Monday, July 27, 2015

Dehydrating Herbs

This is what is in my dehydrator today
Chives, green onions, basil, sage, oregano, thyme and a white onion because I had an empty tray.
Yesterday I dried 20 limes
Our local Mexican store had them 10 cents each
Plus beautiful jalapeno peppers for 99 cents a pound.
Going to be some good eats this winter

Monday, July 20, 2015

Easy and Delicious Zucchini or Banana Bread

Have you ever wanted to make zucchini or banana bread that was soft and light like what the store sells?  Or those expensive muffins that we all love but don't like the price or the amount of calories?
I have found out how to do it.
You can use my basic method to make any kind of bread you wish by changing the add in ingredients.. I've tried just about everything I can think of and it has never failed me.
This batch I made today has 2 cups of zucchini, one banana, two handfuls of blueberries and half cup chopped pecans.

What you need is one box of yellow or white cake mix
 (yes, I know we've all saw those recipes on the net using cake mix to make muffins, I don't know if theirs is good or not but how I make mine really works)

Add in's.. Two cups (you can use a bit more if you wish) of what ever you want:
Grated zucchini
Crushed ripe banana's
Chunks of strawberries
Orange zest (but not two cups) :-)
Diced sweetened cranberries
Diced apples
Grated carrots
let your imagine go wild here..
What I meant about the orange zest is if you want to make cranberry orange bread, it really kicks it up a notch to add a teaspoon of orange zest and use orange juice for the liquid.

To make your batter, add everything the box of cake mix calls for except for the liquid.
My box called for 3 eggs and 1/3 cup oil

Place it all in a large mixing bowl and add your zucchini or whatever you've chosen.  I used one banana and two cups of zucchini.
Mix it all together with a hand mixer 

Dump the box of cake mix on top and beat until well mixed
The batter will be thick and that's how you want it because this is where the fun part comes in..
If you've made cakes before then you already know the consistency of a cake batter.. 
Now it's time to decide on the wet ingredient.
I'm sure the box says to use water but 
wet ingredient choices are:
spiced rum
apple juice
orange juice
mixed berry juice
etc. etc.
Choose something that goes well with the fruit/veggie you've used..

I love to use spiced rum when making just straight banana bread but this bread was going to have blueberries folded in so I used 
Apple juice
only as much as needed for the right consistency, I usually start with half the amount of liquid the box called for, you can always add a splash more if needed but you can't take it back out. 
Here it is after adding the apple juice and folding in the blueberries
Not too runny or too thick
I like baking sweet breads in a bunt pan
Bake at the same temp the box calls for which is usually 350 degrees but expect it to take a bit longer then usual.
This batch took 50 minutes.. bake until a tooth pick comes out clean..
of course muffins will bake faster. 
There you go.. 
Another perfect sweet bread
In the morning, grab a cup of coffee, a slice of sweet bread and kick back and reflect on all the healthy ingredients you put in it
veggies, fruit, fruit juice, eggs and nuts
I hope you give this a try