Blueberry Maple Syrup

Blueberry Maple Syrup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional fruit sauces take a long time boiling and reducing and frankly we don't have the time in the morning these days. This took less than 10 minutes and was better than a traditional sauce. The thin version really absorbs into the pancakes but the thick version is oh-so gourmet looking that it will really impress your family and friends.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries - small varieties suggested
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼-1/2 cup water
  • optional - 1 teaspoon tapioca starch mixed with 2 teaspoon water
Instructions
  1. In a nonstick skillet, preheat it over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles away almost immediately.
  2. Add in 1 cup of frozen blueberries (fresh can be used but wash them very well and pick out any hard bits) and stir until the berries release their juices and are thawed. This only takes about 1 - 1½ minutes. The object isn't to cook them through and squish them but just to thaw them. Add in your ½ cup of REAL maple syrup, no pancake syrup please.
  3. Let this bubble for about 90 seconds, you just want to heat through the syrup. Then add your water, I added about ⅓ of a cup but you can add less or more. This thins it out so it's not super strong plus helps stretch your budget a little, you could skip this if you want.
  4. At this point you could stop and serve and it would taste amazing but it's thin and won't really thicken until cooled. I suggest taking a mixture of 1 teaspoon tapioca (cornstarch would work but you'll have to boil it harder) and 2 teaspoons water, mix well and turn off the heat.
  5. Add in this tapioca mixture and stir until you notice it really get thick. You'll want to stir about 2 minutes in total just to make sure you get no lumps.
  6. You should notice all the white disappear and it will resemble a nice jam in texture. At this point you're done!
Notes
Serve warm on-top of pancakes, I suggest my No Oil Vegan Whole Wheat Pancakes OR serve cold on-top of toast like a blueberry Jam (if you want to just make this a Jam, triple the amount of tapioca mixture).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 131 Fat: 0 Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 33 Sugar: 27 Sodium: 4 Fiber: 1 Protein: 0 Cholesterol: 0
 

How to make: Vanilla Extract

 

How to make: Vanilla Extract
 
Have you ever wondered how they make vanilla extract, or been curious why they can taste so different from brand to brand? Well some brand actually use chemicals in the processing of their extracts, leading you ingesting poisons you would rather not have, but I have a solution for you! Just make you own like I do. Now that might sound confusing and borderline scary, but once you try this I promise you'll never buy the junky overpriced stuff in the store.
Author:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 10 long sized (6-7") vanilla beans (see notes)
  • 14-15 ounces clear and unflavored vodka
  • 16 ounce GLASS container , amber works best
  • scissors
Instructions
  1. If your beans are older you can snap them, otherwise, use your scissors and cut 10 beans into ½ inch - 1 inch pieces and put them inside a glass container that's at-least 16 ounces and has a tight fitting lid. Pour in 14 - 15 ounces of a clear unflavored vodka. I just use the cheapest vodka at the store, but if you want you can use the more expensive stuff. The important part is to not get flavored vodka or a mix vodka, this will ruin the final flavor and is a waste of good vanilla beans.
  2. After you add the vodka, put on the cap and shake gently to help the process along. You will notice that it will already turn a slightly browner color and you might see little black specs, this is normal and is what will make your homemade extract 100 times better than store-bought in the end. Put your extract in a darker place, away from direct sunlight. An amber bottle will help with this, but since they're hard to find, storing away from sunlight works best. For the first week, try to shake it once a day, I find this helps give the best results.
  3. Minimum time for soaking is 2 weeks, this will give a weaker flavor, but still comparable to something in the store. One month is best for a full flavored extract that is slightly stronger than double strength at the store.
  4. At this point you can strain out the vanilla pods in a coarse mesh strainer (you want the seeds to fall through) or you can leave them in there. After about 2 months time, the extract will not get any stronger. At this stage you will have something super flavorful that makes this more than worth your while. As seen in the video it bests VERY dark and wonderful. The smell is something that cannot be described and the taste is nothing like vanilla from a bottle in the super market.
Notes
Some of you might be saying to yourself that making homemade vanilla extract would cost a small fortune, and you very well could be right. If you go to buy vanilla pods in the store they're usually 2 pods for 10 dollars USD, however, I have been using vanilla beans purchased off the Internet for years now with no issues. I purchase mine on eBay from a VERY well known and respected seller,CLICK HERE, please note that I am NOT being paid to advertise these people, I just like their products. I use grade B or extract grade vanilla, planifolia aka Madagascar bourbon beans. You can use grade a but it does not yield any better results, I have tried it. You can also use Tahitian vanilla but they do tend to be more expensive. I always suggest buying a pound of beans, this saves you a lot of money on shipping and the final product. After shipping it only costs about 31 dollars and will last you many years. Over time they dry out and are only good for extract, but I am on 3 years and the beans still produce an amazing flavored extract. Store vanilla in a tight fitting container, like a quart sized wide mouth mason jar away from direct sunlight. If your vanilla gets white mold of them , obviously throw them away or compost them.
 

Homemade Peanut Butter


Homemade Peanut Butter
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16 tablespoons
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces peanuts dry roasted (unsalted is better, if you cannot find unsalted see notes**)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality olive oil or grape-seed oil
  • 1 pinch salt (see note*)
  • *Optionally* you can add 1 tablespoon sugar for sweetened peanut butter
Equipment:
  • You will need either a decent quality food processor or a high powered blender. Vitamix or Blendtec blenders are perfect for this! If you use a processor, make sure you scrap the sides down often.
Instructions
  1. Place 16 ounces of roasted peanut into your blender (or food processor). If using a vitamix, you will need the tamper otherwise you will need a spatula to scrape down the sides. Add a pinch of salt if you're using unsalted peanuts. Process on high while tamping down the peanuts, OR blend on high until you notice the peanuts "climbing" up the sides of the container, then stop the blender (or food processor) and scrape the sides down and repeat. When you're almost to your desired smoothness, add the oil and any optional sweetener. Continue to blend, repeating the scraping process until you reach your desired texture.
  2. Scrape your peanut butter into a container, I suggest glass. Place a tight fitting lid on and you're done! Homemade peanut butter will last 2 or so weeks in the fridge, however this stuff is so good, I doubt you'll make it that long!
Notes
Note: if you're using salted peanuts or do not want any salt in your peanut butter, omit the extra salt!

If you cannot find unsalted dry roasted peanuts, don't worry! You can wash half the peanuts in warm water and let air dry on a tray or cotton cloth overnight at room temperature, or in an oven at 300 for 15-30 minutes. Why should you do this? Because using salted peanuts will make the peanut butter WAY too salty. Not only will it tasted weird, we shouldn't eat all that sodium.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 tablespoon (28g) Calories: 165 Fat: 14 Saturated fat: 2 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 6 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 12 Fiber: 2 Protein: 7 Cholesterol: 0