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The best part about making your own preserves is that you can use fresh or frozen fruit. In this recipe I used fresh raspberries picked from my neighbors garden and frozen blueberries and strawberries. Preserves go great on top of pancakes, waffles, ice cream or whole grain bread.
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
3 cups strawberries
1 cup Clearly Organic Sugar
Juice from one small lemon, squeezed and deseeded
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir together contents and let sit so the flavors meld and fruit releases its juice. If using frozen fruit allow enough time for the fruit to thaw, at least an hour. Add contents to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir frequently. For 30 minutes allow fruit to simmer while stirring frequently. Let preserves cool for 15 minutes in the pot then transfer to storage containers or sterile jars if canning. Homemade preserves can be kept in the frig for up to a month.
Late summer offers the widest range of foods available during the year. Some of the most delightful fruits and vegetables are at their peak in August. Berries are still plump and juicy this time of year and fresh lettuce can still be found at the farmers market.
Here are 5 foods that are best to enjoy in the month of August.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe but onions are naturally sweet. The best way to pull out the sweetness from an ordinary onion is to caramelize. Caramelizing onions is the process of slow cooking them in a little oil until they are translucent brown and loaded with rich sweet flavor. Caramelized onions go great on sandwiches, pizza, steak, onion soup and quiche. The delightful sweet flavor can also be enjoyed alone. Caramelized onions make a tasty side dish.
When preparing your onions to be caramelized peel back all the thin outer layer and cut the onion root to tip. Place the onion slices in a thick bottomed sauté pan that’s coated with olive oil. Heat the pan on medium high until everything starts to simmer then stir, add a pinch of salt and lower the heat to medium low. The onions will need to cook about 30 to 40 minutes, on low, while you stir occasionally. The trick is to let the onions sit long enough to turn slightly brown but stir before they burn or dry out. I like adding a little water to the pan about half way through to ensure the onions don’t dry out. The process takes time and practice, but the delicious result is a crowd pleaser.
1 box Clearly Organic Shells and Cheese
3/4 cup cauliflower rice (finely chopped cauliflower)
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 Tablespoons tomato chucks for garnish
In a medium size sauce pot bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cauliflower rice to boiling water. Boil rapidly for 8 minutes. Drain and add two Tablespoons butter, baby spinach, 1/4 cup milk and contents of sauce packet. Stir well and allow spinach to slightly wilt. Portion mac and cheese into serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon and tomato.
1 large collard green leaf
2 Tablespoons Hummus
1/2 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded or sliced
1 slice of cooked bacon
1 slice of tomato
10 julienned carrot sticks
Prepare your collard green leaf. I like doing several at a time and then I store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Wash and pat dry the collard leaves using paper towel or a clean dry kitchen towel. Lay the leaf flat on a cutting board and trim off some of the excess thick stem. Prepare a large sauté pan with boiling water and a mixing bowl with ice water. Blanch the leaf by placing it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then immediately transfer the leaf to an ice bath for 30 seconds. Lay the greens out on a clean dry towel and pat dry. Place hummus, tomato, carrots, chicken and bacon on the leaf then tuck in the sides and roll the leaf up like a burrito. Slice the wrap diagonally to highlight the colorful contents. Store extra collard green leaves in an airtight plastic bag in the frig for up to 7 days.
What is it about the salty crunchy goodness of bacon? It has a way of taking a sandwich up a notch and turning a simple salad into a meal. These days bacon always manages to land itself on many popular fad diet meal plans. Likely because most people don’t want to cut back on bacon. Most of us want to find more reasons to add bacon to a recipe.
Bacon has gotten a bad reputation over the years, but recently many health professionals have changed their tone. One average slice of bacon has about 45 calories, 3 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein. The natural fat and protein content of bacon is what makes it so filling and satisfying. Furthermore, bacon doesn’t contain trans fat (the cholesterol raising bad fat) it contains mono and poly unsaturated fats along with beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. So next time you are wanting a little more flavor and crunch to your meal don’t feel bad about adding a slice or two of bacon.
This is a summer twist on a classic comfort food.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a bread pan with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl mash bananas with a masher or a fork until they are liquid like, then add eggs, brown sugar and yogurt to the mashed bananas and mix thoroughly. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in sliced strawberries. Pour batter into greased loaf pan then bake until the top is golden brown. About 55-60 minutes.
1 package Clearly Organic Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Quinoa
3 cups organic baby spinach
2 Tablespoons prepared basil pesto
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup jarred sun dried tomatoes in oil, sliced
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Balsamic Vinegar
Prepare quinoa according to package. When quinoa is done cooking fluff with a fork then stir in 2 Tablespoons of prepared basil pesto. Stir to combine then add 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and continue stirring until contents are evenly distributed. Place baby spinach in a medium size salad bowl. Add half the quinoa mixture and toss. Add balsamic vinegar and sun dried tomatoes to salad mix and continue tossing. Just before serving add the remaining quinoa. Top salad with fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes, if desired.
The Summer months offer a wide variety of in-season fruit. Making it an excellent time to put together a batch of preserves or fresh fruit jam. The plentiful harvest of berries, peaches and apricots make some of the best jam and preserve creations. Cooking up a jar of jam is also easier than you might think. It just requires some patience and gentle stirring.
My favorite fruit mixture is fresh strawberry preserves. Strawberries are naturally high in pectin, a gelling agent, making them a great choice for canning. Most preserve recipes only call for fresh sliced fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Watch the blog for easy fresh fruit preserve recipes!
Making a healthy wrap just got a lot easier. Instead of using a heavy carbohydrate based tortilla for a sandwich wrap many people have found that a collard green leaf can hold together your sandwich fixings quite nice. While also adding tons of nutrients and a vibrant crunchy flavor.
To make a collard green wrap you start by giving your big collard leaf a good rinse and pat dry to make sure it’s crisp and clean. Then using a pairing knife, trim the short side of leaf and cut off some of the extra thickness from the stem. Try to make the leaf as circular as possible, this helps the sandwich ingredients stay snug inside the wrap. Then it’s best to blanch the leaf so it softens the greens and helps release the bright rich flavors of the collard green. Blanching is the process of placing the leaf in simmering water for 30-45 seconds then immediately transferring the leaf to an ice bath to halt the cooking. This leaves the leaf crunchy yet more tortilla like in its consistency. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for some colorful and delicious wraps using collard greens!