Lemony Goodness in Homemade Blueberry-Cranberry Jam!

It was the perfect afternoon to make jam – after a hot and humid 94+ degree morning, I saw gray clouds forming on the drive home and knew rain was on the way. Wonderful opportunity to spend time in the kitchen!

I stopped at Aldi’s, where I found blueberries on sale – $1.99 per pint, so I picked up two pints.  I remember the last time that I made blueberry lemon scones and how quickly they disappeared….and thought, wouldn’t it be fun to make blueberry-lemon jam? But plans were just a tad derailed when I found a bag of frozen cranberries.

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An estimated three cups of blueberries and two of cranberries went into a large stovetop pot, along with the zest of one lemon and the juice of two lemons, with 2/3 cups of organic sugar sprinkled on top.  As the heat increased, the cranberries popped. I used a wooden spoon to keep the berries moving along for about half an hour. I pulled the pot off the heat and let it cool a bit, and then poured it into the Vitamix, mixing it well until the blueberries and cranberries were truly incorporated into a vibrant red shade that I poured right back into the pot, waited until it was back up to boiling point and then poured pectin into the mix, using the wooden spoon to keep it moving along to becoming one of the very-berry best jams ever!

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Of course I cleaned off the spoon…it was amazing. After pouring the jam into 3 large glass mason jars, the pot still had a little bit of jam left, so I couldn’t help but peel a banana and enjoy cleaning off the remains….it was amazing!

And then thought…..wouldn’t this make an amazing Berry-Banana Bread to celebrate the 4th of July? Stay tuned for that recipe coming up soon this weekend.

But I did happen to try something new and different this week as I contemplated all things lemon. I actually put fresh lemon juice into my coffee! Sounds insane, right? But when I researched this mix, I found that as both coffee and lemons are high with antioxidants, due to this combination, it could help lower belly fat. The taste was not bad – it was different, so I will be trying this out and will see if this truly helps. It is an acquired taste for sure!

What are you making for the 4th of July?

 

Easter Weekend Baking – Garbanzo flour et al!

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Baking makes me happy and it’s Easter weekend, so it’s time for Celebrating, even though we’re doing it at a distance…

I started my morning by going to Wal-Mart. I thought it was going to be easy to walk in, get the ingredients I needed, come home and bake to my heart’s content, but I was surprised to see that there was quite a long line outside the store, while a security guard allowed people in, as others walked out with their groceries. It’s the new normal….

Having not made banana bread in quite a while, I decided to make two different kinds, so I put a “secret ingredient” in one of the banana breads with walnuts; the second banana bread has macadamia nuts and chocolate chips….can’t wait to try a little piece of both.

Then while the banana breads were baking, I thought why not make the black bean brownies once again? Super easy, fast and pretty nutritious, as there is no flour involved, I whipped up the ingredients in the food processor, and when I took out the banana breads out of the oven, in went the black bean brownies for a mere 18 minutes.

In the meantime, put clothes to wash….yes, it’s a busy Saturday. Then thought…..it would be great to have some homemade cookies, as I haven’t made oatmeal cookies in such a long time, so rummaging through my cupboards, came up with a new recipe using 3 different kinds of flours. For the very first time, I used 1/2 cup of garbanzo bean flour, alongside 1/2 cup of apf and 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot to the dry ingredients.  Found a bag of orange infused cranberries, leftover walnuts, which I crushed into small pieces with the can of black beans, and put it all together, and if I say so myself, turned out pretty good! These cookies do have gluten but on a much lower scale had I just used all purpose flour. Definitely putting this recipe in the cookbook!

Happy Easter…can’t wait to cook Easter dinner tomorrow!