Fig, Strawberry & Honey Jam

Strawberries & Figs – aren’t they gorgeous together?

I came across a post yesterday for fig & honey jam which was sweetened with coconut sugar & honey, no refined sugar! YAY!

But for some reason I kept thinking “Strawberries & figs” , it just seemed to be the perfect mix. So I decided to give it a shot and tweaked the above recipe based on the ingredients I had on hand.

I’m so so soooooooo happy with how it turned out!

Fig, Strawberry & Honey Jam
A paleo fig & strawberry jam sweetened with coconut sugar & honey
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb of fresh figs, stems removed and quartered
  2. 1/2 lb of fresh strawberries, tops reoved and quartered
  3. 1/2 cup coconut sugar (can use cane sugar)
  4. 1/2 cup honey
  5. 2 tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat so that it keeps boiling, just not so intense. You also don't want just a simmer.
  3. Keep cooking until it thickens, which could take 60-90 minutes - BE PATIENT!
  4. Once thickened, pour into a jar, let cool and refrigerate.
  5. Enjoy!
Adapted from Flavour the Moments
http://chantalrogers.com/

 

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Kokedama Staghorn Fern

When I finally found a staghorn fern a few weeks ago I was EXCITED! They are rare and usually expensive. I somehow only paid $2.49 at homedepot and I was beside myself!

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I thought I really wanted to mount it on a piece of wood, with moss surrounding the roots, but I didn’t know where to hang it, and watering it seemed like it would be a huge chore (taking it down, giving it a shower in the sink and then waiting for it to dry before hanging it back up).

So it stayed in it’s pot, patiently waiting for me to decide what I wanted to do. Last weekend I toyed with the idea of placing it in an open terrarium and after some more research decided against it. They are an epiphyte which is an “air plant” so they aren’t planted in soil and a terrarium would probably cause root rot. 

During my research I came across a type of bonsai called Kokedama which means Japanese moss ball. Basically it’s a plant surrounded in a ball of moss, that can be hung by a string or placed on a pretty platter. 

So I decided to do my loose version of kokedama, by making a sphere using mini vine wreaths and filling it with moss inside and covering it with moss outside. 

So I started with :

  • My staghorn fern
  • 3 mini vine wreaths
  • 2 types of moss, soaked in warm water
  • nylon string

I clipped the wires holding the wreaths together and formed a sphere leaving a large opening to fit the fern. 

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When I was happy with the size and shape (keeping in mind the size of the plant!) I started adding moss on the outside (Make sure to squeeze the water out before!). When I was mostly done, I tied 1 end of the nylon string to a piece of the vine and started weaving the string around the sphere to secure all the pieces of moss. When I was satisfied with how secure it was, I tied off the string on another piece of vine and started fluffing up the moss to hide the string. I added moss here and there to fill in gaps and make it look how I wanted.

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Then I added a bunch of moss to the inside and took the fern out of the pot, loosened the soil from the roots and removed as much as would easily fall. I put the fern inside the sphere and added moss all around to fill all the gaps and to secure it in the sphere. 

Then it was time to place it on an old cake stand where it would get plenty of light (but no direct sunlight!)

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I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!!!! 

 

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Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum Soup
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 8 cups chicken stock (2 X 900ml boxes)
  2. 4 slices of fresh ginger (don't need to peel)
  3. 1 1/2 stalks of lemon grass* chopped in 3 inch pieces, sliced down the middle
  4. 4 kaffir lime leaves*
  5. 2 tbsp fresh ground chili paste**
  6. 4 tbsp chili paste with soy bean oil (nam prik pao)***
  7. 1 package oyster mushrooms approx. 125g (can be regular or shitake mushrooms if you can't find)
  8. 1-2 lb of fresh or frozen shrimp (depends on your love of shrimp!)
  9. 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  10. 3 limes juiced
  11. Rice noodles (portion depends on how hungry you are)
Instructions
  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the ginger, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, the fresh ground chili paste and chili paste with soy bean oil.
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes and taste. Add more of the fresh ground chili paste if you want it spicier.
  3. Remove the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and ginger.
  4. Add the mushrooms, the shrimp and the fish sauce.
  5. Simmer until the shrimp is pink and cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
  7. In a bowl add cooked rice noodles (or ramen for a fun twist) and pour broth to cover noodles.
  8. Garnish with tomato slices, sliced green onions and chopped cilantro
Adapted from http://rasamalaysia.com/tom-yum-recipe/2/
Adapted from http://rasamalaysia.com/tom-yum-recipe/2/
http://chantalrogers.com/

*Usually lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves come in bigger quantities. They both freeze really well, so freeze them both (separately) and save a trip to the asian food store next time you make the soup!
** The fresh ground chili paste might already be a staple in your fridge, I use this one
***The chili paste with soy bean oil (nam prik pao) I found at my local asian food store, which was this one

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Apple & Pear Crumble – Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free

Apple & Pear Crumble - Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Filling
  1. 4 large granny smith apples
  2. 4 large bartlett pears
  3. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  4. 2 tbsp arrowroot powder*
  5. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 nutmeg
Topping
  1. 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1 cup certified gluten free oats
  4. 1/2 cup of "cup 4 cup" gluten free flour**
  5. 1/4 cup almond flour
  6. 1/2 cup coconut sugar***
  7. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Peel the apples and pears and cut in cubes. Place in 9X13 baking dish and add the remaining filling ingredients and mix well.
  3. Melt the butter and once melted mix in all remaining topping ingredients. Mix well until you get a thick paste like consistency.
  4. Drop the topping by spoonful evenly over the fruit and use your fingers to spread it as best you can. The mixture will be sticky so it's ok if not all the fruit gets covered.
  5. Bake at 375°F for approx. 45 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  6. Serve warm with your favourite ice cream. Next time we make it, we'll drizzle salted caramel on top!
Notes
  1. * can use cornstarch
  2. **can use regular all purpose flour. I used the "cup 4 cup" gluten free flour mix from Bulk Barn
  3. ***can use brown sugar but maybe use slightly less as it's sweeter than coconut sugar
http://chantalrogers.com/
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Sweet Potato, Carrot soup with honey and chives

Sweet Potato, Carrot soup with honey and chives
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Ingredients
  1. 3 small/medium sweet potatoes
  2. 3 carrots
  3. 2 tbsp avocado oil*
  4. 1 large onion
  5. 1 shallot
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tbsp avocado oil*
  8. 2 tbsp butter
  9. 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  10. 1 small can (160 ml) thai kitchen coconut milk**
  11. 2 tbsp honey
  12. 2 tbsp chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and carrots and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  3. Add 2 tbsp of avocado oil* and toss to coat
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until fully cooked and caramelized
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, dice the onion and shallot
  6. Finely mince the garlic (or use a garlic press)
  7. Add 2 tbsp avocado oil* and the 2 tbsp butter to a large pot set to medium high heat
  8. Cook the onion, shallot and garlic for 10 minutes, or until translucent
  9. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a simmer
  10. When the roasted vegetable are caramelized, add to pot and simmer an extra 5 minutes
  11. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender
  12. Add the small can of coconut milk**, the honey and the chives and stir well
  13. Serve and enjoy!
  14. I topped mine with crumbled bacon to be extra fancy
  15. *Can substitute olive oil instead of avocado oil
  16. **If you can't find the small 160ml can of thai kitchen coconut milk, use a full size can (again, preferably thai kitchen) and just use the cream that is at the top of the can. Do not use the water left under the cream. Keep the coconut water for smoothies or other recipes
http://chantalrogers.com/
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