Wednesday, June 30, 2010

pickled okra, kale chips & more...

a gorgeous stained glass fairy made by my mother, a wedding gift. no relevance to today's post, but i just LOVE her, don't you?

we are getting into all sorts of fun, new things around here! i am totally loving it!

monday we picked okra from the garden & set it fermenting, following a recipe from sally fallon's book "nourishing traditions" (i cannot recommend this book enough, it is amazing!) sadly we spaced on picking our first lot, so it because a nice treat for the chicks & our bunny, niro. :)

we did harvest enough to fill a pint jar....which will not last long as we are a pickled okra loving family! we followed her recipe for pickled cucumbers.

here is our jar on day 1...isn't it gorgeous??

pickled cucumber (makes 1 qt)

*4-5 pickling cucumbers or 15-20 gherkins
(we just stuffed the jar with as many okra pods as we could :)
*1 tbsp mustard seeds
*2 tbsp fresh dill, snipped
*1 tbsp sea salt
*4 tbsp whey
*1 c filtered water

wash cucumbers/okra & put in a wide-mouth quart jar. combine remaining ingredients & pour over cucumber/okra adding more water if necessary to cover.

the top of the liquid should be at least 1" below the top of the jar.

cover tightly & let sit at room temperature for 2-3 day, then move to cold storage.
and here it is on day #2, happily fermenting...:)

and again on day #3, ready for cold storage (cool, dark, temperature of about 40 degrees)

i have also gotten sucked into the raw food craze, just a bit, but is is exciting. when i first heard "raw food" i thought, as most of you do probably...salad, salad & um, more salad?? this is very much NOT the case!

my first raw food 'project' was this raw chocolate fudge cake with raspberry filling. i made it for papa, for father's day. it was quite good, too good. lance absolutely loved it, but the boys & i thought it was a bit too chocolaty (as a chocolate loved, i honestly cannot believe that i just typed those words), but it is true.

i have a confession...i am a hershey's special dark sort of girl. (gasp!) i have tried to like the organic chocolates out there, really, i have...but they just taste bitter to me. if by chance, you do like the higher cocoa content varieties, then this cake is most definitely for you! :)

it was good...what i would do differently next time?? i would not do a layer cake, it is much too rich for that & i would leave out the coconut. also, i would go for fresh raspberries vs the filling.

this week's delicious delight?? raw mint chocolate cream bars ...our father's day was, well, a bit chump as orin's birthday celebration was also that weekend & a sleepover to boot. so, i thought that we would do a little something extra this weekend & lance absolutely loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, i think he'll love these as well. :)

other raw food adventures??

last night we made kale chips, following a recipe from laura over at crooked moon mama

this might wound weird, but i really loved the way the kale felt as i massaged in the marinade & it was such a lucious shade of green afterwards.

our dehydrator is a very simple one that i picked up at a tag sale a couple years ago for $5, no fancy temperature setting, just plug it in & there you go. i did want to get an idea of what temperature it runs at though, as many of the recipes i have seen have varying temperatures. i plugged ti in & let it run for a bit, about 10 min, then took a reading with a meat thermometer...ours runs at about 120 degrees. knowing this, i can better gauge how long things will take to crisp in our dehydrator.

at any rate, i went to check on the kale chips & the lid was ajar & the entire top tray was nearly empty! needless to say, the boys found them & loved them! they are good, and i probably will make them again at some point, but the boys & i eat kale raw/plain already, so it seems kind of silly to go through the trouble to 'cook' some up, you know?

today we have some of laura's raw curry flax crackers in the dehydrator, some baked oatmeal in the slow cooker & some raw cashew balls yet to be made. :)

we'll share photos & our family's reviews of those recipes & more soon. i have also begun to calculate recipe costs, as a lot of the raw foods use things that i don't typically buy bulk loads loads of nuts, dates, etc. i will post those tallies from now on as well.

i am having so much fun checking out all of these new foods & ways/means of cooking. if you have any great recipes that you have found, please do share!

happy baking day!


  1. Goodness mama you have been busy!
    It all looks so yummy, I also find raw dessert to be very intense although I have had some truly amazing cakes.
    A little goes a long way, which I find is a plus:)
    I have been wanting to do the dehydrated kale, as I bought some and loved it, have no formal machine though, wonder if I could do it in the oven at the lowest setting.

  2. nice raw cocoa recipes...

    here are some other raw cocoa recipes i found

  3. I am just getting ready to make Kale Chips for the first time this afternoon, thank you for the inspiration

  4. christina, the first recipe i had actually said to put them in the over on its lowest setting for about an hour, which i did. i smeeled something burning after only 20 min & they were beyond repair. :( perhaps covering a wooden frame in some window screening would & letting dry in the sun?? with the heat we have been having lately, i doubt it would take long! :)

    dman, thank you for the ice cream recipe! we have been having some insanely *hot* days here & i know that would help very much to cool us off!

    heather, yay! i love that i have inspired you, as i find inspiration on so many other blogs that i visit.

    keep the positive energy flowing! :)

  5. Way to go mama! So glad you're trying out some of my recipes. That Raspberry cake looks yummy...think I'll give that a go.