Welcome to our new home on the internet!

Thank you for stopping by. Please take time to explore our new site. There are many interesting blog posts below as well as our NEW STORE, and a free copy of our Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer Cookbook. You can also CONTACT US.

We look forward to serving you.

Take care,

Daniel Heila, owner Mehu-Liisa Products

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A noteworthy post from Mehu-Liisa user, Granny Miller

Here’s a post by Granny Miller about juicing with the Mehu-Liisa steam juicer. Her blog is well worth a look around. I am very appreciative of folks like Granny Miller for keeping skills from past generations alive. Thank you, Granny!

How to use a steam juicer.

Posted in apples, Berry Season, Cherries, Cranberries, grapes, Of Interest, pears, Plums, pomegranates, Rhubarb, Seasonal Fruit, Sour Cherries, Spring, Steam Cooking Recipes, stone fruit, strawberries, Summer, Tips and Techniques | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Freezing fruit before steam juicing with Mehu-Liisa

 

Strawberries1

I often freeze soft berries like strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries for use later in the season with my Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer. A couple quarts of frozen berries on top of a batch of apples, pears, peaches, or white grapes yields a wonderful mixed fruit juice. I have noticed what seems to be increased juice production when I do this. It has been my opinion that freezing fruit breaks down the fiber of the fruit and thus yields more juice. This article abstract from the International Journal of Fruit Science seems to corroborate this idea.

Journal image

Comparison of Juice Extraction Methods from Fresh and Frozen Mayhaw (Crataegus opacaHook.) Fruit

I will be doing some comparison juicing tests this season to see if this is indeed true. I’ll keep you up to date!

As always, I am interested in your experiences with steam juicing with the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer.

Take care,

Daniel

Posted in apples, Berry Season, Cherries, Cranberries, grapes, pears, Plums, Rhubarb, Seasonal Fruit, Sour Cherries, Spring, stone fruit, strawberries, Tips and Techniques | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for drawing off juice with the Mehu-Liisa

Here are a couple of quick tips to use while drawing off juice from your Mehu-Liisa:

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Make sure your hose is well up into the crotch of the clamp to assure a good seal off.

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It is convenient to hook the clip onto a handle on the juicer to keep it from dangling off the front of the juicer. Be sure your clamp is securely fixed on the hose.

Cranberry processing 19  Cranberry processing 20

I use a large, heavy-duty measuring cup to hold my canning jars while I draw off the juice. Keeping the jar below the surface of the stove improves the flow of juice into the jar. Although I do not have a glove or hot pad on my hand, I highly recommend using either while working with the hose as it can get very hot.

I hope these tips will improve your Mehu-Liisa juicing experiences.

Take care,

Daniel

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Nutrition of steamed vegetables.

TomPepOnion

Some people tell me that cooked foods are “dead” foods. Their claim is that there is very little nutritive value in cooked food. I have always been dubious of this claim, after all, haven’t humans been surviving on cooked foods as part of their diet for millennia? I won’t go into this argument but I will offer this interesting article from Scientific American and a recipe that the article inspired me to post:

Fact or Fiction: Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones.

The parts of the article that caught my attention were the discussions of tomatoes and lycopene, and cooked carrots and increased beta carotene. My father used to make delicious tomato-vegetable juice when I was a kid. It was very similar to V8 juice and I loved to drink it very cold on a summer day. Here is a simple recipe for tomato-vegetable juice:

Tomato-Vegetable juice and paste

12 lbs fresh tomatoes quartered skin on (or frozen, no need to thaw)

1 -2 small bunches of carrots scrubbed and diced, no need to peel

4 medium onions chopped coarsely

1 bunch of celery (1.5 – 2 lbs) chopped coarsely

3 green peppers (or chilies like poblano) chopped coarsely, no need to core

1 – 3 tsp salt to taste

1 -3 tsp sugar to taste

(1/2 tsp black pepper, cayenne, or smoked pepper flakes or a combination)

Layer the chopped veggies into the steamer basket with the spices intermixed. Steam over steady boil (not furious) for 40 – 50 minutes. Check water and juice levels at 30 minutes. A digital timer is an excellent tool for monitoring your processing and helping to avoid burnt water pans.

Drain off the juice (the juice will be quite clear, surprisingly) into sanitized quart mason jars and seal. Process using USDA recommendations for low acid vegetable juice. Alternatively, drain juice into large stock pot, scoop out pulp and run it through a food mill and turn the paste into the juice. Mix thoroughly, adjust seasonings, bottle, and process as before. The juice will settle in storage so just give it a shake before opening. Commercial tomato juices use additives and stabilizers to keep their juice pulp suspended.

Also, the milled pulp by itself is a wonderful product to add to stocks, sauces, and soups. Again, bottle (1/2, or 1 cup jars) and process according to USDA recommendations.

So, get some of your frozen tomatoes out of storage and make some delicious (and spicey if you like) tomato juice to drink as is or as part of a Bloody Mary at Sunday Brunch!

Here’s to lycopene and beta carotene!

Daniel

 

Posted in recipes, Seasonal Fruit, Steam Cooking Recipes, Tips and Techniques, Tomatoes, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Figgy Pudding – steamy delight!

I’ve always wanted to make Figgy Pudding. The term “blazing pudding” caught my attention as a kid when I first heard Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales (as read by the author on Caedmon Records’ first release of 1952, b-side). It wasn’t until quite a bit later in life that I realized the famous “now bring us some figgy pudding” line from the carol We Wish You a Merry Christmas refers to a dried-fruit concoction that was usually doused in liquor and set aflame before being brought to the table; thus, I made the connection between the figgy and the blazing.

Well, I am happy to bring you a successful Figgy Pudding recipe and tips on how to steam the pudding in your Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer. Yes, I know I am too late for the holidays, but in my research I came upon references to puddings that were made up to one year before Yuletide (no doubt an extra dram of the good stuff aided the pudding’s preservation), so go ahead and get steaming!

IMG_3291   ingredients

That is my holiday kitchen table on the left with lingering squash and, yes, the last of my tomatoes! Those are seed catalogs there on the right end. Ah, the cycle returns.

All the ingredients for Figgy Pudding are assembled on the right. Here is the link to the recipe I used:

Dorie Greenspan’s Figgy Pudding recipe from, Baking: From My Home to Yours

I’m not going to go into depth on the assembling of the recipe but will say that it was very easy and took no time at all. I offer these few photos and comments before I discuss steaming with the Mehu-Liisa:

Figgy Pudding 4  Figgy Pudding 5  Figgy Pudding 6

On the left, the figs are boiling in a bit of water to soften. In the middle, I light the liquid after boiling the figs in bourbon and brandy. The right shows the flame. The length of time one flames the mixture controls the booziness of the final product.

Figgy Pudding 9 Figgy Pudding 10  Figgy Pudding 11

The ingredients came together in a rather stiff, dry batter (left and middle) that I packed into a bundt pan (very well greased). I banged it down on the counter and made sure there were no air pockets. Then covered it in foil.

Figgy Pudding 8 Figgy Pudding 12  Figgy Pudding 14

I added some metal bands from my dome canning lids to the steamer basket for support and to allow the steam to surround the pan. I placed the foil-sealed pan in the colander of the juicer and then poked a few holes in the top of the pan funnel to keep condensation from dripping back into the batter (steam could rise up in the funnel of the pan and have nowhere to escape). I set my timer at 1/2 hour intervals to be sure that the water pan didn’t boil dry. Really, there was no danger of that because I used a steady (NOT furious) boil and the pan could have easily gone 1 full hour without being filled (this is on an electric hob). But, it’s best to be safe so CHECK YOUR WATER LEVEL!

Figgy Pudding 13  Figgy Pudding 2

There’s the chef, in festive garb, waiting patiently by the Mehu-Liisa and the wonderful finished Figgy Pudding on the right. Although the recipe calls for 2 hours steam time, it only took about 1.5 hours in the Mehu-Liisa because steam is quite a bit hotter than simmering water. The result was wonderfully dense, moist, cakey, and fruity-boozy—excellent with a cup of dark coffee. We were very satisfied!

It was fun to research figgy pudding and christmas pudding online. There is an enormous amount of information on the web regarding these fabled desserts and it all boils down (steams up?) to one irrefutable fact: there are no definitive recipes for either. This isn’t an uncommon state of affairs for much loved or traditional dishes, but the history of these two cakes (puddings in the UK) is so exceptional, and the fun of digging down into the crumby depths of it is so satisfying, that I highly recommend everyone to have a go at getting to know the figgy and the blazing. To nudge you on your way, here is a link to the Wikipedia post on Figgy Pudding (the fun starts when you check the resources and external links at the bottom):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figgy_pudding

Happy New Year to all! Check back for more recipes and tips for using your Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer from Finland.

Take care,

Daniel

Posted in Cherries, Christmas and New Year, Cranberries, Dried fruit, Holidays, recipes, Seasonal Fruit, Sour Cherries, Steam Cooking Recipes, Tips and Techniques, Winter, Yuletide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proper boil for Mehu-Liisa steam juicer processing.

Having your water boiling at the right intensity is important for efficient and safe processing in the Mehu-Liisa steam juicer. Here are a couple of videos to illustrate the point:

This first video shows a furious boil: the heat is too high here and you will run the risk of boiling your pan dry and damaging your juicer and your stove.

This second video shows the appropriate steady boil which generates plenty of steam and removes the risk of a burnt water pan.

Use a timer when you process. Set it to 30 minutes as soon as you assemble the juicer after the water comes to a boil. After 30 minutes, check the water level, add additional water if necessary, and set the timer a second time for up to 30 minutes (60 minutes total processing).

Following these steps will assure your juicer will serve you for decades and that you will be working in a safe environment.

Take care!

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