Friday, September 5, 2014

Fruit and Veggie Refresher

This dessert has a very light, refreshing taste, and the Agar powder does a nice job of gelling it.  It arose from fond thoughts of a gelatin salad my Mom made years ago that had a weird combination of ingredients that tasted great together.  As it was one of my favorites, so began the experimenting to replicate the recipe, albeit a healthier version.  This photo doesn't do it justice. The actual color and texture are quite attractive.  If you have family members that may not eat some of the ingredients if identified, the mixture may be chopped finer for camouflage.  It will produce a more homogeneous flavor, but is still good.

Fruit and Veggie Refresher

2/3 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup diced celery (or a bit less)
2 T maple syrup
2 tsp fresh lime juice

3/4 cup 100% orange juice
1 3/4 tsp  agar powder

-Place the first six ingredients in a blender.  Pulse on medium until veggies are 1/4"-1/8" in diameter. (This  will only take a few seconds.)
-Pour into a medium sized bowl.
-Pour the orange juice into a small cooking pot and bring to a very low simmer.
-Whisk in the agar powder and cook whisking constantly for one minute.
-Stir into the above mixture, pour into an 8" x 8" baking dish.
-Cool 5-10 minutes, cover, and chill in the fridge a minimum of six hours, and serve.  This will keep in the  fridge for several days.

-Although 1 3/4 tsp of agar powder sets this to a nice consistency, if you plan to leave this out of the fridge for more than a few minutes (but not more than an hour,) increase the agar powder to 2 tsp.
-Apple juice was tried in place of the OJ, but produced too mild a flavor.  Replacing the OJ with more pineapple juice might be good.  When tried I will let you know on this blog.
Have a joyous and blessed day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

 With their pleasing texture and flavor, these cookies are a new favorite!  The nutrient dense ingredients not only will fuel your body well, they satisfy ones sweet tooth, and keep away those hunger pangs for several hours.  (Using parchment paper and letting the cookies set before removing  from the cookie sheet are crucial steps to remember.) 

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1 cup xv coconut oil, softened
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla  (1 1/2 tsp for real vanilla lovers)
1 tsp chia seeds, soaked in 2 T water for a minimum of one hour

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 tsp whole salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  guar gum powder

5 cups quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2-3/4 cup raisins (optional)

-Blend the first four ingredients in a stationery mixer. (A hand held one would work too of course.)   
-Mix together the next five ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually pour into the blender bowl on low speed.Once completely incorporated, beat on medium to high speed 3-4 minutes until smooth and creamy.  -Turn the mixture back to low and add the oats one cup at a time until all are just blended.  
-Add in the walnuts, then the raisins if desired.  Let the dough rest for 5-20 minutes, until a moist but dense consistency.  
-Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  
-Spoon the dough out at least 2" apart in roughly 1 1/2" clumps, and flatten with a fork (dipped in ice water to keep from sticking) to approximately  3/8" thick, and 2 1/4" wide.  
-Bake: 350 F for 8-12 minutes, until center springs back when lightly touched and edges are lightly browned.  -Place cookie sheet on cooling rack for 3-5 minutes for cookies to set, then carefully transfer cookies to cooling rack to cool and set completely.  
-Store in an air tight container: they will keep several days. If the weather is very hot, store in the fridge.
-Liquid coconut oil was tried too, but 3/4-1 cup additional oats needed to be added, which produced a drier cookie, not the moist cookie produced with soft xvco and less oats.  
-The 30-40 cookies this makes have been eaten right up, so I have not tried freezing any yet, but assume they would freeze just fine.