Jackfruit tree and fruit – new page added

To see the Jackfruit Trees that I grew from seed, see the pictures of the progression from seed to three gallon potted young jackfruit trees in the complete article here https://maggiescornerdotorg.wordpress.com/recipes/jackfruit-trees-and-fruit/

I sprouted them in the spring of 2017 to raise for the Santa Rosa County Master Gardener Oktoberfest Auction that will take place October 11 at 10am at my local extension office. I attended Master Gardener training in 2009 and I have been involved with the program since then. For more information on the program click on this link for the Santa Rosa County Florida Master Gardener Program

Picture Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC

I grew the Jackfruit Trees from seed that I saved from a jackfruit that I bought at Bien Dong in Pensacola. Jackfruit is an amazing food! I enjoy the sweet fruit parts of the jackfruit as shown in this picture of the person cleaning a jackfruit.



I also make a shredded barbecue from the “meaty” part that some call pith. See the previous picture of the jackfruit that shows the “pith” that surrounds the sweet fruit part that contains the seeds. Once that pith is cooked it resembles in taste and texture the real meat barbecue but without the animal fat and cholesterol. Click on picture of BBQ Pulled Jackfruit to go to the website and see recipe. I also like to use Jackfruit in cooking Boston Baked Beans instead of salt pork, it is unbelievable mouthfeel of salt pork in the beans!




Jackfruit: Artocarpus heterophyllus

Click on pictures to see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg370

The jackfruit tree is in the same family as breadfruit, fig, and mulberry. It typically grows 30 to 40 feet tall in south Florida, the fruit typically weighs between 10 and 30 pounds each. It has been grown in Florida since 1886.  Care must be taken during winter in areas that are subject to freezing temperatures.

Propagation: Jackfruit is a monoecious species but with separate male and female flowers on the same tree. The male fruit is smaller and once it pollinates the female fruit it rapidly decays. Jackfruit may be propagated by seed, grafting, and cuttings. In some areas, seed propagation is still used. Jackfruit from seed may be more precocious than many other fruit, and trees may begin production in the 3rd to 4th year.

Climate: The jackfruit is well adapted to the hot humid tropics. Jackfruit grows well in the humid subtropical climate of south Florida along the coastal areas where there are only occasional freezes. Optimum growth and production occurs in continuously warm areas.  Jackfruit leaves may be damaged at 32°F (0°C), branches at 30°F (-1°C), and branches and trees may be killed at 28°F (-2°C).

Credits and Sources:

Picture Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Publication HS882 online at EDIS: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg370

See entire article at Jackfruit Trees and Fruit 


Kombucha Sourdough Starter

I wrote a post in April about making sourdough starter from my harvested kombucha yeast. I said I would post after I made the bread but I didn’t. I have made three batches of bread and two batches of pancakes since I wrote that post in April.  The first bread I made was a rock. The second batch was good, much better but still heavy, the third batch was the charm – as they say. I made up my own recipe for the third batch and it was excellent! The best part is it was enough for two loaves so I made one loaf and froze the other. I did it as an experiment to see if it will freeze and then bake up as good as the first loaf. The pancakes that I wrote about in the post in April were excellent and the second batch was even better, they freeze well.

To make the starter you just drain off sediment that is in bottom of jar and some kombucha – if you have 1 cup liquid use 1 cup flour. Pour mixture into jar and cover with woven cotton cloth, not cheese cloth because weave is too loose – gnats will crawl through loosely woven fabric- use tightly woven cotton fabric. Let set on kitchen counter about 24 hours – depends on temperature of kitchen. It will be bubbling. It is ready for using but will be even better if you use it for your mother and keep adding liquid and flour each day for several days. That way you can take some for recipe and still have the mother. If I’m not going to use it for a few days I put a lid on it tightly and refrigerate jar. When refrigerated you are “supposed to be able to” feed only once a week. I forgot to feed my starter that I had been using and feeding for several months but I forgot and on the 8th day I decided to take it out of refrigerator and let it get going again so I fed it, then waited a few hour – nothing was going on – I fed again and waited – by the next day I realized it was dead so I had to start over again with new kombucha harvested yeast and kombucha.

The pancake recipe:

Kombucha Sourdough Hotcakes

The night before you want to make these pancakes

Mix 1 cup of active sourdough starter (not cold from refrigerator – take out a couple day before you will use it and feed it twice a day so that it is very active,) 2 cups warm spring or filtered water, 2-1/2 cups flour (I used mixture of white and wholewheat flour,) 2 tbsp sugar, stir all together until smooth, cover and leave on counter top over night.  The next morning it should be actively bubbling.

Next morning:

Mix together 2 tbsp ground flax seeds, 6 tbsp warm water, 2 tbsp oil (I use olive oil but you could use any oil you like taste of) 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda. Then add to your bubbling starter mixture and stir well and then let this pancake batter sit for about 10 minutes, heat griddle and stir the batter once again, then drop spoonfuls of the batter onto hot griddle at a size you like. Leave about 3 minutes or until golden brown, flip, then let cook about 3 minutes or until golden brown, and remove to a warming pan. This recipe makes about 20 to 25 griddle cakes that are about 4″ to 5″ diameter. These freeze extremely well but be sure they are completely cool before freezing otherwise ice crystals may form.

The bread recipe – 3rd time is the charm recipe

2-1/2 cups active kombucha starter

1 cup filtered/spring water

1 Tbsp active dry yeast

3 Tbsp olive oil

4 cups flour

1 Tbsp kosher coarse salt

In a bowl mix flour and salt set aside. Warm the water to about 95 F and add active dry yeast – set aside. I a bowl add the starter and the water with active dry yeast and olive oil, stir, add flour mixture a little at a time, bring dough together and knead. Place in greased bowl, place in the oven (oven is off and cold) on top shelf, on bottom shelf put a pan of steaming hot water and close the oven door. Let dough rise for about 1 hour, it should be double in size.  The punch down, knead, and place in pan that it will be baked in, let rise until double again. Bake in 350 F oven with the water pan in oven for about 40 minutes, check to be sure of the internal temperature is between 190 F and 210 F

I also found by experimenting that I can let it set out on counter for first rise, it takes longer – it took about 6 hours – I had on counter top in a bowl covered by another bowl large enough that it won’t touch when is raises. Then when it was doubled I knocked down, kneaded, divided into two loaves and froze it. Then when I want to bake a loaf I take it out of freezer, remove from plastic bag, place in greased glass loaf pan, cover with a container large enough to cover without it touching when it doubles. It take about 6 hours to thaw and raise double – maybe longer depending on room temperature – then bake in hot oven until internal temperature is about 210 F.

Cinco de Mayo Black Bean Oat Burgers

Cinco de Mayo Burger

Cinco de Mayo Burger




1 TBSP ground flax

½ cup TVP

1 tbsp vital wheat gluten

1 cup of the black bean liquid from cooking pot

3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (http://www.marthastewart.com/258132/homemade-vegan-worcestershire-sauce )

2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the above ingredients, set aside.

Then mix together the following ingredients until mixed well.

3 cups mashed cooked black beans

1 cup pureed baked butternut squash

½ cup finely chopped walnuts

1 tbsp minced dried onion

1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ cup dried shitake bits and powder

1 grated fresh carrot

4 chopped fresh scallions

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

¼ cup salsa verde

1 tbsp cilantro ( omit if you don’t like cilantro )

Then add the first mixture into the 2nd mixture, mix well together.

Then add the last ingredient, 1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats [not instant]

Mix all well and cover, refrigerate for about 1 hour, then remix and let set another hour.

This will keep in refrigerator for several days and it freezes well too.

Then form into patties for burgers and pan grill or bake with a little oil on both sides.

It also makes great breakfast patties or scramble for tacos, burritos, or other such dishes.

Sourdough Bread from Harvested Kombucha Yeast

A couple months ago I decided to try harvesting yeast from my kombucha vessel to make sourdough bread.

I made the starter but instead of making the bread I made sourdough pancakes – AWESOME pancakes!  







They were so good that I froze them individually and I ate them only on Sunday mornings until they ran out.

So now that I just bottled a batch of kombucha and am ready to make another batch I decided to clean out the vessel and harvest the yeast. I brew in 2 gallon glass vessel with dispensing spigot. I’ve made about three batches of kombucha since I last cleaned out the vessel, so that’s what I did this afternoon and the sourdough starter is already bubbly. I will post again after I make the bread.




Meal in a Dip

You can have your dip and feel good about eating it too. This recipe that I engineered today Is so delicious and satisfying it will be a hit at any gathering. You don’t need to mention that it’s non-dairy, no cholesterol, low fat, and your vegan friends can eat it too. I ate it as a dip with my favorite chip as pictured below but it could also be a creamy salad dressing or even a topping on a baked potato, or on beans or even on your favorite soup. You will see by the recipe that this meal in a dip has protein and vegetables!

Meal in a Dip


Recipe is is as follows:


1 package of extra firm tofu – drain water by letting sit in a strainer – press to remove most of the packing water.

4 cups fresh baby spinach – cleaned and dry

6 green onions – clean and chop

1 avocado – remove peel and cut up and place in small bowl then add the lime juice, stir to coat avocado, and set aside

1 lime – juiced – about 1/8 cup – pour the lime juice over avocado as previously mentioned

1/8 cup raw unsweetened almond butter

Old Bay Seasoning – 2 tsp or to taste

nutritional yeast –  3 tbsp or to taste

Preparation steps:

  1. Add half the block of tofu, crumbled into the food processor, add the avocado, scrape bowl to get all the lime juice.
  2. Pulse processor and blend on low speed, scrape sides with spatula often until smooth.
  3. Add the spinach and green onions, repeat step 2.
  4. Add Old Bay and nutritional yeast and repeat step 2.
  5. Add almond butter, and repeat step 2.
  6. Add the rest of tofu crumbled, and repeat step 2.

Makes about 3 cups – serve with chips or as a dressing on salad, baked potato, pasta, or many other uses.

Meal in a Dip recipe makes about 3 cups

Meal in a dip is vegan friendly, non-dairy, no cholesterol, low fat and delicious!

Meal in a dip is creamy and delicious, yet vegan friendly!

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie's Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

Maggie’s Chili and Beans Vegan Style

1 pound bag dried red beans (large kidney beans)

Rinse and pick beans, drain. Pour into a large pot, cover with water at least 3 times volume of beans.

Cooking the beans:

Let beans soak overnight. Next morning drain off water and rinse well again, rinse out the pot, put beans back in cooking pot and cover with enough water to cover about 2” over beans, place on stove and bring to boil while stirring so the foam that forms on top will not overflow pot. Reduce heat to allow low simmering condition, cover and let simmer 20 minutes. Keep checking beans and stirring beans so that they don’t boil over; adjust heat so that low simmer persists with lid on pot. After 20 minutes, check beans for tenderness. When beans are cooked to point of being tender then add chili sauce ingredients (see below,) stir well and often for another 20 minutes or until beans are creamy inside and have absorbed flavors of chili sauce. Remove from heat and allow resting for at least 30 more minutes stirring occasionally without heat, and then readying to serve. When serving, I top with Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds (this is a vegan friendly product, it’s non-dairy and vegetable based cheese,) this veggie based cheese melts into hot chili and is delicious addition.

Chili Sauce Ingredients: add the following to the beans when they are at tender stage of cooking:

2 bay leaves

2 large roasted jalapeno peppers (I oven roast and freeze these when abundant from the Farmer’s Market)

6 sundried tomatoes (chopped to about ¼” square pieces)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried ground garlic

1 tsp dried ground cumin

1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (no salt added)

3 cups water

½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) I buy in bulk bins area at Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe.


Okara: the Lagniappe of Homemade Soy Milk

After years of buying store bought soy milk I decided to make my own when I realized how easy it is to make at home. I started making my own soy milk at home last year after I got serious about cooking plant based cuisine. I use soy milk and coconut milk in baking, for smoothies, ice cream, and for many other cooking uses.  I especially like the idea that I can buy non-GMO, organic soy beans and make fresh soy milk without the preservatives, thickeners, or flavorings that are in store bought milk, plus the cost is a fraction of store bought. I buy soybeans by the pound in the Bulk Goods Section at Ever’man Food Cooperative  where I am a member. The okara is the byproduct of the soy milk making process, it is the lagniappe of homemade soy milk. For those who don’t know what lagniappe means it’s a term I learned growing up in Louisiana, it means something given as an extra bonus or gift. Sometimes I just want to make soy milk in order to get the okara! Okara is a wonderful healthful high fiber food that can be used in everything from a bean burger to a moist sweet cake dessert. I will share some recipes that I make with okara in another post soon to come. If I’m not going to use the okara within a day or two, I freeze it. My two fur babies Zoie and Terra are absolutely crazy for the okara; they always seem to know I’ve made it, I guess they know the smell, they will run into the kitchen and sniff around, then sit and look at me patiently waiting for me to give them some. I too like to eat it fresh from the straining bag, it’s a taste I can’t describe. It’s a very mild taste. It accepts any seasoning; I guess that’s why it is a good addition to savory and sweet dishes alike.

Below are pictures of the process I go through to make soy milk and okara.

I start the night before by washing 1 cup of soy beans very well. If you haven’t washed dried soybeans before, you will be surprised that they foam like they have soap on them! All beans sort of foam but soybeans are very foamy. As I wash the beans, I pick out any beans that look bad. I wash very well, then rinse well, and then place washed beans in a stainless steel or enamel ware pot and put at least 6 cups of water, cover and let soak all night. The next morning dump the beans and water into a colander and rinse well again. The beans will have absorbed water and doubled or tripled in size. You will have about 3 cups of soy beans now, and that is enough to make 48 oz of soy milk. Soy beans have to be cooked for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to inactivate an enzyme that is bad for digestion. Cooking the beans also eliminates the “beany” flavor.

After cooking the beans for 20 minutes then either let set until room temperature or drain into a colander and rinse well. Then place about 1 cup in blender and add spring water as you will see in pictures below.

getting ready to grind the soaked soybeans in spring water

grinding the soaked soybeans in spring water

grinding the soaked soybeans in spring water

Getting the pan, stand, and straining bag ready

Getting the pan, stand, and straining bag ready – I made this bag by sewing it from 100% cotton, unbleached  cotton muslin with a drawstring channel at top of bag which I made the draw string from t-shirt yarn.


making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk pouring the ground soy beans and spring water into the straining bag, straining out the okara

making soymilk, the ground soy beans and spring water straining out the okara

making soymilk, the ground soy beans and spring water straining out the okara

straining bag containing the soy okara

straining bag containing the soy okara – I use a steamer insert to help me press the bag while I squeeze the milk from the okara – some call it milking the bean bag

straining bag containing the soy okara and the pan of soymilk

straining bag containing the soy okara on left in bowl, and the pan of soy milk on right

Heat the soy milk on stove over medium-high heat until it starts to boil, then remove from heat, cover and cool for about an hour before pouring into a jar and refrigerating.

Heat the soy milk on stove over medium-high heat until it starts to boil, then remove from heat, cover and cool for about an hour before pouring into a jar and refrigerating.

straining bag containing the soy okara

straining bag containing the soy okara



The homemade soy milk keeps for 3 to 5 days in refrigerator. Mine doesn’t last that long because I use it in most everything I cook.

I want to answer what many have asked about the characterization of beans producing gas, many ask if soy milk develops gas in the tummy. No soy milk doesn’t give you gas.

One more tip for bean lovers who enjoy eating dried bean but who have problems with tummy gas. When cooking dried beans to eat it is best to soak the beans overnight, rinse next morning and be sure to use fresh water to cook your beans; then you shouldn’t have a problem with flatulence. If you find that you still have a tiny bit of gas production, then go one step farther and when cooking in fresh water, after 20 minutes of lightly simmering the beans, drain, rinse and fill with cold fresh water and then finish cooking the beans, adding seasonings and any fat after beans are almost done. I use olive oil for fat in my savory bean dishes.