Jan 27, 2015

Image Source: Wikimedia
In order to preserve food for a longer period of time, food must be concentrated to at least 65% solids and must contain a considerable amount of acid but make sure food is protected from air. Jam and jelly are examples of food products that are preserved under high sugar concentration. Preservation of these food products is made possible by lowering their water activity. One way of doing so is by increasing the sugar concentration of food. In my previous article, I taught you how to make guava jelly. In this article, I will teach you how to make mango jam and other fruit-flavored jams in the succeeding articles.

Materials:
1) Ripe mango
2) Preserving jars
3) Chopping board
4) Stainless steel knives
5) Waring blendor
6) Refined sugar
7) Balance
8) Ladle, stainless steel/wooden
9) Kettle, stainless steel

Procedure:
1)      Wipe ripe mangoes to remove adhering dirt.
2)      Slice and scoop out flesh, then blend for few seconds in Waring blendor.
3)      Measure the pulp and sugar (1 part pulp: ¾ part sugar).
4)      Heat the pulp over low fire with constant stirring.
5)      When slightly thick, add sugar and small amount of citric acid based on the weight of the pulp, or adjust the pH to 3.4 with citric acid.
6)      Continue heating to end point at boiling temperature of 103C to 105C. Use a jam thermometer.

7)      Fill hot in sterilized jar. Seal.

Jan 26, 2015

In my previous article, I discussed the nutritional benefits of guava, and in this article, I will give you a very simple recipe for guava jelly that everyone will surely love!

Image source: Wikimedia
Materials:
1) Guava
2) Preserving jars
3) Chopping board
4) Stainless steel knives
5) Waring blendor
6) Refined sugar
7) Balance
8) Ladle, stainless steel/wooden
9) Kettle, stainless steel

Procedure:
1) Wash ripe guavas to remove adhering dirt.
2) Chop into small pieces.
3) Add enough water to cover the guava in the boiling pan.
4) Simmer the fruit gently until it is soft (about 45 to 60 minutes) to break the fruit and thus dissolves the acid and pectin (a heteropolysaccharide).
5) Strain the pulp. Poor the cooked pulp into a cheesecloth bag (jelly bag) and allow to drain freely without forcing the pulpy bits to come out (for clear jelly).
6) Add sugar (1 part juice/extract). Boil to end point. Continue heating until a temperature of 103C to 105C is achieved.
7) Fill hot in sterilized jar and cover.

Jan 24, 2015

Image Source: Wikipedia
Guava is one of the most common fruit tree crops in tropical countries like Philippines and it is also known to have nutritional benefits making it one of the most preferred fruits by most of us here. Some of these benefits are as follows:

(1) Source of food for Diabetic - Guava is very rich in fiber. Fiber being a complex carbohydrate cannot be broken down by our body into simple sugars, thus, guava has no effect on our glucose level making it a perfect food alternative for diabetic Soluble fibers, specifically, can also help us lower our blood cholesterol level thus reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other complications.

(2) Weight management - Guava does not have digestible carbohydrates that yield high calories.

(3) Rich in vitamins - Guava is also a rich source of Vitamin A that is perfect for maintaining a good eyesight and Vitamin C for treatment of cough and colds and also vitamins B3 and B6 which help improve mental health.

(4) Improves digestive system - Guava is also a good source of astringents with antibacterial properties that help prevent growth of harmful bacteria in our digestive system. 

In my next article, I will teach you how to make guava jelly.

Aug 25, 2014

In this article, you will learn the basic smoking procedure of cured meats which I will divide into three major steps:

I. Preparation of meat before smoking

1) Brush off curing ingredients if meat is dry-cured only.
2) Soak in fresh tap water for 30 to 60 minutes. For prague-powder cured ham or bacon, soaking is not necessary.
3) Wash the meat with fresh, cool water.
4) Make a hole at the shank and insert a cord or meat hook. You may use bacon hanger for bacon slabs.
Image Source: Wikipedia
5) Hang the meat to drip before placing inside the smokehouse. No two pieces of meat should touch one another inside the smokehouse.

II. Conventional time and temperature combination for smoking ham, bacon and fresh sausage

1) 125F for medium sized ham - smoke for 15 to 20 hours
    125F for large sized ham - smoke for 24 to 30 hours

2) Bacon
     120 to 125F - smoke for 10 to 12 hours
     130F - smoke for 5 hours

3) Sausage
    90 to 125F - smoke until deep, rich red brown color

III. Smoking procedure tenderized hams

Tenderized hams

1) Soak the cured ham in fresh tap water to remove excess salt.
2) Hang inside the smokehouse. It takes about 24 hours to tenderize hams and it is usually accomplished in three stages:

a) Drying stage: Set the smokehouse at 125F for 8 hours. Drafts are opened and no smoke is generated.

b) Second stage: Raise the smokehouse temperature to 135F and generate smoke for 8 hours and drafts are half closed.

c) Third stage: Raise the temperature of the smokehouse to 165F until an internal meat temperature of 142F is achieved.

To fully tenderize smoked hams, they may require further cooking. Ready-to-eat hams sold in supermarkets are those that have undergone extra heat processing to achieve the internal temperature of 155 to 160F. A higher temperature of 180 to 185F can be used to achieve a very tender ready-to-eat ham. In my succeeding article, you will learn how to cure meat products.

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