Juicing Bread

I have recently realized that our fruit intake was practically nil, zilch, nada, zero. This situation was definitely not due to a lack of love for this food group either. I have family and friends that have stepped onto the juicing wagon and I figured that would be an easy way to go. So I dusted off the Breville Juicer (new model and $100 less than I paid), bought some fruit and my husband, Bill, and I were on the juicing wagon also.

At first, we just used fruit alone and oh my goodness it was so delicious. With a bag of Fuji apples, a bag of Navel oranges, and a banana we had a quart of juice in a couple of minutes. Of course, being the researcher that I am, interesting new veggies started showing up in the mix. Our last batch of juice produced two quarts and included the following:

  • 3 pounds Fuji apples
  • 3 pounds Navel oranges
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 pound carrots
  • 1 bag Black grapes
  • 1 pint Muscadine grapes
  • 8 very small tomatoes

Every time we make the juice we end up with over a quart of pulp which we use to enhance our chickens diet. It always bothers me that all those good vitamins and minerals are not going into our diet. So this time I decided to make some bread with the pulp.

I filtered through my recipes and chose the Blueberry Zucchini Bread. It calls for two cups of grated zucchini so I substituted two cups of juicing pulp instead. Because the Muscadine grapes were one of the last ingredients the pulp did contain some seeds. Actually they were like crisp little nuts. At a field trip to the Muscadine Research Center I discovered that the supplement, Grape Seed Extract, can be homemade by drying the seeds and grinding them in a coffee or spice grinder. So the seeds in the bread are actually very healthy for our bodies. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center

Today, standardized extracts of grape seed may be used to treat a range of health problems related to free radical damage, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Grape seed extract has also been shown to protect against bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Some studies, mostly in animals, support these uses.

Flavonoids found in red wine may help to protect the heart by lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

2015-09-16 juicing bread 02

(Click to enlarge)

 

Needless to say, the resulting “Juicing Bread” was a hit with both of us! Our friend, Debra, seemed to like it very much also. The only thing I would change is to reduce the amount of added sugar. I figured that the fruit would add additional sweetness and it did. It wasn’t over the top, but I will reduce the sugar by a half cup on the next batch. Here’s the recipe for the Blueberry Zucchini Bread.

2014-08-13_blueberry-zucchini-bread

(Click to enlarge)

 

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Makes two loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar (for Juicing Bread reduce to taste)
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (for Juicing Bread substitute juice pulp)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (optional for Juicing Bread)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
  • Lightly grease 2 loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.
  • Fold in the zucchini (or juice pulp).
  • Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared loaf pans.
  • Bake 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Ovens differ, it took 90 minutes in mine
  • Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool
    completely.

Definitely worth giving this a try. Enjoy ! ! !

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Supermoon did you see it

Did you see the Supermoon (perigee full moon)  on August 29? I almost forgot all about it, but while getting ready to go to bed Sister Moon made sure to let me know she was there. The light that poured through my window was so bright I just had to take a good look and, of course, it sent me tip toeing for my camera.

There were a number of clouds drifting by which made the resulting pictures even more interesting. Here are a few for you to enjoy! Just click on any picture to see a larger image.

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2015-08-29_supermoon 01There will be two more chances to enjoy the Supermoon this year. The next will be on September 28 and the last on October 27. Make sure to take the time to appreciate Mother Nature!

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All Grown Up

Chicks All Grown UP

(Click on an image to enlarge)

It’s time for a visit with the chickens. The twenty old timers that were hatched in 2013 are doing well and providing a substantial amount of eggs. The new comers are now five months old and will soon be adding to the nests.

2015-07-05%20beating%20the%20heat[1]Due to their seniority the older birds get the prime spot in the yard for beating the heat. They are beginning to take advantage of their little hidy hole with the soaring temperatures.

2015-07-05%20good%20morning[1]The royalty of our flock is composed of a beautiful rooster, who thinks his name is Good Morning. I used to say that each time I’d enter the yard and pet him on the back so it stuck.

2015-07-05%20first%20lady[1]His beautiful consort is the First Lady and she preens to keep her beauty fresh and every feather in place. She feels the pressure from all of his many ladies in waiting.

2015-07-05%20ladies%20in%20waiting[1]These are two of his many long time ladies that were hatched in July, 2013. Just a barnyard mix from my first hens and ‘Good Morning.’ They sure did make some fine babies.

2015-07-05%20princess[1]This is the ‘Princess!’ She carries herself with a regal countenence and wears her regal dress with flourish. I believe she has gone broody so there is a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on her nest box.

2015-07-06%20first%20ameraucana[1]This beautiful young lady is the very first Ameraucana chicken to join our flock. She came from McMurray Hatchery in 2010. Yep, she’s five years old and still laying an egg almost every day.

2015-07-05%20patch%2002[1]The newest additions to the flock are twelve new Ameraucana “pullets” that were purchased at the local feed store in February of this year. Of course even those who have volumes of experience in sexing chicks can make a mistake from time to time. I do believe one of those birds has turned out to be a rooster! He is a beauty and will develop into a great flock prince. Because he reminded me of a patchwork quilt, he has been dubbed ‘Patch.” What do you all think of this fine boy?
2015-07-05%20patch%2001[1]

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Blueberry Pineapple Bread

Yesterday I harvested some beautiful, fresh blueberries from my bushes. I couldn’t finish picking them all as the rain came pouring down. Since I was unable to work in the garden I baked two loaves of Blueberry Pineapple Bread. They turned out so delicious that I just had to share it on The Ranch’s Facebook Page and in The Southern Gardener Group that I enjoy so very much. You may not be able to see the post in the group if you are not a member, but you can join the group. It is definitely worth it as there are so many beautiful pictures, tips, and recipes available. The members are so helpful and just downright nice!

I found the recipe I use on Cooks.com Recipe Search, which I use very often. Whenever I find a recipe that I like I follow the recipe to the letter and then adjust it to fit my taste as needed.

Some of the members of the garden group asked me to share the recipe and I am glad to do just that.

Y’all enjoy it now!

PINEAPPLE BLUEBERRY BREAD2015-06-11 blueberry pinapple bread 02
Printed from COOKS.COM

Ingredients
• 3 cups sifted flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cups butter
• 11/3 cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• ½ cups milk
• 1½ teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 20 oz can drained, crushed pineapple
• 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained

Directions
• Sift flour with baking powder, soda and salt
• Cream sugar with butter until light and fluffy
• Stir in eggs, milk, lemon juice, and pineapple
• Beat in dry ingredients
• Fold in blueberries
• Pour into greased and floured loaf pan
• Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes
• Unmold and cool on a rack.

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After the Rain

It’s been raining on a regular basis at The Ranch, but I am not complaining in the least as the beauty it creates is a wonderful benefit. Also, it has not rained here as much as it has in Texas; my thoughts are with the many who have lost so very much.

Here are some of the beautiful images I was blessed with “After the Rain.”

Make sure to click on each image to see a larger picture!

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May your day be blessed with beauty, brightness, and belief!

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Four Day Accomplishment

2014-09-02 pond redo
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In September of last year I began reclaiming my Pond Garden. As we know, the best laid plans don’t always go according to expectations and the image on the right depicts just how much I was able to complete.

The Bahia grass that had invaded the pond resembled the lawn as it had multiplied greatly over the past eight months. The finished product didn’t get completed until yesterday. Some of the transplanted vegetation will take a while to recover and fill in, but tell me what you think of the rejuvenated garden.

2015-05-13 pond garden reclaimed 02
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2015-05-13 pond garden reclaimed 03
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After finishing with the pond reclamation and putting the tools and equipment away I turned to go inside and spotted two of our many Gardenia bushes. I can say they stopped me in my tracks! There is no need to cut flowers and bring them inside as the wonderful scent of these flowers wafts into the front door. At night I smell them while laying in my bed on my way to dreamland. This is the most prolific year for these bushes. The very best part is that they are a reminder of my Mom! She had two bushes and would pick flowers and bring them into her home. I was able to salvage one of her bushes successfully and it is thriving nicely. Thanks Mom for a wonderful memory!

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My garden beauties can and do wash away the tiredness that permeates my weary bones after a hard day in the garden. So I took the time to find some more jewels before taking a well deserved and necessary shower! It is my pleasure to share them with you.

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Sending wishes for beauty in your lives!

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More Beauty from the Garden

Just stopping in to share a bit of beauty with you today!

Take the time to slow down and allow your day to be blessed by the beauty of Nature.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything gets accomplished.
~ Lao Tzu

Make sure to enlarge video to fullscreen for the best view.

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Barrel Planter Update

2015-05-06 half barrel planterThe half-barrel planter is definitely a winner so far! The plants are doing awesome and maintenance is a breeze. Today I added a simple 2″ x 4″ welded wire trellis for the tomatoes, trimmed many of the lower leaves to allow more light into the planter, and removed the approximately six tiny weeds.

2015-05-16 first tomatoThe tomatoes are coming on strong with a beautiful fruit and promising flowers. The eggplants are so healthy looking and adding side branches prolifically. The kale and Jalapenos are having a hard time getting enough sun so they are not a vigorous. May just have to move them to a different location.

2015-05-06 tomato blossoms

There should be some good eating this season. I am already planning the salads and sauces in my head. I picked up two grape tomato plants yesterday so snacking is going to get a bit more healthy as well.

2015-05-06 beans plantedI usually plant Kentucky Wonder green beans, but I thought I’d give the bush type a try this season. I finally planted them a couple of days ago  after spreading some home made compost over the top of one of the raised beds.  The beans are sharing space with a Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato,  a mustard, and two Patty Pan white squash plants. That is the making of a super veggie dish!

2015-05-06 spearmintTo the right of the beans is an explosion of Spearmint. When I first moved here I couldn’t get my Mother’s signature plant to grow. It sure looks like I have found the perfect place now. Unfortunately, it is becoming a problem in this bed. I have been able to start another bed out of the way and will be removing this beauty from here.

2015-05-06 strawberriesThe newest raised bed has been dedicated to Everbearing strawberries, Red onions, and Seedless Concord grapes. The West end of this garden has an Anna apple tree while the East end has a Witch Hazel tree.

2015-05-06 strawberry multiplication 2015-05-06 strawberry blossoms

The strawberries are really doing well and are already beginning to multiply. Next year should produce a much larger crop.

 

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Morning Walk in the Garden

Had a bit of a break from the rain today so after feeding the goats and horses I took a walk through the garden this morning.  The first stop was to see the roses.

2015-04-15 tropical sunset

 

This is my favorite bush. It is called Tropical Sunset.

 

 

2015-04-15 ronald regan

 

This is my presidential rose as it is named for Ronald Reagan.

 

 

2015-04-15 red n white rose

Sure wish I could remember the name of this one. It reminds me of the rose my Dad bought for my Mom. It was called The Forty Niner. Alas, this is not that rose, but it is still most beautiful.

2015-04-15 pink rose

I believe I bought this one in Tyler, TX on one of my trips to Fort Worth. No clue what it is called, but oh such a precocious pink.

 

2015-04-15 old rose

 

This is an old fashioned rose by the name of Christopher Marlowe. I am hoping to get more of this type of rose in the future

2015-04-15 hot cocoa

 

Another of my favorites. The color changes over time and this doesn’t do it justice. It is called Hot Cocoa.

 

 

2015-04-15 candy cane 02

 

This beauty was given to me by my friend, Debra. What a treasure! It is called Candycane. Very appropriate.

 

 

2015-04-15 red rose

This anonymous red rose is very prolific. I will have to be diligent to dead head and trim canes during the growing season.

 

 

2015-04-15 pond gardenJust before the freezing temperatures ended, I moved my Shasta Daisies up to the front pond. They seem to be enjoying their new location. Hope to harvest the seeds and cover the entire area with these lovely flowers.

2015-04-15 red iris

 

 

First year for this ravishing red Iris. Yep, I like it.

 

2015-04-15 purple iris

 

 

 

Purple is a good color for this one. Both of these Irises were bonuses from Debra.

2015-04-15 louisiana iris

A remnant from my past Louisiana lifetime. I mentioned to my granddaughter, Brittany that I would love to have a Louisiana Iris, and she dug one up for me. That’s My Girl!

 

2015-04-15 porch garden

Time to catch up on the Porch Garden. It seems to be doing very well since taking down the winter protection and adding the half-barrel planter. I will be adding some more of those to my gardening.

2015-04-15 thyme

 

The Thyme is coming on strong since its fall haircut. I am looking forward to drying some more this year.

 

2015-04-15 patty pan squash

 

This is one of the White Patty Pan Squash plants. They all are displaying numerous flowers.

 

2015-04-15 parsley

 

Mounds of Parsley for the picking. This makes cooking so easy! I just step out the back door, cut off what I need, and in the pot it goes!

 

2015-04-15 half barrel planter

Here’s the half-barrel planter. Everything is doing well and I was able to use all my saved yard egg shells as a topping for the garden. This will provide calcium for the tomatoes as well as discourage any cutworms and such. It seems they don’t like to crawl over the sharp edges o the egg shells.

2 n half wk difference

What a difference time can make! The Tomatoes, Eggplants, and Jalapeno Peppers have doubled in height. The tomatoes are even beginning to show some flowers.

I sure hope you enjoyed our Morning Walk through the garden. Don’t forget to click on each image so you can get a really good look at all the wonders Mother Nature is blessing The Ranch with this Spring.

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Update on The Kids

A month has gone by since the last update on ‘The Kids’ so I thought it would be nice to share their growth with everyone.

2015-03-14 bottle timeShortly after giving birth, Spring, developed a horrible case of mastitis. “Mastitis is a general term which refers to inflammation of the mammary gland, regardless of cause.” ~Georgia Dairy Goat Breeders Association article My poor girl had a really bad time and is still recovering today. Due to this issue I have decided that Spring will just be a pampered pasture pet and no longer be included in the breeding seasons. I would not want to put her through that again, nor would I want to perpetuate that genetic possibility into future generations. Spring was able to nurse her twins on her good side and I supplemented with extra milk for a few days. Of course, that made her babies (Blossom & Bandit) lap kids!

 

2015-03-04 bison n bit

 

Everyone else is doing great and the one and only buckling was picked up on Easter Monday by his new owner. That’s the baby boy on the left with his mother Summer and his sister Bit. He just carries himself like a royal stag and is just as beautiful.

 

2015-04-07 bit n summer

 

Bit and MaMa Summer are consoling each other since his absence as they spend most of their time together. I don’t know if it will last, but at this time, Bit has a ‘bit’ of a skirt along her sides. She is just such a proper young lady!

 

I tried giving everyone their own feed bucket, but that was a huge mistake as no one wanted to stay in their own. Since they all wanted to eat together, Bill and I built the family feeding table and it seems to be working out fine. Of course, we are still working on table manners as feet are not allowed on the table.

2015-04-07 mocha boots n boogie

 

 

Here’s Mocha with her two girls, Boots and Boogie. They are giving mom a run for her money — almost as tall as Mom!

 

2015-04-07 blossom n spring

 

Blossom is just beginning to come to the family table for breakfast. Her sister, Bandit, usually just takes a nap under the table. I pull her out and she eats a small amount, but Bandit is just not ready yet to forsake her mama’s milk!

 

2015-03-12 mocha n boots

We can’t forget how acrobatic the goats are. Besides playing king of the mountain (guess that would be queen around here) Boots likes to play piggy back on Mocha. What a patient mama she is!

Hope you have enjoyed the update on the babies as much as I enjoy spending time with them in the field. Maybe next year I’ll be blogging about goat cheese!

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