Category Archives: Fruit

Mini Rhubarb Crisps (gluten-free)

IMG_9555

I am a true lover of rhubarb.  I don’t know what it is about the flavor but it is one I cannot get enough of.  Since before me, my Grams has always made jam.  I grew up on the stuff.  Like for real.  My parents never, literally never, had store bought jelly/jam in the house.  How awesome is this!  Grams had quite a few varieties but my favorite has always been strawberry rhubarb.  I loved finding rhubarb chunks in the jam, always the best bite.  But it gets even better.  Grams is still making her jams and I’m one of the lucky ones she shares it with.  It’s a special day when I get a box in the mail and inside is a jar of her jam.  In fact the last box came with a jar of strawberry rhubarb!  Even those these days I keep my sugar intake to minimum, I have a soft place in my heart for this traditional style jam.  I eat it by the spoonful when I’m looking for that special treat : ).

Last year I bought and planted a rhubarb in our yard.  It happily grew and I had to use serious restraint not to harvest any.  Some say wait one year until harvesting after planting, Grams says three.  But no chance I was going to wait three years!  And this spring my plant has been growing out of control, so I’ve been graciously harvesting.  I have made a few small batches of jam, stewed rhubarb, roasted rhubarb, and now rhubarb crisps.  My preferred method is to cook a few stalks at a time to continually enjoy it in a new way.

This round I decided to go for rhubarb crisps.  I picked just enough to make a small batch so I split it into two mason jars.  Sweetened with a bit of maple syrup and topped with a basic almond flour crumble.  A perfect taste of summer!  I used the tall skinny mason jars, since this is what I had clean.  But if you have them available use the short wider jars.

IMG_9547

Mini Rhubarb Crisps (gluten-free)

Mini Rhubarb Crisps (gluten-free)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl mix the chopped rhubarb, arrowroot, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Divide into two 8oz mason jars.
  3. In the same bowl add the almond flour, salt, baking soda, walnut oil, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Mix, divide, and crumble on top of rhubarb.
  4. Place filled mason jars on a parchment paper rimmed baking sheet (to catch any juices that may bubble over). Bake 30 minutes.
http://mydailybite.com/mini-rhubarb-crisps-gluten-free/

IMG_9551

Peach Cobbler

IMG_1991

Happy Labor Day!!  I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend.  We kept ours low key keeping close to home while fitting in a few errands and spending some time with visiting friends.  Josh took over food responsibilities this weekend which has been a real treat.  Tempeh tacos, pigeon peas and rice, goat cheese brie and lox on local bread to name a few.  Having the break for a few days gave me a chance to rest my swollen ankles and gain some inspiration.  Today I stepped back in making a large batch of tomato sauce with local roma tomatoes and basil from our garden.  I kept it simple and froze most of it to have for after the birth.  Last pregnancy I froze a bunch of meals but this time I’m going a different route freezing sauces.  So far I have tomato basil sauce and pesto, both made with local ingredients.  I’m sure in the next week or two I’ll make a few more.

IMG_1985

My curious little helper

While I was buying local tomatoes for the sauce I figured I should buy a few more peaches before the season comes to an end.  We have enjoyed lots of local fruit this summer but I have cooked with very little of it.  Most of the time I think it’s too delicious raw to make desserts or anything else.  I have fond summer memories eating fresh produce while visiting my grandparents in Michigan.  We would always buy a bushel of peaches and leave them outside on the deck.  The bushel would never last long as we would eat peach after peach throughout the day.  Consuming 5+ peaches a day was such a treat!  Of course we would also buy plenty cherries, blueberries, and really anything we could get our hands on at local farm stands.  Growing up in St. Thomas I didn’t get to experience this and I really cherish those summers off island.  There were also numerous blackberry and raspberry bushes to pick from on my grandparents property.  And if we were there in the fall their grape orchard to pick the sweetest concord grapes.  Fruit is by far my favorite of the food groups and it’s becoming clear it’s Cia’s too.  We have consumed ridiculous amounts of watermelon between the two of us.  So as the summer fruit season is starting to come to a close I decided to make a peach cobbler.  The peaches are still delicious but as I was slicing them I noticed the texture was starting to change.  Not quite as juicy as they were a week or two ago.  At least as the peaches fade out I have apple season to look forward too!

IMG_1986

Most peach cobbler recipes are loaded with sugar and butter.  Unless you are buying peaches out of season I don’t see the need to sweeten already juicy and sweet fruit.  This recipe is simple and you can easily substitute frozen or canned peaches if it’s the off season.  A little bit of vanilla flavoring the peaches with a nice helping of cinnamon flavoring the topping.  Served with some vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or in my case vanilla frozen yogurt this is the perfect way to send off summer.

IMG_1991

Peach Cobbler

  • 4 large peaches (~2.5 lbs), peeled and sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or 2 if you’d like it to be a bit richer)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup almond coconut milk, or regular milk or any other milk substitute
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a pot, I used Miss Fennel – my 2 qt Le Creuset french oven, add the peaches, brown sugar, vanilla, 1 tablespoon butter, and pinch of salt.  Over medium heat allow peaches to cook down releasing juices, 10 minutes.  Mix lemon juice and cornstarch and add to the peaches.  You can always try your peaches and add more sugar if you’d like them sweeter.
  3. Meanwhile prepare topping.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and pinch of salt.  Add butter and milk mixing with a fork until the dough is just combined.
  4. In an even layer distribute the dough over peaches.  It doesn’t have to cover the whole top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the sides are bubbling and the dough is slightly browned and cooked through.

** If you do not have a french oven you can cook peaches in a pot and transfer to an oven safe dish such as a Pyrex or skillet before baking.

 

Plum Jam

Happy Birthday Mom & Happy Belated Birthday Matt!!!

Plum Jam

Life got a little ahead of me the last two weeks and I was unable to get my birthday gifts out in time.  I did get cards out on time though :)

Two summers ago I made some plum jam with local plums I picked.  I made 13+ cups and mailed some for my family to enjoy.  My brother thought it was awesome and has asked for more many times.  I haven’t bothered to go down that road again since the experience was a bit much.  I had no idea how many plums you needed to make a cup of jam and estimated way over what I needed.  I had to use two pots and boil every mason jar I could find.  So this round I was looking to make 4+ cups.  I bought about 14 plums, half were ripe and half were a bit hard.  I wasn’t sure how they’d work out but I figured what’s the loss in trying.  Well this experience was delightful.  I keep my recipe simple and since I only had to boil 3 jars the overall process was easy and fun.

Plum Jam

  • 14 plums, seeded and chopped (skin on!)
  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • mason jars and lids

1. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  (for jars)

2. Place chopped plums in a pot and place over medium heat on the stove.

3. Add some sugar to the plums.  Per usual I didn’t measure.  I probably added 1/2 cup to start and then added it as needed as it cooked.  Mix.

4. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice.  Mix.

5. Bring to a low simmer and cook for awhile, mashing a bit as you go to help break down the harder plums.  I probably cooked mine for 45 minutes to an hour, adding sugar as needed.

I opt not to use pectin just because I don’t see the need.  To test to see if the jam is done scoop a small amount on a plate and place in the freezer to cool.  If it becomes thick just after cooling it’s done.

6. Place mason jars and lids in boiling pot of water.  Leave for a bit and then take out, I do this using two forks, and place on the counter.  I lay a dish towel down and set the jars on that.  Fill each jar to the fill line, place the lids on, and turn upside down to cool.  Once cooled flip over and lid should be sealed.  All of mine were.  This made about 6 cups which was perfect.  Two for Mom, two for Matt, 1 for Grams, and 1 for me!  (Grams has to get some since she started the jam trend throughout the Driscoll family).

I placed ours in the fridge and had a spoonful once it was chilled.  Absolutely delicious!  It’s so good I’m going to eat it by the spoonful and forget the pb&j’s!  The texture and consistency were spot on, and of course not too sweet.

This is good eats!

 

Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts

 

Chestnuts are a wonderful part of the holiday season.  Nutritionally they are very similar to brown rice.  They are a high energy food, low in fat, low in protein, high in complex carbohydrates, and cholesterol free.  Chestnuts are both vitamin C and potassium rich.  Unlike most nuts, chestnuts are not oily but contain 50% water.  They are rich in mineral salts and a good source of vitamins B1 and B2 and folates.  And lastly they are gluten free!

I always roast chestnuts but there are numerous different ways to cook them.  It’s not that I’m lazy they are just so good on their own!  But if you do want to experiment they are great savory or sweet.

To roast:

1. Slice and ‘X’ in the flat side of the chestnut.  I wasn’t in my right mind this past week so I sliced the round side and ran into no problems from doing this.

2. Soak the chestnuts in salted water for 1 hour.

3. Lay flat on a baking sheet and roast in a 375° oven for 30 minutes.

4. Once you can handle them peel and eat.  They are much easier to peel before they completely cool so dig in!  This was the first year I soaked them in water and this is a technique I’m glad I learned.  The texture and taste was perfect, and they were super easy to peel!

 

PIPA

Fresh coconuts are awesome… and thanks to my Dad’s superb machete skills we didn’t lose a drop of the juice!  We put them in a cooler with ice over night which equaled the best experience ever… cold coconut juice on a super hot day!

Coconut Lovers

Coconut Meat

So Good!