Making Use of Cacao Powder

The first way to use this product is to make a delicious pudding. Having a dessert after the evening meal doesn’t need to be a treat or even kept only for a cheat day, you can enjoy this type of pudding for breakfast. Use the cacao powder with avocado to make a delicious and completely gluten-free and healthy pudding which you can enjoy as a breakfast, after dinner treat or even an in-between meal snack.

Next make a breakfast treat that you can enjoy every morning. Mix the powder with cottage cheese and chia seeds to give you all the proteins you need throughout the day. There is no reason that you cannot enjoy your meals. Spread this mix on toast or eat it straight out of the bowl and enjoy your morning energy boost in the most enjoyable way.

You can sprinkle the cacao powder over fruit when making a fruit salad or if you are having chopped fruit for breakfast or lunch. A light dusting will give you a mouthwatering treat, it can help to make the fruit more exciting to the taste and ensure you get the best experience when enjoying a healthier lifestyle moving forward.

Consider making your own granola bars. Granola bars which are made by you ensure that you know the ingredients, so that you can eat them with confidence, knowing exactly what is in every single bite.

Brownies are also an option, if you are looking for a healthier and natural something for the family to enjoy after lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Rather than eating chocolate, which is high in calories and sugar, you can replace with cacao powder to give you peace of mind and give the family delicious, exciting and yet healthy treats.

There are some very important factors you are going to want to take into consideration when it comes to buying cacao powder. Now that you know how you can use it, you need to ensure you purchase the best quality and a product that you can trust.

First you want to ensure you purchase from a reputable supplier, a company that will give you a guarantee that you are buying the best quality product. Ideally choose a company that checks each of their products and has a quality control programme in place. Only once the product passes their quality controls is it stamped with a guarantee, enabling you to buy with complete confidence.

You will want to ensure that any cacao powder you buy is one hundred percent natural and organic. Organic means that there are no dangerous chemicals or toxins. The company you purchase from should be able to give you a complete breakdown of ingredients making it easy for you to purchase your powder with ease when you need it.

The cacao powder you choose should not be sweetened, always opt for the unsweetened variety. This way you are able to control your family’s sugar intake, which in turn has its own health benefits.

Finally and probably quite surprise is that you want to choose a powder that has a high fat content. The higher the fat content, the more flavour the product has.

Pectin

Pectin was first isolated from plant material in 1825 by Henri Braconnot, a French chemist who pioneered a number of discoveries in plant and food science. People were, of course, well aware that some fruits gelled much better and faster than others, but Braconnot was the first to explain why. At the peak of the industrial revolution in the 1920s and 1930s, factories were set up specifically to extract the bonding agent. Most of the commercial variety is extracted from citrus peels or from non-marketable apples (e.g. crab apples). It is mostly manufactured in the European Union, with countries like France and Germany supplying the lion’s share of the world market.

Pectin is a semi-essential ingredient in the modern process of making jams, jellies, marmalade, and other preserves. It’s deemed semi-essential because preserves can be made without it, but not in the quantity or consistency that the world market demands. When the polymer is combined with sugar and heated up, it forms a gelatinous semi-liquid that gives jams and jellies their consistencies. In the good old days, people would make their jams through a laborious process, boiling down the fruit for an extended period of time (at least a few hours) to evaporate all the water out of it. Plenty of people still do it the old-fashioned way, but large-scale production depends on pectin to reduce time and cost. Many at-home jelly makers rely on the polymer for this same reason, as it is all natural, safe, easy to use, and inexpensive.

You can purchase pectin in packages in most major supermarkets. It comes in both liquid and powder form, though the powder is by far the most common as it is easier to store and transport. Keep an eye out if you’re buying it at the store, as the regular variety has a very high sugar content. If you don’t like your preserves too sweet, you might want to try the low or no-sugar option. While cooking chopped fruit, simply stir in the powder bit by bit, the same way that you would add flour to fat to make gravy. Once the preserves reach your desired consistency, let them cool, can them, and enjoy!

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Dry Fruit and Vegetables

Drying fruit is an interesting way to store part of a summer or autumn harvest. It makes a change from making jam or pickles with your glut.

These sweet, nutritious preserves can be made at home quite easily, stored and added as snacks to packed lunches for school or work. They can last from a few weeks to a few months. They must be totally dehydrated to ensure that no mould can develop.

Crops with a high water content like apples, plums, grapes or tomatoes should be oven-dried but those with a low water content can just be dried indoors. This air-drying method is slower than using an oven but is particularly suited to herbs, chillies and peas and beans that have been removed from their pods. The room needs to be warm and well-ventilated. It could be a spare room or garage. A kitchen will have too much moisture in the air because of the steam from cooking.

The crops can be laid on a wire rack, separated out and left for a few weeks or if possible, like in the case of chillies, strung onto string and hung up in order to save space. It is important that air can circulate around each individual vegetable. Don’t rub your eyes after handling chillies; and wash you hands well.

Some herbs can be dried more easily than others. Bay leaves and sprigs of sage or marjoram are good candidates to be hung in bunches but soft-leaved herbs such as basil and parsley would be better chopped up and packed into ice cube trays to be frozen. These individual portions can be added to stews or home-made soups through the winter and they retain their taste better than if they had been dried.

Otherwise, try drying herbs in a microwave with the setting on high for two minutes. Employing one of these methods ensures that there will be no waste; all your crops can be stored before the first frosts come to claim them.

To prepare fruit for oven-drying, first wash it thoroughly and dry excess moisture from the skin.

Remove stones from plums and cores from apples. Halve plums and tomatoes, slice apples and strawberries and leave other berries whole. You can at this stage dip your fruit into lemon juice to prevent browning.

Lay the pieces of fruit out onto a wire rack individually leaving air to circulate between them. If the berries are too small to sit on a wire rack, use a slightly oiled baking tray instead.

Put your oven on its lowest setting and put the racks and trays inside. Open the door at intervals to lower the temperature and change the air. The purpose of the exercise is to dry the fruit not cook it.

Regularly check on the fruit, and after several hours, when the fruit feels light and dry to the touch, remove the racks from the oven and leave to cool completely.

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