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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Freezing Apples and Pears

I have been freezing fruits and vegetables all Summer. Freezing or Canning is a great way of preserving foods and having wonderful organic foods without all the additives you have in bought goods. I prefer freezing to canning for a number of reasons. First, it is easier and takes less time than cleaning jars and maintaining the proper lids and canning equipment. Of course, I have all of the necessary equipment to can but presently have my jars stored in an out building. My Mother was a great homemaker and canned much more than I do. My health issues have forced me to find the easy way in doing everything.

Another reason I prefer freezing is foods are not as likely to spoil. In canning bacteria may continue to grow. With freezing the bacteria will not grow until thawed out. The downside of freezing is that foods may not be stored as long as they can if you can. Foods may become icy or freezer burned and start turning colors. While the food may still be safe to eat the taste may be affected. Today, I put up 5 quarts of pears and 5 quarts of apples. It was very simple.

Food Preparation: - Pears and Apples

Many people put their apples and pears up in different ways for different purposes. I do not do this. I like to be able to go to the freezer and take out apples and then turn them into whatever I want to use them for whether it is applesauce, apples for pies or cakes. Also, some people use anti-darkening agents and/or sugar. Again I do not. This is the process I follow.

1. Wash the fruit
2. Peel and core the fruit
3. Wash the fruit again
4. Slice the fruit
5. Blanche the fruit (By putting a small amount of water in a large cooker and cooking until it begins to get soft. You will need to keep an eye on it to keep it from scorching. Keep the fruit turned as needed.)
6. Cool completely
7. Get your containers ready -
I use freezer bags because I can lay the bags flat when they are freezing and can get more food into my freezers. Use thick ones that are made for freezing or double them if you don't have good thick bags. I can also label them with the food item (i.e., pears, apples, etc) and the date so I know when the food was put into the freezer. That way I can use the items that have been in the freezer the longest. I also try to keep the various items together on the same shelf so that it is easy for me to find what I am looking for.
If you do not want to use freezer bags you may use any type of container that you have. Some people even use canning jars but I rarely do this as I am afraid that a jar might break and mess my freezer up. I have never had this happen but I am very cautious using them. My Mom always used plastic freezer containers because they were reusable from year to year. I personally do not like them because I can't see into them. She put labels on them but she had to move things around a lot to find what she was looking for. I like to recycle plastic jars as long as I am not planning on heating them in the microwave. I make my own chicken, beef, and vegetable broth to season foods and they are very handy for that.
So literally, almost any container will do.

8. Fill your container leaving room for the food to expand. WORD OF CAUTION: Do not overfill your container. The food will expand on you and then you will have a busted bag to deal with. I have a special method I use to make this simple. I recycle Ice Cream Containers and put my bag down in it to fill. Any food spillage will go into the container and I have found that my bag stands up better as it helps hold the sides up. .
9. Dry bags and Label with Food item name and the date.
10. Place in freezer so that it will freeze flat then they can be placed on other shelves and will stack neatly.

We have three freezers. We have two upright freezers which is my favorite and one chest type freezer. The chest freezer is difficult because food items will get down in the bottom and never seem to come to the top. This Summer one of our children unplugged the chest type freezer and we had a terrible mess when it was discovered. The good thing is that we cleaned it out completely. I try to keep things organized by putting certain items in there. I may put large turkeys in there. Currently I have my onions that I put up this summer in there. I plan to put my sweet potatoes in there as well. I use one of my uprights for meats and things I want to get into more frequently. So that is the process that I used today.

You may also want to check out my other blog by looking at .

Have a great day and Be Blessed.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coconut Salmon Patties G/F - Low GI

The recipe is so easy.  It is an adaptation from my standard salmon patties that I have always cooked which were made with crackers.  I have reworked it to make it Gluten Free and also wanted to add the coconut.


1 can salmon - boneless/skinless
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut meal
1/4 cup chopped celery and onions

Combine ingredients and form into patties.  Fry in olive oil until golden brown on each side. Makes 4-5 patties.


Delicious and yes it did taste like coconut.  Took away the fishy taste completely. 

Sweet Potato and Coconut Cornbread/ Gluten Free/ Low GI

I am spending my days trying to cook meals that are in keeping with the UltraMind Solution Diet and incorporate coconut which many people are claiming helps or improves dementia in alzheimer's patients.  This  recipe is healthy, uses whole foods, adds fiber to the diet, incorporates coconut and abides with the UltraMind Solution Diet and the blood type diet my sister feels she should be on. It is also Gluten Free and Low GI.   I took my standard G/F cornbread recipe and tampered with it and came up with a big hit.  The idea came from another website but my ingredients are fewer and easier to make.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Cornbread  Recipe


1/2 Cup G/F Cornmeal
1/2 Cup Coconut Meal
1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour (Sweet White)
1 tsp. cinnamon (Ceylon variety - avoid cassia which is the most common cinnamon)
1 tsp. vanilla (G/F)
1 medium sweet potato cut up/boiled/mashed
1 to 1 1/2 cup almond milk (This may vary)
1 large egg - Free Range
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 cup raisins


Mix dry ingredients together.  (Coconut meal, Sorghum flour and Cornmeal)

Add egg, vanilla,  coconut oil, mashed sweet potato to the mixture.    Mix together.

Add in almond milk gradually until the mixture is  the consistency of a regular cornbread cake mixture.  Not like biscuit dough which is too thick and not like cake mix which is too thin.  So the batter should be of  medium consistency.

Grease the Muffin pan with olive oil before putting in the batter.

Pour into Muffin pans.   Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes dependent on your oven.

Discussion of Ingredients:

G/F Cornmeal - Any brand is OK with me.  You can buy regular cornmeal (no cornmeal mix) from the grocery store dependant on whether you are gluten intolerant or celiac.  The best way is to bite the bullet and buy G/F.  I will say that I am going to use less and less of cornmeal because it is higher GI than other flours.  I have begun using Coconut meal for more and more things that I used cornmeal to make.  Coconut meal has a much lower GI value.

Coconut Meal - This is naturally G/F.  I bought this at our local Indian market and it was relatively inexpensive.  I wish that I had a grinder that would turn it into Coconut flour but nothing I have will do the job for me.

Sorghum flour - This is just one of the flours that I keep on hand but you could easily use blanched almond flour which is also low GI and Gluten Free.

Cinnamon - There has been so much controversy over the type of cinnamon that we use.  Cassia is the type of cinnamon that we find most often in the United States and is cheap and readily available. Ceylon cinnamon uses only the thin inner bark, has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be less strong than cassia. Cassia has a much stronger (somewhat harsher) flavor than Ceylon cinnamon.  Cassia cinnamon contains a moderately toxic component called coumarin  and has been  known to cause liver and kidney damage in high concentrations. Ceylon cinnamon has negligible amounts of coumarin.  For that reason, I recommend using Ceylon cinnamon which may result in a slightly different taste in your cooking.  Cinnamon is also known to help lower blood sugar.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - I am trying to incorporate more coconut into our diet because my Mom has dementia.  I also have focus issues as well.

Sweet Potato - I keep these cut up and frozen.  I just took a few out and popped them in a boiler.  When they were done, I just mashed them up and they were ready.  You can also use a fresh one - Peel,  cut up and boil until done. 

Raisins:  I didn't use these today as we were eating this bread with butter peas and I didn't think we needed the sugar in them.

Family Comments:

My family loved this recipe.  I plan to try it again using organic apples or organic pears that  I have in my freezer that I put up this summer.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sothern Style Goulash - Gluten Free

This is my sister's recipe that she has made for years but I have recently updated this to make it Gluten Free and as low GI as possible.  It is very tasty and we all love it.

Recipe Ingredients:

This makes a large slow cooker very full.  So you can cut back on the ingredients to make it feed fewer people.
Feeds about 10 to 15 people

1 to  1 1/2 lbs hamburger
2 quarts of tomatoes
1 large bag frozen baby Lima's (about 32oz.)
1 large vidalia onion (chopped)
1/2 cup bell pepper chopped
1 16 oz package G/F noodles
1 TBLS sea salt
1/2 TBLS black pepper
1 TBLS garlic powder
3 bay leaves


1.  Scramble hamburger meat with onions and bell peppers. 
2.  Put into slow cooker  the remaining ingredients except noodles and hamburger mixture
3.  Cook on  high for about 4 hours.
4.  Add noodles and continue to cook for 2 to 3 hours or until noodles are al dente. 
5.  Add Hamburger mixture and it is finished.
6.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Discussion of Ingredients.
I keep frozen scrambled  hamburger mixture in my freezer  because I use it in so many of my recipes. 
I also use frozen organic tomatoes from my freezer.  I let them unthaw in slow cooker.
You may use any type of gluten free noodles - I try to select a low GI variety.  In the past we used Egg Noodles.
Hamburger can really be added in at any point.  I add it in last because we have vegetarians in our family and I take out some of the goulash before I add in the meat for them.
I keep the Vidalia onions in my freezer already chopped and ready to go.

I think it was a big hit.  I cooked this on Sunday afternoon and there were 12 of us eating and it was wiped out before the day was gone.  I also made G/F corn muffins to go along with it.  Everyone seemed happy to eat it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gluten Free Mayo

I am trying to use extra virgin coconut oil for cooking purposes in the hopes that it will help my Mom's dementia.  We are starting Monday on a completely new diet and I plan on incorporating non-hydrogenated coconut oil into her diet as much as possible. Our family uses only one mayonnaise and that is "Dukes".  I have tried many mayo substitutes over the years but I think you will find this one will be to your liking.  And guess what?  No trans fats and uses oils that I believe are much more healthy for you.

I know what the oil industry has said about Coconut oil and it's health problems but recent research has shown that Coconut has many health benefits.  I will be writing a blog about that soon on my other blogsite. Here is a Gluten Free low GI mayo that will certainly help add coconut oil into your diet.

Gluten Free Mayo using Coconut Oil and Olive Oil

Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil  (melted if solid)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the eggs, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a food processor or blender. Blend briefly for a few seconds.

I usually keep the blender/processor running on low speed.  I mix my two oils together and start adding them a few drops at a time.  Once you get started you can increase pouring until you slowly add to the mixture in a slow moving stream.  Take your time and don't hurry this process.  The mayonnaise will turn out better if you are patient.
Continue blending/processing  until all the oil is used up.  Make sure the oil is fully mixed before you stop the processing. 

Discussion of the Ingredients:

Eggs - I use free-range eggs.   Usually from our local farmer's market.

Mustard - You may want to adjust the mustard down if you are making something like Thousand Island Dressing.  

Sea Salt -  I am still trying to cut down on the salt used  but mayo is not the same without it.

Pepper - If you do not have white pepper feel free to use the black pepper.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - I usually try to find the organic and make sure that I DO NOT use some form of coconut oil that is of the hydrogenated variety.  If it is Extra Virgin and organic it will not be hydrogenated.

Olive Oil - Again I buy the extra virgin variety. 

Comments:  If you use this mayo in Chicken Salad, and other recipe's you will find that it is a great mayo.  You can also use this to make a great many other salad dressings like Thousand Island Dressing, Ranch Dressing, etc.  Recipe's to follow soon.

Be Blessed and have a great day.