random bits and bites

13 Jul

Well, another weekend gone, another week of summer lost. I swear, the days are just falling away and summer seems to have disappeared again. It was 59 when I woke up this morning and so cold in my office that I never took my zippered jacket off all day.

Despite the cold temperatures, the produce continues to multiply! And with that produce comes experimentation. I’ve still be playing with smoothies in the Vita-Mix daily.

greeniesmoothie

Kale, spinach, a red plum, kiwi, banana, strawberries, green powder and oat milk.

greenie2

It was a little tangy from the kiwi and deliciously creamy.

Next up in the Vita-Mix, I made some flour. From scratch! I did not use the dry blade container, as I was told by someone from Vita-Mix (off the record…) that you can make flour just fine with the regular blade.

wheat berries

Hard spring red wheat berries. I couldn’t really figure out what kind would be best for bread, as there are so many varieties, but I settled on these after noticing how common they are.

flour

About 45 seconds later! Friction lead to heat, which lead to an amazing aroma upon opening the container. It smelled like a fresh, warm loaf of bread!

flourcloseup

The texture was a little grainy, but not bad. Next time I’ll let it process a bit longer for a finer grind. Not too shabby for under a minute, though!

vitamuffin

I blended my homemade wheat flour with some whole grain spelt and made these incredibly delicious and nutrition packed muffins. Jim has a ravaging sweet tooth and we are trying to reign in, so I’m working on some healthier baked goods for him to have with his morning coffee. These whole grain beauties were spiked with cinnamon and speckled with flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and a nice helping of chopped semisweet chocolate to make them taste more devilish than they really are.

Have you noticed the internet buzz surrounding kale chips lately? Everywhere I turn lately, it’s like kale chips here, kale chips there! Leave it to Americans to take something healthy and grease the nutrients out of it. Being from Minnesota, the land of everything fried on a stick, this appealed to my inner grease-eater.

kalechips

I took about half of a bunch of kale, rinsed, and then ripped off the leaves into fairly evenly sized chunks. Lightly coated with some olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, they were placed on a parchment covered baking sheet, in a single layer, and baked at 375 until crispy- about 12 minutes. We were a house divided. I liked them and Jim made childish faces and looked at me like I was insane. They were buttery and melted on my tongue. Greasy, salty goodness that I could pretend was healthy. It’s kale, after all! While I did enjoy them, it felt like sacrilege and I will probably stick to the steamed or sauteed varieties going forward.

plum butter

This weekend I did some more canning. I’ve become a full-fledged addict! At work, my co-workers keep calling me “Smuckers”. “Whoa there, Smuckers, settle down. You’re a little too excited about jamming!” I can’t help it, I have the itch and I have to scratch it. Speaking of canning, Erin, check your email so I can send you your Rainier jam!

Last week I picked up a new book on preserves and canning- Well Preserved. I couldn’t wait to try it, so this weekend I made Kiwi Jam (which was awesome and I failed to photograph before canning. I will take pictures when we open the first jar!) as well as Plum Butter. Pictured above, the Plum Butter was intriguing. I have had apple butter and pear butter before, but never plum. I was lucky to come across some plums that had a vibrantly colored flesh, rather than the beige-colored flesh you find in some plums. The resulting butter is intoxicating. I’ve never quite tasted anything like it. This book is full of recipes, from more traditional ones to some more off-the-wall combos (Banana Date Chutney? Yes, please!) and I highly recommend it.

After a long day of canning, we had a simple meal, cooked up by Jim.

kielbasa

Tofurky kielbasa sauteed with onions, garlic roasted brussels and a some fresh strawberries. We’re trying to finish off our faux meat build up in the fridge to focus on more whole foods… but you’ve gotta make time for kielbasa.

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14 Responses to “random bits and bites”

  1. Nora July 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    I didn’t know VitaMixes could make flour! That’s crazy amazing!

  2. Vegetation July 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    Mmm I am loving those muffins! I have a raging sweet tooth too 😦

    And I’m dying to find kale so I can try kale chips! I’ve made them with silverbeet (yes, I tried to tell myself they were healthy, alas I did not quite believe myself!).

  3. Andrea July 14, 2009 at 4:06 am #

    The vitamix looks pretty great. It must be wonderful to make baked goods with fresh flour – I imagine they are naturally, subtly sweeter, too. And the jam sounds so delicious. It’s been a long time since I did any canning. I’ll have to look for that book.

  4. tahinitoo July 14, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    Isn’t making flour in Edgar the best? I am glad your muffins turned out well; I have not used the flour I made yet.

    Smuckers! I love that nickname!!!

    • Kris July 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

      It was so great! I couldn’t believe how well it worked, just like in the video.

  5. Josiane July 14, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    Thanks for reporting on your experimentation with flour-making in the Vita-Mix. Sounds like it worked great!
    Your plum butter looks absolutely scrumptious! I have no trouble believing it was intoxicating. You’re about to give me a serious canning itch!

  6. Courtney July 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Kiwi jam?! That sounds awesome! It must be a brilliant vibrant green, no?

    Tehehehe…I always have to have my pickle on a stick at the state fair (although it is NOT fried). Why not put things on a stick and fry them…you betcha’ it’ll taste good 🙂

    Courtney

    • Kris July 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

      In my pre-vegan days, my weakness was the deep fried candy bar. What is more state fairish than a snickers on a stick, coated in funnel cake batter and fried? It’s priceless.

  7. Sandy July 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    whoa! deep fried candy bar? oh my!!

    Loved the kale!! It had the perfect blend of oil and salt, plus crunch.

    • Kris July 15, 2009 at 8:49 am #

      I’m glad you liked the kale.

      Yeah, the deep fried candy bar was basically like a donut with a gooey, warm candy bar in the middle. That would be an awesome addition at Food Fight, eh? 😉

  8. Jojo July 15, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    I am still so jealous of your vita mix – I might ask my boy to marry me just so I can get one as a wedding gift!!

    • Kris July 15, 2009 at 8:42 am #

      I love it! You are so funny.

  9. shellyfish July 15, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    Oh I dream of owning a Vita Mix…there is so much I would love to make with one. My poor blender is going to konk out on me because sometimes I make it pretend it’s a vm.
    Your plate has my mouth watering!

  10. jumbleberryjam July 17, 2009 at 7:23 am #

    Ahhh, the wonders of Vita Mix! One day. One day…

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