Cooking & Canning

July 19, 2009

Today was a bit cooking day.  It was a bit cooler than it has been so it was a decent day for it.  I bought some fantastic SC peaches yesterday from a farm stand, so I decided to try canning them.  It was my first go at it and one big lesson learned was to do LARGE quantities.  It is a very lengthy, laborious process so walking away with just a few jars is rather frustrating. I took advantage of the leftover, slightly mushy peaches that I didn't use canning and made a peach cobbler.  I then took the peach skins and attempted to make peach honey.  I couldn't quite get the consistency I wanted, so I'm interested to see how it turns out when we finally open the jars.  W helped me make two tomato pies with tomatoes and zucchini I picked up at the market on Saturday, and we cooked green beans from the garden and corn from the same farm stand as the peaches. Sometime ago I picked up a rather large bag of organic rolled oats from the coop and I was in search of the ultimate granola recipe.  I've been making one batch per week for W who loves to snack on it.  My aunt Neno was kind enough to pass a recipe along and its fantastic.  She made some suggestions as to how to vary it and I've been working on it a bit as well.  Here's the latest version:
GRANOLA BARS
INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I recently cut this to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup wheat germ (or ground flax seeds)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat all‐purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 cup applesauce)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
1.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
3.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
GRANOLA BARS INGREDIENTS •2 1/2 cups rolled oats •3/4 cup packed brown sugar •1/2 cup wheat germ •1 teaspoon ground cinnamon •1 cup whole wheat all‐purpose flour •3/4 cup raisins (optional) •3/4 teaspoon salt •1/2 cup honey •1 egg, beaten •1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 cup applesauce) •2 teaspoons vanilla extract DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. 3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.


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