Category Archives: Salads

Easy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill Weed

EASY Refrigerator Pickles with Dill Weed

If you enjoy the flavor of dill weed AND cucumbers, here’s a really simple recipe for you. These pickles can be made in just about no time and will be crispy and delicious after just resting overnight in the refrigerator. What an easy way to use extra cucumbers from the garden!

Below is a video demonstration of how to make the pickles. The written recipe is below the video. I hope this helps!

Enjoy!
Judi

Simple Refrigerator Pickles (with Dill Weed)
Makes 1 Pint

½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup distilled water
1-1/2 tsp canning/pickling salt (Kosher salt)
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 medium clove of garlic, crushed (optional)
About 2 cups cut cucumber (not waxed, both ends removed)*

In a freshly washed pint size mason mar, add the vinegar, water, salt, dill weed, and garlic (if using it). Stir to combine and dissolve the salt. Add the cut cucumber to the jar, until the jar is full but the cucumber still remains in the brine. Place the lid on the jar and gently shake it just a couple times to combine the ingredients. Place in the refrigerator overnight, then enjoy! Store the jar in the refrigerator. Best if used within 3 months.

*Be sure to remove both ends of the cucumber. If the cucumber was waxed, it should be peeled. The peel can be left on cucumbers that were not waxed. The cucumber can be cut any way you want…sliced, cut into bite size pieces, or sliced lengthwise into spears. Just be sure they are cut small enough to fit easily into the jar.

Assorted Vinegars

Vinegar 101 – The Basics

This post covers a lot of details about vinegar, from general information to specifics about assorted types of vinegar. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for. Please let me know if you need further information!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Vinegar 101 – The Basics

About Vinegar
The word “vinegar” stems from the French word “vin aigre” which means “sour wine.” This is appropriate since vinegars are made by adding bacteria to liquids to cause fermentation. The liquid to be fermented is usually wine, beer or cider. The fermentation process creates alcohol, which is then exposed to oxygen. The bacteria then create the acetic acid, turning the liquid very acidic, giving it the tart flavor characteristic if vinegar. Depending upon the process used and the type of vinegar being made, the fermentation process can take anywhere from a couple days to years. Some vinegars, such as balsamic, may be left to ferment for up to 25 years. Vinegars are often diluted to contain from 5 to 20 percent acetic acid, by volume.

Vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a cooking ingredient, condiment, medicine, and preservative. Today it is even being used as a cleaning agent. The use of vinegar has been traced back to ancient Babylon, around 5,000 B.C.E, where it was used in cooking and as a medicine, preservative, and a drink for strength and wellness.

Vinegars are excellent additions to marinades because the acid helps to break down proteins, making them more tender. Vinegar can also be used to balance out flavors and reduce bitterness in some foods. It is commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, mayonnaise, and ketchup.

Nutrition Tidbits
Most vinegars have few nutrients yet they do have some beneficial health properties. It is very low in calories with one tablespoon having only 3 to 14 calories, depending upon the variety. The few calories it has comes from the little bit of sugars remaining from the fermentation process. If you have food sensitivities, it is important to read labels, as some vinegars are a blend of vinegar, juice, added sugars, and possibly other ingredients that may cause reactions in some people. A few vinegars contain gluten while others contain added sulfites.

Early records in China, the Middle East, and Greece, show vinegar being used as a digestive aid, an antibacterial agent on wounds, and a treatment for cough. Today, a few small studies have shown some health benefits from vinegar, which has sparked a lot of attention for using vinegar in natural health treatments.

Studies published in 2010 showed that including vinegar with a meal helps to reduce post-meal blood glucose levels. Balsamic vinegar has been shown to lower triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.

General Tips for Using Vinegar
* Use vinegar to brighten the flavor of foods and balance the richness of a fatty dish.

* Use vinegar to tenderize protein foods (such as meats and poultry) by adding it to marinades.

* Use vinegar when pickling foods, as it not only adds flavor, but acts as a preservative by killing bacteria.

* Adding a little vinegar to cooking water can help to brighten the color of vegetables, especially those in the cruciferous family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.).

* Some resources suggest adding a little vinegar to the water when boiling eggs. They say it makes eggs easier to peel.

* Some suggest adding a little vinegar to water when poaching eggs to help keep them together.

* For a quick buttermilk substitution, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Allow it to rest a few minutes for the milk to thicken.

* To perk up the flavor of cooked beans or bean soups, add a little vinegar during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Adding it earlier will make the beans tough and harder to cook properly.

How to Store Vinegar
Vinegar does not need to be stored in the refrigerator. However for best quality, store it tightly capped in a cool, dry, dark place, away from sunlight and heat. Some vinegars will have a “Best by” date stamped on the bottle. Even though it may be safe to consume the vinegar beyond that date, the quality may not be its best.

Unpasteurized, raw apple cider vinegar may become more cloudy with age. That’s simply the culture (bacteria) multiplying in the bottle. It is still safe to use.

Generally speaking, unopened vinegar will keep for about two years in a cool, dry, dark place. Once opened, it should be used within about six months for best quality. To keep opened vinegar longer, it may be stored in the refrigerator.

What is the “Mother” in Vinegar?
The “Mother” of vinegar is a mixture of cellulose and bacteria (or culture) that fermented the original liquid into vinegar. It is found in fermented alcohols and unpasteurized vinegars, most commonly in raw apple cider vinegar. It creates a cloudy appearance in the vinegar and is harmless to consume. It will not affect the flavor of the vinegar. In fact, the “M other” contains friendly probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fibers, and nutrients that can boost health.

Food Sensitivities
Gluten: Most vinegars do not contain gluten. However, some that are made with grains may contain gluten. This information is listed below each type of vinegar for clarification. When in doubt, check the label and ask your physician or dietitian, if necessary.

According to Shelly Case, RD (at https://shelleycase.com/is-vinegar-gluten-free/), the distillation process destroys gluten. So, if a vinegar (such as white vinegar) was made from wheat (a gluten-containing grain), and it was “distilled” the gluten has been removed or destroyed in the process and would therefore be safe to eat, even by those with gluten sensitivities. If the vinegar was made with a gluten-containing grain, such as wheat, and was not distilled, then the vinegar does still contain gluten, and would not be safe to eat by those with gluten sensitivities. Beware and read labels! This information is also confirmed by the FDA as stated here… https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/why-distillation-is-compatible-with-a-gluten-free-diet/

Sulfites: Most fermented foods contain naturally-occurring sulfites. However, naturally-occurring sulfites differ from those added as food preservatives, and usually present no problems to those with sulfite sensitivities. Some vinegars have added sulfites, whereas others do not. If you are sensitive to sulfites, always check the label before purchasing vinegar, and consult your physician if necessary.

Common Varieties of Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar: Also known as cider vinegar, this variety is pale brown with a mild apple flavor. It is made from fermented apple cider, unpasteurized apple juice, or apple pulp. It is inexpensive.

Best Uses: Apple cider vinegar is excellent in chutneys, stews, marinades, sweet pickles, and in coleslaw or salad dressings.

Food Sensitivities: Apple cider vinegar is naturally gluten-free.

Balsamic Vinegar: This is a dark, sweet vinegar that has been produced in Italy for over 800 years. It is usually made from whole processed red or white wine grapes (called “grape must,” or the crushed grapes including the seeds, peel and stems). The grape must is boiled to a concentrate, fermented, acidified, and then aged in wooden barrels for up to 50 years. The longer it is aged, the thicker, sweeter and pricier it gets.

Best Uses: Balsamic vinegar is excellent on strawberries, tomatoes, grilled meats and poached fruit. It can also be used in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and soups. It is sometimes reduced into a thick sauce and served over fruit or ice cream.

Food Sensitivities: Balsamic vinegar is gluten-free and, like other vinegars, contains naturally occurring sulfites. Most balsamic vinegars will not have added sulfites, but if you are sensitive, it is advisable to always check the label before purchasing any balsamic vinegar.

Malt Vinegar: Malt vinegar is a dark, flavorful vinegar that is very popular with fish and chips in England. It comes from barley that was made into beer, then fermented into vinegar. It has a milder, sweeter and more complex flavor than plain white vinegar.

Best Uses: Malt vinegar is often used on French fries (and on fish and chips in the UK), and in making pickles.

Food Sensitivities: Malt vinegar is made from barley, which contains gluten. Therefore, if you have a sensitivity to gluten, you should avoid malt vinegar UNLESS it was distilled (which would have removed the gluten). Malt vinegar naturally contains a small amount of sulfites, less than 10 ppm. This is a very low level, which usually poses no issue, even for people who have a sulfite allergy. When in doubt, ask your physician!

Red Wine Vinegar: This vinegar is made from red wine and is usually aged in wooden barrels. It has a strong flavor that blends well in hearty dishes. Red wine vinegar is often used in French and Mediterranean cuisines and is less acidic than distilled or cider vinegars.

Best Uses: Red wine vinegar is excellent in salad dressings, stews, sauces, marinades, and with cooked meat and fish.

Food Sensitivities: Red wine vinegar is gluten-free since it is made with grapes. Like other vinegars, red wine vinegar will have naturally occurring sulfites. However, some brands of red wine vinegar have ADDED sulfites, whereas others do not. If you are sensitive to added sulfites, it is important to read the label before purchasing this type of vinegar.

Rice Vinegar: This type of vinegar is made from fermented rice. It is commonly referred to as rice wine vinegar. It has a mild, sweet flavor and is less acidic than other vinegars.

Best Uses: Rice vinegar is excellent in salad dressings, seafood marinades, and Asian cuisine in dishes like sushi, pickled ginger and seafood, and stir-fries.

Food Sensitivities: True rice vinegar (made only with rice and no other grains) is naturally gluten-free. However, some rice vinegars imported from Asia may contain a mixture of grains. If your rice vinegar was made only with rice OR was distilled, it is considered to be gluten-free. Otherwise, be sure to read the label carefully to be sure it does not contain something you might react to.

White Vinegar: This is also known as distilled vinegar or distilled white vinegar, and is made from fermented grains. It is clear, highly acidic, and has a very sour flavor. It is one of the least expensive vinegars and is now being used as a cleaning agent, especially for washing windows and cleaning coffee pots. It is not as strong as “cleaning vinegar,” yet it is still an effective cleaning agent.

Best Uses: White vinegar is excellent for preserving foods such as in pickling fruits and vegetables. It is also an effective antibacterial, grease, and mineral-removing cleaning agent.

Food Sensitivities: White vinegar is made from fermented grains, particularly wheat. If white vinegar was not distilled, it will still contain gluten. If the vinegar was distilled, it should contain no gluten. So, if you are sensitive to gluten, be sure to purchase white vinegar that has been distilled.

Cleaning White Vinegar: It’s important to note here that “cleaning white vinegar” is not the same as the age-old distilled white vinegar. Although they may look the same, cleaning vinegar is stronger and is not something to ingest. Cleaning vinegar is diluted to 6% acidity, whereas distilled white vinegar is diluted to 5% acidity. That one percentage point difference may seem small, but in vinegar terms, it equates to cleaning vinegar being 20% stronger than distilled white vinegar. It is TOO strong to ingest and can cause harm if consumed.

Some brands may also be scented with chemicals not intended for consumption. Hence, that’s one more reason not to add this type of vinegar to your salads! If you do use “cleaning vinegar,” I suggest you do not store it near your usual vinegars that you use in foods. You really don’t want to mix these up! Its added strength makes it a very effective cleaning agent. However, be careful what you apply cleaning vinegar to. Its strong acidity will damage hardwood floors, granite, marble, and metals. It is safe to use on bathroom ceramic surfaces, on glass, and in the laundry. Cleaning vinegar is more costly than distilled white vinegar.

White Wine Vinegar: The flavor of white wine vinegar will range from mild to very tangy, depending upon the type of wine used in its production. It is usually pale in color with a mild flavor. It is often used in French and Mediterranean cuisines.

Best Uses: White wine vinegar is excellent in vinaigrette dressings, vegetable dishes, soups, stews, pickled vegetables, and in cooking meat and fish.

Food Sensitivities: Since white wine vinegar is made from grapes, it is naturally gluten-free. The vinegar will contain naturally-occurring sulfites from the wine, and may or may not contain added sulfites. If you are sensitive to sulfites, please read the label before purchasing white wine vinegar.

Less Common Varieties of Vinegar

Black Vinegar: Black vinegar is also known as Chinkiang vinegar, and is usually made from glutinous rice or sorghum. It has a woody, smoky flavor. It is a common sour ingredient in foods found in southern China. In the United States, black vinegar is used as a dipping sauce for dumplings and in meat marinades.

Best Uses: Use black vinegar as a dipping sauce, and to flavor meats and stir-fries. It may be used as a less expensive alternative to balsamic vinegar.

Food Sensitivities: Traditional black vinegar, made from rice or sorghum would be naturally gluten-free. However, some varieties may have been made with added wheat, millet, peas, barley, bran and/or chaff (the outer husk of a grain). Wheat and barley contain gluten. So, if the vinegar was made with other grains in addition to rice and was not distilled, it may contain gluten. If you are gluten sensitive, be sure to read the label before purchasing any black vinegar.

Black vinegar may or may not have added sulfites. If you are sensitive to sulfites, reading labels is warranted.

Cane Vinegar: Cane vinegar is made from the syrup of sugar cane. It has a mellow flavor, similar to rice vinegar. It is not sweet since it contains no residual sugar. It is yellow to golden brown in color, and is less acidic than distilled vinegars. It is made in the Philippines, France, and Louisiana. It is called “sukang iloko” in the Philippines. Champagne, white wine, cider, and rice wine vinegars may be substituted for cane vinegar.

Best Uses: Cane vinegar is often used in sweet and sour dishes, and to flavor meats.

Food Sensitivities: Since cane vinegar is made from sugar cane, it is naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to check the label before purchasing cane vinegar, as it may contain other ingredients that may or may not contain gluten.

Cane vinegar usually does not contain added sulfites, but check the label before purchasing, as brand ingredients may vary.

Champagne Vinegar: This vinegar is made from a slightly dry white wine, made from the same grapes as champagne. It is made only in the Champagne region of France. It has a mild flavor.

Best Uses: Champagne vinegar may be used like any white wine vinegar. It is especially good on citrus salads, and in marinades and sauces.

Food Sensitivities: Champagne vinegar is naturally gluten-free since it is made from grapes. It will contain naturally-occurring sulfites from the wine. If you are sensitive to sulfites, check the label before purchasing to be sure it contains no added sulfites.

Coconut Palm Vinegar: This type of vinegar is made in Asian countries from the sap of the coconut palm tree, and/or the water of the coconut. It is a white, cloudy vinegar with a flavor ranging from mild to sharply acidic. All varieties have a faint flavor of yeast or must. A substitution would be 1 part rice or white vinegar, 1 part water, and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice.

Best Uses: Coconut vinegar is usually used as a dipping condiment, and can be added to sauces, cooked foods and salads.

Food Sensitivities: Coconut vinegar should be naturally gluten-free. However, if you are gluten-sensitive, read the label before purchasing to be sure no gluten-containing ingredients have been added.

Flavored Vinegars: Some flavored vinegars, such as tarragon vinegar, are available in many grocery stores. However, many people make their own flavored vinegars by adding desired herbs, spices or flavorings to wine, rice, or cider vinegar. Colorado State University Extension has prepared an excellent website detailing how to make your own flavored vinegars, with specific recipes included. https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/flavored-vinegars-and-oils-9-340/

Specialty flavored vinegars may also be purchased from select stores. The following are just a few (of many) online shops carrying flavored vinegars. Please note that I have no connection with any of them.

https://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/shoppe.aspx?cat=Vinegars&subcat=Flavored+Vinegar

https://theolivepress.com/shop/catalog/flavored/filters/page=allhttps://www.theolivetap.com/vinegars/

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/food/vinegars/

Specialty vinegars may also be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/

Fruit Vinegars: In this case, we’re referring to vinegars made with fruit other than apples (as in apple cider vinegar). Fruit vinegars can be made with just about any fruit you want including, apples, apricots, grapes, pineapples, pomegranates, passion fruit, raisins, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, figs, pears, cranberries, lemons, mangoes, oranges, plums, raisins, tomatoes, and more. Fruit vinegars may be purchased online and in some grocery stores. They can also be made at home.

Best Uses: Fruit vinegars add a sweet-tart flavor to whatever foods they’re served with. They pair well with extra virgin olive oil and have been used to flavor pork, turkey, chicken and fish. They add fruitiness to green salads, vegetables, and dips for fruit/cheese trays. They can also be used in marinades for a sweet-tart flavor.

Instructions for making your own fruit vinegars can be found on this and other websites: https://www.organicauthority.com/eco-chic-table/homemade-fruit-vinegar-recipe

DIY Fruit Vinegar Instructions, using strawberries, blueberries, figs, persimmons, or pears: https://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/make-fruit-vinegar/

Red Rice Vinegar: This vinegar is made from fermented red yeast rice. It is milder in flavor than red wine vinegar. It is sweet, tart, and salty.

Best Uses: Red rice vinegar is often used in Chinese seafood dishes and dipping sauces.

Food Sensitivities: Sometimes barley and sorghum are added to red rice vinegar. Since barley contains gluten, this type of vinegar may contain gluten if it is not distilled. If you have a gluten sensitivity, it is important to check the label to see if it contains barley. If so, and if it was not distilled, it should be avoided.

Seasoned Rice Vinegar: This is rice vinegar with added sugar, salt, and sometimes sake or MSG (monosodium glutamate). Using this vinegar is an easy way to boost the sweet, salty, and tangy flavor of foods. It is found in the Asian section of some grocery stores.

Best Uses: Seasoned rice vinegar is often used in sushi and salad dressings.

Food Sensitivities: This rice should be naturally gluten-free, but check the label to be sure a gluten-containing ingredient was not added. Also, some people react to MSG. Read the label carefully if you have food sensitivities when choosing seasoned rice vinegar to be sure there are no added ingredients that you need to avoid.

Sherry Vinegar: True sherry vinegar is made in Spain from sherry wine, and is used in Spanish and French cuisine. The wine is aged for at least 6 months, with the resulting vinegar being aged from 2 to over 10 years. The older the vinegar, the darker the color, the more complex the flavor will be, and the more expensive it will be to buy. It has a bright, deep flavor. Some grocery stores may carry sherry vinegar. Wine vinegar may be used as a substitute for sherry vinegar.

Best Uses: Sherry vinegar can be used to flavor beans, marinara, soups, snap peas, tomatoes, and green salads.

Food Sensitivities: Since sherry vinegar is made ultimately from grapes, it is naturally gluten-free. It will contain naturally-occurring sulfites since it is made from wine. It is important to read labels since less-expensive brands may have additives.

Spirit Vinegar: Spirit vinegar (sometimes referred to as grain vinegar) is a colorless, strong vinegar made by a double fermentation process of a grain, usually barley. The first fermentation converts sugars to alcohol. The alcohol is distilled then subjected to the second fermentation, which converts the alcohol to acetic acid. It has a higher acidity than other vinegars. This vinegar is sometimes referred to interchangeably with distilled white vinegar. However, spirit vinegar contains a higher acid content than white vinegar, and it still contains a little alcohol, where white vinegar does not.

Best Uses: This type of vinegar is used mostly in pickling.

Food Sensitivities: Since spirit vinegar is made with distilled liquids, it is considered to be gluten-free.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Resources
https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/healthy-tips/2011/08/vinegar-101

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar

https://www.livestrong.com/article/21611-nutritional-value-vinegar/

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/vinegar/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/555379-how-to-store-opened-bottles-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-apple-cider-vinegar-go-bad/

https://www.finecooking.com/ingredient/malt-vinegar

https://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/04/06/what-is-malt-vinegar/

https://www.foodandwine.com/condiments/what-you-need-know-spring-about-many-types-vinegar

https://lifehealthhq.com/whole30-vinegar/

https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/is-it-gluten-free/vinegar/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/sulfite-allergy-82911

https://www.verywellfit.com/is-vinegar-gluten-free-562363

http://www.heinzvinegar.com/products-red-wine-vinegar.aspx

https://shelleycase.com/is-vinegar-gluten-free/

https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/why-distillation-is-compatible-with-a-gluten-free-diet/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_vinegar

http://thebaldgourmet.com/focus-ingredient-what-is-chinese-black-vinegar/

https://www.cooksinfo.com/champagne-vinegar

https://www.cooksinfo.com/cane-vinegar

https://aussietaste.com.au/glossary/oils-and-vinegars-a-to-z/cane-vinegar/

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/flavored-vinegars-and-oils-9-340/

https://www.cooksinfo.com/palm-vinegar

https://www.cooksinfo.com/vinegar

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-sherry-vinegar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherry_vinegar

https://www.livestrong.com/article/262961-what-are-the-benefits-of-coconut-vinegar/

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/article/373/types-of-vinegar.html

https://www.thekitchn.com/rice-vinegar-ingredient-spotlight-184260

https://www.finecooking.com/article/whats-seasoned-rice-vinegar

https://www.theolivetap.com/product/vinegars/balsamic-vinegars/white-balsamic-vinegars/peach-white-balsamic-vinegar/

https://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/vinegar/

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/a_guide_to_balsamic_vinegar/

https://fantasticservicesgroup.com.au/blog/cleaning-vinegar-vs-normal-vinegar-whats-the-difference/

Carrot Pineapple Salad with Rainbow Carrots

Carrot Pineapple Salad with Rainbow Carrots

Here’s a delicious Carrot Pineapple Salad recipe using rainbow carrots. Of course, if you can’t get rainbow carrots, regular carrots could also be used. It has only 5 ingredients and it’s super simple! Below is a video demonstration of making the recipe. The written recipe is below the video.

Enjoy!
Judi

https://youtu.be/cJVDcbHftmM

Carrot Pineapple Salad
Makes 6 Generous Servings

3 cups shredded rainbow carrots*
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits (NOT drained), packed in juice
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
¼ cup raisins
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer salad to a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. Enjoy!

*If you can’t find rainbow carrots, simply use regular carrots instead.

Broccoli Cauliflower Orange Salad

Broccoli Cauliflower Orange Salad

Here’s an easy and delicious salad recipe that’s a little different than the norm. It would go well with many meals and could also be used on a brunch buffet. The recipe can easily be expanded or made smaller, depending on your needs. Below is a video demonstration of making the salad. The written recipe is below the video link.

Enjoy!
Judi

https://youtu.be/FLs-rZtl0sw

Broccoli Cauliflower Orange Salad
Makes About 6 Servings

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli*
1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cauliflower*
1 cup shredded fresh carrots*
2 clementine oranges, peeled and sectioned
¼ cup slivered almonds, optional

Dressing
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard, or more to taste
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt, or to taste

Place vegetables, orange sections and almonds (if using them) in a large bowl. Toss to combine and set aside.

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Can be served right away, or covered and refrigerated for a while to allow flavors to blend.

*Cook’s notes: There are three options with this salad on how to offer the vegetables:

(1) They can be used raw in the salad.

(2) If you prefer softer vegetables or don’t have access to the fresh vegetables, you could opt for frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Place frozen veggies in a colander under running water until thawed (this doesn’t take long). Allow to drain. Cut them into smaller pieces, if needed, then proceed with recipe.

(3) You could use raw vegetables and blanch them by placing them in boiling water, set the timer for 2 minutes. Remove from the hot water when the timer goes off and immediately cool them in ice water. Drain well, then proceed with the recipe.

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Dill

Easy Cucumber Tomato Salad with Dill

This simple salad is easy and fast to make, and oh so delicious! It can be made ahead of time, since marinating for a while in the refrigerator allows the flavors to blend, making it that much tastier. Click the video link for a demonstration on making the salad. The recipe is below the video. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Dill
Makes About 4 Servings

1 cucumber
2 Roma tomatoes
2 scallions, or 1/3 to ½ cup chopped onion of choice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (or ½ Tbsp fresh dill weed), or more if desired
Salt to taste

Cut cucumber (peeling is optional), tomatoes, and scallion into bite-size pieces and place in a serving bowl. Top with the olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, dried dill weed and salt. Toss to combine. Serve or cover and refrigerate until needed.

This salad can be allowed to marinade in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. This gives time for the flavors to blend. It is delicious served immediately but is even better when made in advance.

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Simple Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Here’s a really easy recipe for Honey Mustard Salad Dressing. The recipe is below the video demonstration. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Simple Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Makes 1 to 2 Servings

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey*
1 Tbsp prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 Tbsp vinegar of choice or lemon juice

For 2 to 4 Servings:
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey*
2 Tbsp prepared Dijon-style mustard
2 Tbsp vinegar of choice or lemon juice

Measure and place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until blended. Or pour ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Store in the refrigerator.
This recipe can easily be increased according to how much you need or want to make at one time.

* Reduce the honey to half what the recipe calls for if you want a less sweet dressing.

Broccoli Sprouts

How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts

Growing jar sprouts is not hard. It’s something I’ve been doing for well over 20 years! Yet, if certain steps are not followed, you will not have a successful harvest and your sprouts may spoil along the way. That’s a waste of your time and hard-earned money. So, follow the simple steps discussed in the video below and read through the tips for successful sprouting following the video. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

 

Tips for Growing Jar Sprouts

* Although any type of glass jar will work when growing sprouts, a quart-size wide-mouth mason jar is easiest when rinsing, draining and removing grown sprouts, so start with this type if you have one. Be sure your jars are well washed. Some people prefer to sanitize them in boiling water first.

* Whatever lid you use, be sure it will allow for air flow because your seeds and growing sprouts need air. If you don’t have a sprouting lid, use cheesecloth or a piece of clean nylon screen secured around the rim of the jar with a rubber band. Also, a piece of needlepoint mesh can be cut to fit inside a metal mason jar rim and used in place of a purchased sprouting lid.

* Use seeds only intended for sprouting. Although any seeds can be sprouted, seeds intended for soil planting are often treated with chemicals. This makes them undesirable for eating. Seeds designated for sprouting are not treated and are thereby safe to eat.

* Seeds will last the longest with the best germination rate when kept in a cold environment. Store seeds in your freezer for the longest life.

* When sprouting small seeds such as broccoli or alfalfa seeds, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of seeds. More will overcrowd the jar, not allowing them to grow to their fullest potential.

* When sprouting large seeds, such as lentils or mung beans, you could grow ¼ cup to ½ cup of seeds at a time in a quart-size mason jar.

* Rinse seeds well at the start of the sprouting process to remove any dust, debris and/or pathogens. Then cover them with cool filtered water and allow them to soak in a cool location according to the directions on the seed package (different types of seeds need different soaking times).

* Rinse and drain your growing sprouts twice a day with cool water at roughly 12-hour intervals. (Some growers prefer to rinse/drain sprouts 3 or 4 times per day. See the recommendations that came with your seeds.) Seeds may grow better being rinsed 3 or 4 times a day when in a warmer climate, especially in the early stages of growth.

* Prop your sprouting jar at a 45-degree angle to allow water to completely drain out before laying the jar on its side. Laying it on its side allows air to flow in and out of the holes in the lid while also exposing your sprouts to as much light as possible.

* For optimal growth, after your seeds/sprouts are rinsed and drained, place the jar in a sunny or well-lit location that is cool, not warm.

* Sometimes during the growing process you may notice white fuzzy areas in your sprouts. It looks like mold, but more likely is simply root hairs reaching out for water. If this happens, your sprouts are thirsty. If you rinse and drain them, the fuzzy root hairs should disappear.

* Different types of seeds may take different timeframes to grow, usually ranging from 2 days to about a week. See your seed package to know about how long you should allow your seeds to sprout.

* If your sprouts develop a foul odor or peculiar, wilted appearance, do not eat them. They need to be discarded and the jar and lid should be sanitized before starting over.

* Don’t water your grown sprouts right before storing them in the refrigerator. The excess water may cause them to spoil. Although it is not mandatory, some people prefer to remove ungerminated seeds before storing the sprouts. To do this, place all the jar contents (your grown sprouts) in a large bowl of water. Swish them around and the ungerminated seeds will float to the top. Scoop them off and discard them. Drain the sprouts very well to be sure there is no excess water left in them, as it will cause them to spoil. Store them in the refrigerator in a container with a lid. Line the container first with a cloth or paper towel to soak up any extra water. To help avoid the possibility of excess water in your storage container, you could simply rinse sprouts in a bowl of water, removing the ungerminated seeds, as you need them for your salads or snacks.

* Put a paper towel or napkin in the bottom of your storage container for your finished sprouts. That will soak up any extra water yet help to maintain a humid environment, which will keep the sprouts from drying out. Store them in a container with a lid, in the refrigerator. They should be used within a few days.

* If you want to remove unsprouted seeds from your finished sprouts, here’s a way to do it…

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Fermented Cauliflower

Easy Fermented Cauliflower

I’ve been enjoying fermented vegetables with my salads and other meals for quite some time. After trying a series of fermentation methods, some with success and some without, I’ve settled on this really simple way to ferment vegetables. For me, it’s been a no-fail method with success literally 100 percent of the time. In the video below I detail how I ferment cauliflower. This same method could be used to ferment just about any fresh vegetable you want. Enjoy!

I hope this helps,
Judi

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.

Jicama Mango Carrot Salad

Jicama Mango Carrot Salad

Wondering what to do with jicama? It’s delicious raw served in salads. Hence, I put together the following refreshing and SIMPLE salad to enjoy anytime…with a meal, as a snack, and even as a dessert if you don’t want something overly sweet. The salad blends the flavors of jicama, mango and carrots, all tied together with a sweet/sour mixture of lemon juice and maple syrup or honey. It’s delicious, colorful, refreshing, mildly crunchy, lightly sweet, and really easy to make!

Below is a video where I demonstrate how to make the salad. Below the video is the written recipe. Enjoy!

I hope this helps!
Judi

Jicama Mango Carrot Salad
Makes about 4 Servings

1 small jicama, peeled and cubed
1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 cup shredded carrot
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp maple syrup or honey (or to taste)

Combine vegetables in a medium size bowl; stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and maple syrup or honey. Drizzle the lemon juice mixture over the jicama mixture; stir to combine.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving to allow flavors to blend. Enjoy!

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad

Wondering what to do with kohlrabi? Well this interesting vegetable can be used in many ways. When used raw, kohlrabi can add a nice crunch to a salad. Here’s a recipe incorporating kohlrabi into a delicious and refreshing salad with carrots and pineapple. The recipe is below the video demonstration. Give this a try sometime. It’s delicious!

Happy eating!
Judi

Kohlrabi Carrot Pineapple Salad
Makes 8-10 Servings
(Note…This recipe can EASILY be cut in half if less amount is preferred)

1 raw kohlrabi, washed, peeled and grated
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, packed in 100% pineapple juice*
Up to 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey, optional
1 tsp lemon or lime juice, optional

Optional garnishes:
Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
or Unsweetened coconut flakes
or Toasted Pecans, coarsely chopped

Wash, peel and grate the kohlrabi into a large bowl. Peel and shred the carrots and add to the bowl with the kohlrabi. Add the raisins, coconut, and crushed pineapple (see note below about the amount of pineapple to use). Stir to combine all ingredients.

Place in a covered container and refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Taste the mixture. If more sweetness is needed, add the optional ingredients, if desired. OR add more pineapple.

* If you want more pineapple flavor, you can use one larger (20 oz) can of pineapple packed in unsweetened pineapple juice in place of the 8 oz can. OR you can add any amount in between the two can sizes, to your desired flavoring.

This makes a lot of salad. If a smaller amount is needed, simply use half the amount of ingredients.