Bunny-Palooza 2016

Bunfectionary will be at Bunny-Palooza again this year in Hillsboro, OR. Rabbit Advocates has  put together its second festival of the bunnies at the same location outside of Portland, OR.

Saturday, November 5, 2016
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Washington County Fairgrounds
Cloverleaf Building
802 NE 28th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97124

We will have all the favorite Bunny Biscotti flavors: Carrot & Fennel, Carrot & Raisin, Banana, Floral Bouquet, Pineapple & Mint, Beet & Mint, and our four berry and apple flavors: Strawberry & Mint, Blackberry & Mint, Cranberry & Mint, and Blueberry & Mint. We also will have double the number of the popular Variety Boxes that we had last year.

You can read a bit more about Bunfectionary in the Rabbit Advocates’ Spring 2016 newsletter.

Be sure to introduce yourself!

viva Bunny Biscotti, aka Patent #9023409B2

On May 5, 2015, we celebrated the US Patent Office granting the patent for Bunny Biscotti. Bunny Biscotti is the first and only non grain, vegan treat for herbivores. Unlike other treats, it does not depend on glutens or other starches or sugars to bind it together. Nor does it depend on animal products like meat, eggs or yogurt.

It seems like ages ago since we devoured a package of rabbit treats after a late night party, and we realized that humans should not be able to eat bunny treats and vice versa.

Many thanks to all of you for your support, and special big hugs to our testers, Jenny at Bunny Bytes, Jason Stone, Cooley, to Tilbert and my gluten-intolerant friend for the inspiration. And of course, to our wonderful retailers, without whose trust and support this venture would never have survived.

An updated look

We are in the throes of revising this website so it appears on all sorts of devices, from your desktop while working to your cell phone while driving.

Tilbert chewing fresh fennel will no longer be our featured bunny at the top of the page, especially since so many others have joined the warren.

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Washing veggies in hot water helps preserve them?

I admit it: I am still trying to wrap my head around this. How can hot water help preserve the raw veggies on my bunnies’ plates? I hate seeing how much can go to waste if I have to feed the guys a lot more than usual (e.g., leaving the house for more than 18 hours). Lettuce wilts and sticks to the plate, the carrots get mushy, and the fennel browns and hardens. So it was exciting to find this idea at the Modernist Cuisine site.

Food scientists, however, have discovered a remarkably effective way to extend the life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by days or even a week. It doesn’t involve the chlorine solutions, irradiation or peroxide baths sometimes used by produce packagers. And it’s easily done in any home by anyone.

This method, called heat-shocking, is 100 percent organic and uses just one ingredient that every cook has handy – hot water.

You may already be familiar with a related technique called blanching, a cooking method in which food is briefly dunked in boiling or very hot water. Blanching can extend the shelf life of broccoli and other plant foods, and it effectively reduces contamination by germs on the surface of the food. But blanching usually ruptures the cell walls of plants, causing color and nutrients to leach out. It also robs delicate produce of its raw taste.

Heat-shocking works differently. When the water is warm but not scalding – temperatures ranging from 105 F to 140 F (about 40 C to 60 C) work well for most fruits and vegetables – a brief plunge won’t rupture the cells. Rather, the right amount of heat alters the biochemistry of the tissue in ways that, for many kinds of produce, firm the flesh, delay browning and fading, slow wilting, and increase mold resistance.

A long list of scientific studies published during the past 15 years report success using heat-shocking to firm potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and strawberries; to preserve the color of asparagus, broccoli, green beans, kiwi fruits, celery, and lettuce; to fend off overripe flavors in cantaloupe and other melons; and to generally add to the longevity of grapes, plums, bean sprouts and peaches, among others.

The optimum time and temperature combination for the quick dip seems to depend on many factors, but the procedure is quite simple. Just let the water run from your tap until it gets hot, then fill a large pot of water about two-thirds full, and use a thermometer to measure the temperature. It will probably be between 105 F and 140 F; if not, a few minutes on the stove should do the trick. Submerge the produce and hold it there for several minutes (the hotter the water, the less time is needed), then drain, dry and refrigerate as you normally would.

Researchers still are working out the details of how heat-shocking works, but it appears to change the food in several ways at once. Many of the fruits and vegetables you bring home from the store are still alive and respiring; the quick heat treatment tends to slow the rate at which they respire and produce ethylene, a gas that plays a crucial role in the ripening of many kinds of produce. In leafy greens, the shock of the hot water also seems to turn down production of enzymes that cause browning around wounded leaves, and to turn up the production of heat-shock proteins, which can have preservative effects.

For the home cook, the inner workings don’t really matter. The bottom line is that soaking your produce in hot water for a few minutes after you unpack it makes it cheaper and more nutritious because more fruits and veggies will end up in your family rather than in the trash.

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HEAT-SHOCKING GUIDELINES

The optimal time and temperature for heat-shocking fruits and vegetables varies in response to many factors – in particular, whether they were already treated before purchase. Use these as general guidelines.

– Asparagus: 2 to 3 minutes at 131 F (55 C)

– Broccoli: 7 to 8 minutes at 117 F (47 C)

– Cantaloupe (whole): 60 minutes at 122 F (50 C)

– Celery: 90 seconds at 122 F (50 C)

– Grapes: 8 minutes at 113 F (45 C)

– Kiwi fruit: 15 to 20 minutes at 104 F (40 C)

– Lettuce: 1 to 2 minutes at 122 F (50 C)

– Oranges (whole): 40 to 45 minutes at 113 F (45 C)

– Peaches (whole): 40 minutes at 104 F (40 C)

 

A shocking (and hot!) tip for preserving produce

Photo credit: AP Photo/Modernist Cuisine, LLC, Chris Hoover

Fennel Sticks

Fennel sticks are fibrous and tasty, and crunchy too. They provide a nice snack, but also a bit of a play toy. Here is one of our favorite pictures of Tilbert and the fennel stick he managed to chew into a stake or shiv.

The meek may inherit the earth, but a smart bunny carries a shiv. 

Wanna trade a pack of cigarettes for that carrot?

 

Tinker, tinker, tinker

Each Bunny Biscotti batch we make, we seem to discover something new about making our treats. Since each batch is made by hand, we’ll experiment with the methods, although the ingredients always stay  the same. For example, with our own summer  fennel sprouting in our gardens, we add fresh green fennel fronds to the mix instead of the ground fennel bulb we add in the winter. Or last night we discovered that juiced beets provide better color than pureed beets. It tastes the same, or so Tilbert and Violet seem to say, but we think you’ll appreciate the extra steps it takes to produce the more vivid color.
And despite having molds made for smaller treats, we have decided to return to our original shape, the biscotti, or to be proper, the Italian cantucci. The hay stems, panicles, and leaves can remain longer, there is less chafe during shipping, and are much faster to produce.  The other shapes will be available by special order.