  A huge bag of red russian garlic cloves that I just had to peel.

minced garlic urbanpocketknife

Here it goes!  Lots of pulsing and scraping but way faster then mincing by hand!  I drench the minced garlic in olive oil to prevent it from oxidizing.  My mom used to do this with whole cloves and would just fish it out of the fridge whenever she needed it.  I used minced way more so I decided to save myself some time in the future.

I store them in mason jars, keep one in the fridge and freeze the rest.  It’s so handy and way better then the store bought ones that add citric acid.  Plus red russian garlic is potent stuff, one clove equals 4 of the regular kind.

drying hot peppers for winter…

3 Nov

drying hot peppers urbanpocketknife

I like a little spice here and there although I’m not crazy for ultra spicy foods that burn off my tastebuds.  I got a nice sized bounty of hot peppers at the end of the season and decided to dry ’em out so that I could use them later in the winter.

I never realized how gratifying it is to use spices that you’ve made yourself, sure it takes a ton of time in the dehydrator plus all the grinding that has to be done, but it seems kinda awesome that you’ve done it all.

I had an assortment of hotties including jalepenos, chilis, cayenne, habenaros, serranos and pablano peppers.  I layered them in my dehydrator whole with the smaller ones at the bottom and then rising to the large ones.

Leaving them whole makes for a nice display and the only ones I cut were the cayennes or else they would be too long to fit in my jars.  I dried them until they were crisp and not at all soft, drying took between 24 hours to 3 days depending on the size.

I can’t wait to grind them up into powders and for now, they sit pretty on my pantry shelf.

drying hot peppers urbanpocketknife

carmelized onion and apple chutney/jam…

2 Nov

As the summer season harvest comes to an end, so does the massive canning sessions!  The fall and winter is a leisurely time for canning as produce winds down and we are left with wintery produce like beets, carrots and apples.

Today I am making walla walla onion chutney with a few apples thrown in for good measure.  Scouring the internet for recipes didn’t come up very hopeful as onions have a very high PH and therefore is usually recommended to pressure can instead of the ‘ol water bath method.

However I did find a good looking recipe from Hitchhiking to Heaven, the vinegar content was quite high in comparison to most recipes and I made sure to use some tart apples to lower the PH as well, plus apples have pectin which would help thicken up the whole lot!

I got some giant walla walla onions from Klippers and a mix of Braeburn and Mutsu apples….love their produce…love.

I would say this preserve is more of a jammy consistency as I had to cook the onions down quite a while and the resulting mush was very jammy-like.  The sweetness of the walla wallas and the apples really come through so it’s tangy and sweet all at once…yum.

Here’s the recipe!

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my new favourite jam….tayberry

27 Sep

tayberry jam urbanpocketknife

I had no idea what a tayberry was until this summer.  We went to Bissett Farms (aka Westham Island Winery) to pick some strawberries and found these lovely berries to pick as well.  Tayberries are a cross between loganberries (think of the red juice from Ikea) and blackberries.  They’re a dark red-purple when they’re ripe, a little bit tart and a floral finish.

The bushes were a little sparse so I only managed to pick enough for one batch of jam.  I wish I had picked more!  It is probably one of the best jams in my pantry right now!

tayberry jam urbanpocketknife

Because they were so ripe, they made a really nice intense coloured jam.

tayberry jam urbanpocketknife

The seeds are less hard then a raspberry so I didn’t end up straining any of them out, they don’t tend to get wedged in your teeth like raspberry seeds.

tayberry jam urbanpocketknife

Spread on a bagel with some cream cheese….man that’s a good jam!

I used Pomona’s Universal Pectin so that I could use less sugar.  The basic recipe is 4 cups of mashed fruit, the recommended amount of pectin on the package and 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  It makes about 5-6 250ml jars and isn’t too sweet, besides, the fruit picked ripe is sweet enough!

canned grapefruit in raspberry rooibos tea syrup…

17 Mar

grapefruit orange canning urbanpocketknife

Oh canning, how I love thee!  My pantry cupboard was getting a little low in preserves and things that I decided to take advantage of the big bags of citrus in the stores these days.  One large bag of grapefruits went in to making grapefruit curd and preserving the wedges in a simple syrup.

I’m trying to can things that are in season so that when they are out of season, we can still enjoy them!  I still have a few jars of precious roasted heirloom tomatoes left (I wish I had canned more back in September!).

Since we are also trying to cut down on sugar, I made the syrup using only half the sugar recommended (to preserve the colour and texture) and added stevia to boost the sugar taste.  Turns out, I’m a genius.

Here’s the recipe!

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pickle lovers rejoice…

8 Dec

klipper's dill pickles

I’m not crazy about pickles like Snooki from Jersey Shore but Klipper‘s organic dill pickles are to die for.  I really have to resist eating the whole jar in one sitting.

It’s really the perfect pickle.  Small and super crisp with a nice vinegary bite that isn’t too sour.  The garlic permeates the vinegar and adds an extra punch that is simply delicious.

This jar came with two carrots that were just as tasty.  Super carroty in flavour with the same vinegary briny taste.  I’m not sure if the organic veggies is what makes the difference or that Annamarie just has a really good technique and recipe.  Whatever it is, we’re going to have to have this as a staple in our fridge!