First off, this is a short entry only because it is a part of a “lecture” I have given in Farsi at Radio koocheh 😉 all about apple or sib – its many miracles, icons, symbols and old and new appearance in Persian poetry and songs. But here is how I make apple jam:
Ingredients for a medium size jar: Apple: half a kilo, peeled, and sliced in equal size. Sugar, half a kilo. Lime juice, 1 teaspoon. Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon. Water, two full glasses (of 250 ml.)
Method: Pour water and apple in a medium saucepan (ideally, enamel saucepan) and cook apple over low heat till tender. Drain, but keep the water. Pour the water back in the saucepan, mix in sugar, and let it till it thickens a little. Add the already tender apple slices in the water, along with lime juice and cinnamon. Cook for another 5-10 minutes and turn the heat off. Let cool before pouring them in jar, and of course, keep in the fridge.
Note: To prevent apple from going dark, peel them in a bowl full of white vinegar.
This is a wholesome, refreshing and pretty-looking breakfast or snack.
Ingredients (for a big plate serving 1-2): Your favorite granola, ½ cup. Plain yogurt. ½ cup. Fresh apple, pears, pitches and melon, thinly sliced, ½ cup each. Some fresh blueberries, raspberries and one ripe, medium size strawberry, cut like a “fan” (This video shows you how, if you do not know already) . Hot chocolate, or honey or maple syrup., 1 tbsp. Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon.
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My favorite type of jam, made from any type of fruit, is the ones made with whole or cut fruits, rather than crushed fruits with lots of jelly-like pectin in them. And cherry jam, or morabaay albaaloo as we call it Persian, is on the very top of my list followed by quince and carrot. My sister has a couple of happy cherry trees in her yard providing us all with our yearly consumption of home-made cherry jam. Here is how we make it, in traditional way, with N. Daryabandari’s useful tips and recipe:
Ingredients: Cherries, 1 kg, pitted and washed. Sugar 1kg.
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While blueberries are still in season, I thought I would make a post to remind us of its health benefits. They are said to:
Improve short term memory loss; Ameliorate age-related declines in neural and cognitive function; Protect against macular degeneration of the retina; Promote urinary tract health; Act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent and COX-2 inhibitor; Improve glucose metabolism through the activity of chologenic acid; Reduce the risk of some cancers (source and here).
I am not very good at making jams, but I do love them. I received this blueberry jam from a friend in Europe, which was such a nice surprise to begin with. Plus, the standard jam jar lasted five days between my husband and I; that is how delicious it was!
Here is some math, for a change, behind a typical load of our vegetable and fruit purchase and consumption. What you see here, nicely arranged for photography purpose!, makes 14 kg of fruits and vegetables, serving the two of us for one week (when added to other main ingredients such as rice, potatoes, meat, that is). It costs $33.35. How does it compare to your grocery shopping?? Good deal, is what I think!
Well, if I were to buy the same items in the same quantities from any major supermarket, first of all it is very unlikely that I could have found them all in one place. Secondly, it would have cost me at least twice this price and easily three times if I were not paying attention to the “specials” of the week. Read more »
This simple and pretty breakfast is called naregsi in Persian, alluding to narcissus flower or narges.
Ingredients (1 Serving): Fresh spinach, 100-120 grams, washed, drained and chopped. Egg, 1. Small Onion, ½, thinly sliced. Olive oil, 2 tbsp. Salt and pepper to taste.
Method: In a small pot, cook spinach over low heat for 2-4 minutes, until slightly smaller in volume. Do not add water, it will steam cook itself, just be careful not to lose the green colour of the leave by overcooking it. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze the spinach and drain the water.
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I recently came across a very interesting health food article in Hoffington Post entitled “7 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating But Aren’t” The article made it to Digg’s first page for a complete day. It focuses on “seven of the healthiest foods — the power-packed foods filled with good-for-you vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals – that [most people] aren’t eating: Kale, Pomegranate, Quinoa, Kefir, lentil, Sardines, and Oatmeal.
What made this article particularly interesting to me was the fact that over the past few months I had highlighted the goodness of these food items (5 out of the 7 of them) and provided at least one recipe for each! Well, proud as I am for my health conscious weblog, I am going to review all those recipes, while quoting some their benefits. Please read the rest of the entrry at the end of the Persian text!
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Making yogurt at home sure saves me money, tastes wonderfully fresh, and benefits the environment. But the main reason I do it is that it makes me so incredibly proud of my creation! Try it a few times and you’ll know what I mean!
To make yogurt from milk, basically you ferment milk with specific types of bacteria – a long process involving several steps, but extremely easy and fun. First off, you need to have a “starter” which could either be commercial starters available in health food stores (with complete usage instructions imprinted on them), or a small amount of a store-bought natural plain yogurt. If you go with the latter, as I always do, check the yogurt’s label and make sure it contains “live” bacteria. The fresher the yogurt, the better your homemade yogurt will turn (don’t use a yogurt close to its expiry date). Also, note that once you make yogurt at home, you could put a small amount aside for the next batch and repeat this cycle for 5-6 times. After that, you would probably need to buy a new container of plain yogurt. Start with a small amount of milk/yogurt (suggested in this recipe) and once you get a hang of it, increase the amount in proportions. Here are the materials you need:
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A “multinational”, fancy breakfast, inspired by an advertisement poster, and perfect as Holidays brunch. Mine features baladi cheese cut in a way to allow stuffing (finely chopped tomatoes and parsley), and topped with soaked walnuts; two different types of hard cheese, one with apple jam and the other with
cucumbers; sunflower bread, fresh orange juice, apple and fig – the later mainly for visual effects!
Tea is the national beverage in Iran! It is an essential part of the breakfast and any type of gathering. As such, there are certain nonnegotiable rules about the preparation and the drinking of tea. Here are some: 1. Real tea is black tea. Green, white, yellow and oolong teas are to be experimented with, but must never replace black tea. 2. Preparing tea involves the steeping and simmering (dam kardan or steaming) of loose, processed tea leaves. Teabags are quick fixes, and good only when you are feeling too down to treat yourself properly, or when you are obligated to serve an unwanted visitor. 3. One should sip tea from small, delicate glasses called estekan that allow one to see its translucent mahogany color while relishing its flavor. Read more »