FP, Holiday, Recipe, Snack

Pepper Jelly ~ THM FP

This is one of my all time favorite holiday appetizers.  It is very easy to make. You can easily adjust the spice level by changing the type or amount of peppers you use. As written this is a mild recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 small bell pepper, cut into wedges (use green if using green jalepenos, red if using red)
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalepeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups xes sweetener or gentle sweet, divided
  • 3 tsps gelatin
  • 2 drops green or red food coloring, optional (if you want the traditional bright color)

Directions

  • Place vinegar and peppers in a blender; cover and puree. Add 1 cup sweetener; blend well.
  • Pour into a saucepan. Stir in the remaining sugar; bring to a boil.
  • Strain mixture and return to pan. Whisk in gelatin and add food coloring if desired. Return to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (Food coloring is completely optional. When using green peppers the mixture will start off a very bright green but will get progressively darker and somewhat brown in color as you cook it. You will need to add the coloring if you want a bright green final product.
  • Remove from the heat; skim off any foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into a pint jar.
  • Loosely cover jar and allow jelly to cool before refrigerating. This jelly will thicken more as it sits in the fridge.
  • This recipe is usually served with cream cheese on crackers. So, while the jelly is FP, adding the cream cheese will make it an S snack. I highly recommend the crunkers recipe on page 452 in the THM Cookbook! You could also serve this with cream cheese and celery.

Note: When cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face. I did not follow this advice. 20 minutes after  making the jelly I touched my eye. It was not pleasant…

As always, I appreciate it when you choose to shop through my affiliate links. It costs you no extra but provides me with a small compensation that helps me keep adding valuable content to this blog.

Favorite Things, FP

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Oat Fiber

I am going to start sharing with you some of my favorite products for making a healthy eating lifestyle so much easier! Each week I will pick another item to highlight. I will tell you where I get it and how I use it.

This week’s star is often overlooked. It isn’t as flashy as other ingredients, but boy do I love it. Oat Fiber! Now don’t confuse this with oat flour which is just ground up oats. Oat Fiber does not have any countable carbs. It is straight fiber making it great for any recipe, even low-carb recipes! 

One of the benefits of oat fiber is how inexpensive it is! I am going to give you a couple of options here for where to get it. You can google oat fiber and find multiple brands but I am a bargain shopper! For the most part, THM wins the bargain price on Oat Fiber unless you are a bulk shopper, then you may be able to find a “slightly” lower price on Amazon. Click on the links on the  following pictures to shop these products.

So how do I use Oat Fiber? Oat fiber is a great flour for baking. It is fine and light so it gives a great texture. I actully like to cut my THM Baking Blend with oat fiber. Now, the baking blend actually includes oat fiber. But I have found that often times I can cut my baking blend use in half by adding oat fiber. That is why you will often see a 50/50 use of baking blend and oat fiber on my recipes. Please note, oat fiber is a “thirsty” flour because of all the fiber. You don’t want to convert a recipe that calls for a cup of flour by using a cup of oat fiber. Start with half the amount. You can always add more if it is needed. But you don’t want to dry out a recipe by using too much. A fantastic recipe that uses only oat fiber as the flour is the Guilt Gone Cranberry Pie from the THM website.

Oat fiber can also be used in place of small amounts of flour used as thickeners in recipes. So if you are making a soup or sauce that calls for a couple tablespoons of flour, try using oat fiber in place of the flour.

I truly hope that you will consider giving the humble oat fiber a place in your pantry. It is a great, inexpensive addition to your helathy way of cooking and eating! 

As always, I appreciate it when you choose to shop through my affiliate links. It costs you no extra but provides me with a small compensation that helps me keep adding valuable content to this blog.

FP, Holiday, Recipe

Make Your Own “Craisins” ~ Take Two!

I recently did a post about How to Make Craisins in the Oven but honestly, while they worked in my Broccoli Salad recipe, they weren’t something I would use in a salad. It may have been me, I may have “over-dried” them, but I think it also may have been the method. SO~I decided to try a different idea. Here is what I came up with!

“Craisins” ~ THM FP

Ingredients

Directions

  • First, make a simple syrup with the sweetener and water, placing both ingredients in a saucepan and heating over medium heat until the sweetener is disolved. Remove from heat.
  • Next, wash your cranberries and cut them in half. This might seem laborious, but I really think this makes a much better end product! Put them in the saucepan with the simple syrup.
  • Once all of the berries are in the pan turn the heat back on to medium and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. You do not want them to turn to mush! You want them to retain their “structure”.  I am including pictures of about half way through the cooking process and what they looked like when I took them off the heat.
  • When berries are cooked drain them in a collander to remove all excess liquid.
  • Set a rack on a baking sheet and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper.
    Put the cranberries on the covered rack, leaving space between the berries so that air can circulate.
  • Bake the berries at 150 degrees for 8 – 12 hours. I baked mine for 10.
  • Allow berries to cool for 20 minutes. Put the dried, cooled cranberries into glass jars, filling the jars about 2/3 full. Shake the jars a couple of times a day for one week. This redistributes the berries as well as any moisture they may still contain. If any condensation shows up on the sides of the jars, your fruit isn’t dried well enough yet and it needs to go back into the dehydrator for a few hours.
  • Once your dried cranberries are conditioned, store them in airtight containers away from direct light or heat.
FP, Holiday, Recipe, Snack

How to Make “Craisins” in the Oven

EDIT: I have decided I like these better made differently. You can find the updated recipe here: Make Your Own “Craisins” ~ Take Two

I have always found it frustrating that you can’t find plain “dried cranberries” without sugar in the stores or on line.  I was very pleased to find out how easy it is to make them on your own! I needed cranberries for a broccoli salad I wanted to make and these worked out perfectly!

“Craisins” ~ THM FP

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place cranberries in a large bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak in the hot water for 10 minutes. They should “pop” or split open. If you use frozen cranberries they probably will not pop, but you can fix that later.
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  • While cranberries are soaking make a simple syrup with the sweetener and 1/4 cup of water. Heat syrup over medium low heat until sweetener is dissolved then remove from heat.
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  • Drain the cranberries in a colander, then pour them onto a dishtowel to get rid of as much of the water clinging to them as possible.
  • Combine the cranberries with the simple sugar syrup.
  • Set a rack on a baking sheet and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Put the blanched, sweetened cranberries on the covered rack, leaving space between the berries so that air can circulate.
    20181113_093349.jpg
  • As you are setting the cranberries in place, notice if any of the berries did not split during their 10-minute soak in hot water. Pierce those that did not split with the tip of a paring knife before adding them to the covered rack.
  • Turn the oven on to 150 degrees and put the cranberries in the oven 8 to 12 hours.
  • Check the cranberries after 8 hours. They should be fully dry but still somewhat leathery or pliable. If they are not, continue the dehydration process, checking occasionally.
  • Once you think they are dry, turn off the oven and take out the cranberries. Let them cool for 20 to 30 minutes. After the cooling off period, tear one of the berries in half: there should be no visible moisture along the break. (I forgot to take a picture of this step!! Sorry!)
  • Put the dried, cooled cranberries into glass jars, filling the jars about 2/3 full. Shake the jars a couple of times a day for one week. This redistributes the berries as well as any moisture they may still contain. If any condensation shows up on the sides of the jars, your fruit isn’t dried well enough yet and it needs to go back into the dehydrator for a few hours.
  • Once your dried cranberries are conditioned, store them in airtight containers away from direct light or heat.
 

Do you have your Thanksgiving Menu planned yet? If not go check out My Thanksgiving Picks to find 20 recipes all in one place!

Beverages, Crossover, Dessert, Dinner, Drinks, E, FP, Holiday, Recipe, S, Sauces, Dressings, Sides, Snack, Veggies

My Thanksgiving Picks

Do you know that Thanksgiving is 3 weeks from today! I feel ready and I hope you do too. I have spent the last several weeks gathering and posting recipes here to get ready for the holiday season. Here is what I have gathered.

The first thing on my menu is the turkey of course. I started using a “spatchcock” method for cooking my turkey lately and I highly recommend it! It cooks so much more quickly and evenly. Check out how to Spatchcock a Turkey and get a bonus gravy recipe HERE.

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Here are my picks for the best things to have alongside the bird:

Sweet Potato Casserole (Crossover or E)

sweet-potato-casserole-ck

Bean Casserole(XO)

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Green Bean Casserole (E)

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The Best Green Beans (S)

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Loaded Veggie Casserole (S)

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Roasted Veggies (S, E or XO)

ro veg

Stuffing (S)

stuffing

Cranberry Sauce (FP)

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Mashed Cauliflower (S or FP)

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Rolls

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Broccoli Salad (S)

And for dessert I suggest the following:

Pumpkin Roll (S)

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Coconut Cream Pie (S)

slice-of-pie

Pecan Pie (S)

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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake (S)

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Pumpkin Pie (S)

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Tagalong Pie (S)

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (S)

Berry Crisp (S)

Need some beverage suggestions? Here are my favorites:

Cranberry Wassail (FP)

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Pumpkin Spice Latte or Creamer (S or FP)

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How is your holiday planning going?