Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fruit and nut preservation – April 28 2012

Nuts are a very easy thing to preserve because they freeze well.  We own a piece of property with walnut trees which I will talk more about in the Fall when we begin to harvest, but throughout the year, I often buy many types of nuts for recipes and have left overs.  Of course, you can always toss these together and eat as mixed nuts, but I usually place each type of nut in a zip lock bag and stick in the freezer.  I also keep dried raisins as well as dried cherries and other fruit to make chickpea salad and to toss in salad with feta or blue cheese.  From time to time, the various left overs build up and I have two great recipes that are my standards for using these two ingredients.  The first is a fabulous granola that is wonderful with milk or yogurt, but I usually eat by handfuls out of the bag.  This is based on a recipe created by Alton Brown.


3 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds and ½ cup chopped walnuts (or a combination of nuts to taste)
¼ cup plus 2 T. dark brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar)
¼ cup plus 2 T. maple syrup (use the good stuff)
¼ c. vegetable oil
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. raisins or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts and brown sugar.  In another bowl, combine maple syrup, oil and salt.  Mix and pour onto two cookie sheets.  Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring each 15 minutes.  Remove, cool and mix with fruit.  Store in an airtight container.

For a real treat when others are visiting or we go camping, I make these Canadian biscuits (we’d call them cookies).  The recipe came from Penzey Spices' ONE magazine which I really miss.  And, you'll see the recipe is really flexible so you can use more or less of an item to take advantage of what you have at home.

Canadian Biscuits

½ cup butter
¾ c. sugar
1 tsp. soda
½ c. shortening
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ c. white or wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
2 ½ c. dried fruit and/or chocolate chips
2 c. oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter, shortening, and sugars.  Add eggs and then each other ingredient one at a time.  Drop by teaspoons on greased or lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Makes 3-4 dozen.

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