I’m a fan of simple tasks that can boost our energy in multiple ways at once. For example, making healthy snacks from scratch. My husband and I made three new recipes this weekend. These activities combined healthy eating, community, learning something new and saving money.
This weekend we roasted raw peanuts for the first time. I bought them at a permanent roadside farm stand in this cute old downtown I drive through to get my boys from school. I kept meaning to stop and I finally did. I found a couple versions for a recipe but we did the easiest thing possible – spread the peanuts, still in the shell, one layer deep on two cookie sheets and put them in a 350 degree oven for 22 min. Wait a few minutes and then peel and eat while they’re still warm. Bonus for me was that they made the house smell like peanut butter cookies which I love but am not eating right now. We only shelled and ate probably less than a fourth of a large bag I got for $5. One night this week we’re planning to sit and shell them and then try making peanut butter in the food processor.
That experience Sat morning gave me confidence so I finally tried making my own apple chips. I had bought a bag of granny smith apples for this purpose a week ago and still had a few. I took two and sliced them as thin as I could easily with a chef knife – about half a centimeter, roughly cut out the seed part and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar which we keep in a shaker. They fit in one layer with a little bit of overlapping on a cookie sheet which I put in a 200 degree oven for 2 hrs. They turned out good but not crunchy; they taste like apple pie without the crust and the filling. Next time I’ll try them for longer. They were so good I didn’t want to ruin them. But I will try again soon and see if I can get them crispy like when you buy them in the bag. I love those but I’m trying to replicate them because they seem so expensive to buy them that way. I’ll compare the price to see if it is less.
That was Saturday. Freshly roasted peanuts, baked cinnamon apple slices and the World Baseball Classic which is the Olympics of baseball (only every 4 years). So on Sunday, I pulled out the InstaPot my awesome brother and sister in law gave me for Christmas, and finally made something besides yogurt in it – something that would actually use the pressure cooking feature! I love making yogurt in it. I no longer buy yogurt. I make it every two weeks. I love straight or in smoothies. On the rare occasion that we don’t seem to be eating it fast enough, I make an extra smoothie and pour it into dixie cups with popcicle sticks.
So on Sunday, with my husband’s encouragement, we finally made white (Jasmine) rice in it and it came out perfect! If you have one I highly recommend trying rice. I used 2 1/2 cups of water with 2 cups of rice; 4 min cooking time. Then waited 10 min and used natural release which means turn it off and open the steam vent in the top. Sounded complicated but was really easy, worth trying something intimidating and nothing blew up. It smelled heavenly. We all ate it right out of the pot with a spoon and chop sticks. (I need to buy more chop sticks!) It turned out like sticky rice, which made me want to make sushi. I expect we’ll get around to that, but next I’m going to try brown rice.
For more on my recipe failures and successes, and weight loss progress or lack there of, visit HowToCookPlants.com.