Preserving Herbs: Basil Pesto and Garlic Scapes

Standard

This is going to be a quick post because we’ve just been so busy this summer, I haven’t had time to post, but I thought it was worth sharing.  Sorry, I don’t have step by step pics but it was pretty easy so hopefully you’ll get the gist.

Herb Preservation – Part 1 – Garlic scapes:  I planted a ton of garlic last fall, and got a Walmart shopping bag full of scapes once I cut those off.

To preserve them, I stuffed the whole lot into my food processor with a little extra virgin olive oil (highly technical, I know).  I don’t have an exact amount of either, nor do I think you need one.  I added olive oil as I needed to, as they were processed in the machine.  I ended up with a thick garlic scape paste.  I put into ice cube trays, and froze.  Once they were frozen, I popped them out of the trays and stored in a large plastic bag.  This way, I can add them to soups or other dishes.  I think I’ll also try to thaw them and see if I can use in salad dressings.  Maybe they’ll be too wilty, but it’s worth a try.

IMG_3598[1]

 

Herb preservation Part 2 – Basil Pesto:

I gave my basil a haircut last weekend and got all of this:

IMG_3595[2]

And this is how I made my pesto:

4 c. packed basil

2-3 cloves garlic

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (I added a little more as needed)

1/4-1/2 c. cheese (I used Organic Valley raw sharp cheddar, I did not grate but cut in smaller pieces)

1/2 c. walnuts

Process in blender.  It takes a little while to get it all blended, and you will have to stop your blender often to pack it down again and/or mix it up.  I did a batch at a time, and I had enough for 6 pints.  Store in freezer.  I made sure to leave about an inch or so head room to allow for expansion when frozen.   I took a picture of the end results and it was lopsided and I had a big mess in the background, so I decided to skip it. :-)  The pesto was beautiful, anyhow.   You’ll just have to take my word for it. :-)

 

 

Death by Chocolate: Paleo Ice Cream Cake (GAPS option, GF, dairy free)

Standard

IMG_3252[1]

We have had a slug of birthdays around here in the past week…this was by far the favorite of the birthday treats. :-)

Death by Chocolate:  Paleo Ice Cream Cake (GAPS option, GF, Dairy Free)

Brownie layer:  I used this awesome recipe from PaleOMG.  I left out the cinnamon, baked the cookie part of the recipe in a greased 9×13 Pyrex cake pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  (I also used Trader Joe’s cashew meal instead of almond meal.)  It turned out more brownie-like than cookie-like, which was fine with me. :-)

Caramel layer:  I used my own recipe for caramel.  I let both the brownie crust and the caramel cool a bit, and then I frosted the brownie with the caramel.  Don’t wait too long, be sure to do it while the caramel is still spreadable.  This layer ended up being fantastic – it solidified in the freezer and tasted more like toffee than anything.  Put your caramel brownie in the freezer for a bit to cool everything off so your ice cream doesn’t melt when you get that far.

Ice cream layer:  Blend in blender – 1-2 cans of full fat coconut milk (I used 1.5 cans), 2-3 egg yolks (if you have a reliable source for pastured eggs), 1/4-1/2 c. honey, 1 T. vanilla, and 1/2 c. baking cocoa.  Process your ice cream in ice cream maker as per manufacturer directions.

Have on hand:  1 bag mini chocolate chips (I used the Enjoy Life brand as they are allergen free of the things we’d prefer to avoid.  If you wanted to make this GAPS legal, leave out the chips.)

When the ice cream reaches the end of the cycle, empty 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag of chips into the machine and let it get dispersed throughout.  Spread your ice cream over the caramel brownie, and use the rest of the bag of chips to sprinkle over the top.

Put it in the freezer, taking care to keep it level, and store until you’re ready to eat!  Enjoy!

This post was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday;

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt (GAPS intro legal, GF)

Standard

IMG_2926[1]

One of my kids and I are back on GAPS intro for a “health tweak”…  I randomly came up with this super easy snack (mostly out of desperation – but hey, it worked).  I have really appreciated it this past week, as our snacking options are pretty slim right now.

I always have a few quarts of yogurt on hand.  I make the GAPS legal variety according to this recipe. (always with whole milk!)   I use my Excalibur dehydrator to keep the temp stable for 24 hours.  I get my inexpensive yogurt starter cultures here.

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt (GAPS intro legal, GF)

I find that these measurements go well together though, although I’m guessing you could do more or less or any of them and it would work:

1 c. yogurt

1 c. cooked and mushed apple

1 T. cinnamon

Mix them all up until blended.  That’s it.  Take that, name-brand-low-fat-yogurt.  :-)  Who needs you???