Sunday, 19 October 2014

How to Make a Strawberry Jam

Take about 15 cups of fresh strawberries and clean them. Cut them into halves or chop them. Put the strawberries in a non-reactive container and add 2 cups of the organic sugar. For sugar to drain out the liquid from the strawberries by osmosis, leave the mixture at room temperature for half an hour.Then cover the container and refrigerate over night for maceration. 

After removing the strawberries from the fridge, add 4 and half cups of organic sugar, 8 tbsp of powdered pectin, and half cup of fresh lemon juice or vinegar to it. The fruits can also be added as per choice. 

Boil the contents over high heat, in large pan with continuous stirring for about half an hour or till the mixture becomes consistently thick or trickle down like honey. Be careful as the foam may spill over during the boiling.

Then stop cooking and transfer the jam into the jars.Put the lid tightly on the jars and dip them in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes, then place them on a cloth and cool them for 24 hours. This processing preserves the jam and makes the jars airtight, as the lids would become concave due to vacuum. 

Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by PatrĂ­ciaR

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Strawberry Sorbet Recipes

It is very simple to make a sorbet with simple recipe and without any fancy equipment. The brilliant red strawberry flavored sorbet is made from simple ingredients. Either served alone or paired with simple butter cookies it is an exquisite and and delicious dessert. Any citrus juice like that of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit, can be added to it. The fruits make a delicious combination. 

It has two recipes.

1. An icy or granular sorbet, requiring only a food processor and freezer.
Prepare the syrup of water and sugar in a saucepan, by boiling the mixture over medium heat with constant stirring, then without stirring, let it simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer it into a bowl, and refrigerate.

Thaw a quart of frozen strawberries, or wash and trim if they are fresh. Then make a smooth mixture but not a puree in a food processor, and combine it with half a cup of frozen apple juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and lukewarm or cool sugar syrup. 
Put the mixture in a shallow or cake pan and place it in the freezer. First stir it after two hours and then twice after every hour, to break the crystals or till the sorbet becomes as firm as required. When it becomes icy, puree it in a food processor and return to the freezer after covering it. 

It could be served after next two hours before allowing it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. A smoother sorbet, churned in an ice cream maker. Prepare the water and sugar syrup as above.

Make a completely smooth puree of strawberries with citrus juice in a food processor.
Stain the mixture to remove the seeds and the pulp of strawberries and mix the liquid contents with the sugar and corn syrup.Freeze it in refrigerator for an hour. Prepare the sorbet in ice cream maker. 

Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Aloe Vera as a Food Preservative

Aloe Vera Gel

The chemical preservatives in food processing industry always needed a substitute, because they have been proved to cause several diseases including cancer.

The recent researches have assigned a new role of food preservative to aloe vera. In Spain, an Aloe Vera based gel has been developed, which has prolonged the conservation of products like fresh fruits,legumes and meat. 

Aloe Vera is a safe natural product and is an environmental friendly alternative to synthetic preservatives such as sulfur dioxide etc. 

As against the usual table life of 7-8 days at 1°C, the untreated grapes when coated with this aloe vera gel were preserved for 35 days. The further researches are still going on to develop aloe vera as a viable alternative for chemical preservatives on large and commercial basis.

Photo Credit- Pava
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