Pumpkins’ Are Enormous – And What To Do With Them

As you know, I do like a seasonal bit of produce and there are lots of enormous pumpkins around and most are bought (here in Blighty) just to make lanterns.

I have had an intrigue and fascination of pumpkins for way too long (considering I am an adult) and it is all down to Linus and his obsession with the Pumpkin Patch in Peanuts (I want to be Snoopy). But I am not exactly successful at growing them myself, however they are plentiful and cheap at the moment.

So I bought some and thought I’d make a sensible attempt at seeing what I could make to feed a family of 4 from one pumpkin.

There was more pumpkin than I could cook dishes with in the time I had but I did get 3 good ones πŸ™‚

Preparing the Pumpkin πŸ™‚

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I wanted to cook it in a way that would get rid of some of the moisture and intensify the flavour, so I knew I would roast it.

Cut the pumpkin in quarters and take out the seeds.

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Wash away the membranes and any sticky juice and allow them to dry on a tray. The seeds can be roasted with soy sauce or spices to make a tasty topping or snacking food.

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I did cut away the skin, but I know some people like to leave the skin on as they roast. I can’t see any benefit to leaving it on unless you want to scrap the skins of all flesh once it has finished cooking.

As you can see, I got a lot of flesh from the one pumpkin. Put it in a single layer on the tray and roast at 425˚F/220˚C/Gas7 for about 20 minutes – until the flesh is tender.

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Allow it to cool – ready for what ever it is you want to cook.

And here are the recipes πŸ˜€

https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/autumnal-pumpkin-stew/

https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/pumpkin-savoury-cakes/

https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/spiced-pumpkin-cake/

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RAW! Banana Dream Bar

I like to think of this a bit of a life saver when you want something that feels substantial but is not going to be requiring a nap 10 minutes after eating.

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RAW! Banana Dream Bar

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For the Banana filling:
2 medium bananas
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Cling film line a 1 lb loaf tin.

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Zest and juice that lime mmmmmm

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Gently melt the coconut oil.

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Now add all the topping ingredients to the processor and process until very smooth.

Pour the mixture onto the base and smooth it with the back of a spoon.
To cut them put them into the freezer for 30 minutes, take them out and whilst still in the pan cut them to size (if it has gone super hard just leave them out for 5 minutes)

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Now pop them back into the freezer for about 2 hours. These must be stored in the freezer.

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Really lovely and fresh.

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
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Linseed Crackers No Added Fat No Added Sugar Gluten Free Wheat Free Dairy Free Soya Free No Nut Vegan Egg Free

This is a kind of mercy blog. I have had lots of people coming to buy various RAW! products from me, and they like the taste and quality but they find them expensive – which is fair enough, in a world of 2:4:1 offers in the supermarkets and their ability to crush producers down to minuscule margins then all RAW! products will feel more expensive.

In defence of RAW! foods it is really helpful to remember that because the foods are nutritionally dense there is not the need to eat to excess in the way that is normal with more conventional foods (better not even start on some of those terrible diet plans, where you pay to attend, are told you are not eating enough, routinely overeat, increase your tolerance of those quantities and when you are no longer on the diet you overeat on the calorific foods you were used to and suddenly you are 10% heavier than ever you started!) Also RAW! foods are very satisfying and you will have a spring in your step πŸ™‚

Well, this is a recipe for a basic Linseed cracker, follow the recipe and you will have crisp, tasty crackers that will not get stuck in your throat or cause you a belly ache.

It is not exactly the recipe I use (as that would be telling) but you can add in various herbs and spices as you like – you will then have your own unique cracker. I have scaled back the recipe size to make 1 standard tray to fit either a Sedona or Excalibur dehydrator. This recipe will not work in an oven (really sorry – but it just won’t) or if you have your own sun-drier then spread it out to 1-2 linseeds thick.

A word about the dehydrator. I have a Sedona 9 tray. In the manual it says that it will function for 36 hours continuous use. I have had mine running continuously for 2 weeks and never had a single problem with it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I do not have any photos of the process -as I say this is being posted because there is a need for a good recipe.

I recommend you eat these with a fresh dip but as an emergency pack in your bag for those moments when all there is on offer is deep fried or covered in cheap chocolate – then these are worth their weight in gold.

Enjoy!!

πŸ˜€

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Linseed Crackers
No Added Fat No Added Sugar Gluten Free Wheat Free Dairy Free Soya Free No Nut Vegan Egg Free

500g golden Linseed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp dried parsley

Soak the Linseeds in 1 Lt water for a minimum of 4 hours but no more than 12 hours.
Place mixture in a large bowl.
Add other ingredients and mix until well-combined.
Spread dough over the dehydrator tray.
Dehydrate at 54Β°C for approximately 24 hours.

These are photos of my RAW! Sweet & Spicy Pepper Crackers – they’re very nice too.

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Scapece (Zucchini)

This is a treat we would have right at the start of the summer. My Mum would only ever make it with the first zucchini/corgettes of the summer – before the seeds have a chance to thicken. I have made it as she used to with malt vinegar.

We would eat them after a day of steeping, simply on bread with a pinch of salt.

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Sunflower or Extra-virgin olive oil enough to fill the pan you use to 1 cm depth
8 first of the season (young) zucchini
12 leaves fresh mint, torn in 2
4 cloves garlic, in thick slices
malt vinegar (coeliacs please use red or white wine vinegar)
Salt

Wash the fruit and cut off the stem. Then slice into a 1cm thick (not too thin not too thick)

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Heat the oil in your chosen pan for frying.
Once it is hot add the zucchini to make a single layer in the pan. If you prefer you can do this in a larger pan deeper in oil πŸ™‚

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Fry until turning golden, then turn each slice to colour on the other side.
Allow the zucchini to cool on some kitchen paper.

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Into a bowl or jar make the marinade of garlic, mint and the vinegar.

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Do not add the salt at this stage.
Add in the zucchini, cover with a lid or cling film.
Leave in a cool spot (not the fridge though) and eat up over the next 3 days.

πŸ™‚

Lovely

πŸ™‚

4 Day Juice Detox

So sorry for the delay in posts. The garden is so very bountiful that it is very hard to have time and not fall asleep.

Here is the 4 day detox I did a few weeks ago – essential if you are feeling sluggish after a slow start to the summer.

Liver Flush Daily Detox
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – anywhere from 2 Tbsp. to 1/3 cup, as you prefer
Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 1/3 cup
Fresh garlic, 3-5 cloves
Fresh ginger, 1/2β€³
Cayenne Pepper, dash to taste
Freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 cups
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend and drink immediately. You’re under way!

Liver & Kidney Detox
3 apples
3 beetroots
3 tomatoes
3 large carrots
3 sticks of celery
3 cucumber
3 juiced lemons
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend and drink 8 fl oz/250ml each hour over an 8 hour period.

Green Drink
3 apples
3 sticks of celery
3 whole cucumber
2 large pieces of ginger root
3 heaping handfuls of parsley
3 heaping handfuls of spinach
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend and drink 8 fl oz/250ml each hour over an 8 hour period.

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Super Colon Detox
3 beetroots
3 large carrots
3 sticks of celery
3 whole cucumber
2 large pieces of ginger root
3 juiced lemons
3 heaping handfuls of lettuce
3 heaping handfuls of parsley
3 heaping handfuls of kale
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend and drink 8 fl oz/250ml each hour over an 8 hour period.
Think about all the good you are doing for your body!! Enjoy!

Elder Strawberry Jam

I know I am lucky – but I temper that thought with the knowledge that I am the one that works the garden. It’s just me, mother nature and the magical sprites and fairies that populate the garden for good or bad depending on their mood.

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All the fruit and elderflowers are from my garden. I am a bit fussy about my strawberries.

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In the UK at the moment the only strawberry that is easily available to buy is Elsanta – which is a prolific fruiter but the berries are very low in flavour, scent – just not very good. Try the other varieties (I can’t remember the names of all the varieties I have but I have 4 types to spread the season over a few weeks) Do not shy away from the little wild/alpine strawberry, they are great for taste πŸ™‚

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This time I had my lovely Daughter No1 to help me – I’m hoping the love of ‘jamming’ has found it’s way into her soul too.

This is the BEST jam you can have. Quintessentially British and the flavour is outstanding.

It is essential that you do not cook this any further than stated as you will get a firm set and then all the nuances of fresh strawberries will be lost. That sort of jam can be bought at any supermarket for 40 p a jar.

This is something very special -easy to make and will set you on the path of ‘getting’ why it is you would want to make your own jams and chutneys.

I make this in my jam pan, if you only have a 4 litre (pasta) pan then halve the amounts.

Elder Strawberry Jam

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2 kg / 4 lb granulated sugar
1.5 kg strawberries (washed and hulled – in that order)
100 ml lemon juice
10 heads of elderflowers (rinsed in cold water – if you have any black flies then either wipe them off but if you are a Vegan then just cut that part of the stem off and pop it back into the garden)
100 ml pectin ( or the cores of 6 apples tied in a muslin bag)

You will need about 10 1lb/480g glass jars.

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Wash the jars in soapy water a rinse throughly. You can leave these to dry and then place on a baking sheet and pop into a cold oven. Turn it on to 250˚F/130˚C/Gas 1/2 until the jam is made (about 20 minutes)

I sterilise my jars by standing them onto a large tray and filling them to the brim with boiling water (be careful if you do this because the jars can crack – although I have NEVER had a jar crack). Once the water is boiling pour the water into the jar to fill only 1/6th of the way full – this will allow the glass to begin to temper and you should not have any problems. Allow the jar to stand for 5 minutes and then reboil the kettle and fill the jar with the boiling water.

Pop the lids into a pan of boiling water and allow to simmer away until you need them – don’t do this with plastic lids – they will need to be sterilised in a baby bottle fluid like Milton.

*If the jar has a flaw or is cracked it will now shatter – but it would shatter anyway once in the oven or when you have added the hot jam. Best to get it over with whilst it only contains a little hot water on the side where you can see where the glass has gone!

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Pop the fruit into the pan and crush lightly with a fork, a masher, the end of a rolling pin or your hand – just to the the juices flowing.

Add the sugar and stir. Add the bag of apple cores at this point if you are using them.

Turn the heat onto very low and allow the sugar to dissolve (maybe 5 minutes). You will know when it is dissolved as it will not sound scratchy when you stir it.

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Add the lemon juice and elderflower heads.

Turn the heat up and pop in the thermometer (if you are using one). Bring to a rapid boil for about 20 minutes (or until it reaches 130˚C).

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Turn off the heat and remove the elderflower heads (and apples cores if you have used them). Give it a good stir and use a ladle to carefully remove any remaining foam. (Most will disappear once you have stirred it).

Add in the pectin and stir.

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Empty the jars of the now tepid water. Fill with the hot jam. While still not pop on the lid and turn to just seal.

After 10 minutes (using a cloth to hold the jar) tighten the lid. After an hour fully tighten the lids down

Scrummy on a fresh scone, toast, filling a cake or even on yogurt πŸ™‚

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RAW! Blueberry Caramel Layer Cake

This is another of my RAW! Fresh Cakes that I sell on the market. It is devised to be able to withstand not having to be served straight from the freezer. My stomach does not like anything straight from the freezer (even my ices have to be almost at room temperature otherwise I get a terrible belly ache). And this way the flavours have a chance to be bright and beautiful instead of muted under glacial temperatures.

Again this is one that has been asked ofr – but I still have no camera – really sorry but I just don’t have the spare cash and I don’t want to stop blogging – so I hope you will bare with me.

I am very grateful to those of you that have stuck with me through this ‘no camera/strapped for cash’ period. One day I shall reward you with a slice-o-cake πŸ™‚

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RAW! Blueberry Caramel Layer Cake
No Added processed Sugar, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Soya Free, Vegan, Egg Free.

Makes 18 slices

Base
120g / 4 oz hazelnuts
240g / 8 oz cashew nuts
120g / 4 oz walnuts
4 tsp Maca root powder (if you cannot find this no matter -but it adds a lovely flavour and is super good for you too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
1 tsp sea salt

Blueberry Layer
240g / 8 oz raw cashews, ground
120g / 4 oz macadamia nuts
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Lucuma powder
480g / 1 lb fresh blueberries (washed and picked over)
sprinkle sea salt

Caramel Topping
2 tsp vanilla extract
240g / 8 oz Medjol dates
240g / 8 oz ground cashew
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Line an 9″ x 9″ cake tray with cling film
If you have a dehydrator and suffer from digestive disorders then please – Soak the walnuts and cashew nuts over night. In the morning drain and dehydrate for 16- 24 hours until thoroughly desiccated.
All the nuts need to be processed to a fine flour. I use a coffee grinder for this.

For the base:
Add the dates to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted.
Start to process the dates. You will need to open the bowl and scrape it down several times.
Add remaining ingredients and really allow it to process until you have a stiffish dough that balls up. You may need to add a little water to get the right consistency.
Spoon into tray and press down.
Set to one side.

For the Filling:
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted. Then blend together until very smooth and soft like a cream cheese.
Pour on top of the base and level off.

For the Topping:
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of the food processor with the blade fitted. Then blend together until very smooth and light and soft like a yogurt.
Just taste it now to make sure the ‘caramel’ is sweet as you like it – I don’t want it too sweet, I like the sour of the fruit to compete with the sweetness of the nuts πŸ™‚
Pour onto the filling and spread evenly again.
Cover with cling film and store in the freezer.

This can be kept in the ice box for 3 months or in the deep freeze for a year.

Before you want to eat it move it to the fridge and allow it to soften for about 4 hours – or you can leave it covered, in a cool spot in the kitchen for about 45 minutes if you prefer.

Utterly guilt free and feels like a total indulgence.

I defy you to eat it and not only love it but feel amazingly well about an hour afterwards

It’s fine, it’s okay, it’s just what I do πŸ™‚Β