Sunday, September 28, 2008

Canning final tally; and How about some Chia, pet?

Raspberry jam: 25 jars. Grape jelly: 14 jars. There would have been a lot more grape jelly but this year I again dumped perfectly good grapes since I was bored of pulling them off the clusters.

Here are a couple of the baskets I'm donating to our department's raffle draws for charity. There are four (three include one grape and one raspberry, and one, for the Christmas draw, has 3 different ones including a strawberry jam that I traded for with another editor who lives in the country). I got the tea towels at a dollar store (4/$1), the little spreaders in Chinatown (4/$1), and the baskets at Value Village. I'm claiming that these are "a $20 value!" because 250-ml jars at farmers' markets cost about 5-6 bucks each. Totally organic, too, because I don't weed, water, or fertilize (too freakin' lazy).

Chia seed: I have been reading about chia seed on several websites and newsletters and it sounded quite appealing as a source of nutrients. Salba(R) is the most expensive, of course, but there are a number of other sites where it costs much less. Its properties include high fiber (filling, helps with BG control), calcium, and antioxidants (which increase shelf life); more digestable than flax; low fat and sodium. It appears to be a good substitute for gluten in baking as well. For a long time now for my weekday breakfast I've been eating General Mills Fiber1 (fibre?) cereal (14g fiber for a half-cup serving), with whatever berries or other fresh or frozen fruit I have on hand, about 2/3 cup plain yogurt (Astro BioBest), a handful of walnuts (healthy fats, good fiber, nice texture). Now I'm adding 2 tablespoons of ground chia seed. One thing they don't really mention is the---not to be too delicate or anything---additional bowel movements after a few days of eating it. Good ones, though...(ahem). And apparently it is sold in the basement of St. Lawrence Market. I haven't baked in a long time, so I'll give it a whack.

Teff flour: I am looking for recipes that use alternatives to wheat flour, such as soy and teff. I have been able to find teff grains only once here in Toronto, and ended up ordering from Bob's Red Mill (I think in Oregon). Pricey, but it's another powerhouse. And my local independent bulk store sells teff flour, which is also a nutritional powerhouse.

Which leads to the CT colonography results: negative. Meaning positive results --- no polyps or anything. It only took three tries. I think my favourite (!) was the colonoscopy for which I was fully anaesthetized. I don't have to do it again for five years.

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