August harvest - green pears and apples

This week's harvest is the green pear tree and the first of the apple trees. We first finished off gathering the red pears as we'd left a few smaller ones a couple of weeks ago.  They were so large now -  some pears were over 1lb in weight EACH! Monsters.   One pear can feed a family of 4!


We were hoping the green pears would wait a little while, but no. They were ready so they are now stuffed in the fridge for their big chill, along with all the red ones! It's pretty crowded in our fridges right now!


And yet the apples are ready too, so we picked one tree only...but the others need doing probably this week as well.  Yummy green apples that I am eating every day - but also have got our my trusty dehydrator so that is busy at work with the apples, before the next tree delivers!


Nothing goes on the apples.  Just slice them with the mandolin and dehydrate for a few hours at 115 degrees F, to retain all the nutrients.  No need to core or peel - and that way you even get a little star in the middle where the pips were  *  Nice decorative touch, don't you think?

It's a busy time of year :-D
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Dehydrating fruit

So here is the dehydrated fruit I made - what is left of it, and before its all gone!


Don't the oranges look nice and glossy!


And I love the waviness of the apples - like they have been gently pleated as they dried.


What is your favorite dried fruit?  I don't like pears - they turn a little gritty, and last year I did some of our green table grapes that we grew - making yummy sultanas.....Maybe I'll have to do persimmons this year... Now if only you could dry quince without cooking them.....

I wonder what my next dehydrator project will be????  Oh, if only there were more hours in the day. I love having so many ideas in my head!
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Dehydrating fruit

I had an idea to try dehydrating some citrus fruit.  We are finally coming to the end of all our citrus fruit from the garden but have a few oranges left.  I've never dehydrated citrus before but thought it sounded a nice idea.

And so I sliced them thinly, and added some apples and a couple of strawberries at the same time - might as well fill the dehydrator.


I dried them until they were crispy - and all of them are delicious.


It's great to eat the whole orange - peel as well and because its sliced so thinly, it doesn't taste too bitter.

I had great plans for these crispy snacks - creating something more than just dried fruit - but we ate them before I could finish the plan! I'll have to do some more and not leave them out to be eaten!!

This really is the easiest way to
preserve apples and when our harvest starts later in the year, I know I'll be doing plenty more. You don't have to peel and core the apples - just slice using a mandolin, no need to add anything to them (so unlike bought dried apples, no sulphur or citric acid) - and then just put them in a dehydrator and forget about them for a few hours.

Easy Peasy!  Roll on apple harvest!
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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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Making Nut Cheese

I don't eat dairy, so this week I thought I'd tried my hand at making some cheese using nuts instead of dairy.  It was a soft cheese and I am really pleased with how it turned out.


The cheese was made from cashew nuts - and I did two types - one which I dehydrated to form a rind, and the other which I didn't dehydrate (the dehydrated one is at the back of the photo below).



The recipe I used was one I found on the blog Golubka.  I hadn't seen her blog before until I started searching for nut cheese recipes.  But now I've found it - I really like it.  Hope you'll take a look.

The cheese really is simple to make and includes Bio-K probiotics, so you can feel good about eating cheese  as it is providing lots of healthy bugs for digestion.  Here is the recipe with slight modifications to my tastes:

Ingredients
3/4 cup of cashews
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons of Bio-K probiotics - non-dairy
1 teaspoon raw honey
Dash of Spike or No-salt (salt alternative)

1. Soak the cashews in water overnight.  Drain. They will swell to be 1 cup full.


2. Blend all the ingredients together in a Vitamix/Blendtec or powerful blender until smooth.


3. Put into a stainless steel ring former* on parchment paper and either refrigerate overnight or dehydrate overnight.



4. After a couple of hours dehydrating, I removed the ring former so that the sides of the cheese would also form a rind.


*A ring former can be a cookie cutter or muffin ring or something like this ring former.  Basically it just shapes the cheese but you can alternatively just have it free form.


I actually prefer the taste and texture of the un-dehydrated cheese.  It reminds me of boursin cheese in it's texture.  I love cheese with raw honey and fruit.  You can see I added chopped chives to one of the cheeses...you could also mix in or use as a garnish any of the following: garlic, dill, edible flowers, ginger, dried cranberries, figs, or.....So many options. I'll definitely be making it again.  Hmmm, I think I might try dried lemon peel next time......


Let me know if you give it a go.  Thanks Golubka.
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