Toffee Matzo Brittle

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Today marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday, Passover and whether or not you’re Jewish does not matter when it comes to this recipe for Toffee Matzo Brittle. What may matter, is whether or not you have an addictive personality. We dare you to only eat one of these sweet and salty treats! To make the Matzo Brittle you will need:
4-6 sheets of your favorite matzo
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup packed light brown sugar
a bog pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet  or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
extra sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11×17 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo, covering all parts. You’ll need to break the matzo to fit the edges of the pan. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once boiling, let it bubble for three minutes, stirring well. It will thicken a bit. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla. Pour quickly over the matzo. Bake the covered crackers for 10 minutes, watching it carefully as the edges may begin to burn. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes then spread them evenly across the caramel using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with nuts and sea salt. Let cool and break into pieces.

How-To: Simple Strawberry Jam

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Spring has officially arrived on the Palouse and we’re finally starting to thaw! To celebrate the change in seasons, our Produce manager, Kyle, was able to procure a smokin’ deal on organic strawberries. They are currently on sale for $3.99 per pound and are available until we sell out. Now, we’re all for eating strawberries as they come, cut up in yogurt or layered in shortcake, but we also love a sweet and simple jam layered on freshly baked Co-op bread. To make the jam you will need:

2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups of sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berries. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees, about 10-15 minutes.

Test for jelling: Place three small plates in the freezer. After about 10 minutes of boiling, place a teaspoon of the liquid onto the cold plate. If it doesn’t run back together when you draw a line through it with your finger, it’s ready!

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 Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, there’s no need to process it. Simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

It’s a Date: Persian Rice Salad

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This month we featured dates as an alternative sweetner in our Sweet Solutions series. This savory recipe calls for them as well, creating a variety of flavors in one simple dish.
To make the Persian Rice Salad you will need:
1 1/2 cups of long grain brown rice
3 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
In a medium pot with a lid, place rice together with water. On high heat bring rice to a boil, uncovered. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done and most of the water has been absorbed. Drain and cool. In a large bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Add cooled rice and toss to combine.

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Let’s Toast: Tamarind Ginger Cooler

Tamarind, or Indian Dates, are a member of the legume family. While tamarind is indigenous to Africa, it is widely used in cuisines around the world today, but mostly in Mexico and South Asia. Underneath the woody shell is a sticky flesh which covers big, thick seeds.  It is sour and sweet, which adds a great depth of flavor to curries and sauces. In this recipe, we have made a pulp with the flesh by boiling it with water and sugar and then paired it with a spicy ginger ale- creating a wealth of flavors for your palate. For those of you of age and not faint of taste buds, we recommend tossing in an ounce of your favorite tequila.
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To make this recipe you will need:
1/2 cup sugar
20 tamarind pods
ginger ale
tequila (for those brave enough and/or old enough)
Take outer shell off of tamarind pods. Place tamarind meat and sugar in a large pot with 32 oz. of water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Let tamarind soak for an hour and a half. Once the water has cooled down, use your hands to squeeze the tamarind pulp and remove the hard seeds and the majority of the strings still attached to the pulp. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
To make the cooler, mix 2 tablespoons of tamarind mixture, 6 oz. of ginger ale and 1 oz of tequila.

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It’s a Date: Baked Apples with Dates + Walnuts

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This sweet treat uses Golden Delicious apples (which are on sale right now for $0.99/pound), dates and walnuts as its main components. It’s gluten-free and free of processed sugars. Dates are a great source of natural sugar for those looking to remove processed sugars from their diet.

To make this recipe you will need:

  • 9 a Golden Delicious apples, cored
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 4 dried dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • pinch of fine sea salt, ground cinnamon and ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  with the rack in the center. Core apples and squeeze a little lemon juice into each one. Melt coconut oil in a small pan. Stir in almond meal, walnuts, dates, salt, cinnamon, ginger and coconut milk. Heat for a few minutes over medium heat. Carefully stuff apples with the mixture. Place apples in muffin pans. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 45 min or until apples have softened and split.
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Appy Hour: Grilled Almond Butter + Caramel Date Syrup Sandwiches

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Your typical PB + J just got a grown-up makeover! We used the Co-op’s Salted French bread, freshly ground almond butter and Date Lady Caramel Date  sauce, then grilled it with salted butter in a skillet on the stove. We also tested a batch with a new local Cabernet Sauvignon jam which was equally delicious.

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You can cut these into small triangles and serve them as an appetizer with grapes and cheese too.
To make the sandwiches you’ll need:
10 slices salted French bread (or other hearty white bread)
1 cup of freshly ground almond butter
8-10 tablespoons of caramel date sauce or wine jam
4-5 tablespoons butter

To assemble sandwiches, spread 2 tablespoons of almond butter on 1 slice of bread. Spread caramel sauce or jam over the almond butter and top with another piece of bread. In a large pan or skillet over medium heat, melt  two tablespoons of butter. Place assembled sandwich in pan and grill on each side until golden brown, flipping with a spatula halfway through. Cut into four pieces. Add more butter to pan and repeat until all sandwiches are grilled.

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How To: Throw a Co-op Birthday Party!

Our Co-op Kids program turned 8 years old last week (that’s eight years of positive programming for the kiddos in our Co-op community), so of course we had to celebrate! Here are some photos from the birthday party, along with some tips for throwing your own little ones a birthday party- Co-op style.
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We know that there are a variety of dietary issues facing our little ones nowadays, so we offered a vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. It’s always good to check with other parents to find out if their kids have any allergies or food sensitivities. It’s really nice for children with dietary restrictions to feel like they can participate in the fun at a birthday party. Look for the recipes we used at the bottom of this post!

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While it’s easy to spend a ton on birthday parties, we like to recycle items we already have, like newspaper to make birthday hats and colorful paper to make decorations. For these goody bags, we used sample sizes of kid-friendly snacks, little puzzles, some temporary tattoos and plantable seed paper.

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We also made sure we had a special drink station for the grown-ups with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We used a chalk runner to write a message, but you could also run this down the middle of the kids’ table and let them draw as part of the festivities.

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, until well combined. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix again so that it’s really well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely. To make a layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two separate cake pans.

Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond, soy or cow’s milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugars with the egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. Be careful not to over mix the batter or cupcakes will become dense. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops spring back slightly. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

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If you’re trying to avoid gluten, but still want the satisfying goodness of eating pancakes, well then look no further! These coconut flour pancakes, sweetened with agave nectar, are fabulous alternative for those looking to ditch the grain. To make the pancakes you will need:
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk or coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
coconut oil or butter for frying

Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and agave. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.Serve hot with butter, coconut oil, honey, syrup or fruit.

 

Winter Citrus Salad

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While it’s common to think of citrus as a summertime treat (who doesn’t love ice cold lemonade on a hot day?), citrus is actually at its prime in the winter. So, how about we celebrate the four new inches of snow n the ground with a recipe for this bright and flavorful citrus salad?
To make the salad you will need:

1 Cara Cara orange
1 Blood orange
1 Honeygold grapefruit
1 Pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
 Slice ends off of all citrus. With the fruit standing up on a cut end, cut down the sides of each fruit to remove the skin. Slice citrus in 1/4 inch think pieces. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle honey over fruit. Sprinkle feta cheese and rosemary over the top. Enjoy!
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Let’s Toast: Blood Orange Mimosas

BloodOrangesBlood oranges, named for their deep red flesh, have thin skin, usually with deep in orange color or with hints of red. Because their flavor is deep and their color is so enticing they are great for cocktails, like mimosas, which show off their jewel-like tones. Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for blood orange mimosas:
1 bottle of chilled prosecco or champagne
juice of 4 blood oranges
Place 3 tablespoons of juice in glasses and fill with sparkling wine.
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