Homemade Peanut Butter with Coconut Oil

It’s very easy to make your own peanut butter. Most peanut butter in the stores contains hydrogenated oils (canola, rapeseed), or even high fructose corn syrup.

In your food processor, process peanuts Add 1/4 cup coconut oil, and 2 TBSP ground flax seed. I like added the flax seed, which is full of omega-3 to balance out the omega-6 in the peanuts. Process until smooth (3-5 minutes).

Basil Pesto

Basil pesto freezes beautifully, making this a key way of preserving the fresh brightness in basil. Use pesto on pasta or add it to soups and sauces. Of primary importance is using tender young leaves, not the ones that are shooting to seed.

Wash your basil prunings, shake off water, and allow to dry while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Grate the cheese. Peel the garlic.
Pull the basil leaves from the stems and lightly pack into your measuring container.
Place all ingredients together in a blender. Put on the lid to prevent green splatters on your face. Blend until smooth. (You may need to stop the blender, pushing down ingredients that want to cling to the side.)
Use immediate or freeze by pouring the pesto into ice cube trays or other small containers to freeze. Once frozen, move the pesto cubes into a freezer bag or other freezer container and return to freezer.

Plum Sauce

Not too sweet and quite tasty, this sauce is delicious atop ice cream, stirred into yogurt or kefir, or mixed into warm porridge.

Place fresh or frozen plums, raisins and honey in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Refrigerate.

Tomatillo Sauce

If you are fortunate enough to grow your own tomatillos or have access to a Mexican grocery, here is a delectable sauce to make a staple in your menu planning. It can be used as a base for soups, salsas and sauces.

Husk and wash the tomatillos
Place all ingredients in a saucepan
Pour in about a pint of water and cover with a tight-fitting lid
Cook until all ingredients are soft, about 20-30 minutes
Drain off the liquid
Run the cooked veggies through a food processor
For salsa, add some minced hot pepper and minced fresh cilantro.

Kefir Pistachio Pesto

Super creamy and full of flavor. This is something your can serve as a dip with cherry tomatoes, baked pita chips, veggie crudites or a million other things. It is a little addictive!

In a food processor process the garlic with a few pulses till finely minced. Add the pistachios, basil and parsley and pulse again several times. Add the kefir cheese and the rest of the ingredients and process until pesto is well combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. This pesto also freezes well.
Serve with cherry tomatoes, baked pita chips, crudites or a million other things.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Homemade vinegar has a wonderful deep rich taste. Different from commercial vinegars it is quite unique and you will always want to have some on hand. Easy to make, it is really the magical microbes that do the work. You just have to give them a pot and two ingredients and they create their magic.

Place the vinegar and the apple cider in a crock or jar make sure the crock does not have lead based paint and is food grade. It should hold at least a gallon with enough extra room for air circulation.
Cover the opening with a cloth or cotton tea towel. Place in a warm spot (68 to 70 F) for 1 to 2 months. Check it occasionally and sniff it. It will gradually take on a distinct vinegar smell and you will notice a slight film on the top.
When the mixture taste and smells like vinegar pour a third and place it in airtight bottles.
Save the culture and extra vinegar and replace with equal amounts of apple cider and start the process again. The process will take less time so check it often. Mine has been done as soon as two weeks.
You can also bottle all of it and throw away the culture.
You can also make red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar using the same recipe but you have to find a red and white wine vinegar with the mother in it. This means unpasteurized vinegar. You will see sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It will say unpasteurized or with the mother on the bottle. I have found some at the local health food store. So the recipe is as follows.
1-1/2 cups of red wine vinegar with mother (I use the Eden brand with the mother)
4 ½ cups of red wine
Or for white wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups of white wine vinegar with the mother
4 ½ cups of white wine
Follow the instructions above