Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have some science, and some recipes

This presentation goes over some of the links between sugar, fat, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. I found it really informative, though long; it has 5 parts, each between 10 and 15 minutes. I highly recommend it.

On to food!

Butternut squash, thinly sliced and fried in olive oil at 320 degrees, makes pretty awesome chips. Unfortunately they don't last long.

While almond flour crust works well to make primal pumpkin-kabocha pies (pumpkin and kabocha courtesy of our winter CSA), and is a lot like a graham cracker crust, it does burn where there is no filling, so your pie can't have pretty fluted edges. The recipe I used for the crust used grapeseed oil. I will be try again with butter next time; I suspect I'll get better flavor out of it. One pie has cream cheese in the filling, while the other has some maple syrup; both are tasty.

The pumpkin seeds, kabocha seeds, and seeds from one of our two acorn squash were all roasted with salt and chipotle pepper. Kabocha seeds really don't roast all the well, unfortunately. They tend to be chewy no matter how long they're in for. The pumpkin and acorn ones are better than popcorn, though.

We made lots of applesauce. Almost 6 quarts. We also made 3 quarts of cranberry applesauce, and 3 pints of cranberry sauce. The cranberry and cranberry-apple blend unfortunately needed sugar, and so are not paleo and will be eaten sparingly, but they came out pretty tasty. (Why so much of everything? Well, we bought a peck of apples and two bags of cranberries from the store, intending to make applesauce, and then got another peck of apples from our CSA, along with some cranberries. That makes a lot. But since we've mostly mastered canning for simple things like fruit sauces, the jars will be able to hang out for a while before we eat them.)

We dehydrated all the peels from our apples when we were done making sauces. Now they're like apple chips. Yum!

Then we put a chuck roast we got with our winter CSA in the crockpot whole, along with a few potatoes, a can of diced tomato, artichoke hearts, two small onions, mushrooms, and of course chicken stock and spices. It came out awesome, and made enough for lunch today and tomorrow, and maybe a dinner.

We still have broccoli, brussel sprouts, an acorn squash, and a head of cabbage to eat from our CSA, along with the bulb portions of the two butternut squash we got (we didn't think they'd slice well for chips.) I think we'll freeze the squash and the broccoli and try to make sauerkraut with the cabbage. We also have a gallon of local cider in the fridge, and lots of Amish roll butter in the freezer (I do mean lots. We portioned it into 4 oz. 'sticks' before freezing - the same size as a regular stick of butter - and got 9 of them. After using quite a bit in an acorn squash. And it's super-tasty.) The farm says they owe us two dozen eggs, too; they were out when we got there Saturday. We'll be picking those up tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to eggnog made with fresh farm eggs.

We're picking up more meat on Dec 4th, along with our second winter CSA basket. So far the winter share is just as much of a win as the summer share was. I hope that continues!

Cranberry sauce: 6 cups cranberries, 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup sugar, zest of 1 orange, two tablespoons ginger. Boil until cranberries pop, simmer until thick. Add cinnamon and other spices if desired. Most recipes call for more sugar than this, but using orange juice instead of water adds some, and really, we just don't like things all that sweet anyway anymore.

Cranberry-applesauce: follow the above, but halve the sugar and add a dozen peeled, cored, finely diced apples.

Applesauce: peel, core, dice apples; put into a big pot with some lemon juice. Add water to cover half of the apples. Simmer until apples are tender, blend to desired consistency. Add cinnamon (or add cinnamon sticks early, and take them out before blending.) That's it. Most recipes add sugar, but we've found it's not necessary.

Pie crust: mix together 1.5 cups almond flour (whole almonds in a coffee grinder then sifted works well), 1 tbsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp sea salt. Blend together 2 tbsp honey, 1/4 grapeseed oil, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix with dry ingredients, press into 9" pie tin, bake for 15 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350. Let cool before filling.

Pie filling: mix 2 eggs and 2 cups pumpkin puree (or pumpkin-kabocha blend in our case, strained) with pretty much whatever you want. Cinnamon and nutmeg are pretty essential. One of ours had 1/4 cup maple syrup; the other, maybe 1/2 cup of cream cheese. Fill pie crust and bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Let cool before eating.

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