Banana Jam & A Hollyhock Cookbook Giveaway!

Hollyhock Garden to Table Cookbook

I’m excited to share this new cookbook with you. Even if I weren’t personally connected with it, I’d say Hollyhock Garden to Table would be a fine addition to your kitchen resources. What’s fun for me is that I am connected with it, in three small ways:

First, it is written and photographed by two beautiful, creative women whom I know and respect tremendously — Moreka Jolar and Heidi Scheifley. (I wrote about Mo here once before, because she inspires me no end and we happen to share the same birthday.) They regularly write about food and their farm at Ripple Rock Cooks.

Second, this cookbook centers around produce from the organic gardens at the Hollyhock Learning Centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia. I have been there and I have eaten food from Hollyhock’s kitchen, so I can affirm that the adjectives on the back of the book are true. Cortes is stunning. The gardens at Hollyhock are spectacular. The food is imaginative, inspiring, and versatile.

Third, you’ll find two of my recipes in this book: nasturtium pesto and pickled nasturtium pods. (Both are updated versions of the recipes on this blog.) Thank you, Mo and Heidi, for including my work!

Moreka Jolar and Heidi Scheifley

Hollyhock Garden to Table is packed with interesting recipes to try. Chapters include everything from salads to mains, from breads to breakfasts — and of course, desserts. I may be most intrigued by their “accompaniments,” which include strawberry salsa, stinging nettle pesto, fig and port compote, and more. I pride myself on never having used the word “yummy” on this blog, but I’m having to restrain myself from employing it now. This cookbook makes me happy because the recipes seem equal parts delicious and enjoyable to prepare.

For inspiration in this moment of full-on-spring, there’s plenty of rhubarb:

  • Rhubarb Vinaigrette
  • Rhubarb Syrup with Hibiscus or Lemongrass
  • Apple Rhubarb Pandowdy
  • Gluten Free Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
  • Rhubarb Shortcake

And lots of food in jars . . .

Hollyhock Garden to Table Preserves

And while Hollyhock Garden to Table includes an abundance of recipes featuring good, whole grains, I was excited to find many things I can enjoy on my current grain-free, sugar-free, lactose-free — insert audible sigh here — plan. I decided to start with banana jam, and that’s the recipe I get to share with you below.

Also, Mo and Heidi generously provided me with a copy of Hollyhock Garden to Table to give away to you. For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post, including one thing you’re really enjoying about this spring so far. I know there have been a lot of tragedies of late. I love to look outside to see that the pink jasmine has burst into bloom as usual. Carl the crow is also doing great. A couple times, he has even brought another crow to share his breakfast.

The giveaway closes on Friday, 5/3 at 8 p.m. PST and I’ll announce the winner soon after. (Sorry, but I have to restrict the contest to residents of the U.S. or Canada.) If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway results, you can click right over and buy a copy of this lovely book direct from the authors.

Banana Jam & Almond Flour Pancakes | Hitchhiking to HeavenBanana Jam

from Hollyhock Garden to Table, by Moreka Jolar and Heidi Scheifley

Sugar-free and begging to be sandwiched up with some nut butter, this banana jam has some serious citrus and vanilla punch, with just a pinch of clove and cardamom. Easy as 1-2-3.

Makes 1 cup

3 medium bananas
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cloves
pinch of cardamom

In a heavy-bottomed skillet, mash the bananas with the remaining ingredients. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. The jam should get thick and creamy. Allow to cool. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (Bananas are a low-acid food and this recipe has not been tested for acidity, so please assume that it is NOT safe for canning.)

Notes: The bananas I used weren’t quite ripe enough. This recipe will work best with sweeter, brown-speckled bananas. Because the bananas were so firm, I gave them a quick whirl in the food processor before cooking the jam. For this tiny batch project, I used my heavy-bottomed 8″ stainless-steel skillet, which worked great. The jam reached the desired thickness after just 8 minutes, perhaps because of its little spin in the food processor. Watch the mixture well and stir it pretty much constantly to keep it the jam from sticking or scorching. I think you’ll be pleased with the results. I was!

Banana Jam | Hitchhiking to Heaven


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  • Reply Joletta Brooks April 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

    This year I have planted the biggest garden in years and plan to can a good bit. This cookbook sounds wonderful! I would be proud to own it!

    I saved the Banana Jam recipe into Yumprint and plan to use it soon as Sage, my beautiful grand daughter really loves banana EVERYTHING!

  • Reply meg- grow and resist April 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Congrats on your recipes being in the book! And, you know my obsession with banana jam…I adore yours!
    The book sounds great– I imagine the rhubarb vinaigrette is fantastic!

  • Reply Debbie D April 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

    This book looks fantastic! I’m hoping for more food in jars from my garden this year. And speaking of gardens, the one thing I am enjoying about spring is my lovely garden. We incorporated a hugelkultur bed this year and to date the tomatoes are coming along very nicely in the bed. In fact, the best looking tomatoes I’ve ever grown. We’ll see if it produces and maintains throughout our hot summer.

  • Reply Natasha Lyndon April 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    You asked us to include in our comment one thing we’re really enjoying about this spring so far. I moved last week and am now enjoying living in a log cabin on my friend’s land 30 min. drive outside of Kamloops BC with dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys, horses, llamas, her 5 kids, and one peacock.

    No running water. Outhouse. Internet connection.Thank goodness for priorities.

    Also enjoying eating my mum’s homemade lemon marmalade on the corn bread I baked yesterday.

    My connection to Hollyhock is as a past volunteer work exchanger, and an eater of Moreka and Heidi’s delectable meals as chefs there!!

  • Reply Natasha Lyndon April 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Banana jam? Sounds outrageously easy-delicious. Gonna try making it. Must go brush a horse first.

  • Reply Denise | Chez Danisse April 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I love a plain old banana with peanut butter, so I’m sure I’d be pleased with this jam on a nut butter sandwich. This book looks like fun. This spring, as with most, I’m enjoying all of the extra hours filled with sunlight.

  • Reply Jan Wood April 29, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Spring is one of my favorite times of the year (the other being fall). The smell of hyacinth, the bright flowers and the soft greenery of newly leafing trees and bushes. Then there are the birds chirping outside my window at 5:00 in the morning. Sometimes I wish I had a cat…

    The recipe looks great! I wonder if it could also be turned into ice cream using frozen bananas? Maybe put everything into a blender and blend until smooth? I think I will try both. :)

  • Reply Ariana April 29, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Oooh, your banana jam would be delish on my honey-wheat bread!

    I love watching as my soon-to-be 8 year old son gets more involved in our garden. A few years ago my boy asked if we could grow a “Zombie Defense” garden (inspired by the “Plants vs Zombies” game). We started small with plants that were in the game – sunflowers, squash, snow peas, peppers.

    This year, we have more than 20 different things growing (including hops – just ‘cuz – and goji berries and cucumbers he named Ishmael because… well…
    I think we all get that literary reference!). And all of this is in the tiny “communal” space behind our apartment building.

  • Reply Elizabeth Anderson April 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I have also been eating a grain and dairy and soya free diet. I am looking forward to your blog discoveries. We grow a large vegetable garden that helps us to eat healthfully and augments our income since we don’t have to buy so much food. I would love to be the recipient of the cookbook. I am a great admirer of Moreka’s culinary expertise.

  • Reply Michelle G April 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Going to try this recipe real soon. Wonder how it would taste to add a bit of maple sugar?

  • Reply Hope Evey April 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    There’s so much to love about spring! I think my favorite thing this spring is being suprised by flowers. Overnight, yesterday’s patch of dirt is a riot of color, shape, and texture.

    I have got to figure out the macro function of my camera!

  • Reply Emilie April 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    My favorite thing about spring right now is the smell of the philadelphus and locust blossoms perfuming the air!

  • Reply Sara April 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    This recipe sounds great. I am enjoying today–the first day of spring where we could open our windows because it was warmer outside than in!

  • Reply Steven April 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I swore to myself and my partner that I wouldn’t get anymore cookbooks this year since we don’t have room for them, but I’m definitely going to buy this one if I don’t win it. Looks wonderful.

    This spring, so far, I am enjoying all the rhubarb that’s growing in our yard. It’s doing so well this season. I’ve already made a batch of blood orange/rhubarb/cardamom jam and rhubarb/strawberry jam. Would love to try the rhubarb recipes you mention above too.

  • Reply Danielle April 30, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Ooh – this banana jam looks like a nice change from the banana date jam I usually make. As for this spring, I am a complete rhubarb addict so that’s always my favorite part of the season!

  • Reply kaela April 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Spring is *just* springing here in New York, and I found the very first gorgeously pink stalks of rhubarb at the farmer’s market last weekend. You know that makes me happy!

  • Reply Julia April 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Just about everything outside my door is making me happy! The green veil is just slowly coming down, the tulips are bobbing in the breeze, and yes, rhubarb is on its way! Everything is humming with potential.

    This cookbook sounds amazing. I’ve been following these folks since you first made mention of them on Facebook! Thanks to you and them for this opportunity!

  • Reply TheGirlandTheGoats April 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Soooo excited that the asparagus has started to come up!! Hooray

  • Reply Meg April 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Sounds like a fabulous addition to any food preserving enthusiasts bookshelf! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Lee Clark April 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

    The thing I like about spring the most is the blloming flowers and the begiining of the harvest season…..everything looks so alive

  • Reply Teruska April 30, 2013 at 9:48 am

    My favorite part of spring so far is that the weather was nice enough in Maine this weekend to allow us to have some of our Charcuterie workshop outside.

  • Reply Resa April 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    This spring my favourite bits have included the realization that I have an elderberry in my yard – which prompted me to make elderflower cordial, I finally started eating the dandelions, I found a giant nettle patch to satisfy my spring greens cravings and also found out I can eat the maple flowers…new beginnings, new learnings ah spring the harbinger of everything…

  • Reply Danielle April 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    This book sounds amazing! So far my favorite thing about this spring has been that the ivy all over my house has finally started to bud! Pretty green leaves look much better than dead brown vines :)

  • Reply Franko April 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

    after a cold winter, i’m definitely looking forward to being warm, and to puttering in the garden and seeing life return. life finds a way!

  • Reply Kathy April 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

    So much to love about spring! Enjoying the warmer weather, the wildflowers around Phoenix Lake, where I like to hike, and the bird that built a nest right above our front door. I’m a teacher so I’m also feeling like summer is right around the corner and that means a break from school/work…yay! Something the kids AND the teachers definitely need. I just started canning a month ago and already have 9 recipes under my belt, so I’ve been loving going to the farmer’s market with an eye on what to can next. I’d love the cookbook for some more inspiration!

  • Reply Candace McKenna April 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

    What do I love about spring? STRAWBERRIES!!! I am picking strawberries on Friday to make a fresh batch of your Strawberry Balsamic Pepper Jam, can’t wait!!!

  • Reply Lydia April 30, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I love the sweet spring air, slightly perfumed with flowers, the chirping birds, and the plants peeking through the soil.

  • Reply Cecilia April 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Can hardly wait to try out the recepie. I am emjoying all the sunshine and planting of veggies

  • Reply Angela April 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Hollyhock Garden to Table looks amazing! I love any resource that helps me eat with the seasons and gives me ideas for all my farmers market finds. So… fingers crossed that you pick me, pick me, pick me! ;)

    Here in Tulsa, it seems like everything comes up purple in spring. The redbud trees (whose buds are definitely purple and not at all red), blooming irises, lots of trailing wisteria all over town… seems like everywhere I look, the prevailing color is purple! And then, of course, I am in an apartment this year, and so I’ve started container gardening on my fire escape. I’ve got sugar snap peas sprouting, just putting off their first little tendrils to find a place to climb, and I can see little green onion hairs and the first baby leaves of spinach poking up through my potted soil. This spring is bound to be an adventure.

  • Reply Nichole April 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’m enjoying that it’s almost summer :)

  • Reply Kate April 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    The asparagus I just planted already seems to be growing, even though I have to wait a couple of years to pick it I know it will be there, my peas are shooting up and my rhubarb is beautiful!

  • Reply Alison April 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I’m enjoying the fact that spring has finally come !!
    Add that my lemon verbena has survived, a real surprise

  • Reply Michelle April 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Rhubarb and meyer lemons anyone?

  • Reply rachel wilson April 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    The idea of banana jam is inspiring! Best things this spring: I inherited 4 citrus trees this year and I am totally loving watching them come back to life. Also, looking forward to the Meyer lemons for lemon/lavender syrup using a new tree and my beautiful lavender bush.

  • Reply Atarah April 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    We recently relocated to a house 200 miles from where we were previously living. What I’ve enjoyed most about this spring are all the pretty surprises in bloom, bulbs that were previously hidden and waiting to wow us once winter started to drift out. We have a darling garden that has been neglected for a number of years reclamation can be hard work but it is well worth the effort. I am anxious to add this cookbook to my collection and give a go at some of those recipes!

  • Reply Jim McCoy May 1, 2013 at 4:59 am

    The best part of spring so far has been getting outside to brew beer instead of being trapped inside. Actually that applies to all aspects of life, the weather wasn’t horrible this winter but is way better now.

  • Reply Amy May 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I think the best things in spring so far have been the local farmers markets starting, tulip bulbs planted in the fall blooming with huge blossoms, and my pallet herb garden starting to sprout.

  • Reply sharron orcutt May 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    the very best of this spring is watching my herbs leafing out, peas climbing the trellis, garlic sticking out of the earth, acid garden is in and thriving(rhubarb and blueberry transplants) have tomatoes started, peppers right behind. have been waiting for spring forever it seems. and i really want that book

  • Reply cheri jackson May 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    the best thing so far this spring is seeing my garden getting started

  • Reply Rachel May 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    My favorite thing about spring so far is the new calves and lambs frolicking out in the pastures.

  • Reply Stephanie May 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I love the 18″ of snow we have gotten in the last two weeks and the 3-6″ we are expected to get tonight. Ok… I don’t really love it, but I need to stay positive. At least the last snow we had here made everything look magical. Had it been mid- Dec I woulda been super delighted.

  • Reply Renee Weaver May 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I love that spring shade of green and watching the fig leaf out.

  • Reply Jodi Monroy May 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I’m enjoying the sunshine!

  • Reply Jan K May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    My favorite season of the year, the sights, the sounds and the smells. Here in Northern Michigan my rhubarb is just peaking out of the ground. Your banana jam sounds wonderful.

  • Reply Joann May 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    This is the first visit to your blog, wow, blowing me away! some great reading, different jam ingredients! This spring has been a chilly one in upstate, New York for sure, busy working on getting gardens ready…mulching straw with goat, chicken,rabbit manure all winter! flowers are up, we have blooming shrubs, bulbs today and sunshine, gardening outdoors begining this weekend. Looking forward to your new book.
    Have wonderful spring day!

  • Reply kymm fox May 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    cant wait to try this recipe!!!

  • Reply Della May 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Banana Jam! Seriously!?! I so need to make this to go on a yummy peanut butter sandwich, wow! The best thing about Spring that I love the most is watching everything grow and bloom and soak up the Sunshine!

  • Reply Ruth Baldwin May 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Loving spring for the fat robins rooting in dirt for worms, swooping owls, peeping frogs and howling coyotes in the night. Abundance!

  • Reply Janice May 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Spring means gardening. It’s a pleasure to grow vegetables from seed and to see the fruit developing on the trees. I’m looking forward to making some Banana Jam!

  • Reply Gin May 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I’m enjoying the wild violets in my yard–my favorite spring flower!

  • Reply Robin May 2, 2013 at 4:55 am

    This looks delicious. I am putting it on my short list.

    My favorite things so far this spring…..we are in the middle of blooming magnolias, rhododendrens, tulips, daffodils, forsythias, pear trees, etc. makes my soul soar!!!

  • Reply millie May 2, 2013 at 5:22 am

    The chive blossoms are about to pop, just in time for my daughter’s birthday (and mine), just like they do every spring.

  • Reply Abigail May 2, 2013 at 5:28 am

    now I need to go buy some bananas!
    I’m enjoying all the green and new growth, I’m noticing all the fruit trees in my neighborhood and their delicious smelling flowers as my son and I take our walks. I have a few friends that own farms and its just amazing seeing all the new baby animals frolicking around on the fresh green fields!

  • Reply Shawn Augustine May 2, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Both the cookbook & your recipe look amazing!!! Banana Jam….who would have thought?!?! :)
    Well, here in Minnesota, Mother Nature can’t decide if we are ready for Spring yet, but the most exciting thing for me is seeing my herbs sprouting to life! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply Sue May 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I am enjoying the freshness of the air and the beauty of the happy pansy faces I potted last weekend – they make me smile! The book looks full of great, old time recipes to be made with fresh, local ingredients. Yum!

  • Reply Lisa M. May 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    This looks to be a lovely book!!!! So sweet of the girls to share one for you to share :). My favorite thing this spring ( so far) is my greenhouse that is bursting to the seams with trays of plants started by seed. I cant wait to transplant into my garden and also my parents ( They get hotter weather over the hill from us. I’m on the coast. ) So, tomato jam, fruit jams and food in jars here we come!!! Ok ok, I must add my crazy blooming Cecil brunner roses and the poppies! Have a great day! Lisa

  • Reply Beth R May 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I have bookmarked nearly every page of the Food in Jars book that I absolutely love! I take your word for the banana jam and plan to make it ASAP! I am in love with brussel sprout relish at the moment and have more than plenty of onions on hand to make an onion relish as well. Who doesn’t like condiments on bread – especially homemade bread!

  • Reply Tammy B. May 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I am excited that I will be picking wild dewberries with my Grandkids very soon!

  • Reply Joan Zeglin May 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful site. Being in my 70’s this is the first time I heard of banana jam. Really looking forward to grocery shopping and getting bananas and make this on Sunday. Thank you. God bless

  • Reply Bree May 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    i have heard good things about this book. My so far my fav part of spring has been the return of the birds. I forget how much I miss waking up to them until they are back each spring

  • Reply laura May 3, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Best part of spring so far has been spying strawberry leaves coming up in the yard, and the few days it has been warm and dry enough to bike to work without rain gear! Love your recipes, and excited to try banana jam and almond butter sammies.

  • Reply Rebecca May 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    This banana jam recipe looks interesting – I’ll have to buy a few extras to try it out.
    Thank you for the cookbook offer! One thing I am enjoying about spring this year is that it’s lasting a long time. Here in SE Pennsylvania we have had a lovely stretch of bright clear days in the low 70’s. I am also enjoying asparagus!

  • Reply Elizabeth May 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Sounds lovely. Pesto, British Columbia, ah…and perhaps a trout stream.
    Today was 93 degrees outside, and I’m beginning to think about making
    some jam. Thanks for your great blog.

  • Reply Karla May 4, 2013 at 3:51 am

    I’ve been eating more bananas lately because yogurt-making -> more whey than I know what to do with -> starting a smoothie habit. This will be another fun thing to do with them.

  • Reply Shae May 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for all of these wonderful, spring-inspired comments, everyone! The winner of the book is Ruth Baldwin. Yay, Ruth! I’ll be in touch to arrange shipment of your new cookbook!

  • Reply lori May 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    yummy! can you “can” bananna jam?

    • Reply Shae May 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Hi Lori: Bananas are a low-acid food an therefore not safe to can. The only exception is if you were to use a recipe that was well-acidified with other ingredients and tested for safety. An example of that is the lingonberry (or cranberry) banana jam that I posted a couple years back. That one is safe because the lingonberries/cranberries are so high in acid. You can find it here:

  • Reply Cheryl Tyiska May 7, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Wow, I just found this site and this book. I can’t wait to try this banana jam!

  • Reply Wendy July 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I love this!!! I will have to try for my soon to be 8-year-old who LOVES banana bread! Can I “can” this? Is it the normal 10 minutes water bath.

    I love spring, because it’s not too hot but not too cold… it’s just right.

    • Reply Shae July 19, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Hi Wendy: This banana jam is NOT safe to can. It’s not acidic enough. Please see my reply to Lori just above. Store it in the fridge and enjoy!

  • Reply Janne July 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I use sugar, muscovado is possible, otherwise what you have, and I also add a pinch or two of flaked sea salt.
    Adds a lot and it gets less sugary.

    Lovely blog by the way!

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