Saturday, December 02, 2006
Natural Christmas Fruitcake
I must admit I have never been a fan of Christmas Fruitcake that is until I found this one, no candied cherries for me!
It is not too early to make this and put away, actually it is better with age.
NATURAL CHRISTMAS FRUITCAKE
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use spelt)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
3/4 cup dried apricots
3/4 cup apricot juice (any nectar will do)
1 cup chopped dried apples
1 cup chopped figs
2 cups currant
2 cups pecans
1 cup peach brandy
1 cup apple juice
Place apricots and apricot juice in small saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and turn off heat.
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla
Brandy for soaking cakes
Let sit 5 min, drain and reserve the juice. Do the same with the figs and apples in the apple juice.
Chop apricots and combine with figs, apples, currants and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 300F.
Sift flour with spices, baking powder, soda and salt. Combine eggs, oil,
lemon peel, vanilla and sugar. Add brandy to reserved juices to make one cup, and stir into egg
mixture, and then combine with fruit and nuts. Stir in flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans, which have been lined with greased brown paper. Bake for 1 3/4 hours on lowest rack of oven. Let cakes cool, then remove from pans. Pour brandy on all surfaces, and wrap in brandy soaked cheesecloth and aluminum foil.
Store in a cool area until ready to eat. Martha and I have made this for a few years now, it makes a great gift!!!!!
Healthy Treats for the Holidays
Nuts: Nuts are an extremely nutritious food if properly prepared. Nuts are best soaked before being eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked overnight in warm, salted water, then dried in a warm oven.
4 cups raw pecan halves
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
Soak the pecans in salt and water for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread the pecans on two stainless steel cookie sheets and place in a barely warm oven (no more than 150ºF) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
4 cups raw almonds
2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
Soak the almonds in salt and water for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for two minutes, then drain again. You will be able to easily slip off the brown skins; they can be irritating to the mouth for some people. Spread the almonds on two stainless steel cookie sheets and place in a warm oven (no more than 150ºF) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 Cups Organic Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon water
Mix water and tamari in a small bowl. On medium heat place pumpkin seeds in a heavy skillet (try to avoid Teflon). As the seeds heat up they will start to pop. If the popping is more than once per second the heat needs to be reduced. Slowly stir the seeds with a spatula. The seeds will start to brown after 8 to 10 minutes of stirring. Watch that the seeds do not burn. The seeds will “puff up”.
Once the seeds are a golden brown turn off heat and pour the tamari and water mix into the pan. Quickly mix with the spatula. The mix will initially be sticky, continue to mix until the liquid dries out. Let seeds cool, enjoy.