Sugar Beet Syrup

I needed some pancake syrup for breakfast this morning. I thought I’d use some beet sugar since it tastes great in maple tea. I may add some vanilla extract next time. This syrup is thin but flavorful like maple syrup.

Easy Syrup

1 cup sugar (beet sugar is てんさい糖 in Japanese)
1/2 cup water

Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat in a sauce pan. When the sugar has dissolved transfer to a glass container of your choice.

Kabocha Butter

I found a new pumpkin butter recipe on Oh She Glows this week that I had to try with kabocha.  I have a kabocha jam recipe that I make all the time and decided to combine the two recipes – ingredients from the pumpkin butter recipe and cooking method from my kabocha jam recipe.  I have to say that I love the results.  I usually use orange juice to make kabocha jam but this recipe uses apple juice.  I love them both equally.  You can see above that I made little effort to get the air bubbles out of the jar.  There are two reasons for that; one, my son was sleeping at the time and it would make him jump (but luckily not cry) and two, I don’t expect this to last longer than a week.  I made it yesterday and have already polished off a quarter of it.  I actually made a half batch of Amish White Bread using 1 cup of rye flour just to accompany it.

Kabocha Butter

Inspired by Oh She Glows

1/4 kabocha squash, cut into small chunks
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup sugar (will skip next time)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
juice of half of a lemon (I forgot to add this)

Put all ingredients except the lemon juice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Turn down to medium heat and simmer until the kabocha is soft and there is not much liquid left.  Cool until just warm.  Put in a food processor or blender along with the lemon juice and process until smooth.  When cool, put in a storage container of choice and remove as many air bubbles as possible.  This will not keep as long as a regular jam so eat it up soon.

My first nut butter

Nut butters are all the rage in the healthy eating/lifestyle blogging community.  I’ve wanted to try making nut butters for a while but worried that my food processor would die in the process.  I inherited it from my old manager and I’m not sure how old it is.  I finally tried one and discovered why nut butters are all the rage.  I made cashew butter and was blown away.  I found a simple recipe for Homemade Cashew Butter from Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network.  This recipe only has three ingredients as I skipped the one optional ingredient.  So good.  I did a half batch as that is how many cashews came in the bag I bought.  I can’t wait to try a more complicated one.

Homemade Cashew Butter

Emeril Lagasse, 2003

2 cups unsalted roasted cashews
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar, optional

In a food processor or blender, combine the nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the salt, and the sugar, if desired. Process on high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and process to desired smoothness, adding more oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, if a smoother butter is desired. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Transfer to a bowl to use as a dip, spread, or in other recipes, or place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

This was how I ate it.  Half of a cored apple topped/filled with with cashew butter and topped with granola.  Amazing!  I found this idea on Oh She Glows.  Her apple cupcakes look more glamorous but I think this amount of nut butter is more my speed.

Kabocha Jam

Kabocha JamI found this recipe last year when I was on a jam kick.  It is a blog called ‘atto recipe’ (あっとレシピ) and was posted in Japanese.    This was a surprise.  I was actually expecting to find this to be only mediocre but was pleasantly surprised.  My mother’s (and grandmother’s) pumpkin pie recipe uses orange juice so I was expecting to cinnamon and ginger missing from this jam recipe.  This jam is very fruity, a bit tart and sweet – altogether a great recipe and a future repeat. Also, a great color.  Me thinks it will be toast for breakfast tomorrow.

Kabocha Jam 2

Kabocha Jam

zucca-san from あっとレシピ

420g kabocha, peeled, deseeded and chopped into large pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used brown this time)

350cc orange juice

splash of lemon juice (I roughly squeezed half a lemon)

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil until the kabocha is tender.  Turn off the heat and puree everything.  Heat again and then put in sterilized jars.

I got 2 1/2 x 200mL jars and 2 x 100mL jars.  Giving the little ones away tonight.

As like all recipes that were originally posted in Japanese, I cannot guarantee that what I did was exactly what the author did.