Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

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In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Here's the BEST Thing to Make with Fava Beans: Garlicky Whipped Fava Bean Dip with Olive Oil and Lemon



Maybe you were forced to eat fava beans as a child.  Perhaps your only fava bean experience is from an unsettling 1991 movie starring Anthony Hopkins.  But regardless of whether fava beans have been ruined for you by bad cooking or a fictional cannibal, I urge you to give these beans a chance.


Many moons ago, a glut of fava beans in a group's CSA box led me to whip up an incredibly tasty dip that had people raving and claiming dibs on the next week's delivery.  


If you like hummus, you're going to like this dip.  Like hummus, it is packed with protein and gets a zip and a kick from lemon and fresh garlic.  Instead of tahini, these beans take a spin with heart-healthy olive oil.  Move over garbanzos, there's a new bean in town!


Look at those beautiful beans!  They're packed with nutrition (protein, iron, antioxidants and folic acid) and are tasty too!  This recipe uses a little science hack I picked up from America's Test Kitchen in their Hummus recipe -- baking soda in the water helps break down the outer layer of the beans, so the final dip comes out nice and creamy!

Garlicky Whipped Fava Bean Dip with Olive Oil and Lemon
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Garlicky Whipped Fava Bean Dip with Olive Oil and Lemon

Author: Jenn Erickson
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 35 M
An easy and delicious way to enjoy these nutrient dense summer beans.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fava beans (hulled, not in the pods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (plus another 2 Tablespoons for garnish)
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper1/2 cup good olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil and Paprika (I use Berbere, an Ethiopian spice mix instead) for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and remove any loose bits from your beans.
  2. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with about 3" of water (above the beans).
  3. Stir in the baking soda and salt.
  4. Bring the water and beans to a rolling boil, then set timer for 18 minutes.  During this time, you may want to occasionally skim the dark foam from the top of the water.  This is just some of the proteins from the beans trying to escape.  
  5. By the end of the 18 minutes, the water will have reduced and will look pretty swampy.  Some of the beans will have come apart and their outer shells will have turned brownish.  It's not a pretty sight, but do not fear.  
  6. It's now time to add the 3 whole garlic cloves to the boiling beans.  Set timer for 2 minutes.  This mellows out the garlic just a bit (although we'll be adding some raw garlic later for punch).
  7. Drain the beans in a sieve and lightly rinse to remove any remaining protein that foamed up.  Be gentle.
  8. In the workbowl of a food-processor, add your lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons parsley, quartered garlic clove, cumin, cayenne, a pinch or two of salt and a few cranks of black pepper.  Add the cooked beans and garlic on top.  Affix the lid and give it a whirl.
  9. After about a minute, with the machine still running, slowly (very slowly) drizzle in the olive oil in a steady, thin stream.  Doing this slowly allows time for the olive oil to find a place to adhere, creating a nice fluffy, whipped emulsion.  If you go too fast, you'll just end up with a greasy mess.
  10. You should notice a change in the sound your food processor is making towards the end.  It should go from sounding like it is chopping, to whipping something smooth.  Turn off, remove the lid and scrape down the sides.  Replace lid and run processor again for another minute.  
  11. Taste.  It may need a touch more salt or pepper.  The flavors of the beans, the garlic and the lemon should be shining through.  Once you've adjusted the flavor to your liking, transfer to a serving bowl.  Drizzle with good olive oil and paprika (or Berbere if you have it).  Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley around the rim of the bowl.
  12. Serve with warm pita, pita chips, toast points, or french bread.  

One of my Must Have Spice Blends:

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