Grated Summer Salad

Grated Summer Salad

An abundance of vegetables growing in our summer garden inspired this salad. I prepared it with all raw ingredients. Here’s what I did.

In a food processor (you could, of course, use a hand grater) grate:

2 carrots
1 zucchini
1 cucumber
2 beets (or 1 large)
1/4 cup onion (or more to taste)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well.

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice from one smallish lemon
1/4 cup of fruit juice – I used apricot/mango
Dash or 2 of sea salt and pepper

Top with fresh sprouts and parsley. (I almost sprinkled sunflower seeds, too – so any seeds might be worth a try). Here’s an easy, easy way to grow your own sprouts.

I’m already thinking of many variations on a theme. Any fresh vegetables are candidates. If I had snow peas or sugar snaps (we already ate all we grew), they would surely be included. Others high on my list to try:

broccoli
cauliflower
finely chopped kale
radishes
green beans
turnips
sweet red peppers

Consider using your creation as the filler for a wrap or rollup.  Try using tender fresh collard leaves (cut in half) as the rollup. If you haven’t ever tasted raw collard, you are in for a pleasant surprise.  They are mild and sweet-tasting.

I encourage you to play with this and come up with whatever inspires you. Post your experiments and ideas for others to enjoy, too.

Planterbox Kale – From Seed To Seed

I’ve lost track of just when we planted the kale in the planter boxes on our back porch. For sure, it’s been over a year ago. The kale thrived through the winter here in the southeast. We amended the soil with organic fertilizers and enjoyed the tender leafy greens several times a week.

Several months ago, the plants began to flower. By then, the plant stalks had reached over 5 ft. tall. The plants were still producing tender green leaves which we continued to harvest.

 

Slowly….magically… the flowers gave way to seed pods. At this point, we were delightfully thinking about the seeds we could collect, dry and save to grow more kale this fall! We are now watching as the pods swell, and will wait for them to dry out and turn brown before we remove them from the stalk to save.

 

In the meantime we have kale, along with lots of other greens, growing in hay bales in the garden. This is our 1st year experimenting with growing in bales. The yield has been very high,and the bales that are inside stacked pavers are holding up quite well.

For more info on planting in hay or straw bales, here are a few websites:

No Dig Vegetable Garden

Garden Guides

Jerusalem Artichokes

Photo credit: Angelyn Whitmeyer/www.IdentifyThatPlant.com

The time is approaching to harvest Jerusalem artichokes.  We have lots of these “sunchokes” growing in our gardens. Early in the spring they emerged as a lush carpet of green, rising up tall with small sun-flowers at their crown.

By late summer (early September) here in the Carolinas, the plants are falling over, and beginning to die back.  Once there is a hard frost, the sunchokes are ready to harvest and eat.

In an article titled “Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It,  Megan Saynisch explores the unique culture of this distinctive tuber, which is a member of the sunflower family.

Nutritionally, Jerusalem artichokes are high in iron, potassium, and thiamine.  The principle storage carbohydrate immediately after harvest is inulin, which is converted in the digestive tract to fructose rather than glucose. OliveandHerb.com has a recipe for Easy Roasted Sunchoke Fries. One of my favorite ways to eat these sweet sunchokes is simply to steam them, and toss them with a bit of olive oil, garlic and sea salt. Or you can dip them in horseradish sauce, or a lemon-butter sauce.

What are your favorite ways to eat Jerusalem artichokes?

Surprise Oatmeal Ingredient – Sprouts!

You know what we did this morning for breakfast?  We put sprouts in our oatmeal!  And it was delicious.

The oatmeal was ready to go with bananas and raisins, shredded coconut and a few pecans already added.  And then – inspiration! We added a sprout mix (chickpea, mung, adzuki, and green pea) that had just finished growing and was ready for eating.  The sprouts gave the oatmeal a nutty flavor, and provided a crunchy texture along with the added benefit of raw food nutrients. A drizzle of blackstrap molasses sealed the deal – a super-nutritious power-packed breakfast!

For more information on everything sprouts (growing, buying seeds, nutritional value, etc) visit The Sproutman.

Try the oatmeal idea, and let us know if you like it. And, what do you enjoy combining with your oatmeal?

Preserving Food without Losing Nutrients

Our sauerkraut adventures continue here at home. In a previous post on Making Cultured Vegetables, we mention a few of the benefits of eating cultured veggies (adding valuable probiotics and enzymes to your body, which help stamp out Candida, boost your immune system and curb your cravings for sweets.)

If you have more interest in fermentation as a way of preserving foods, you might really enjoy a video with Sandor Katz on The Art of Fermentation. It is based on the book with that title, published by Chelsea Green.

Share with our readers what your interest and experience is with fermenting foods.

Moringa – The Miracle Tree

Here’s a good example of a medicinal plant that grows really well in hot, dry climates. The seeds are full of oil for cooking, cosmetics, or lubrication. The presscake – the stuff that’s left over after pressing the seed – is used for water purification. The leaves have lots of vitamin A. Moringa is rich in a wide variety of nutrients and anti-oxidant compounds, in potent amounts. Moringa, which grows well in Hardiness Zones 9 and 10, might help alleviate hunger and nutritional imbalances in those places where the plant would thrive.

Consider that all over the world plants are quietly growing, offering food that truly nourishes and sustains humans. What is growing in your bioregion that you don’t recognize as food? What used to grow abundantly, but has been discouraged from thriving because it is seen as a “weed” or a “nuisance?” Which native plants could be reintroduced, or, if they’re still around, could be nurtured to grow, and be rediscovered as a plant with great value for both humans and the larger ecosystem? Look again!

Dinner is a Date with the Doctor: 5 Asian Superfoods by Mark Hyman, MD

fresh IngredientsHere is an excerpt from an article written by Mark Hyman, MD. Mark is a physician, advocate and educator “dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a groundbreaking whole-systems medicine approach called Functional Medicine.”

On his website, DrHyman.com, Mark states that “the fork is your most powerful tool to change your health and the planet; food is the most powerful medicine to heal chronic illness.” As a holistic nutritionist with a Food and Wellness Coaching practice, I surely agree.

The article begins:

Medicine doesn’t always come in a pill. In fact some of the most powerful medicines are delicious and can be found at your local supermarket or “farmacy.” Healing foods have been used for centuries in Asia as part of the cuisine. In Asia food and medicine are often the same thing.

Here are five foods you may never have heard of but can be found at most Asian markets and even places like Whole Foods. Try them. You might be surprised by their unique and extraordinary good taste. And they may help you lose weight, reverse diabetes, read more…

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

This movie could be life-changing for anyone dealing with blood sugar issues.  In my own practice, I have clients who have seen remarkable changes in their health as a result of eating more raw foods and letting go of processed, dead and chemically-altered foods.

Here’s a synopsis from Top Documentary Films:

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication.

The six are challenged to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, processed food, packaged food, and even cooked food for 30 days. The film follows each participant’s remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, and emotional transformations brought on by this radical diet and lifestyle change. We witness moments of struggle, support, and hope as what is revealed, with startling clarity, is that diet can reverse disease and change lives.

The film highlights each of the six before they begin the program and we first meet them in their home environment with their families. Each participant speaks candidly about their struggle to manage their diabetes and how it has affected every aspect of their life, from work to home to their relationships.

The Dinner Garden: End Hunger Through Gardening

Dinner Garden logo

I just discovered The Dinner Garden on You Tube! These folks are “working to end hunger in the United States through home and community gardening…. striving to create one garden for every six Americans.”

Here’s their mission statement: “The Dinner Garden provides seeds, gardening supplies, and gardening advice free of charge to all people in the United States of America. We assist those in need in establishing food security for their families. Our goal is for people to plant home, neighborhood, and container gardens so they can use the vegetables they grow for food and income.”

I am quite impressed with the wealth of practical information found on their You Tube Channel, with 24 educational videos (currently), including “How to Dehydrate Apples” and “Cantaloupe Basics.”

If you know someone who would benefit from this resource, please share the info with them!

 

Cultured Veggie Success

Cabbage HeadsRecently we made sauerkraut, following the instructions on our Making Cultured Veggies blogpost. We started with some fresh, sweet green head cabbage bought at a local store. We added purple cabbage and grated carrots to this first batch, along with a capsule of a full-spectrum probiotic (optional).

 

Packing the Jars

We packed the jars, per instructions on that blogpost …..in our own style!  We had fun making a mess! It doesn’t have to be perfect…..

What we will do differently next time is leave about 3 inches at the top of the jar, and put in a bit more brine before covering it with a cabbage leaf. As the liquid slowly seeps into the veggies, if you don’t have enough liquid to keep them covered, you will end up spooning off more of the discolored kraut.  No big deal…..just less finished kraut to eat!

 

 

Sauerkraut in JarsThe taste is tangy and sweet….. and feels so nourishing.  This is one economical way to maintain a balance of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.

We are pleased with our results, and look forward to making more soon.

Give it a try, & tell us about your results!