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Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

I love oats. Eating them takes me back instantly to my childhood. Sitting around my cousins table, surrounded by people I have so many fantastic memories with.

We would eat it with fresh cream that came from the cows milked earlier that morning. Truly a flavour of my childhood, simple yet transformative. It is amazing how one taste can transport you back to a moment in time as if were yesterday! And a flavour memory I refer back to often.

Looking to do some baking this morning I had oats on my mind. I have an amazing maple bread recipe that I love and have to share soon, but with a bunch of fresh berries in the fridge I thought muffins would be perfect.

 

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of blueberries - fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of raspberries - fresh or frozen
  • Streusel Topping:
  • combine the following
  • ¼ cup of butter - grated when cold
  • 4 tablespoons of quick cooking oats
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the oats and milk.
  2. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, canola oil and sugar.
  4. Add the oat and milk mixture.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Stir well to combine
  7. Gently fold in the berries
  8. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin cups.
  9. Top with the streusel.
  10. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes to until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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It is a great muffin with fantastic texture from the oats. They are not sweet and have an amazing amount of tart juicy raspberries. With the perfect hint of nutmeg that rounds out the flavour.

Perfection.

 

 

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Sun Gold Kiwi Jam

Sun Gold Kiwi Jam

My favourite fruit is anything tropical. There is something to be said about the rich sweetness that you find in a kiwi, mango,  pineapple or passion fruit.

I was very excited to create something spectacular when a call out from the team over at Zespri Kiwifruit asked bloggers from across Canada to create new recipes using Sun Gold Kiwifruit. Head down to your nearest produce section and check out the kiwifruit in store. Sun Gold kiwifruit looks like green kiwifruit from a distance but they are different. Sun Gold kiwifruit is sweeter then green kiwifruit. It has a beautiful yellow flesh colour and it tastes like a cross between a mango and strawberry. But its most obvious difference is the Sun Gold kiwifruit has a somewhat smooth hairless skin. Sun Gold Kiwifruit contains Vitamin C (more then 3 times the amount found in oranges), Vitamin E, potassium (as much as a medium banana), fibre and folic acid and is available from May thru to October.

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Much of the produce available right now is at the height of freshness, not only to enjoy today but to can and preserve to enjoy months down the road. If you have never canned before I suggest starting with jam. The batches are small, the prep is quick and easy and it is a fantastic way to get your feet wet. Because what could be better then enjoying some luscious tropical kiwi jam in the middle of a January deep freeze.

It is important to use sterilized, hot  jars and lids. Everything you need comes in a case of canning jars.  The lids and screw bands go into a small pot of water which you bring to a simmer to keep warm. Wash and dry your jars and place on a large baking rack and set in the oven at 225 degrees F for 10 minutes. Keep them warm until ready to fill. Or you can fill a canner with water and place your jars in the water and heat to 180 degrees F. A metal canning rack makes easy work of adding all the jars at once.

I add a 1/2 teaspoon of butter to all my jams and jellies to prevent bubbly scum from forming from the boiling process. I rarely have to skim my jellies any more. I add this after the first boil. You will need to process the full jars of jelly in the water bath canner. Have it filled with 3-4 inches of warm water and place it on a burner to heat while you are making the jam.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sun Gold Kiwi Jam
 
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Author:
Recipe type: preserving
Cuisine: condiment
Serves: 5pints
Ingredients
  • 7-8 medium SunGold kiwifruit
  • ⅔ cups of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup of lime juice
  • 1 package of certo pectin
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup of Apricot Brandy
  • ½ teaspoon of butter
  • a few drops of yellow food colouring (optional)
  • 5 half pint jars
Instructions
  1. Cut and scoop the kiwi out of their skins.
  2. It is so much easier then peeling and is the way we eat it fresh, right out if the skins.
  3. Place the fruit in a medium sized bowl and mash.
  4. Measure out 2 cups of fruit.
  5. Combine the kiwifruit, pineapple juice and lime juice in a large deep saucepan.
  6. Add the fruit pectin, stirring until dissolved. Bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the sugar, flaked coconut and butter, return to a full rolling boil.
  8. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat and skim any foam that is on the surface using a metal spoon.
  10. Stir in the brandy.
  11. Stir in the food colouring.
  12. Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving a quarter inch of headspace.
  13. Apply lids and screw bands, just until finger tight.
  14. Place into the canner and process for 10 minutes.

This jam turned out fabulously! It has an amazing flavour that is kicked up a notch from the touch of lime. Not only does it add a bit of zing it also brings out the flavour of the pineapple. I left the kiwifruit a bit chunky when I mashed it which along with the coconut gives the jam a great texture.  And the colour, spectacular!

Of course it is fantastic slathered on hot buttered toast or bagels it would be wonderful cooked down a bit and used to baste pork or even better, as a glaze on crisp salty chicken wings!

Head down to your local grocer and grab some Sun Gold Kiwifruit then head over to Twitter and Instagram and look up #Zespri4life to see what other amazing dishes you can create with these sweet golden gems!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Zespri Kiwifruit. I was compensated for my time and was supplied with some fantastic Sun Gold Kiwifruit.

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Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Surrounded by thick forest, with trees so big you couldn’t wrap your arms around them. The forest floor a cushion of moss, wild flowers and fallen leaves. Rays of sunlight streaming through the tree tops like something out of a child’s fairytale. It  was a little slice of heaven.

That was 18 years ago.

It was where I grew my first garden and had fruit trees. Where the passion for growing my own food was ignited. Where I read as many books as I could to learn how to can and preserve everything I was growing.

Along with all the pickles and jams I made, my most cherished jars were the 9 liter jars of apple pie filling made from the tree out back.

This recipe is super easy all the work is in the prep, but once the apples are peeled the rest of the job is  breeze.

Apple Pie Filling
 
Author:
Recipe type: Preserving
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 9 1 liter jars
Ingredients
  • 36 cups of apple, quartered and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1¾ teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Wash, peal and core apples.
  2. To prevent darkening use Fresh Fruit Powder following the directions on the label.
  3. Drain apples and place in a large kettle with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly.
  5. Pack into hot jars leaving 5cm of headspace.
  6. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove jars and allow to cool completely.
  8. To make a pie line a pie pan with pastry.
  9. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  10. Add one jar of filling and sprinkle with 2 more tablespoons of cornstarch.
  11. Cover with pastry, seal edges and cut vents.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F then reduce to 350F and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
  13. Makes 9 - 1 liter jars of pie filling

 

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Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Jelly

Crab apples have been part of my existence since I was little. One of my earliest crab apple memories were of my Gido taking us apple picking. Though we never really got to do any picking as the trees were so tall that ladders where needed.

Then there where the trees in my grandmothers backyard. And though as I kid I wasn’t a huge fan of crab apples I was truly amazed at how fantastic her crab apple jelly was. It was the most wonderful pink color and not at all tart like the apples. After she passed away I remember one afternoon my grandfather giving me his last jar of crab apple jelly. It was the best gift I ever received.

Flash forward a few years. I was at work some someone had asked if I wanted some crab apples. My thoughts immediately went to the jelly that I enjoyed so much in the years before. I was excited at the chance to try and do this!

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I went and bought jars, a box of Certo and began my journey into jelly making.

Crab Apple Jelly
 
Author:
Recipe type: Preserving
Cuisine: Condiment
Ingredients
  • To make juice:
  • 4 quarts of crab apples
  • 6 cups of water
  • To make jelly:
  • 7 cups of prepared crab apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 box of Certo pectin crystals
  • 9 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
Instructions
  1. Remove the blossom and stem ends from 4 quarts of crab apples.
  2. Half apples and place in a large pot, do not peel or core.
  3. Cove with water.
  4. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Crush pulp and cover and simmer 5 minutes longer.
  7. Place the simmered apples into a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth.
  8. Now place in a colander and set over a large bowl or pot to catch the juice.
  9. For a clearer jelly do not squeeze the juice out, let it drip.
  10. Up to ½ cup of water can be added if you do not get sufficient juice.
  11. In a large sauce pan stir together crab apple juice, lemon juice and pectin crystals.
  12. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  13. Stir in the sugar.
  14. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  15. Return to a hard boil for one minute.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. Ladle jelly into sterilized jars laving a ¼ inch of headspace.
  18. Apply lid and screw bands finger tip tight.
  19. Place the jars into a hot water bath and process 5 minutes.
  20. Remove jars and allow to cool fully.

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Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

If you have checked out the recipes being created for the Canadian Lentils contest you’ll notice how creative everyone is getting. Keeping that in mind I wanted to kick my entrée recipe up a notch. Something quick, easy and crazy delicious!

The pineapple in store right now is absolutely gorgeous so I started with that in mind. Thinking I want a lot of color in the dish pineapple salsa seemed the perfect choice. One of my favourite things to go with pineapple is coconut. The rest fell into place after that.

I ground red lentils into a flour and Lentil Coconut Shrimp was born. Nesteled in a nice lightly fried tortilla with a gorgeous pineapple salsa and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime to make a sweet tart crunchy taco. Total hand held perfection.

Red Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Lentil Flour

1 cup of red lentils

blender

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Place the lentils into a blend and process until it become fine like flour.

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Set aside.

 

Lentil Coconut Shrimp

1 pound of shrimp

1 cup of lentil flour

1 cup of cornstarch

5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne

1 1/4 cups of coconut water

1/2 teaspoon of oil

2 1/2 cups of shredded coconut

1 lime, cut into wedges

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. wisk in the water and oil, mixing until smooth.

Place the coconut into a bowl. Dip the coconut into the batter then coat it in with the coconut. Set in a bowl, battering and coating all the shrimp.

Using a large skillet heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry the tortillas until lightly browned, flip over and fry until the second side is browned. Using tongs take the tortilla and drape it over the handle of a wooden spoon suspended over a large bowl shaping it into a traditional taco shape.

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Fry all tortillas.  Now fry shrimp a handful at a time until golden brown.

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Drain on paper towel.

To build the tacos.

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Add some greens down the center of a fried tortilla, ie:  chopped kale, lettuce, shaved brussel sprouts, whatever you have on hand and enjoy. Place a large spoonful of pineapple salsa on top of the greens. Top with lentil coconut shrimp! Squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco.

Pineapple Salsa

2 cups of fresh pineapple – chopped

1/2 of a red pepper – chopped

1/4 cup of onion, white or red – diced

handful of fresh parsley, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

fresh lime juice

salt to taste

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Combine everything in a bowl adding salt at the end to taste. Serve in Lentil Coconut Tacos.

Be sure to check out my dessert entry Crispy Maple Lentil Crème Brulee. It is as good as it sounds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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