Mixed Berries Jam, Persian and Healthy Style

Traditional Persian jams are made with whole or cut fruits rather than crushed fruits; they usually have no additive to make them jelly like and as a result any kind of fruit jam preserves that fruit’s look to a large extent.  It is hard to find this type of fruit jam in the market in Montreal, giving me one more incentive to make them at home from scratch.

For this particular jam, I used the four berries currently in season in Montreal:  Strawberries, black berries, blue berries and raspberries. You could certainly go with your own choices.  Also for this particular jam, I have deviated from traditional Persian jams by making it less sugary/sweet. I have used brown sugar instead of white sugar and only to a much less degree, and used maple syrup to get to the desirable thickness and sweetness. I am pretty happy with the result: Not as thick as a traditional Persian jam but much tastier! Give it a try to see for yourself! Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Jam

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.) Read the rest of this entry »

Granola with fresh fruit & yogurt

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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Cherry jam (whole fruit)

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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Blueberries are good for you

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 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). Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly vegetable and fruit shopping

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 the rest of this entry »

Egg and spinach breakfast (nargesi)

This simple and pretty breakfast is called naregsi in Persian, alluding to narcissus flower or narges.

Ingredients (1 Serving): Read the rest of this entry »

7 healthy foods (Told you these foods were good for you!)

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 entry at the end of the Persian text! Read the rest of this entry »

Homemade Yogurt

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 breakfast!

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!