Wild ramp pesto tortilla pizza

As you know if you’ve been following our blog or YouTube channel, I am a wild ramp fanatic! Nothing says Spring quite like seeing the tops pop out of the earth.

The first sign of Spring!

After a long winter of veggies only from the store, getting my hands in the dirt to forage my own food is one of the best feelings in the world. Smelling the dirt as it collects under my nails, feeling a grateful connectedness to our earth, and knowing I’ll soon be nourishing my body with the fresh harvest is energizing yet brings me calm and a sense of grounding.

To ensure sustainability for these over-harvested beauties, I almost exclusively take the leaves. Below is a favorite pesto recipe made from the leaves and a couple bulbs.

Harvest!

Ingredients

– two large handfuls wild ramps leaves (chopped, about 2.5 cups)

– 2 wild ramp bulbs

– 1 handful fresh basil leaves (chopped, about .5 cup)

– 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

– 4 T Parmesan cheese (for pesto, plus extra to sprinkle on pizza)

– 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese

– 3 tortillas

– 3 cloves garlic

– 1/3 cup or more olive oil

Process

– preheat oven to 425 degrees F

– mince ramp bulbs and garlic

– roughly chop ramp and basil leaves

– combine ramp leaves, basil leaves, pine nuts, ramp bulbs, and garlic in food processor (pulse gently, don’t over-blend!) or crush together with mortar and pestle, until chunky

– add olive oil one tablespoon at a time and mix thoroughly (again, pulse very gently if using a food processor – you don’t want a smooth paste) until consistency is a wet, rough paste

– place tortilla in 8 inch cast iron pan (no oil in the pan – you want it crispy!)

– spread pesto evenly over tortilla

– pinch mozzarella into small bits and sprinkle over pesto

– sprinkle more Parmesan cheese over pizza (if desired)

– bake in oven 8 – 12 minutes, until cheese is slightly bubbling and tortilla edges are crispy

– try to pace yourself, enjoy, and appreciate this delicious gift from the earth rather than gobbling up in two bites (it will be hard!)

I hope you enjoy this tasty recipe as much as my husband and I do!

Make sure to check out our YouTube channel, Instagram, and Facebook to enjoy all our homesteading adventures!

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adaptogen oatmeal cookies

As I learn more about herbalism, I’m seeking ways to integrate herbs more often for an overall, daily health boost. Adaptogens are a great way to restore homeostasis in the body and support your many systems (Adaptogens by David Winston with Steven Maimes is a great read to learn more). I played around with a no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe and made some herbal adaptogen cookies today and they turned out even better than I expected! One or two a day will be a great way to take care of myself.

No Bake Adaptogen Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw, local honey
  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup adaptogen powder (I used Astragalus, Eleuthro, and Ashwagandha root powders)
  • 1.5 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  • Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan over medium heat
  • Remove from heat, stir in adaptogens, oats, and chocolate chips (this will make the chips melt somewhat which I like; if you don’t want this, add them last)
  • Cool slightly in fridge, then stir in honey (don’t put the honey in too early or you will lose the benefits of it being raw)
  • Drop tablespoon-sized bits of batter onto a cookie sheet
  • Cool completely in fridge and store leftovers there
  • Enjoy and be well!

Make sure to check out the rest of our homesteading adventures in the link below!

https://linktr.ee/the.mn.homestead

Stellar blueberry muffins

These muffins are so full of flavor! I have 2.5 secrets that make them so yummy you’ll be making some every week!

Tip 1: crush some of the blueberries before mixing into the batter – you’ll have the wonderful blueberry flavor throughout even if you don’t get a berry in your bite!

Tip 1.5: warm the blueberries before mashing. You’ll get more juice out and they’ll be easier to mash!

Tip 2: Swedish Pearl Sugar! Tip your muffins with it before popping them in the oven. They add a delightful flavor and slight crunch. Yum!

Ingredients:

½ cup softened butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
2 cups blueberries
3 teaspoons sugar
½ cup Swedish pearl sugar

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 375° and line muffin tin with cupcake liners

2 Cream butter and 1¼ cups sugar until light

3 Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each

4 Add vanilla

5 Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together

6 Alternate adding milk and flour mixture

7 Crush ½ cup blueberries and mix into batter; fold remaining berries in

8 Fill muffin tins with batter and top with Swedish pearl sugar

9 Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or more

Enjoy!!

Check out our YouTube channel in the link below to follow along as I bake them!

https://linktr.ee/the.mn.homestead

chocolate raspberry jam (seedless)

I admit it: I’m a chocoholic. I can’t help myself. It doesn’t matter when or where, I need chocolate. That includes breakfast, and my AM toast. I start most days with wild bumbleberry or wild raspberry, but there are times when my chocolate sweet tooth can’t be overpowered. Those times, I reach for my chocolate raspberry. It absolutely hits the spot – delicious raspberry jam with a slight overlay of dark chocolate. Mmmmm mmmmm good! It’s also stellar on ice cream!

Enjoy making this goodness yourself! Your house will smell amazing.

Preparing ingredients

– Using Squeezo, use smallest screen to juice raspberries berries and remove seeds to make 4.5 cups of wild raspberry juice/pulp

– Measure out 6 Tbsp pectin (I use Ball Real Fruit Classic Pectin)

– Measure out 5 cups sugar

– Measure out .5 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

– Mix sugar and cocoa

– If desired, to reduce boil over, set aside .5 tsp butter (optional)

Canning prep

– Prep hot water bath

– Sterilize jars

– Heat lids in hot water for sterilization and flexibility

– Lay out utensils (jar lifter, magnet to remove lids from hot water, funnel, etc.)

Cooking instructions

Heat juice over high heat, bringing to a rolling boil

– While heating, slowly stir in pectin

– While heating but after pectin, stir in butter if using

– Once at rolling boil, add entire measure of sugar and cocoa, and stir to dissolve

– Return to rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute

– Remove from heat

– Skim foam if needed

Canning process

– Place funnel on top of a sterilized jar

– Ladle jam into jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace

– Wipe any jam from the top of the jar

– Using magnet, remove lid from hot water and place on jar

– Screw band onto jar until finger tight (do not over tighten)

– Place jars in waterbath for 10 minutes at a high boil (adjust for altitude if needed); ensure jars stay completely upright

– Remove jars from waterbath, keeping completely upright

– Place jars on counter or other surface untouched for at least 24 hours to ensure a seal and that jelly begins to set up properly

– Jars should seal within about half an hour but may take up to 24 hours; press top of lid after 24 hours and if it pops back up, the jar didn’t seal and should be placed in the fridge to be eaten soon

– If jam has properly set after 24 hours, carefully move jam to storage area; if still not set, wait up to a week for full set, them move to storage; if jam doesn’t set, eat over ice cream as a topping!

– Eat, share, and enjoy!

I hope you love my bumbleberry recipe; keep an eye on our blog to find more recipes; I’ll be posting one a week for a few weeks.

Don’t forget to check our all our adventures and homesteading fun by subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Instagram, and checking out all we have to offer (links below)!

https://linktr.ee/the.mn.homestead

bumbleberry jam recipe (seedless)

Wild raspberry jam is my favorite! Wait, I just had my morning toast with my wild blackberry – that is definitely my favorite! Oh! I just had some blueberry with my pancakes, that’s definitely it!

Hmmmm… with so many delicious jams to be had, how do you choose just one???

The answer, my friends, is that you don’t! Instead, you take your favorite 3 or 4 berries and make them into one splendid bumbleberry jam!

I’m very partial to wild berries; I enjoy the extra depth they provide but also love the hard work I put into harvesting them – tramping through the woods, seeking little patches, gathering the tiny berries that show much less result from a day’s picking but make me very happy!

My favorite wild berries are blackberries and raspberries. Though I don’t love blueberries on their own, they add a great tartness to my jam, so I typically use this trusted triumvirate for my bumbleberry. Thusly, the recipe below calls for those three but feel free to mix it up by adding some strawberries, increasing one of the berries while deceasing another proportionally, etc.! This recipe will make about 10 half pint (8 oz) jars.

Preparing ingredients

– Using berry press, juice wild blueberries to extract 1 cup juice, removing skins

– Using Squeezo, use smallest screen to juice berries and remove seeds to make 2.5 cups of wild blackberry juice/pulp, and 2.5 cups of wild raspberry juice/pulp

*total of 6 cups juice/pulp*

– Measure out 8 Tbsp pectin (I use Ball Real Fruit Classic Pectin)

– Measure out 6 2/3 cups sugar

– If desired, to reduce boil over, set aside .5 tsp butter (optional)

Canning prep

– Prep hot water bath

– Sterilize jars

– Heat lids in hot water for sterilization and flexibility

– Lay out utensils (jar lifter, magnet to remove lids from hot water, funnel, etc.)

Cooking instructions

Heat juice over high heat, bringing to a rolling boil

– While heating, slowly stir in pectin

– While heating but after pectin, stir in butter if using

– Once at rolling boil, add entire measure of sugar and stir to dissolve

– Return to rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute

– Remove from heat

– Skim foam if needed

Canning process

– Place funnel on top of a sterilized jar

– Ladle jam into jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace

– Wipe any jam from the top of the jar

– Using magnet, remove lid from hot water and place on jar

– Screw band onto jar until finger tight (do not over tighten)

– Place jars in waterbath for 10 minutes at a high boil (adjust for altitude if needed); ensure jars stay completely upright

– Remove jars from waterbath, keeping completely upright

– Place jars on counter or other surface untouched for at least 24 hours to ensure a seal and that jelly begins to set up properly

– Jars should seal within about half an hour but may take up to 24 hours; press top of lid after 24 hours and if it pops back up, the jar didn’t seal and should be placed in the fridge to be eaten soon

– If jam has properly set after 24 hours, carefully move jam to storage area; if still not set, wait up to a week for full set, them move to storage; if jam doesn’t set, eat over ice cream as a topping!

– Eat, share, and enjoy!

I hope you love my bumbleberry recipe; keep an eye on our blog to find more recipes; I’ll be posting one a week for a few weeks.

Don’t forget to check our all our adventures and homesteading fun by subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Instagram, and checking out all we have to offer (links below)!

https://linktr.ee/the.mn.homestead

canning time is finally here!

I am so happy to be getting into my canning groove! It appears that Minnesota is going to skip right from summer to winter, so what better time to be in the kitchen over a hot stove?

If you’re following us on YouTube (link below!) you’ll know that I started canning last week, and now I’m rearranging my schedule to get some more time in! With how long it takes to prep, can, and clean up, it’s not something I can do after work; we also spend our weekends at our homestead working, so no time there.

After some finagling, I’ve managed to find three slots of time to make these magical treats, and they’ve resulted in five jars of wild blackberry jelly (more to come!), 10 jars of wild raspberry jam, and 10 jars of apple sauce.

My wild berry jams have been classic recipes thus far – berries, pectin, and sugar. Pure bliss. My next batches will be twists – chocolate raspberry, vanilla blackberry, and bumbleberry (i usually go for the big four – raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry).

I’m eager to continue my canning season. I’ll post recipes over the next few weeks for you to try at home! Do you have favorite recipes? Please share them in the comments.

L-R: wild blackberry vanilla, wild raspberry, wild blackberry – chocolate wild raspberry on the stove as I write this!

And don’t forget to keep up with all the tastiness and adventures by subscribing to our YouTube channel (link below) and following us on Instagram @the.mn.homestead.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB3wWjfjOOzZVXC6YKUVwGA

Wild plums!

I’ve had one of my most exciting foraging finds! A few days ago as I was wandering the forest skimming the tree line in search of wild apples, I came across a treat I hadn’t expected – a thicket of wild plums! I knew they grow here in MN, but I’d never seen a sign of them. Exciting to say the least.

With my foraging bag over my shoulder, I plucked a few off the tree and popped them in my mouth one at a time. The fruit was sweet and the skins tangy. Having confirmed they’re delicious, I picked the ripest and into my bag they went. With a full bag in hand, I considered my day a success and went home to make a plan to put them up.

I love jams and jellies – there’s nothing better than homemade bread with homemade preserves to start your morning off right. For me, the only way to put these up was to make jam. Right now, I have a thick slice of cracked wheat bread slathered with butter and plum jam, and I’m happy as can be. If he’s good, I may even share some with my husband.

Wild Plum Jam Recipe

4 pounds whole wild plums

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

5 cups sugar

1 package fruit pectin (3 ounce)

Remove the pits but keep the skins. Chop the fruit (I found that using a serrated bread knife worked best for getting through the skins) and put into a stainless steel pot with the water over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Add pectin and boil for an additional minute, still stirring constantly. Set aside, off heat, for 1 minute.  Skim off any foam.

In the meantime, sterilize the jar, lids, and bands. Then, pour the jam into 8 ounce jars and leave a 1/8 inch headspace. Wipe the rimes and threads then put on the lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!