First things first… our Giveaway of the GFree Connect Care Pack has ended. And the winner (drawn using random.org) is… comment #20, TB! Congratulations Tannis! We have notified you via email and are awaiting your response!
“I liked Two Sisters Gluten Free and GFree Connect on Facebook! I’d love to try everything, in particular EcoPlanet and Namaste Foods!”
We are so excited for you to receive your box! Please report back to us how you like it and what your favorite product is!
A week ago, I’d shared about the CSA share both of us sisters partake in through Abundant Harvest Organics… and Wednesday I went to pick up my 30 lbs of organic apricots. Wanting to enjoy the fresh nutrients and goodness they provide (see below for more on nutrient value), I waited to do any preserving or cooking of them until Saturday. I came home one day to my fiance’, Paul, sitting at his desk with 8 naked apricot kernels on a napkin in front of him. He is truly in heaven! Sometimes I think he could live off of stone fruit and meat pies. (We recently found Aunty Devi in Escondido and now have a stash of meat pies in the freezer… see below for images of this New Zealand favorite).
Late Saturday afternoon, I finally started in on the preservation of these golden gems. I had my pints and half pints, my canning equipment (thank you Little Sister), raw honey, apricots and an Underground Wellness podcast playing in the background. I was ready to go!
Cutting and pitting 25 lbs of apricots takes a lot longer than I had anticipated! But I was finally through one of the 15 lb. boxes and I had 7 pints of halved apricots in light syrup. (1 cup raw honey to 5 cups water – enough syrup for 7 pints) and 6 half pints of jam (1/2 cup raw honey to 4 cups fruit and Pomonas Pectin).
It was getting later and later in the evening and I still had another round of apricot halves and jam to process. A couple years ago, I was back in Wisconsin with my family – my mom and I spent a good two weeks or so canning anything and everything we could get our hands on. I think we had a number of nights where we found ourselves processing the final batch at midnight.
So, true to form, I pulled off the last batch of jam around 1130pm and set about cleaning up. The house was filled with the steamy sweet smell of apricots and honey and I fell into bed a happy girl!
I saved a few of the firmer apricots for lunches and snacking, but they only made it a couple days… Being that my fiance’ isn’t gluten sensitive, I occasionally find myself preparing two meals. Last night was one of the easier ones. I made up a batch of mashed potatoes for Paul to put on his New Zealand meat pies (curry and mince) and made myself a simple vegetable stir fry with a wild rice mix cooked in homemade chicken bone broth. For dessert I finished off the apricots with a simple gluten free apricot crisp. Life is good!
Apricots are one of the first signs of summer. (If you partake in these summer fruits in the winter, they likely come from New Zealand or South America.) They are rich in Vitamin A, beta-carotene and Vitamin C – all potent antioxidants. Apricots are also high in fiber. This is a crucial “nutrient” that is increasingly deficient in the American diet. Most Americans get less than 10 grams per day. Optimal levels would be somewhere between 30 and 50 grams per day. Phytochemicals are getting due press these days and apricots are a good source. They contain phytonutrients known as carotenoids, compounds that give fruits and vegetables that red, orange, and yellow color. One of the phytochemicals found in apricots is lycopene, known for its antioxidant and cancer-fighting effects.
So go out and treat yourself to some of these nutritious gems!
Your body will love you for it!