Let’s Start By Hitting the Fruit Aisle with Great Style — September 16, 2020

Let’s Start By Hitting the Fruit Aisle with Great Style

Obvioiusly fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, but how many of us stumble into the fruit aisle only to look at the pretty colors and then walk away because it would be so much easier simply to grab yet another granola bar out of a box and call it a day.  

But fruit is God’s candy…and far too many of us are missing out on one of His greatest gifts….not to mention foods that rank high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.

Botanically speaking, a fruit is classified as a drupe as long as that fruit has seeds. So surprisingly, that means that tomatoes, eggplants, peas, beans, and wheat grains are actually all fruits.

In the next few posts, we will be talking about the different classifications of fruit so that we can start hitting the fruit aisle with style.

Fruit is typically classified into five different categories…

1.  BerriesWe probably can all figure out which fruits are berries—those fruits that are small  and juicy and do not have a stone or a pit. Typically when you think about berries, you think of…

  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries

2.  Citrus…These are those fruits that have a thick tangy rind and sectioned pulp inside. Typically when you think about citrus, you think of…

  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges

3, Drupes…These are fleshy fruits that have a large seed. Typically when you think about drupes, you think of…

  • apricots
  • cherries
  • peaches

4. Pepo…These are those fruits that have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center. Typically when you think of pepeo fruit, you think of melons.

5. Pomes…These are those fruits that have a fleshy area surrounding a core containing seeds. Typically when you think of pomes, you think of apples and pears.

6. Tropical fruits….Typically when you think of tropical fruits, you think of…

  • bananas
  • guavas
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • pineapples

In the next few posts, we will keep exploring the grocery store with me…so let’s go shopping…shall we?!

Making the Perfect Apple Scones — August 30, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Scones

The perfect apple scones are fresh from the oven….a truly scrumptious breakfast treat…deliciously spiced with the perfect amounts of cinnamon and sugar…buttery and moist with crisp crumbly edges…consisting of soft flaky centers and crunchy golden brown exteriors.

These perfect apple scones are a great reminder that fall and cooler weather are right around the corner.

The perfect apples scones are also very easy to make…so let’s get started…

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Apples

To make the scones you will need about one heaping cup of apples. If you use too many apples, the scones will not maintain their shape because they will contain too many apple chunks and juices.

As far as which variety of apple to use, either use your favorite apple variety or whatever you happen to have on hand.

If you’re buying apples specifically for making the scones, good apple varieties to try include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji.

Another thing to keep in ind when you are choosing which variety of apples to use is whether or not you will be glazing your scones. If you will be glazing your scones, you will want to use a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith. If not, you will want  to use a sweeter apple, such as a MacIntosh.

You will need to peel, core and shred the apple before aking the scone.

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Other Ingredients

  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1Tbsp baking powder
  • ½tsp baking soda
  • 2½tsp cinnamon
  • 2C flour
  • ¼C butter, chilled
  • ½C heavy cream or buttermilk

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Topping

3Tbsp sugar

1/2tsp cinnamon

water or milk, as needeed for prope4r consistency

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Prep Work

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

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Making the Batter

Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon—in a large bowl Now stir together the liquid ingredients…Shred your apple. Add the shredded apple, then the milk. Mix until they form a soft dough. Add more flour if the dough gets too sticky, Combine the two. Knead a few times, working some extra flour into it until it is barely sticky.

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Shaping the SconesScrape the dough onto a floured parchment or pan.

Divide into two balls of dough….

Flatten until both circles are about 6″ in diameter and 3/4″ thick, using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water,

Place them on a well greased baking sheet.

Carefully separate the wedges away from the center until there is about 1/2″ space between their outer edges.Sprinkle with brown sugar and/or cinnamon.

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Making the Topping 

Stir the sugar and cinnamon.together. Brush each circle with a bit of water or milk. Sprinkle onto circles.

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Freezing the Scones

Now place the scones in the freezer for about thirty minutes. This serves several purposes, including…

  • allowing them to rise higher
  • giving the the best texture and highest rise
  • making the scones a bit flakier
  • making the scones more tender
  • relaxing the gluten in the flour

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Baking the Scones

  1. Bake for 15- 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove and cool….When the scones are cooled,, whisk together the glaze ingredients until they are smooth. Drizzle over the scones then let harden completely…
  2. Bake the scones for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked…Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days…
  3. Bake the scones in a preheated 375°F oven for about 30 minutes…Scones are best served warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam (or apple butter), if you like. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Making the Perfect Apple Salad — August 25, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Salad

The perfect apple salad is a sweet and savory treat that is perfect not only for a healthy lunch,…but also for holiday dinners like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Typically when you think about apple salads, you think of a salad that is known as a Waldorf salad, a lightly sweetened salad consisting of apples, celery, nuts, grapes and walnuts….all brought together with a creamy mayonnaise and whipped cream dressing

The .Waldorf salad was supposedly created by Oscar Tschirky, maitre d’hotel of the famous New York hotel known as the Waldorf-Astoria.

The salad recipe first appeared in his cookbook, The Cook Book by Oscar of the Waldorf in 1896 and has become a favorite ever since.

nSo let’s get cooking…

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The Apples

Apples…2C apples…which is typically 2 medium apples.

A few good choices would be Granny Smith, Pink Ladies, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh.

Feel free to experiment with different apple varieties…depending on what’s in season or what you happen to have on hand. Just make sure that you use crisp apple…not one with a softer, more mealy flesh.

Also combining different varieties of apples will give your salad a ore  complex flavor.

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Other Dry Ingredients

Celery…1C, thinly sliced

Dried Cranberries

Nuts…1/2C chopped walnuts or pecans

Raisins…1/2C

Grapes…1/2 cup seedless red grapes

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Dressing Ingredients

1/2C cup sour cream

1/3C mayonnaise

1/8tspcinnamon…

2tspoons honey

1/8tsp cinnamon

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Instructions

Making the salad is probably common sense…first prep your ingredients…then combine the dry ingredients…then make the dressing…then add the dressing to your dry ingredients—pretty simple, right..

Prep the veggies…You want to cut the apples, celery and whatever else needs chopping into 1/2″ cubes. Sprinkle the cubed apples with sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Toast nuts in over at 350 F for about five minutes to bring out their flavor.

Make the salad…Combine dry ingredients. Wait and add nuts, if using, until right before serving.

Make the dressing…Combine sour cream, cinnamon and honey in large bowl; mix well.

Finish the salad…Add dressing to prepped apples. Toss together until coated. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. 

Making the Perfect Apple Pie. — August 21, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Pie.

The perfect apple pie has a perfectly sweet and juicy filling…and perfectly flaky, buttery pie crust…guaranteed to be a favorite for both the holidays and weekend desserts.

Apple pie is a classic dessert that’s especially perfect for fall….(or any other time of year, right?!)

So let’s get started…and let’s hope that this fall is much better than most of the year so far has been thanks to coronavirus and face masks)…

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The Apples

The apples that you should use for apple pie will be tart, sweet, and firm enough not to simply turn into mush while you bake the pie, but light enough that they are soft when they bake.

You  will need about seven peeled and sliced apples. Good apple choices would include…

  • Braeburn…sweet and crisp, bakes up firm and juicy
  • Cortland…juicy and tart, relatively soft, great all purpose apple for baking
  • Fuji…crisp, firm, juicy, balance of sweet and tart, holds its shape in baking
  • Golden Delicious – Softer, sweet, and yellow in color
  • Granny Smith…tart, green, flavorful, and perfect for apple pie
  • Honeycrisp…honey sweet and tart flavor, crisp and juicy, holds shape in baking
  • Idared – Red in color, not too harsh in flavor, on the tart side
  • Jonagold…cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan with a lovely aroma and a sweet and sharp taste
  • Northern Spy – Red and green, honey notes, and on the sweet side

Combining several different varieties of apples will give your pie a more complex, deeper flavor.

Avoid using Red Delicious apples for pies, they don’t cook well. Actually I avoid Red Delicious apples altogether. They are the “beauty queen” of the apple bins…made to look gorgeous but not really that useful.

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the Filling

  • 1/2C sugar
  • 3Tbsp flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2C butter
  • 1/4C water
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 8Tbsp ice water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1C butter

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The Apples

The apples that you should use for apple pie will be tart, sweet, and firm enough not to simply turn into mush while you bake the pie, but light enough that they are soft when they bake.

You  will need about seven peeled and sliced apples. Good apple choices would include…

  • Braeburn…sweet and crisp, bakes up firm and juicy
  • Cortland…juicy and tart, relatively soft, great all purpose apple for baking
  • Fuji…crisp, firm, juicy, balance of sweet and tart, holds its shape in baking
  • Golden Delicious – Softer, sweet, and yellow in color
  • Granny Smith…tart, green, flavorful, and perfect for apple pie
  • Honeycrisp…honey sweet and tart flavor, crisp and juicy, holds shape in baking
  • Idared – Red in color, not too harsh in flavor, on the tart side
  • Jonagold…cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan with a lovely aroma and a sweet and sharp taste
  • Northern Spy – Red and green, honey notes, and on the sweet side

Combining several different varieties of apples will give your pie a more complex, deeper flavor.

Avoid using Red Delicious apples for pies, they don’t cook well. Actually I avoid Red Delicious apples altogether. They are the “beauty queen” of the apple bins…made to look gorgeous but not really that useful.

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The Filling

  • 1/2C sugar
  • 3Tbsp flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2C butter
  • 1/4C water
  • 1/2C brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 8Tbsp ice water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1C butter

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Prep Work

Heat oven to 375°F. Place one oven rack in the lowest position. Put a large rimmed baking sheet on bottom rack to catch any drippings from the pie. Position second rack one rung above that.

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Making the Pie Filling

Peel, core, and slice or roughly chop the apples into 1/4″-1/2″ pieces. You want to go ahead and peel the apples because apple peels will make your filling chewy.

As you slice your apples, add them to a large bowl and sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Mix together the vanilla, flour, sugar, and spices in a separate bowl. Then add this to the apples and toss the mixture again. Adding flour to the fresh apples will make the juices thicker and spicier as the pie bakes.

You could also use two 21oz cans of store-bought apple pie filling if you don’t want to bother with making your own filling.

Now let the filling sit at room temp while you are making the pie crust so that the sugar will start bringing out the juices from the apples.

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Making the Pie Crust

Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, sugar and salt—in a medium-sized bowl.

Cut in the butter…Cut the butter into cubes. Then add the cubed butter into your dry ingredients. Now use a pastry cutter or your fingers to create a mixture that resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter.

You want to be sure to use very cold butter—either using butter straight from the refrigerator or sticking the butter into your freezer for a few minutes to make it even colder. This will ensure that you end up with the flakiest pie crust ever.

Also work quickly as you finish making the dough so that the butter stays cold. If the dough gets warm while you are finishing it, stick it in the fridge for ten minutes before proceeding.

Add ice-cold water…Gradually add only enough water as needed to allow the dough to start to come together without becoming too dry…not so much that your dough becomes too sticky.

Roll out the pie dough…Work the dough together with your hands. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape into a ball. Roll the dough into a 12″ circle that is about 1/8″ thick. If the dough starts sticking while you are working with it, gently lift up the dough and sprinkle a little more flour on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking.

Refrigerate…Layer dough circles between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate for at least ten minutes.

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Making the Bottom Crust

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour. Then take the disks of dough and let them sit out on the counter for about fifteen minutes.

line the bottom of a 9″ pie plate with one disc of the rolled out dough. Press firmly against side and bottom. Trim the crust around the edges lays about 1/2″ beyond the edge of the pan.

Or else, you could also skip all the trouble of making your own homemade pie crust and simply use Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crust like I do…right?!

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The Filling

Now you are ready to add the apple pie filling to the pie crust…and officially make an apple pie…name it and claim it…

First stir the filling again before adding it to the bottom crust.

Turn the apple pie filling into the pie crust, mound the filling in the center of the bottom crust.

Don’t worry if the apples are high in the pan, they’ll shrink as they cook.

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Making the Top Crust

You can either make the top crust by laying the entire pie crust disc over the pie filling or by weaving strips of crust to make a lattice-topped pie.

If you are laying the entire pie crust disc over the pie filling, place the disc gently over the filling…trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving about 3/4″ hanging over the edges of the pie plate…wrap this 3/4″ overhang over and under the edges of the bottom crust…crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal…trim the edges…and finally cut slits into the crust in several places to allow steam to escape while the pie cooks.

Another options is to make a lattice pie crust…the woven crust typically seen on the top of an apple pie. To make a lattice pie crust, roll out the dough for the top of the pie into a 12″ circle….cut the circle into ½” strips, using a sharp knife, pizza cutter or pastry wheel…now arrange half of the dough strips going one direction across the pie, leaving a little bit of space in between each strip…weave the other half of the dough strips through the first set, over and under, pulling back the first set of strips as needed….trim off any excess dough from around the edges of the pie.

A third option would be to cut shapes out of the crust and then arrange the  shapes on top of the pie filling.

Brush with egg wash,..Stir together the egg yolk and cream in a small bowl.

Brush ovee the pie, using a pastry brush This will help the sugar stick and help the crust brown nicely.

Sprinkle with the sugar…Sprinkle some coarse turbinado sugar on top of the pie. This makes the pie look pretty and adds a delicious sweet crunch to the top crust.

Refrigerate…Refrigerate pie for thirty minutes before baking…while waiting for the oven to preheat.

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Baking the Pie

Place the assembled pie on top rack of oven.

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the second rack. This will catch any filling that might bubble over the edges of the pie.

Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, until the top starts to lightly brown. Starting the apple pie at a higher temperature at first and then lowering the heat will keep the crust from getting soggy.

Turn the oven down to 350° F.

Bake another 40-50 minutes

Cover the pie loosely with foil. This will help prevent the crust from browning too much.

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Serving the Pie

Allow pie to cool for at least two hours before serving. As the pie cools, the filling will thicken up, making it easier to servem making sure that you don’t end up with a liquidy pie.

Making the Perfect Apple Juice — August 15, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Juice

Making the Perfect Apple Jam — August 13, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Jam

Making the Perfect Apple Herbal Tea — August 11, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Herbal Tea

Making the Perfect Apple Granola Bars — August 4, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Granola Bars

Making the Perfect Apple Fritters — July 31, 2020

Making the Perfect Apple Fritters

Even though this is supposedly a blog about the Raw Foods Pyramid and changes that I am making in our diet every since my husband was diagnosed with type 2 cancer…

A girl has to do what a girl has to do…

And right now that Mississippi girl has to fry something…(not to mention that I now live in Texas, where they fry everything from the encyclopedia to streetlights at the State Fair each year.

I feel like I can get by with this though because apples are actually on the Raw Foods Pyramid, and if you buy a ton of apples you want to make sure that you use them all, right?!

The perfect apple fritter is a sweet, tender, and fluffy donut-type object perfectly stuffed with juicy fresh apples…the perfect sweet glaze…and are served with the perfect hot cup of coffee.

Not only that, apple fritters are easy, require only a few simple ingredients, and take only thirty minutes from start to finish.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1C flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • ½tsp salt
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 2 -3 Granny Smith apples…peeled, cored, and diced into bite-size pieces
  • 2Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼C milk
  • Cooking oil
GLAZE
  • 1-¼C powdered sugar
  • ¼tsp vanilla
  • 6tsp milk

 

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Prep the Apples

Making the Perfect Fried Apples — July 29, 2020

Making the Perfect Fried Apples