Sorry for the very long delay in getting this awesome peaches post to you! Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Our peach tree doesn’t always produce peaches. When it does, there aren’t very many of them, they’re usually not tasty, and are mostly pit. One year, we got peaches the size of softballs. It was awesome, but, it hasn’t happened in about 10 years. So, this year, we were shocked to see peaches growing everywhere on this thing. Seriously, everywhere. A huge branch broke off the tree because there were so many on it. And they taste amazing – perfectly sweet, great texture. All-in-all, great peaches. Oh, and they’re about the size of apricots. Tiny. Two or three bites tiny. Perfect for lunch boxes (If you’re going to pack six…), perfect for on-the-go, and perfect for pickles.
Never had a pickled peach? They’re great on bundt cake, ice cream, cheesecake, oatmeal, cereal, or straight out of the jar.
They’re a lot of work. Especially when you’ve got peaches as small as mine – it took 30 peaches to fill three and a half 8oz jars. Woah. That’s a lot of peeling for very few pickles. Is it worth it? I think so. But, not all the time. Maybe even not every year. It’s a great once-in-a-while treat to put together on a weekend day you want to spend in the kitchen.
You’re going to need:
6 pint jars (or 12 half pint, aka jelly, aka 8oz, jars)
For the syrup:
3 cinnamon sticks
6-8 whole cloves
a knob of fresh ginger, sliced into a few rounds
3 1/3 C apple cider vinegar (while I’m a big fan of raw ACV everywhere else, don’t use it when canning)
5 C sugar
For the peaches:
1lb of peaches/pint – so, for this recipe, you’re going to use about 6lbs – ideally, you’re going to use small peaches, but, I know they’re really hard to find. If you can’t find them, no big deal, just get what you can
enough water to cover the peaches (about 8 cups) – and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it
Throw your spices into a reusable tea bag (large), cheesecloth pouch, or big tea diffuser. Bring spices, sugar, and ACV to a boil in a large pot (you’re going to have to fit all your peaches into it later) Turn off heat, let sit while you process the peaches.
Peel and halve each peach (if you’re using big peaches, quarter them) and put them in the lemon water.
Once you’re finished with the peaches, bring your syrup back to a boil and add the peaches. Return to a boil, and turn off heat.
Add peaches to prepared pint jars, leaving about an inch of head-space. Top with syrup, leaving a half inch head-space.
Once jars are full, process for 20 minutes. Once done, turn off heat and let jars sit 5 minutes. Place them on cooling rack and let sit 24 hours. As always, refrigerate any jars that don’t seal.
Okay, so I was going to take a weekend break from Vegan MoFo blogging, as I’m running out the door to go camping. However, when I saw that beets are the secret ingredient, I couldn’t just leave it alone. One of my favourite pickled foods is beets. They’re even better if you pickle them with radishes. They’re great on sandwiches, veggie burgers, salads, and all alone. Make these.
Roasted Pickled Beets and Radishes
You’re gonna need:
6 pint jars
10 beets (about 3lbs)
4 cups radishes
1T canning salt
2 3/4 C vinegar
2 1/2 C water
Roast beets in foil for 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel. Once peeled, cut into wedges.
Cut radhishes into wedges.
Prepare your canning equipment.
In a large-ish pot, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for about a minute. Add beets and radishes and let it all simmer until heated through. Remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to tightly pack the beets and radishes into the jars – you’ll want to leave about an inch of headspace. Once packed, pour liquid in jars – you’ll want to leave about a half inch of headspace. After removing air bubbles, add more liquid if necessary. Place lids and rings on jars
Place jars in pot and return to a boil. Process for about 30 minutes. Once finished, let the jars sit in water for about 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a cooling rack and let sit for 24 hours. Refrigerate (and enjoy) any jars that don’t seal.
I know canning intimidates a lot of people, but, really, it’s pretty easy. And generally pretty forgiving. These tomatoes are just about the easiest thing I’ve ever made.
The worst part about canning tomatoes is having to peel them. the easiest way to do this is to slice an “x” in the bottom of each tomato and throw them in boiling water until the skin begins to pull away from the fruit. Then, dump them in ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, it’s really easy to pull the skin away from the fruit.
Once your tomatoes are peeled, pack them tightly into wide mouth jars. It takes approximately 3lbs of tomatoes per quart. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of lemon over quart of tomatoes. Once packed, screw on the lids, and water-bath for 45 minutes (I live at a high altitude, but, honestly, with this recipe, I don’t think you need to adjust anything for altitude).
Once done, place on a cooling rack (or a pot holder) and let them be overnight.
Use these later for great sauces or soups. My tomatoes are funny colours because I used yellow, black, and red tomatoes.
I completely forgot about my blog post for the Vegan Food Swap last month and I’m two days late.
I got an absolutely wonderful box from Stacy at Stacy’s Adventures in Wonderland. It was apple-themed in honor of Michigan’s orchard season. I love apples!
The box included apple chips, a container of apple oatmeal, apple granola, apple spice tea, two apple pie Larabars, and a mint chocolate Endangered Species chocolate bar. I’m in apple-heaven. Thank you, Stacy!
Fermented hot sauce is my new favourite thing to make. It is so, so, so good. And it gives me something to do with my excess peppers. And my pepper plants are out of control. I have never seen such tall pepper plants, so full of fruit.
Last night’s hot sauce mixture consisted of garlic, habenero, Serrano, and jalapeno chilies. It’s super easy, and, the recipe isn’t actually mine. It comes from Well Preserved, one of my favourite online resources for preserving (though not everything they post is vegan). The recipe can easily be customised, as it’s more suggestions for great hot sauce, and can be played with according to your tastes. This is their most recent post on fermenting hot sauce, however they have three or four I recommend checking out. Because I ferment in a mason jar, I use this post.
After about a week, the peppers are ready to be pureed. You have the option of then straining your puree or leaving it as is. I like it chunky, so I don’t strain it.
My theme this year is Preserving the Harvest. I know many of you around the country are winding down on their local summer harvests, but, mine still seems to be in full swing. Our pepper plants are a little out of control (There will be pepper jelly!), we still have tomato-heavy plants, and I finally got my first zucchini of the year. While we’ve still got loads of summer food left to preserve, our fall harvest is starting to come in. Our peach tree is so heavy with fruit, a huge branch broke off it. For all those peaches, we only got a few apples on three trees. Luckily, there’s a great local orchard who grows the best apples I’ve ever eaten.
I don’t know if I’ll get a post in daily this year, but, I’m shooting for 3-4 posts per week, with at least one recipe per week.
Is there anything you want to see preserved? Any preservation techniques you want me to write about? Let me know!
Happy September! I can’t believe the summer has flown by!
Last month, I participated in the Vegan Food Swap again. For those who didn’t catch my last food swap post, Cat over at The Verdant Life started this great food swap. Every month, she matches people up from all over the US to swap vegan goodies. It’s awesome. To sign up, go here. If you’re in Canada, sign up here.
This month, I got a wonderful box of goodies from Kim.
It contained Raw Masala Chai Super Cookies, Orange Creamsicle Kale Krunch, Krinkle Cut Salt & Pepper Kettle Chips, a Raw Revolution Spirulina Dream bar, Sea’s Gift seaweed snacks, a Double Chocolate Decadence Cookie, an Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint bar, and an adorable handwritten note in a beautiful card.
All the treats were wonderful. The snacks I had never tried before, I loved, and those I’m familiar with are some of my favourites.
Thank you, Kim!
A few weeks ago, One Green Planet had a giveaway for Wholesome Chow Baking Mix. I won! It arrived a few days ago, and today was the day to try it. Wholesome Chow is vegan, gluten-free, organic, and GMO-free. It’s also available locally at Lassen’s (awesome!).
I chose the chai baking mix, because, well, I might be a bit addicted to chai flavoured anything.
I don’t have too much experience with gluten-free baking. I know how to do it, I can do it, I just usually choose not too unless there’s demand for it.
I chose to make a loaf of bread instead of cupcakes or a cake, and it was a great decision. The slices are perfect topped with a dab of Earth Balance Coconut Butter.
The bread itself was super easy to make. The only ingredients I had to add were apple cider vinegar, non-dairy milk, and oil. Whisk away, bake, and enjoy like crazy. It’s light, fluffy, perfectly sweet, and perfectly spiced. I’ll definitely be buying it in the future. Check them out. Want to find a store near you? Do it! While you’re at it, look them up on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Northern California! Mark your calendars for Animal Place Sanctuary’s 2nd annual Music in the Meadows on September 22.
Animal Place is located in Grass Valley. They provide permanent shelter for animals that come from abusive situations, with an emphasis on farmed animals. They offer tours of the facility, cooking classes (they promote a vegan lifestyle), workshops, and volunteer & internship opportunities.
Music in the Meadows will feature a silent auction, live music (of course), and vegan vendors. Check them out here. (and eat some candy from Obsessive Compulsive Sweets for me!) Volunteers are always welcome. Sign up here.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under. The fun starts at 11am and goes until 5pm. Animal Place is located at 17314 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Go support this wonderful rescue and have a wonderful, music-filled day.
This means I’ve felt the need to get creative with them, so, today, I made ice cream. It’s awesome. Sweet and cucumbery with a hint of ginger and vanilla. Next time, I’ll make sure I have candied ginger in the house and I’ll throw a handful of it into the ice cream instead of the ground ginger.
Cucumber Ice Cream
2 6inch cucumbers
2TBL powdered sugar
2TBL Dark Agave Syrup
2tsp ground ginger
2C non-dairy creamer (I actually used 2C of Rich’s Non-dairy Whipped Topping, and liquid Soyatoo would work just fine too)
Blend cucumbers in food processor until you have a smooth, thick liquid. It should be 1-1.5 cups of thick liquid. Process powdered sugar, agave, and ginger until mixed well.
Fold in whipped topping. (You can whip it up a bit, which will make for an awesome fluffy ice cream)
Add to ice cream maker for 30ish minutes, or until frozen.