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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Roasted Garlic & Bananas

My garden is producing a lot of tomatoes and zucchini so I've been busy preserving those. It was a nice change when I had the chance to process something different. During the harvest season we can get a lot of produce we don't grow ourselves quite inexpensively. So that is always the time to take advantage of the savings!

Fresh Garlic

I have to admit we love our garlic! Anything from garlic butter to spaghetti sauce has garlic in it. I tried to grow garlic once without a lot of success despite following the directions of Martha Stewart to a T. I haven't tried growing it here since all I recall about the whole experience was freezing fingers. I'm not really partial to freezing fingers.

Fresh garlic is on sale here at five for a dollar. I think that is a pretty good price and while we can get fresh garlic year round, I like to make roasted garlic. Roasted garlic gives a nice flavour to anything it is added to. It is easy to make. For this batch, I roasted the garlic on the grill. The air was filled with the wonderful aroma of roasting garlic much to my neighbours' dismay that there wasn't enough to share.

Roasted Garlic

I cut the tops of the garlic bulb just enough to expose each clove. The bulbs were placed in a roasting pan. Then I drizzled on olive oil. The garlic was roasted on low indirect heat on the grill until carmelized. Once the garlic cooled a bit, I squished out the delectable roasted garlic into use sized mounds and packaged into custom made vacuum bags for freezing. I know I've stressed this before but honestly if you are serious about food preservation a vacuum sealer is a must! When I'm ready to use the roasted garlic I'll simply pop out a mound and add it to whatever I'm cooking.

Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium so I try to work them into our meals especially for breakfast. They are ideal in smoothies and we love banana bread. I like to stock up when bananas go on sale but the problem has always been the bananas get too ripe before being able to use up. Our local grocery store had bananas on sale so I decided to stock up then freeze them. There are many ways to freeze bananas including just leaving them in the skin but I decided to vacuum seal them then freeze. That way they keep the nice fresh colour and flavour with no freezer frost or burn. I like to freeze in the amount we will use at one time. To defrost, simply pop a packet into the refrigerator. Without air getting to the bananas, they will keep the nice colour. Mash then use as required for breads, cakes or muffins. Or leave semi-frozen for smoothies.


1 food lovers commented:

Anonymous said...

Great and thoughtful column - a couple of tips: (1) never vacuum seal fresh garlic or mushrooms or onions - they contain anaerobic bacteria which [as the label suggests] thrive in a non oxygen [vacuumed] environment. It can make you ill - so check the manual with your vacuum sealer to be sure what you can and can't seal up. (2) I do not freeze bananas in the skin. Once they are frozen like that they stick and you had better like eating the skin too! ;-)