Most Saturdays I head over to our farmer’s market. This is my time to get out and shop by myself a little bit. I sneak out early while everyone is still snoozing or in pajamas and they barely notice I’m gone. The farmers market is not as cheap as one would think, but I love supporting our local farmers directly. It’s a great place to find out about our local farms, run into friends and get some amazing food. We are located on the Central Coast of California so we have year-round access to beautiful produce, cheese, eggs and pasture raised meats. I can easily say we are spoiled by all this abundance.
This week, I found a whole flat of berries for $10. These are what they call “jam berries” – really ripe and need to be used right now. They were perfectly ripe and sweet, but the fruit flies started to circle after only an hour after we got them home. It’s been a hot weekend, so I wasn’t keen on making jam, instead we opted to dry some in the dehydrator and make fruit gummies and fruit leather for lunches. Let’s see how much goodness we can get out of that $10 flat…
First we washed and chopped as many berries as would fit into our dehydrator. These will make a fun addition to lunches, put in bars and trail mixes. When all was said and done, our 6 tray dehydrator dried about 4 baskets of berries that amounted to about a quart jar jammed to the brim with dried berries.
The rest, I decided to juice in the juicer. I have a great awl juicer that really helps sift out the seeds, and we opted not to put it through the fine mesh screen that is the final stage of our juicer and instead leave some of the fruit bits and texture. We also had some guavas and blackberries that we juiced separately. The fruit was fading so fast we just needed to get it saved before the night was out and juicing was the perfect quick solution. We ended up with about 9 cups of strawberry juice – plenty for all our plans.
There are two different gelatins we use Great Lakes (red container) and recently made the switch to Vital Proteins (green container) because they source their gelatin from grass-fed, pasture raised cows. This is not the Jello at your grocery that is full of chemical sweeteners, dyes and flavors. Instead, these are free of sweeteners, MSG, gluten, and the other top 8 allergens. There are no plant sources of gelatin, but don’t let that deter you from reaping the wonderful health benefits from this lesser known superfood. It is not just good for growing bones, joints, nails and hair, but it helps with digestion and healing the gut which in turn could help with food allergies and intolerances. It has also been linked to better sleep and wound healing. And on top of all that, it’s a great source of protein. All things I want for my kids’ growing, developing bodies and minds. Here’s a good article with more about it… http://www.grassfedgirl.com/top-20-health-benefits-of-gelatin-helps-prevent-arthritis-cellulite-stretch-marks-wrinkles-brittle-bones-and-more/