The following fruits are often the most contaminated by pestiside residues (buy organic):
Apples, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Red Raspberries, and Strawberries
(Source: The Green Guide's 2003 Environmental Working Group)
Green apples in San Luis Obispo, CA
(Photo: K. Anderberg * Aug 2008)
APPLE SYRUP 2 cups apple cider * 2 t cornstarch * 4 t water * 1 T butter or margarine
Bring the cider to a boil and boil over med-high heat until it is reduced in half, to one cup. Mix cornstarch and water in cup, then add to the reduced syrup, as it still boils, stirring as it thickens, for one minute. Then remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter or margarine. Mix until it becomes a uniform syrup. Can serve warm or cold. Great for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc.
Stew blackberries, 3 lb fruit to 1/4 pt. water, until juice is drawn...strain, add for every pint of juice, 6 oz sugar. Boil 15 min, then bottle after cooling.
BLACKBERRY JAM 3 lbs. Blackberries ** 1 lb cooking apples, diced ** 4 lbs. Sugar ** 1/2 pt water
Cook berries and apples slowly until soft. Add sugar, boil until set, then can properly or use within few weeks refrigerated.
DRIED APRICOT SHORTBREAD 2/3 c honey * 1/2 c butter or margarine * 1/2 t vanilla * 1 T lemon juice * 1 1/2 c rolled oats * 1 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached flour * 1 1/2 c chopped
Beat together honey, butter, vanilla and lemon juice. In another bowl, mix oats and flour. Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ones until all is moist. Add the apricots. Press into an oiled square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes. Let cool then cut into squares. This is a yummy treat for kids!
DRIED FRUIT CONCENTRATED SWEETENER 1 c. finely chopped dried fruit, such as apricots, pears, apples, peaches, berries, raisins, dates... * 1 1/2 c. water or apple juice * pinch of salt
Soak fruit in water in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight). After the fruit has soaked, bring it to a boil in a saucepan, add salt, then turn down heat, simmering for 15 minutes.
Then remove from the heat, cool and puree in a blender or food processor. Refrigerate in between uses.
To use this fruit sweetener instead of sugar, substitute the same amount of sweetener as sugar called for, but decrease any liquid used in the recipe by 1/4-1/3 cup. If no liquids are in the recipe,
then add 3-4 T of flour or arrowroot to the dry ingredients for every 3/4 c of sweetener used.
DATE CANDIES 6 dates * 6 almonds * approx. 1/4 shredded coconut * 1/2 T fennel seeds
Slit dates open and pit, then put an almond where the pit used to be. Combine the coconut and fennel seeds and roll the dates in them. (Another date treat is to pit dates and
stuff them with sharp cheddar cheese.)
LEMON SOFT COOKIES 1/2 c soft butter or margarine * 1/2 c brown sugar * 2 T white sugar * 1 egg * 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice * 3/4 t grated lemon rind * 1 c flour * 1/4 t salt * 1/8 t nutmeg
Mix butter and sugars for 5 minutes, then add the egg and beat another 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and
bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just a little browned.
APPLE MUFFINS 1/4 c butter * 1/2 c milk * 1/3 c honey * 2 large eggs * 3 T chopped walnuts * 2 T sugar * 1/4 t ground cinnamon * 1 c unbleached flour * 1 c whole wheat flour *
1/4 c oat bran * 2 t baking powder * 1 t ground cinnamon * 1/2 t baking soda * 1/2 t salt * 2 small (1/2 pound) apples
Melt butter in a pan, then remove from heat and stir in the milk and honey until well mixed. Stir in eggs, then set aside while you make the nut topping. To prepare the nut topping, mix the walnuts, 2 T sugar and ¼ t ground cinnamon together and set aside. In a bowl, combine flours, bran, baking powder, 1 t ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Cut 2 small slices of apple and set aside, then core and slice the apples into ¼ inch pieces until they measure one cup. Fold the apples into the flour mixture. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture just as long as needed for it to be mixed. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Cut the reserved apple slices into 1/8 inch thick slices and insert one thin slice into the top of the muffin batter of each muffin, then sprinkle with nut topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees.
PEACH BASIL BRUSCHETTA Makes 16 bruschetta
4 ripe plum tomatoes, diced * 1 c. diced fresh peaches * 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onions * 16 large basil leaves, cut into very thin toothpick slices * 4 t. balsamic
vinegar * 1/4 c. plus 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil * 2 large cloves garlic, minced * Salt and pepper to taste * 1 large baguette (cut into 16 slices)
Mix together tomatoes, peaches, red onions, basil, and vinegar with ¼ c. olive oil and salt and pepper. Let sit out at room temperature while you make the garlic toast. Mix
1/3 c. olive oil with the garlic, cut the bread into 1/2 inch thick slices, then brush with the garlic oil. Toast the bread slices on both sides, then take out of oven and
cover with a large helping of the peach mixture, then serve.
BRIE AND DRIED CRANBERRY TORTILLA MELTS 2 servings
Lay out a few small flour or corn tortillas either directly on your oven racks or on a cookie sheet. Spread brie cheese in a thin layer on the tortillas. Then you can either use thinly sliced raw onions or you can carmelize the onions. Saute the onions in butter until they turn brown and sticky then use, if you want the cooked version. Sprinkle the onions on the tortillas then sprinkle some dried cranberries on top. Cook the tortillas open faced until cheese melts, then take out of the oven, fold in half and eat!
Figs behind the San Luis Obispo Mission, SLO, CA
(Photo: K. Anderberg * Aug 2008)
GRILLED GOAT CHEESE AND FIG SANDWICHES 4 sandwiches
4 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese) * 1 T honey * 8 slices raisin bread * 2 t chopped fresh basil (optional) * 2 T fig preserves (you can often find this in the cheese depts of upscale grocery stores)
Combine the cheese and honey, then spread some of this on 4 pieces of bread. Place basil on top of this cheese spread if using it. Then spread the other 4 pieces of bread with fig preserves. Put the pieces of bread together to make 4 sandwiches. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add 2 sandwiches to the pan, press down with a heavy skillet bottom to flatten and cook with pan on top of them if possible, for about 3-5 minutes until browned, then flip it and cook the other side as well. Cut in half and serve warm!
COLLECT/PROCESS BLACKBERRIES THIS SUMMER Blackberries grow like weeds all over the Pacific Northwest, where I live, and the berries are finally getting ripe. Berries rot on vines all over, but if you spend the
time to pick them, and freeze, dry or can them, you can use that abundant wild food source for months to come. My kid laughed at me when I packed the freezer with blackberries last summer. But he was really thankful later, and said so, when we had berry smoothies, berry pies, etc. all winter long. You can pick blackberries daily, and do all kinds of things with them. Make jam, wine, tea, ink, dyes, fruit leather, medicine...
COCONUT: How to use fresh coconut - Pound a nail into the end of a coconut and then drain the milk from it. Then put the coconut into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the outer shell breaks. Remove coconut from oven and separate the meat from the shell, then you can grate it, etc.
STRAWBERRY AND PINEAPPLE SALAD Slice a pineapple in half, then hollow out the insides. Cut the pineapple you took out into small pieces, then slice a bunch of strawberries. Mix the berries and pineapple in a bowl with some honey drizzled over the fruit. Then spoon the fruit into the hollowed out pineapple boat. This is a colorful sweet and sour summer treat!
GRAPEFRUIT helps with weight loss: A CA study (Scripps Clinic 2004) showed that people who ate either 1/2 a grapefruit with each meal, or who drank 8 ounces of grapefruit juice 3 times a day for 12 weeks lost approximately 3 ½ pounds, without changing anything else in their lives, such as exercise or diets.
ORANGES - Use them as air fresheners, poking cloves into them then hanging them to dry. Run orange peels through your garbage disposal to make them smell better. And after cleaning your oven, you can bake some orange peels at 350 to eliminate the oven cleaning smell.
WHAT IS IN SEASON??
In June, we see Strawberries and Rhubarb in local farmer's markets in the Seattle area!
In July, we see Raspberries and Cherries!
In August, we see Nectarines, Blueberries and Blackberries!
PEACH BAKE 2 c. flour * 1/4 t. baking powder * 1/2 t. salt * 2 T. sugar * 1/2 c. butter * 6 fresh peaches, halved * 3/4 c. sugar * 1 t. cinnamon * 2 egg yolks * 1 c. sour cream
In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and 1 T. sugar then, cut in ½ c. (1 stick) butter. Put this mix on the bottom of an oiled 8 inch square pan. Arrange peach halves
over the crust. Mix ¾ c. sugar with 1 t. cinnamon and sprinkle over peaches. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 375 degrees, and mix 2 egg yolks and 1 c. sour
cream together and pour over the top, bake for 30 more minutes.
WATERMELON BASKET You can cut 2 half-oval sections on either side of a middle handle with the width of about 1 ½ - 2 inches...then hollow the watermelon out (make the insides into melon balls, then mix with pineapple chunks, mango and papaya slices, diced cantaloupe and honeydew melon balls, etc...) Put the fruit salad into the watermelon bowl and serve. You can also make rippled edges of the watermelon basket with a peeler run over the edges in a curved pattern.
PEACH BLUEBERRY SUNDAES (Makes 8 servings)
1 c. fresh blueberries * 1/4 c. sugar * 2 T. water * 2 T. light corn syrup * 1 T. cornstarch * 1 T. cold water * 2 t. lemon juice
Make a blueberry sauce: Boil berries sugar, water and corn syrup, then mix together in a cup the 1 T. cornstarch and 1 T. cold water, then stir it into the boiling mixture. Cook and stir as it thickens, then remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice. For each sundae, place scoop of peach (or vanilla, if preferred) ice cream or sorbet in a bowl, arrange 4 slices peace around the ice cream, then pour 2 T. of the cooled blueberry sauce over the top.
ORANGE HONEY SYRUP 3/4 c honey * 1 t butter * 1 T grated orange rind * 1/4 c orange juice * 1 t orange extract
Heat honey and butter until just boiling, then remove from heat, stir in the rind, juice and extract. Pour into jars and store in refrigerator. Reheat to serve. Great on pancakes, biscuits, muffins, desserts...
Kirsten Anderberg. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint/publish, please contact Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org.