Archive for Condiments
Your family will be so excited that I am giving you this recipe. Yes, the very strong smell of onions, cucumbers and vinegar cooking on your stove will bring them to tears and make them beg for a spoonful. (Or rather they will be like my boys and come downstairs with a disgusted look on their faces while holding their noses asking WHAT in the world you are making.)
Don’t worry…the smell in your kitchen goes away. Eventually. And then you are left with several jars of sweet pickle relish…enough to last you quite a while. (This recipe makes more than a year’s supply for our family. We don’t tend to go through pickle relish very quickly, but I really like having it on hand.)
If you have a few extra cucumbers and enjoy adding sweet pickle relish to your tuna salad, etc…you’ll like this healthier version. I cut the sugar in half compared to the other recipes I found..plus used organic sucanat (dehydrated cane sugar juice) instead of regular sugar and it is plenty sweet enough for our taste!
Sweet Pickle Relish
8 medium sized cucumbers
2 large onions
2 sweet green peppers
1 sweet red pepper
1/3 cup sea salt
3 cups rapadura or sucanat
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 T. whole celery seed
2 T. whole mustard seed
Begin by slicing the cucumbers, peppers and onions.
Chop the vegetables into tiny pieces.
I find that putting them into my food processor works best for this.
Pour the chopped veggies into a large bowl.
Cover them with water and let them soak for about two hours (longer won’t hurt).
Pour the soaked veggies through a strainer until all the water is drained out.
Pour strained veggies into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.
Pour contents of bowl into a large pot. Bring to a boil.
Simmer relish for ten minutes, then transfer it into pint sized jars. (I was able to make six full pints, with a little bit leftover.)
Following these hot water bath canning methods,
process the pickle relish for 10 minutes (from start of boiling).
Six beautiful jars of pickle relish all ready to go!
You’ll find more preserving help and tutorials in my Gardening and Preserving ebook!
The cost for this relish was very low, as the cucumbers were given to me for free and the other veggies came from my garden. The added ingredients were low cost as it all divided into SIX jars of pickle relish! Each jar only cost a few cents. I LOVE gardening season!
This post is linked to Frugal Fridays.
I’ve had several requests for my homemade BBQ sauce recipe. Turns out…it’s a high five recipe! Doesn’t get much easier than that!
Homemade BBQ Sauce
3/4 cup ketchup (I use an organic, no high fructose corn syrup variety)
2 T. minced onion
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. liquid smoke
1 T. molasses, honey or sucanat
Mix ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for a few minutes until flavors are blended.
I mix this up as a dip for our meatballs or popcorn chicken…YUM!
Sometimes I put a few pieces of chicken into the crock pot, dump the sauce over the top, and let it cook slowly for a few hours. Easiest main dish ever!
Or, sometimes I add it to leftover roast beef for BBQ beef sandwiches.
What all do you put BBQ sauce on?
Oh…and by the way…I really have no idea what “liquid smoke” is. I’m assuming that it isn’t the healthiest ingredient in the world. BUT…it makes for a yummy, easy BBQ sauce…and this version is MUCH healthier than the HFCS versions I could buy at the store.
If I ever figure out how to turn smoke into a liquid and put it into a bottle all by myself…you’ll be the first to know.
After sharing the Ranch Dressing Mix recipe, several of you asked for different varieties of healthy salad dressings. Here you go!
Italian Dressing Mix
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried celery flakes
Shake ingredients together and store in a jar. (It doesn’t really have to be a jar…I just really love my jars…)
To make Italian salad dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1/4 cup vinegar (I prefer red wine vinegar), 2 teaspoons water and 1/2 cup olive oil.
You can also use this dry mix (2-4 Tablespoons) to make Italian Roast Wraps!
Thousand Island Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise ( I use Hain Safflower)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pickle relish
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (optional)
Mix ingredients, cover and chill.
So…what’s your favorite kind of salad dressing? (mine’s ranch) Have I come up with enough healthier dressings (aka dressings with NO high fructose corn syrup or MSG) to tickle your fancy…or should I keep playing?
I just wanted to share some quick tips about making sunbutter. I mentioned that I would experiment with it after learning to make peanut butter. I’ve been experimenting with it…and have come to a conclusion:
It is not as easy to make as the peanut butter is. :)
Using raw sunflower seeds I tried to make sunbutter just like I had made the peanut butter. Except that I processed it and processed it, and it never turned creamy. It became kind of mealy…and stayed that way.
I added a few drops of olive oil and processed some more. No change.
I finally gave up. Sort of. I mean…I was determined to figure this thing out because Malachi won’t eat peanut butter (long story). And sunbutter is pricey.
So…I took the mealy sunbutter…and made it into mudballs because that’s one of Malachi’s favorite snacks. I just substitute the peanut butter for sunbutter. Ah-hah! Even though the sunbutter started out mealy…the mudballs came out perfectly! Score!
At least I know that the mealy sunbutter works when you mix it into other recipes!
Then…I added a bit of honey to the rest of the mealy sunbutter and put it into a jar and then into the fridge. The honey didn’t make it smooth and creamy, but it did make it less dry. I think it will work great to spread on toast or a tortilla.
By the way, I did a Swagbuck search and discovered that 1) There aren’t many ideas out there for making sunbutter and 2) Anyone else who tried to make sunbutter ended up with mealy sunbutter. It’s good to know that I’m normal. (At least in the area of making sunbutter.)
Do any of you have any experience making sunbutter or other nut butters?
This post is linked to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.
I was very excited to see that Tammy is hosting a special recipe swap featuring lettuce recipes. Also, Allyson is hosting A Slew of Summer Salads carnival as a way to learn more main dish salad ideas. Between the two, none of us shall ever be lacking a salad recipe again!!
I don’t actually have an exciting salad recipe for you. I’m not terribly creative like that. My salad recipes almost always look something like:
- Wash and tear up a bunch of lettuce or spinach and put it in a bowl.
- Add whatever other raw veggies you have.
- If you’re feeling especially crazy, throw in some dried cranberries or raisins.
- If you want your salad to be your main dish, add some chicken, cheese and hard boiled egg.
- Grab a fork.
This is why I’m so excited about the above carnivals. However, I do have a fun idea for a salad dressing that I discovered one day when I was dinking around in the kitchen. Are you ready? It’s a novel idea.
Orange juice. The juice from an orange. Fresh squeezed orange juicy goodness.
It’s refreshingly simple. And yummy. And it contains no high fructose corn syrup or MSG.
Now that I’ve shared that enlightening salad tid-bit…I’m very excited to share another healthy salad dressing idea!
Rhonda sent me a wonderful Ranch Dressing Mix recipe!! I used to use Simply Organic brand because I trust it more than other brands. But now, thanks to Rhonda, I can make a super healthy (and much, much less expensive) Ranch Dressing any time I need to!
Ranch Dressing Mix
5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dip: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or kreme fresh.
Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.
The jar on the right is the mix, which costs pennies compared to a packaged mix! The jar on the left is the ranch dressing all made up and ready to go on our salad.
You HAVE to try this dressing! It tastes so…so real. And fresh. And pure. It’s delicious, simple and healthy! And…obviously…you eat it on lettuce and other veggies…so that gives you wonderful, healthy…healthiness. (And of course, great servings of more fruits and veggies!)
I shall never buy another ranch dressing packet again. Rhonda…you rock!
And try squeezing an orange onto your salad sometime! See what you think! (Ever tried it before?)
Here is what I must now ask myself…
WHY HAVE I NEVER MADE PEANUT BUTTER BEFORE?
I make almost everything else from scratch. But somehow making peanut butter sounded hard to me. I guess I thought I’d have to crush each individual peanut for three hours with my fingernails until it turned soft and creamy. I’d just never looked into it before. Finally I watched a tutorial here.
Um, hello Laura! It takes about a minute and a half! And you don’t even break a sweat (or a fingernail).
Now, I’m totally addicted to making peanut butter. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever made.
After I made it, we ate it on pancakes and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I loved it!!! All of us loved it! (Except Malachi who doesn’t love peanut butter at all.)
Here’s how to make it:
Pour about 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts into your food processor and begin to chop.
After about thirty seconds the nuts will all be crumbled up like this.
Keep going with the food processor…
Here’s what it looks like after about one minute.
And after about a minute and a half, it starts to become butter-like and rolls itself into a ball. We left ours like this, but you can process it a bit more if you want it smoother.
Stir some honey into your peanut butter if you think your family would like it better that way.
NOW, I’m going to experiment making other nut butters and sunbutter (which is butter made from sunflower seeds if you aren’t familiar with that one). I’ll let you know when I get those perfected!!
The math: The way I figured it, making my own peanut butter did save me money, but not oodles of it like I was hoping for. However, because of the fresh taste of this peanut butter…and the fact that making it was as easy as using my thumb to push a button….I’m hooked!
Grab the family and try this! Then pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy your hard work! (I love hard work that isn’t hard!)