Just after Easter, I bought a huge bag of Sweet & Sara toasted coconut marshmallows. Since then, I’ve been eating one or two occasionally. From the minute I saw them, I knew I wanted to make rice crispy treats with them. I haven’t had them in years. Until now. I finally bought some brown rice crisp cereal (Whole Foods brand is vegan).
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 heaping cups toasted coconut marshmallows
4 cups brown rice cereal
Melt coconut oil and marshmallows in a medium pot. The marshmallow melt kind of funny – definitely not like non-vegan ‘mallows. Once the oil and ‘mallows are mixed together, add cereal. Press into 8×8 greased pan. Let cool and enjoy.
Lately, I’ve been craving salads like crazy (I imagine his has something to do with all the junk food and comfort food I’ve been eating since late summer). So, inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest, I made a week’s worth of salads in mason jars.
They’re so easy to make and I love having something to grab on my way out the door in the morning. It makes a great time-saver if you make them ahead of time.
The concept is simple: put your dressing on bottom and top with your salad toppings and then, your greens. When you want to eat it, just dump it into a bowl and enjoy. I have a bowl that folds flat that is perfect for carrying to work (from The Pampered Chef!).
The salads keep for a solid 5 days without getting soggy.
The top jar is (bottom to top):
Salsa, avocado, black beans, and spinach.
The next photo is:
(Front) Orange dressing, mandarin orange slices, sunflower seeds, and spinach.
(Back) spicy tahini dressing, cucumber, radish, sunflower seeds, spinach.
Avocado, creamy mustard vinaigrette, cucumber, cranberries, sunflower seeds, spinach.
Every year, our pepper plants are more prolific than we expect, and every year, we plant way too many of them. My absolute favourite way to use up excess peppers is in pepper jelly. I especially love to put it on top of a bagel & Better Than Cream Cheese. I also love to just dip crackers into it. Or spread it on crackers… whichever.
This recipe makes a lot. 12 half pint jars. Actually, I think I got 12 4oz jars and 7 half pint (8oz) jars. You’re going to want to make at least this much. Trust me.
The beautiful thing about jelly is that if you don’t have the means to water bath your jars. You can still do it. Once you’ve put the hot jelly into the warm, sanitized jars, make sure your lids are on tight, and flip them upside down. Let them stay that way 24 hours. They seal almost every time.
2C chopped green bell pepper
2/3C chopped jalapeno
4 chopped habenero peppers
3C apple cider vinegar
2 boxes Sure Jell pectin (yes, it’s Kraft brand, and they’re terrible for any number of reasons, but, it’s all I can find locally. If you choose not to use it, you’re going to need 3.5 oz dry pectin)
Pulse your peppers in a food processor until finely minced (just leave them chopped if you’d rather have big chunks of peppers in your jelly, or do half and half, it’s up to you)
Combine peppers, sugar, and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil (It took me a good 15 minutes, but, I’m at a high elevation. I’m willing to bet, if you live near sea-level, it’ll only take 5-10 minutes)
Stir in pectin.
Add to jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch head room.
If you’re using a water bath, process for 13 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes in bath before removing. Let sit 24 hours before storing.
So, after pickling all those peaches last week, you’ve still got a tree full of peaches. What do you do?
Make pie, of course!
This filling is great for pies, or, if you’re feeling too lazy to make a pie crust, make a crumble.
1 quart is perfect for 1 pie or crumble/crisp
You’ll need (per quart):
3/4C brown sugar
1/4C lemon juice
2T tapioca pearls (not quick-cooking, because you’re canning it for later use, regular is just fine)
shake of salt
Combine ingredients. Pour into prepared quart jars. Process 15 minutes.
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.
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.
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.