New food of the week - Buddha's hand

My new food this week was a Buddha's hand citrus.


Quite a scary food from it's look. Would be good for halloween!

It is a citrus fruit but has very little flesh and is juiceless and often seedless.  The fruit is made up of fingerlike parts unto 12 inches long.

It is a fragrant fruit and used predominantly by the Chinese and Japanese as a room freshener.  Just place a Buddha's hand in the room and the fragrance perfumes the room.  It is also used for freshening the smell of clothing.

The fruit is also used as an offering in Buddhist temples.  Apparently, Buddha prefers the fingers to be more "closed" rather than as an open hand, to signify prayer.

As a food, just the peel is used.  The inner pith- the white part under the peel is not as bitter as pith on other citrus fruits so the fingers can be cut off and then sliced longitudinally - pith and all -  and used in salads or with fish dishes etc.


I decided that I'd use a microplane to get the zest off the fingers, and then dehydrate it for future use.  I used some of it on a salad and it had a lovely citrus flavor - not too sharp.


Next time I'll try a finger, whole!

Did you try a new food this week?
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Travel Snacks - Ginger cashews

Following on from yesterday's Sweetsalt crunch recipe for my airplane snack - today I finished dehydrating some ginger cashews.


Here is the recipe:

2 cups of whole cashews - soaked in water for 1 hour then rinsed and drained
1/4 cup powdered and ground coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence/extract
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the ingredients together then dehydrate at 118 degrees F for 6-8 hours.

I actually soaked my cashew for about 4 hours and then it took ages to dehydrate them to a crunchy texture again, so I'd recommend a brief soak and then the dehydrating doesn't take so long. The idea of the soak is so that the moisture in the nuts enables the other ingredients to stick to the cashew.

I love everything ginger, so couldn't help but enjoy these.  But it is interesting to have the vanilla flavor along with the ginger and like the sweetsalt crunch - a combination of sweet and savory.  The vanilla is actually a more predominant flavor than the ginger, so I may add more ginger next time.


You can picture me on the plane, flying for hours, nibbling away at my snacks!!!!  I won't be able to sleep for my perky taste buds!
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Making sultanas

We harvested our table grapes today from our arbor.  They are lovely sweet seedless grapes. Most of them I am going to dehydrate to make sultanas - or golden raisins as they are called here in the US. I still prefer to call them sultanas.


Of course, we don't use sulphur on ours as a preservative, like many store-bought golden raisins. Ours tend to come out a little darker in color than the ones we used to buy in England... I suspect it is because it is a different grape varietal.

But I use a lot of them....in baking, for snacking and daily on my unsweetened cereal or oatmeal.

On the dehydrating tray

The first three trays are in the dehydrator now. I still have loads more bunches to de-stem but that is enough for one day!  My hands still feel sticky from all that sweet juice, even after washing them a couple of times!

Sultanas are high in anti-oxidant levels and despite being high in sugar, they don't cause spikes in your blood sugar levels like refined sugar does, because they are a whole food, with plenty of fiber.  They also contain iron, calcium, protein and vitamin C.  A phytonutrient called oleanolic acid in sultanas helps promote good oral health by destroying the bacteria that cause cavities.

Just as you can use dates in baking and cooking to replace refined sugar, you can similarly use sultanas and raisins. Before using them, you should rehydrate them by soaking them in water for 10 - 15 minutes and then drinking them.

What did you harvest today?
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Dehydrated apples

I got a new camera yesterday!  Yippee. My other one died. I thought it had died a couple of months ago, but it came back to life, but now not only does it seem dead, but it's also trying to kill my computer, as it causes it to crash when I plug it in, so I don't want it messing that up.  But I'm excited with my new toy and want to learn all it's features - or at least some of them :-)


Our big apple harvest has started here at home.  We picked the apples from one tree and any that weren't perfect, I chopped and dehydrated, ready to eat throughout the year. The rest we'll store and eat fresh!  Naturally as they came out of the dehydrator, I had to take their photo with my new camera!  Haven't figured out how to use it properly - just how to switch it on, but you've got to start somewhere!


How tasty they look.  We have so many apples each year - and I've been through the apple pie mix stage and the chutney stage and all the other preserving ways, but our favorite for apples is dehydrating. They make a wonderful snack and I always keep some in the car for late night journeys.
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