Experience Nature Through Food – Radio Interview

I was a guest on The Wellness Journey radio show on 06/24/14. Host Lynnis Woods-Mullins and I talked about Experiencing Nature through Food – Enhancing Our Health and Life! Here is the replay:

Discover Health Internet Radio with The Wellness Journey on BlogTalkRadio

To find out more about, and to purchase our ebook – EXPERIENCE NATURE THROUGH YOUR FOOD – click here.

Spring Garden Salad

Spring Garden Salad

Last week we were invited to a potluck celebration. We put together a salad with 25 ingredients that were local and organic. Most of them were growing in our community garden. The rest came from our local farmer’s market. The salad included:

Lettuce – 4 different varieties
Kale – 3 varieties
Swiss Chard
Collard Greens
Spinach
Mustard Greens
Tatsoi
Bok Choy
Beet Greens
Sweet Potato – Grated
Green Onion
Strawberries
English Peas
Snow Peas
Parsley
Rosemary
Oregano
Pansies
Nasturtiums
Violets
Mexican Sage

It was so much fun to do a walkabout of the garden and collect all the edibles that were ready for picking. We tossed it lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The salad got rave reviews.

What is growing in your garden that you would add to this salad?

Experience Nature through your Food Ebook

Introducing a new ebook we think you’re REALLY going to like!

Ebook cover sm.
This delightfully engaging ebook invites connection with nature and inspires transformation and adventures of the heart.

I co-authored and published this ebook with Angelyn Whitmeyer of IdentifyThatPlant. It’s been a very exciting project to work on, and besides the end result of a beautiful, inspiring book, we have also created New Earthlings Press.

With a beautiful ebook format,  we offer 42 guided experiences to help you become more aware and to take inspired personal action to re-forge your connection between nature and food.

Joyfully, we are donating 10% of the sales proceeds of this ebook to A Promise of Health, to support their pioneering homeopathic healthcare model, delivering sustainable and effective care to Mexico’s medically underserved indigenous people.

Will you help us make this a wildly successful venture?

Please visit New Earthlings Press for reviews and more info about the book and the press, and to purchase your copy of the ebook. Do you know someone who loves nature (and/or food) and might be interested in this ebook? Please share this blogpost with them, and also post on Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest and any other social media sites you participate in. Also, we welcome your ideas regarding who might enjoy and benefit from the book.

Thank you for your participation in this creative project!

Claire Mandeville

TAKE A LOOK NOW AT A SAMPLE PAGE FROM THE EBOOK!

 

Growing Sprouts Easily

Sprouting Seeds - #6 Ready to Eat

Sprouting seeds is really nothing to shy away from. Once you have the few supplies that you need to sprout seeds easily and effectively, the few minutes a day it takes to grow sprouts is well worth the effort for the nourishment and eating pleasure they can provide.

Here’s what you need:

1. Sprouting seeds of your choice – some of our favorite are mung, or a mix of alfalfa, radish and broccoli seeds. It is easier to sprouts seeds of a similar size, so that they are all ready at the same time, and you don’t risk some of them rotting. However, once you have some experience, you will find that it is possible to successfully sprout seeds of varying sizes. Of course, you can always have more than one jarful growing at the same time, with smaller seeds in one, and larger seeds in another.  You can combine them when you are preparing your food to eat.

2. A wide-mouthed jar with a sprouting screen top – I use a quart jar, and a plastic screw-on sprouting screen lid. I got the lid at a local natural foods store. You can also order them online.

2. A cloth to cover the jar for the first day or two.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Sprouting Seeds - #1 Soaking

1. Soak seeds for 3-4 hours (smaller seeds) or 6-8 hours (larger seeds) in 4 parts water to 1 part seed. Use warm (not hot) clean unchlorinated water.

Generally you will find that 3 Tablespoons of seed is a good amount to grow in a quart jar.

Sprouting Seeds - #2 Rinse and Drain

2. Rinse and drain the seeds several times initially. I take the lid off to fill the jar with room temperature water, then put the lid back on and gently swirl water around in the jar. Make sure that seeds are not all clumped together on the side of the jar as you are draining them.  They should be spread out fairly evenly. Sprouts should be rinsed and drained 2-3 times each day.

Sprouting Seeds - #3 Cover While Inverted

3. Leave the jar inverted with air flowing into it.  I use a shallow ceramic bowl, and lean the inverted jar on the wall, with an inch or two of space between the screened jar lid and the bottom of the bowl. Cover the jar to keep out light until the seed sprouts are well developed (2-3 days).

Sprouting Seeds - #4 Uncover and Continue top Rinse and Drain

4. Once the sprouts are developing, and you have removed the cover, continue to rinse 2-3 times for the next 24-48 hours.  The sprouting time will vary depending on the room temperature and seed mixture.

 

Sprouting Seeds - #5 Ready to Clean

5. When the sprouts are well-developed, gently move them to a large bowl of cool water, separate the clumps, let the hulls float to the surface, and skim those off. Doing this will make the sprouts even tastier, and keep them from fermenting or rotting for a longer time.

Sprouting Seeds - #6 Ready to Eat

6. Refrigerate the well-drained sprouts in a plastic bag or glass or plastic container. Sprouts are best fresh and used within 2-3 days.

 

 

Sprouts have been eaten for thousands of years, and provide a wide variety of nutrients with very few calories.  You may be interested in this science of sprout nutrition resource page for more information.

There are other methods for sprouting, utilizing various sprouters that are on the market. I have used many different kinds over the years, and have returned to this method both for its simplicity and minimal space requirement. However, if this does not meet your needs, just do a websearch for sprouters and you are sure to find something that will work well for you.

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.

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!