Wednesday 4 September 2013

Super Quick Berry Jam

Last night as I was rummaging through the fridge finding inspiration for dinner, I came across a bowl of sad looking strawberries. I had gone 'berry' crazy last week seeing them on sale at the supermarket, and with some warmer weather lingering I was caught up in pre summer moment and bought several punnets. The children love them, but I bought way too many!

I could have used these red jubes in some muffins or perhaps make a smoothie or some ice cream, but I had a calling to make jam instead.

My children love jam so I quickly googled some simple jam recipes and found this one. It claimed to be ready in 40 minutes, and had only three ingredients which sounded perfect. Believe it or not, I had this recipe made from the time I started cooking dinner for the kids to when they were out of the bath and dressed., that's what I call quick and simple! I only had about 600g of strawberries and about 150g of blueberries, so I altered the recipe to suit. But as you can see from the quantities, it was easy to modify. Mine did taste very sweet so perhaps I added a tad too much sugar, or not enough lemon juice. And even after it cooled and thickened, there was a bit more liquid then hoped- something I can experiment with next time. It made about 2 medium size jars with a bit leftover, which was devoured this morning. It still tasted delicious and as you can see from the photo below, no complaints from my sweet tooth son!

You will need-
1 kg fresh Berries
4 cups caster sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice

How to make-
Chop up berries so they are in smaller edible pieces.
You could also crush them in a heavy based pan with a masher.
In saucepan, add berries, sugar and lemon juice.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to boil.
Keep boiling but stirring frequently so it doesn't catch, 
until the mixture temp reaches 105 deg celcius.
Transfer to hot sterilised jars.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

10 ways to Recycle your Juice Pulp

Since buying my juicer a month ago, I've been enjoying my new daily ritual of making and drinking a juice. And yes, Im feeling all the better for it. I have even lost a few kilos which Im attributing to the juices Ive been making (lots of greens-celery, spinach, cucumber, green apples and a wedge of lemon). Apparently this combo is good for weight loss and I certainly don't feel as bloated. My diet has otherwise not changed and exercise regime is still non existent!

On a nutritional and practical level though, it's not only a great way of getting a load of fruit and vege into you that you normally wouldn't, but its uses up the ones that may otherwise sit and rot away at the bottom of the vegie crisper.

Along with the juice though comes the pulp, and there is generally a lot of it.
Pulp is fibre and has no significant nutritional value but it still plays an important part in the digestive process. It's job is to clean out your digestive tract as it makes it way through your body. So, you don't have to feel too bad for tossing it in the bin, however, I decided to do a quick google search and see what I could do with the leftovers rather than wasting it.

Here is 10 ways I found to use up that leftover pulp......

1. Add to your Green bin, Compost or worm farm- the most logical thing to do for the busy person!

2. Try making Veggie Pulp Loaf using this recipe.

Photo courtesy of  

3. Or this Veggie Pulp Sandwich Bread- recipe.

4. Make your own Vegie stock. Simply, using vegie pulp only, place in a big pot, add parsley and other herbs of choice. Fill with enough water to cover all the pulp and boil for 20 mins with half an onion and some cloves of garlic. Strain and use stock in your favourite soups and sauces. The rest can now go in the compost!

5. Add to your favourite Smoothie recipe for extra fibre.

6. Mix in with some cream cheese and make a Vegie spread for sandwiches. Season with salt and pepper or some garlic to flavour to your taste.

7. Make some fibre treats for your furry friends. Try this recipe...

Photo courtesy of

or just add to their food bowl as is.

8. Vegie Burgars- try this recipe.

Photo courtesy of

9. Make muffins substituting the fruit or vegies for pulp. e.g.. carrot and apple.

10. And if you just dont have time to whip something up straight away, place in a sealed bag and freeze it. Like anything though, its always better to use whilst fresh!

Im personally not sure if I will make the time to recycle the pulp on a daily basis, but the dogs might benefit (lucky them) from having a hit of fibre once a week, and Im keen to try the loaf or bread recipe at some stage. The rest will just have to join the green waste bin!

Monday 2 September 2013

Banana & Chai Seed Muffins

Do you have a recipe that just never fails and is cooked or baked over and over again?

Well, this banana muffin recipe is mine.....

Incredibly easy, very tasty and a savour for using up the leftover old smelly bananas.
So quick to make that when our two toddlers hear the sound of the beaters, in seconds they are standing up on their chairs at the bench next to me dipping spoons into the mixture faster than I can pour into the muffin moulds.

The other advantage to this recipe is that you really can add whatever you like to jazz up the banana. Today I have Chai seeds, but you can add poppy seeds, choc chips, walnuts, a drizzle of golden syrup with pecans, berries....really, whatever takes your fancy.

You will Need-
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 egg
75g melted butter
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
1 tablespoon chai seeds

To make-
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Mix mashed bananas and sugar together well.
Beat in egg. Add melted butter and stir to combine. 
Add flour, stirring well until combined.
Stir chai seeds through (or whatever else you choose to add).
Spoon into greased muffin tray or paper moulds.
Bake for 20 mins or until nice golden brown.
Makes 10-12 muffins.

Enjoy...I promise they wont last long!