Slow Cooker Star Anise Apple Butter

This butter is a delicious and a little fancy way to use your apples. I always make a lot of standard applesauce with the apple harvest around this time of the year but it’s good to make a small batch of something special and different. This butter has a complex flavour and smell and it gives your taste buds something to experience when eaten spread on bread. I usually pair it with some fresh fruit on the side but I have also tried it with a slice of cheese on top and as weird as this sounds, it was still very enjoyable.

 

 

Ingredients:

7 standard, supermarket size apples

2 whole stars anise

1/4 tsp dried ginger

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/2 cup sugar

7 dried apricots

2 Tbsp lemon juice

 

First core and chop apples into small cubes. I don’t peel them.

Place apples in the slow cooker, chop the apricots finely, which is annoying because they are small and stick to the knife but you’ll manage (I did).

Add apricots and all of the spices, lemon juice as well as sugar. Stir to distribute the spices evenly.

Cook on high for 5 hours.

anise butter

Once cooked, take the two stars anise out and use an immersion (stick) blender to process the mixture into a pulp.

Next, put it back on to cook before you start canning, just to make sure that you are canning very hot butter, straight from the cooker.

With canning, I use hot jars, which I kept in an oven preheated to 100C/212F for at least 10 minutes (sometimes longer if I forget that they are there). I also give the lids a bath in hot water from the kettle.

I pick them out one by one and fill with the hot butter, leaving  a little bit of space on top. I close them immediately and set on the counter to let them cool to room temperature over the next couple of hours.

anise butter

Soon you should hear the lids popping as they are sealing. If any of them doesn’t seal and the lid is not concave, treat it as open, keep in the fridge and use within a couple of days.

I have been canning fruit this way for a while and I haven’t had any issues but if you look online there is a myriad of ways to do it and some ways are safer than this one, as they carry less risk of some bacteria surviving in the jar. Pick your own method and be safe!

anise butter

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blueberry Leather Fruit Roll-Ups

This recipe is just in time for blueberry season. If you’re like me, you will be coming home with a bucket or two of blueberries and making jams for the cold winter months. This is one way to do something different with your blueberries. The fruit leather is a rubbery, yummy snack that reminds me a little bit of chewing gum or maybe wine gums. Needless to say, I’m a fan and I hope you will become one too.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 cups blueberries

1 Tbsp applesauce

2 Tbsp strawberry jam or fresh strawberries blended

1/2 cup powdered sugar or more to taste

 

 

Blend your fruit in a food processor together with sugar.

Push the mixture through a sieve to make sure you achieve as much of a smooth texture as possible.

 

I actually took what was left in the sieve and blended it again in the food processor and then pushed through a sieve again.

 

blue leather

I ended up with 3 Tablespoons of seeds.

Spread the fruit on a baking sheet, you’ll need a large baking tray for this.

 

blue leather

Put in the oven and set for 50C/120F. This is the lowest my oven will go.

 

Dry like that for 12 hours or until the leather does not stain your finger anymore and it appears dry.

blue leather

The leather should behave a bit like rubber and should be easy to peel off the paper.

 

Cut in strips and roll up. I roll them up together with the paper and each person peels it off the paper as they eat.

blue leather

These are great for lunchboxes, parties or as a healthy snack.

I keep mine in the fridge until they are gone which is never longer than 2 weeks so I can’t tell you how long they would keep otherwise. 🙂

 

blue leather

blue leather

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Muffins

I promised to entertain a person who suddenly told me she had to be on a gluten free and milk free diet, due to her doctor’s instructions. I made it look like it was going to be no problem at all and only then went on to panic at home. I looked on Pinterest, on Yummly and a couple of other pages and I was just overwhelmed with possibilities. Many of them asked for types of flour I have never heard about and I was a little bit lost. Next day I went to my local grocery store to find one, sad gluten free flour mix, which was way overpriced. So off I went to my favourite location to shop for food: a store with goods imported from the Middle East. I buy all my spices there, delicious brown rice in 5kg bags and I frequently buy things I have never tried and google the solutions to them at home. I was never disappointed, a lot of those foods are really magical.

Back to my story though. I looked at their shelves and found a 1 1/2 kg bag of rice flour. I immediately knew that this is the amount and the type of stuff I’d be happy experimenting with.

I was prepared for these muffins to be too dense, gloopy and maybe chewy. They are none of these things. As you can see they raised very well and I promise you that the flavour is also great. I wanted to do a vanilla bean muffins just so that I could have a base gluten free recipe on hand whenever I need it. This is the result of a couple of experiments and this is the best one so far. I am sure it would be easy to modify it slightly in order to make a chocolate or fruit muffin. This queen, however is a vanilla bean!

 

gluten free muffins

 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup rice flour

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

seeds from 1/2 well scraped vanilla bean

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

 

gluten free muffins

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, applesauce and oil until smooth.

Add rice flour, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, baking powder and salt and mix with a spatula.

Mix until there are no more dry pockets of flour but don’t overmix.

Pour into 12 muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes or until the cocktail stick comes out clean.

 

Enjoy!

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Easy, 1 Hour Dinner Rolls

These delicious rolls can be made quickly while making soup or anything else for dinner and are really nice.

I use silicone molds to shape them into quirky forms.

dinner rolls

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup of wholemeal, finely ground rye flour

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp dried oregano

dinner rolls

Add all the ingredients to a bowl in the order above and knead the dough until smooth.

Leave to rest under a plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Knead the dough again for a minute and either form into balls the size of a table tennis bowl or press into molds.

Let rest another 5 minutes and bake for 20 minutes, until the rolls are golden on top.

dinner rolls

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Vegan Strawberry Loaf

Ahh, strawberries! The ultimate summer fruit! Who doesn’t love them?

This recipe is an eggless, vegan cake with delicious strawberries. I started thinking about this recipe when I ran out of eggs one day and really wanted to bake something without having to go to the shop. So here you have it. It takes a while in the oven and being vegan it does have a slightly different flavour and smell. Still delicious though.

 

As this cake bakes for such a long time, it’s a good idea to check on it periodically and cover it with aluminium to prevent the top from burning.  A lot depends on the strawberries. The more juice they release into the dough, the longer it  takes to cook, so keep your cocktail stick at the ready to jab and know for sure. The baking time I provided here is for super juicy fruit or even a batch from the freezer, so if you use hard, young berries, you could be done within an hour.

 

vegan strawb

 

Ingredients:

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup rapeseed oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup strawberries, cut in halves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

vegan strawb

In a medium bowl mix applesauce, oil, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.

vegan strawb

Mix flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl until evenly distributed and add to the applesauce mixture.

vegan strawb

Fold together with a spatula until there are no more streaks of flour.

vegan strawb

Add strawberries and gently stir them in.

vegan strawb

Pour the mixture into a lined, small loaf tin and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

vegan strawb

 

vegan strawb

 

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce Preserve

Now that the summer is in full swing beautiful vegetables like peppers, aubergines and courgettes are in season. They won’t stay that way forever but you can preserve their summer goodness in jars and keep it for these winter months. Of course you can just preserve vegetables on their own but you can also save yourself cooking time later by producing a delightful sweet and sour sauce and use it on rice or rice and chicken in the winter.

peppers

Ingredients:

5 bell peppers

3 courgettes

1 small aubergine

1 onion

1 cup tomato puree

1 Tbsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp dried paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 cup sugar

aP1060686

Cube the vegetables into small 1cm pieces. Place in a bowl, add salt, stir and set in the fridge overnight.

 

On the next day put the vegetables in a colander or sieve and let the juices drain. You will not be using the juices.

Place the vegetables in a pot and start cooking them. Cook for 20 minutes and in the meantime put sugar, water and vinegar in a separate pot, stir and heat until sugar has dissolved.

Add all the spices and tomato puree to the veggies, follow with the vinegar mixture. Mix everything and let it continue to cook while you’re prepping the jars.

peppers and courgette

Preheat your oven to 100C/210F and put four 0.5l/pint jars in the oven without lids for 10 minutes. I cannot guarantee that this mixture will yield exactly 2l/4pints so it might be a good idea to add another, smaller jar or be prepared to eat the remaining sauce within the next couple of days. Take the lids, place in a bowl and cover them with hot water from the kettle.

I use jars that I have kept after pickles, jams etc., and I don’t own any fancy canning equipment so this recipe is not calling for any.

When the jars are ready take them out and using kitchen mittens spoon the boiling hot sauce into hot jars and tightly close the lids.

Place the jars on the counter. In an hour or so you will hear popping sounds as the lids will start sealing. All of them should be sealed and you can check by pressing on the middle of the lid to see if it is concave.

courgettes

You can keep sealed jars in the pantry until you’re ready to eat the sauce in the autumn or winter.

 

 

And smile because you’re done and you have some delicious food for the cold months! 😀

portrait

 

© Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Homemade Wheat & Rye Bread

This is a chewy, soft and rather dense homemade bread that I make often. It’s packed full of pumpkin and sunflower seed goodness and has almost 70% wholemeal flour. It’s delicious with tomato, as a Spanish pan con tomate or homestyle with butter and a slice of ham. Also good with sweet toppings, like jam, for example kiwi fruit jam or persimon jam.

rye bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup warm water

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp honey

2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup wholemeal rye flour

1 3/4 cup wholemeal wheat flour

1 1/4 tsp instant active dry yeast

2 Tbsp linseed

4 Tbsp sunflower seed

4 Tbsp pumpkin seed

1 eggs for brushing (optional)

rye bread

Of course you can just put the ingredients in your bread machine and run the wholemeal program but if you don’t have a bread machine or want to make the bread by hand, here are the instructions.

rye bread

In a large bowl mix together the water, olive oil, honey and salt and stir until the salt dissolves.
Add the flours and yeast and mix until everything is combined.

Place the three types of seed in a food processor and process as finely as possible.

The pumpkin and sunflower seeds are easy to process to complete powder but linseed tends to stay unbroken.
Add the seeds to the dough and knead until the dough feels smooth and pliable.
Leave the dough covered with a cling film, in warm place, for 45 minutes. It should be double the size after this time.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough firmly for several minutes.
Shape the dough into two logs and place in two greased or lined loaf tins.

Make cuts in the tops with a serrated knife. Brush with some egg if you’d like the bread to have a smooth finish.

rye bread
Cover with plastic wrap and leave dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180c/350F.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

When ready, the bread should make a hollow sound when tapped.

rye bread

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.