Mango Gummy Hearts

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I love gummies. Any gelatin based gummy bear, worm, whatever is like catnip to me. I decided to make my own healthier, dye free version. These are refined sugar free, gluten free and Paleo friendly. Lots of healthy gelatin in these fruity little hearts. I love using frozen fruit for gummy candy - it’s sweet enough so there’s no need for any added sugars and gives a really punchy fruit flavor. 

Any mold can be used. I used two heart shaped ice cube trays from ikea. The recipe will make two full trays exactly.

Feel free to try other frozen fruit like peaches or cherries. 

Mango Gummies

10 oz frozen mango chunks

juice of 1 lemon  

1/3 cup coconut water

6 tablespoons vital proteins gelatin powder

In a small sauce pan, heat mango, lemon juice and coconut water to a low simmer. Cook until mango is nice and soft, about 10 minutes. Don’t boil it or use a wide sauté pan or you’ll cook off all the liquid. 

Transfer cooked mango pieces and all the liquid in the pan to a spouted glass measuring cup, sprinkle with gelatin and immediately blend with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or do the same but in a regular blender.) Pour into silicone molds and place in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes. Remove from molds and eat/store or later. 

Storage: airtight container in the fridge

 

Falafel Roasted Chickpeas (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Did you know you can roast chickpeas to make a crispy, crunchy snack? Until recently, I did not. I had these falafel chickpea snacks awhile ago that got me thinking I could make them my own. If you read Meats and Sweets, you might have noticed that I really like to recreate foods I've had elsewhere, at home. This is especially great with packaged or processed food since home made versions are generally healthier and are free of weird undesirable ingredients. The chickpea snack that inspired me to make these, had canola oil which I avoid. By making my own, I was able to choose which oil I wanted. 

As I mentioned in my hummus post: 

You can use canned chickpeas but I strongly suggest using dried chickpeas. This recipe works for 1 can drained chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas which is a half cup of dried chickpeas. To make prepare the dried chickpeas: measure out 1/2 cup of dried chickpeas and soak them in room temperature water overnight. They will absorb a lot of water during soaking so make sure they are covered with at least 2 inches of water. If you're short on time, use the quick soak method. For this method, add beans to a pot and cover with 2" water. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let soak for 1 hour. After soaking, drain beans. They will now need to cook, as soaking only rehydrates the beans. 

To cook, place in pot of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 1.5 - 2 hours. Just start testing them for tenderness at the 1.5 hour mark. Just start testing them for tenderness at the 1.5 hour mark. Once done, drain. Chickpeas are now ready. 

Falafel Chickpeas

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2  teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaf 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

First, dry chickpeas. Either leave the drained, cooked chickpeas out on a kitchen towel overnight or use a food dehydrator for about 30 minutes or let them dry out in the preheating oven for about 15 minutes. They must be dry in order to become crispy. 

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a bowl, mix cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, fenugreek, black pepper and paprika. Add oil and mix. Add chickpeas and stir to coat. Arrange evenly on prepared baking tray. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp. Turn pan once halfway through baking. Cool before eating. 

Coconut Yogurt (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I've never made dairy yogurt before so I really didn't have anything to compare this too.  It's really easy to make your own coconut yogurt.  

I used one Now Probiotic -10 strain capsule.  Use a coconut milk that does not have stabilizers or preservatives - like trader joe's. The ingredients should just be coconut milk.  Use coconut milk from a tin - not the coconut beverage that comes in a carton.  The one in the carton has too much water and other things added to it.  

Makes 1 pint drinkable yogurt or 1 cup spoonable yogurt.

Coconut Yogurt

1 probiotic capsule

1 14oz can full fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Empty capsule into a glass container.  Add coconut milk and maple syrup.  Whisk until smooth.  If the coconut milk it lumpy, just microwave it for a few seconds to warm it up slightly.

Loosely cover and wrap in a heating pad.  Wrap in a bath towel for extra insulation.  Don't let it get above 115 degrees.  It will feel warm but not hot to the touch.  Let this go for about 24 hours.  Conduct a simple taste test to see if it's ready.  It will be tangy and taste like yogurt.  

At this point, it's more of a coconut kefir yogurt drink than yogurt.  If you want a yogurt you can eat with a spoon, it's going to have to be strained.  To strain it, line a mesh strainer with a double layer of cheese cloth and set the whole thing over a bowl.  Pour the yogurt into the lined strainer and just let it be until it's thick enough for you.  Mine took about 2 hours.  It strains very slowly.  It's now ready to either be eaten or stored in the fridge.  Save the liquid that has dripped off for smoothies - it's delicious and good for you. 

Sweet Potato Chips (Not fried! AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Sweet potato chips - I would be a hangy person without you.  Chips, popcorn and crackers are probably the hardest thing for me to give up on the AIP.  So, these crisp little things have been being made every few days.  I really have a chip addiction.  Luckily, they are pretty healthy and made in a food dehydrator in my own home.  You can make them in your own home too. What else can I turn into a chip?  Beets?  Kale?  Taro?  I'm open to ideas.  

Sweet Potato Chips

1 large sweet potato

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

salt

Carefully, use a mandolin to thinly slice sweet potato.  Toss slices in coconut oil.  Arrange on shelves of food dehydrator.  Sprinkle with salt.  Dehydrate at 160 degrees until crispy, about 4 hours, depending on thickness.  (Mine were super paper thin.)

Store in airtight container. 

Everyday Popcorn

Popcorn is possibly my favorite food.  I eat everyday - no joke.  I can't walk by a movie theater without being tempted to go in a get a bag to go.  (I don't because I'm usually with others and don't want to completely embarrass myself.)  

This isn't so much a recipe as a method for delicious, healthy-ish popcorn making.  I use an air popper to pop a bowl of popcorn, using the provided measuring cups worth of kernels.  Then I lightly mist it with oil. As I've mentioned in other posts, I like to keep grape seed oil in a sprayer bottle.  This is so convenient for popcorn dressing purposes.  Grape seed is super neutral and I like the flavor but can be substituted for a different oil.  Next, it's sprinkled with yeast flakes and salt, to taste.  And by to taste, I mean A LOT of yeast flakes.  Sometimes Cam likes to spice things up with a pinch of cumin or curry powder, too.  

Yeast flakes, if you haven't seen these before are salty, almost cheesy tasting, light flakes of deactivated yeast that come in sprinkle container or in bulk.  I really like the Bragg's brand.  

 

Marmite Almonds

I just had Marmite for the first time last week and I am obsessed.  Why haven't I been eating this stuff my entire life?!  It's so perfect of toast but I also want it on pretty much everything.  I have plans to try it on pasta, popcorn, grilled cheese sandies.  

If you have not tried it, Marmite is a concentrated yeast paste.  Stay with me here - it's a salty little umami bomb.  Savory with a concentrated flavor of cook vegetables and yeasty goodness.  If you're the type of person who puts yeast flakes on their popcorn then you'll love this.  If you don't you can send your unwanted jars over to me because I CANNOT GET ENOUGH of it.  

Makes 1 pound.

Marmite Roasted Almonds

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoon marmite

1 pound raw almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  In a pan, over low heat, warm marmite and water, stirring to combine.  Add almonds, stir until evenly coated. Spread almonds out on prepared baking tray. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes or until dry and golden.  Do not let them burn!  Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in airtight container. 

Sweet + Spicy Candied Pecans

I might never eat a plain pecan again.  Seriously, these are that good.  They were for a salad but never made it.  Consider doubling (or tripling!) the recipe.  

Makes 1 cup. 

Sweet + Spicy Candied Pecans

1 cup pecan halves

1 tablespoon neutral oil (canola, grape seed...)

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a bowl, toss pecans in oil.  Add sugar, salt and chile powder, toss to coat evening.  Transfer to a parchment or silpat lined baking tray.  Roast 20 minutes - careful not to let nuts burn.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

I used a week of hiking in Maine as an excuse to make this peanut buttery granola.  It's a chunky granola, somewhere in between loose and bars.  It's tasty and works for snacking or as a sundae topping, too.  

This can be prepared as a looser granola by not pressing into a rectangular form before baking and then stirring once of twice during baking for even cooking.  If you prefer bars, double the peanut butter and honey. 

Makes about 1 quart. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons neutral oil

2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoon roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix peanut butter, honey and oil until smooth and well combined.  Stir in oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and mini chips.  Stir until all is coated and sticky.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.  Transfer granola mixture to mat, use a spatula to form a rectangle, pressing in sides and top to help the granola stick together during baking.

Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool.  Break up into large pieces. 

Korean Beef Jerky

Guess who finally got herself a food dehydrator?! (It's me.)  I love it.  The lowest setting on the oven worked fine but now I don't have that space monopolized for hours and hours.  

And what better food for my new dehydrator's maiden voyage than beef jerky?  Nothing.  This recipe is gingery, spicy, garlicky and a pinch sweet. 

Use grass fed/pastured local, super lean beef.  I like top round, the london broil cut.  Ask your butcher to slice it into very thin strips.  Or put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and slice it yourself.  Just don't freeze it solid, it'll be impossible to slice right. 

makes about 6oz.

Korean Beef Jerky

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon sambal oelek

2 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, grated

1/2 inch round of ginger, peeled, grated

1.5 lb grass fed top round / london broil steak, in thin strips

sesame seeds, optional

Whisk together honey, tamari, sambal oelek, water, garlic and ginger.  Combine with steak strips, coating evenly.  Place in fridge and let marinate overnight, stirring once of twice.  

Arrange marinated strips on dehydrator screens, sprinkle with optional sesame seeds and dehydrate at 160 degrees for about 4-8 hours.  (Ours took 6 but the amount of time varies with thickness of your slices, humidity, moisture content of the beef... lots of things so check it occasionally.)  Once dry, store in airtight container. 

 

Quickles

Even better when homemade.  Very easy and once you have the ingredients in your pantry or spice drawer you'll be making them all the time.  This is a good base recipe that can be easily modified with different vinegars or aromatics.  Shoot for 1/4 cup seasonings for each pound of pickles.

Basic Pickle Recipe

1 lb kirby cucumbers, halved

2 cups water

1/2 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons salt

3 garlic cloves, smashed

2 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

handful fresh dill

bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

Place cucumbers in a bowl or pot with garlic, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, dill, bay leaf and peppercorns.  Set aside.  Boil water, vinegar and salt until salt dissolves and pour over cucumbers.  Place a small plate over pickles to submerge them.  Cover bowl or pot and leave at room temperature 24-36 hours until crunchy and pickled.  Transfer to fridge.

Truffle Parmesan Popcorn

Truffle Parmesan Popcorn

2 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1 teaspoon truffle oil

salt and pepper

parmesan cheese, grated

In a large pot, heat popcorn kernels in oil until they pop.  Toss popcorn with truffle oil and grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Candied Ginger Candy

I find the store bought version too caked with sugar.  These are also a bit spicier and taste very much of ginger. Candied Ginger

Large bunch of ginger, about a 1 lb

2 cups sugar plus a bit more for sprinkling

2 cups water

Slice ginger, not too thin. (Otherwise it ends up too crispy.)  Place in a pot and cover with water.  Boil for 15 minutes and drain.  In the same pot mix sugar and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 40 minutes.  Drain well.  (Save the liquid - its ginger simple syrup now and would be good mixed with club soda and slice of lime as ginger ale.)  Roll ginger in as much sugar as you like and lay out on baking sheet or foil to dry.  Drying may take up to 2 days.

Vinegar Chips

These are mild in vinegar flavor.  For more of a kick soak in white vinegar instead of water.  Vinegar powder can be hard to find.  I ordered mine from spicebarn.com

Vinegar Potato Chips

4 idaho potatoes or 6 yukon golds

canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

black pepper

3 tablespoons vinegar powder

Wash and dry potatoes.  Slice very thin with a mandolin.  Thoroughly rinse slices and soak in water for 30 minutes.  Pat dry or give them a spin in a salad spinner if you have one.  Heat oil in a pot to 300 degrees.  Working in batches, fry slices until light golden brown.  Remove from oil and place on towel.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and vinegar powder.

pear bleu puff tarts

I wanted to make homemade poptarts and had a puff pastry dough in the freezer. Perfect. I also made a raspberry version.

Pear and Bleu Cheese Poptarts

1 package puff pastry dough, thawed

1/4 cup mascarpone

1/4 cup bleu cheese

two pears halved, cored, sliced

honey

flour for rolling out dough

egg yolk and milk (for the wash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently roll out pastry on floured surface very thin. Use a pastry or pizza cutter to cut poptart squares. (Mine were huge portions at 5" x 6". I recommend smaller portions)

In a bowl, mix bleu and mascarpone cheeses and smear on what will be the bottom pastry square. Layer with slices of pear. Drizzle with honey. With a pastry brush or finger, brush small amount of water along the pastry edges. Create a sandwich with another square. Press along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining squares until you have all your little poptarts sealed up and ready for baking. Poke holes in top layer with a fork.

Mix egg yolk and about a tablespoon of milk together for the egg wash. This will create a pretty golden brown glaze. Lightly brush each square with egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes.  They will be golden, flaky puffs of heaven.

In a Pickle

On a trip to Trader Joe's last week I was forced to purchase an eight ounce container of jalepenos even though I only needed one. Eight ounces is about 8-10 chilies.  I ended up sneaking in one or two here or there but was still left with a small surplus, enough for escabeche or pickled jalepenos.

Pickled Jalapenos

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, sliced

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces

6 jalapenos,halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled

4 bay leaves

1 tablespoon thyme

2 tablespoons  kosher salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon corriander

1 teaspoon oregano

1 1/2 cup vinegar (white or cider)

1 1/2 cup water

Saute onions until clear, about 2 minutes.  Add remaining veggies and cook 2 minutes more.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer about 30 minutes.  Cool.  Will last about one week refrigerated.

Peppers

These little lovelies can be difficult to find. I stumbled on these shishito peppers at dean and deluca. Padron peppers could also be used and are almost identical. Both are small delicate peppers that generally are mild in taste although every one in ten you might find a spicy one.

Blistered Peppers 1/2 lb (or any amount) shishito or padron peppers coarse salt olive oil

Wash and dry peppers. Some one told me each pepper should be pricked with a pin before cooking but this seems fussy and I never do it. In a pan heat a drizzle of olive oil and add peppers. Cook until they blister and deflate. Salt to taste. Serve hot. Eat everything but the stem.

Tamari Almonds

Salty snack.  Tamari is a gluten/wheat free soy sauce.

Tamari Almonds

1 lb raw almonds

1/2 cup tamari sauce

Toss almonds in sauce and spread on baking sheet.  Roast in oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Mix every 10 minutes during cooking.  Cool.

apple sauce with ginger and black pepper

This last December, like all Decembers I packed up my knife, micro plane, husband and puppy and made the long journey upstate to Ithaca, New York to cook and spend another delightful Christmas holiday with my family.  Ithaca, besides being a borderline boring place to grow up, I realized after moving away to NYC; is a place of great, fresh food with an abundance of  locally made goods and farm fresh produce.  With the seasonal hiatus of the union square green market, it has been weeks since I had seen a good apple.  Upon leaving Ithaca, my mother in true Mazzarella fashion proceeded to give me a verbal tour of the refrigerator asking what I would like to bring back to brooklyn.  I have assured her that although we are without a Wegman's, we are with a Wholefoods.  During this listing of condiments and snacks I did learn that my parents purchase apples BY THE BUSHEL at a nearby farm and were willing to part with said bushel.  A lovely farewell present.

I eat at least one apple a day.  Whether its crunchy slices pressed onto a peanut buttered toast for breakfast or a giant whole one for an afternoon snack or shredded into a carrot apple cake for dessert or layered into a tart also for an appropriate anytime snack or meal or as my favorite midnight snack: Apple sauce.   Possibly one of the easiest snacks to prepare and (as most homemade foods, much better than its store bought counterparts.

Recipe for Gingered/Black Peppered Apple Sauce:

  • Apples (any type and amount)
  • Water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Ground Ginger (more) + Nutmeg (less) + Cinnamon (less)

Wash, Peel, Core and Cut apples into Quarters.

Place apple pieces in a pot with about half and inch of water.  Cover and bring to boil then uncover and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until apples are soft.  Add fresh ground black pepper and spices to taste.  (I made this batch a little peppery and quite spicy with the ginger.  The cinnamon will help bring out the sweetness).

Mash. Cool. Try to resist eating the entire batch.