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Breakfast & Brunch/ Condiments

Cranberry & Apple Chia Jam (with Thyme)

With change of the seasons, I’ve started getting in my veg box big quantities of fresh cranberries and apples. With an abundance of fruits in the kitchen I usually end up making jams. We don’t eat store-bought jams, which are usually too sweet, so making homemade jams or compotes it’s something we do regularly. During winter months frozen fruits, especially berries work very well. I found that most o the fruits are usually sweet enough naturally, when you let them cook down slowly and release the juices, so usually there is no need to add any sweeteners.

Occasionally we just add natural sweeteners, in this recipe we added some maple syrup, as cranberries were a bit bitter in taste. It’s a good idea to wait towards the end of cooking to let the natural flavours to come through first, before adjusting the sweetness level. I’ve also added some ‘warming’ spices to enhance the flavour of the jam, as well as a fresh thyme, which adds a unique aroma and combines very well with fruits.

As festive season is approaching, this jam can make a perfect gift. On a savoury note, try our Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port perfect for cheese boards or sandwiches.

Cranberry & Apple Chia Jam (with Thyme)

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Ingredients

  • 450g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 450g apples
  • 1 anise star, crushed
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 0,5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 fresh thyme springs, leaves picked (optional)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

1

Place cranberries and apples in a large pot on a medium heat. Stir well, cover and bring to boil.

2

Once it starts boiling and fruits release the juices, lower the heat. Add anise star, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla and thyme leaves. Mix well and let it simmer covered 1-4 hours. (1 hours is minimum recommended time, longer you boil more mushy the mixture will be). Keep stirring every 25 minutes or so.

3

If you are satisfied with the texture of the jam, but there is still too many juices, take off the lid and cook uncovered until the water evaporates.

4

Once ready, take from the heat, stir in maple syrup (adjust the amount to your own taste) and chia seeds. Mix everything well.

5

Transfer into the sterilised jars, close the lids and let it cool and set in the room temperature.

6

Store in the fridge.

Notes

Most of the fruits would work well. Try to use plums and pears, they are naturally sweet you may not need to add any sweetener. Also, you can use less or omit spices and thyme for a more fruity flavour.

Condiments/ Nut-free/ Vegan

Coriander & Sunflower Seeds Vegan Pesto

Homemade pesto is one of the easiest and delicious recipes you can make in around 10 minutes. When making from scratch the freshness and intensity of flavours will beat any store bought pesto, once you try you will never go back. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pestle mortar.

Thus recipe uses a fresh coriander and sunflower seeds, however you can use other fresh herbs or mixture of few – basil, parsley or even spring onions would work great. Likewise you can use different seeds or use nuts.

Pesto is not only great with pasta, it makes a delicious sandwich spread, it can be used as a sauce on potatoes or eggs, also works well when added to the rice.

Coriander & Sunflower Seeds Vegan Pesto

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Serves: 1 small jar / approx. 180g
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Delicious, fresh and easy to make vegan homemade pesto.

Ingredients

  • 20g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup / 40g sunflower seeds
  • 2 garlic gloves, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 6 tbsp / 90ml ex. virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

1

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth (or to desired consistency), add salt to taste. Stop once or twice to scrap the sides of the food processor. Depending from personal preferences you may want to adjust the amount of olive oil.

2

Transfer to a jar or airtight container, pour a bit more olive oil just to cover the top and store in the fridge up to 1 week.

Notes

VARIATIONS - use mix of other fresh herbs like basil or parsley. Instead of sunflower seeds use nuts - walnuts, almonds, cashews or pine nuts would work well. BOOST THIS RECIPE - add 1 tbsp of hemp hearts (great source of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids.

Condiments

Homemade Garlic Sauce

Since many years we’ve been making this Garlic Sauce in our kitchen. We’ve never been keen on store bought ready dips or sauces, and also stopped buying mayonnaise many years ago. The long list of ingredients and super long ‘best before’ date, which is usually on this kind of products is really scary. Continue Reading…