Sunday, April 27, 2014

Green Ball your harvest

While I know some canners and try to stay on their “good list,” I’m in love with canning jars for a whole other reason. I repackage spices, grains and such into jars for a beautiful natural look and easy reference. You can see right through a  jar and know how much you have left.  It relaxes me to see a row of homey jars instead of crushed up boxes and folded over bags. One of my favorite things just got better.
Jardin Home Brands is offering limited edition Ball® Heritage Collection Spring Green Jars! 
They say they did it to celebrate the 100th  anniversary of the “Perfection” jar, the next iteration of the Ball brothers’ “Perfect Mason.” I say they did it just to spread cheer and good will. I’m now admiring the patterns made by the sun streaming through one of these green jars, labeled “Perfection.” How often does just an empty jar make you smile? Wait until it’s full of your garden goodness. They look old, but pack modern standards: they’re BPA-free and made in America.
Red Palm Oil
While my friend has a wall of gourmet butter bricks in her refrigerator, I don’t even buy the stuff. I use olive oil for everything. I rarely bake, so that’s not a deterrent. Nutiva gives me another option: Shortening and “buttery spread” made from red palm and coconut  oils. Fry and bake with the shortening and use the spread for your vegetables and toast. These come in attractive tubs and they also sell a jar of red palm oil that can stay outside with no refrigerator. My experiments have included bread, onions and red peppers. I give them high, flavorful marks. Red palm oil looks exotic and tinges your food a slight red-orange. I loved the flavor of all these organic superfood products that have all kinds of logos to tell you they’re good for you. Play around with Nutiva, found at Whole Foods. Their “superfoods portfolio” includes hemp and chia products.
Crazy crackers
I’m so glad Mary’s Gone Crackers. If you’re not familiar, this is an award-winning line of organic, vegan and gluten free foods, including cookies. I brought Curry Sticks and Twigs pretzels to a party and they were received with great curiosity. “Something different” was a frequent comment as people dug in for more. The whole grains did give the little sticks a woodsy look and they felt like such a more healthy way to get a crunch than some other snack foods. I’m especially pleased with new hot and spicy jalapeno round crackers. Something about the little rounds filled with sesame and flax seeds and quinoa make you want to slow down and savor each bite with appreciation. There’s 13 crackers in a serving, and I love every bite.

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