Borscht with Sauerkraut and Honey

Borscht with Sauerkraut and Honey
credit Alex Lau, Bon Appetit

Adapted from a recipe on Bon Appetit

500 gr inexpensive beef (chuck, blade, sirloin tip)
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
3 large beets
2 x 400 ml tins of  sauerkraut, with juices (about 3 cups home made)
156 ml tinned tomato paste (about 6 oz)
2/3 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the beef into 1/4″ pieces and add to a large pot with the bay leaf, onion, caraway seeds, and 2 litres of water. Bring to a bubble over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer at least 2 hours until the meat is tender.
  3. While the meat is simmering, wash the beets and trim the dirty tips and ends. Roast them on a foil lined baking dish about 45 minutes or until tender.
  4. Peel the beets and then cut them into 1/4″ pieces.
  5. When the meat is tender, add the chopped beets, the sauerkraut with its juice, the tomato paste, and just enough water to cover the soup by 1 inch. Simmer another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the honey, stirring to dissolve it, and simmer another 15 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of chopped chives or thinly sliced green onion.

 

Note: It may seem like a lot of honey, and certainly add less to your taste. It is needed to balance off the salt and sour from sauerkraut.

 

 

Berry Protein Smoothie

Keep a pitcher of this in the fridge for quick snacks or early morning meal after your work out. Stir before pouring. Freezes well. Serves 2.

30 red grapes
1/4 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup raspberries
1/2 cup 8 cherries, pitted
1/4 cup blackberries
1/2 medium apple
1 cup cooked chickpeas or white beans – cannelini, navy, kidney, etc.
1 to 2 tbsp Beary Berry Honey (see suggested varieties below)
water as needed

  1. Put everything in a blender with 1/4 cup of water and blend. Add more water to get to the consistency you like. (Smoothie will be thicker if you use frozen fruit.)
  2. Enjoy right away, keep in the fridge a couple of days, portion and freeze, or pour into popsicle moulds and freeze for a healthy and delicious frozen treat.

Tips / Suggestions

  • Beary Berry Honey liquid or creamed honey works great, or try one of our fruit honeys such as: Strawberry, Red Raspberry, Black Raspberry, Saskatoon, Blueberry, or Pomegranate.
  • You can use any combination of fruits you like, fresh or frozen. There are several frozen berry blends that are great.
  • Beans add great whole protein. If you want to bump it up even more, add rice, pumpkin or hemp protein powder, available at health food stores and many pharmacies and supermarkets.

Recipe adapted from one by ElaineWilson.com.

Spiced Carrot Muffins

This is a moist muffin that could easily double as a cupcake.

2 cups whole wheat flour (see tips below for choosing flour)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground (see notes)
1/4 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp star anise, ground in a coffee grinder (see notes)
1 1/2 cups Beary Berry Honey liquid honey
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
3 large eggs
4 cups carrots, grated (lightly packed)
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Butter or lightly oil 24 muffin tins, or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the honey, applesauce, and oil/melted butter until well blended (not too vigourously, though, or it will splash).
  4. Add the eggs and whisk well to combine them.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir until blended.
  6. Stir in grated carrots and, if using, the raisins & nuts.
  7. Divide the batter among the tins. It will come fairly close to the top of the muffin cups and it will be okay – I haven’t had it spill over, but you could put a baking sheet underneath if you’re worried.
  8. Bake about 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove the muffins from the oven and let sit about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before serving.
  10. Store them in a sealed container and eat within a few days. They freeze great, so keep a few out and freeze the rest.

Serves: 24
alternatively: 12 pieces from a round, two-layer cake
12 large or

Tips / Suggestions:

  • Use Best for Bread whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour – it’s lighter and better for pastries and cakes. If you have access to local farmers who mill their own grains, find one who grows the varietal “Soft White” – it’s a whole grain (not processed white flour), but much lower in protein, making it ideal for baking and pastries. I go to John Schneider of Gold Forest Grains for flour milled on his organic farm. He’s at Old Strathcona Farmers Market.
  • If using non-stick pans, reduce cooking – start checking them at about 22 minutes.
  • You can use this recipe to make 2 round cake layers or one 9×13 sheet cake. Grease and flour the pans before adding the batter. They will take longer to bake so adjust the time accordingly.
  • If you don’t have access to cardamom and star anise, no worries. Just add a bit more cinnamon and/or ginger.
  • If you use Beary Berry Cinnamon Honey and/or Ginger Honey, omit those respective spices in the recipe.

Recipe and image copyright ElaineWilson.com, used with permission.

 

 

 

Honey French Toast with Honey Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

The nice thing about breakfast and brunch on the weekend is having the time to make something scrumptious once in a while.  Serves 4 to 6.

1-1/2 cups plain yogurt (not Greek)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Beary Berry Honey of your choice (flavoured or plain)
3 to 4 cups sliced fresh fruit (strawberries, banana, peaches, apple, pear…whatever you like)
2 tbsp Beary Berry Honey of your choice (flavoured or plain)
1 cup milk (not non-fat or skim)
6 eggs
12 thick slices of bread (any kind works, but French bread, brioche, or challah egg bread are really good)
1/2 cup butter or oil


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt and enough honey to get the sweetness and flavour you like. Set aside. (Can be made the day ahead.)
  2. Slice or prep the fruit and set aside.
  3. Place a large fry pan on the stove. Turn heat on to just under medium.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the Beary Berry Honey, milk, and eggs.
  5. Dip the sliced bread in the egg mixture, leaving several seconds to saturate. Turn the bread to coat the other side. Only soak as many as can fit your pan at one time.
  6. Add a good sized knob of butter (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) and quickly stir to melt it.
  7. Add soaked slices of toast to the sizzling pan – don’t crowd them so they toast and fry evenly. Give them a good two or three minutes, allowing them to get nice and brown on one side, then turn over and fry-toast that side (add a bit more butter if you need). NOTE: if toasting too quickly, turn the heat down a bit.
  8. Serve the French toast hot with a good sized serving of fresh fruit and a dollop of the honey yogurt.

Quickled Beets (Quick Pickled Beets)

Quickled Beets | Quick Pickled Beets (hot process)
We don’t all have the space or time to pickle quarts of vegetables to put by for winter. This is a quick and easy way to make small batch pickles overnight that keep for ages in the fridge.  (Recipe and photo courtesy Elaine Wilson, FoodYouCanCook.com)

3 tbsp pickling vinegar
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp Beary Berry Honey, liquid or creamed
1 medium beet, peeled

  1. Halve the beet and lay one half flat side down. Cut it in half again shortways, and thinly slice so that you produce thin half moons. Repeat with the remaining beet half.
  2. Press the sliced pieces into a 250-ml (1-cup), heat-proof jar. The beets will lose some of their water in the process, so press in as many as you can.
  3. In a heat proof pan over medium heat, stir together the water, vinegar and honey until the honey dissolves and the liquid comes to a bubble. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the hot liquid over the beets – you might have a bit leftover. Wipe the rim if sticky, then screw on the lid.
  5. Let sit at room temperature one day, or refrigerate several days. Will last for weeks in the refrigerator.

You can use this method for any vegetable that you want sweet pickled, such as cucumber slices, pearl onions, carrots, etc.


Quickled Beets | Quick Pickled Beets (cold process)

As above, but don’t heat the pickling liquid. Pour the cold liquid over the vegetables then place the jar in the fridge where they will keep for ages. They taste good the next day, but even better the longer they sit. Bonus: you can use any jar that seals well, so great for repurposing. (Recipe courtesy Elaine Wilson, FoodYouCanCook.com)

Tips/Variations:

  • Try flavoured Beary Berry honeys: Ginger, Tangerine or Chai would be delicious
  • Add 5 or 6 slices of ginger.
  • Add pickling spice and/or dill.
  • Use orange juice instead of water.
  • Add 1 or more sliced chili peppers.
  • The hot process quickles faster but will cause colours for most vegetables to fade somewhat. The cold process takes longer but will make crunchier, brighter vegetables.

Recipes copyright ElaineWilson.com, used with permission.


 

Resources

Beary Berry Honey products available at farmers markets, their farm store near Tofield, in SaveOn Stores, and in many local shops. Visit BearyBerryHoney.com or call 780-662-3577.

Check out EatEastOfEdmonton.com for a listing of the many farms east of Edmonton that you can visit and where they grow our vegetables, grains and the meat we enjoy. You can also get recommended routes for self-guided tours of the region, including the many farms open to visitors.

Visit GoEastRTO.com for suggested day trips of activities, festivals, and sightseeing in the region east of Edmonton.