Friday, March 15, 2013

Why you may ask, well I'll tell you!

I had 2 decent-sized bags of baby spinach that needed to be used up (I got a little over-zealous and bought EIGHT of them last week... O.O) and I knew I couldn't eat it all in the next day or so, so what did I do? 

I dehydrated them for 12 hours, let them cool fully, then stuffed every last leaf in the blender, and blended them until they were powder! They're just as nutritious because I dehydrated them on a cool setting (110F). And to make matters even cooler, adding just a couple of tbsp to smoothies will add a WHACK of nutrients, because those tablespoons represent a few handfuls! Who needs to purchase expensive fancy greens plus? Not me!

No more wasted greens!!! YAY!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Urban Farmer Gals Unite!

Last month my sister and her husband decided they wanted to turn a portion of their backyard into a food garden, and get this--she asked me if I wanted in!

Hello!  Need she ask?!  Grow and then get to eat my own organic veggies and herbs?!  She had be at "food garden"!

It's called Urban Agriculture, and it's a movement which is gaining steam!  Think "The 100-Mile Diet" but much closer to home.  It's "eat locally" at its best.  Fruits, veggies and herbs are at their healthiest, not only when they're local, but when they're just picked.  Not everyone lives somewhere that they can set aside a large area to grow all their own food, and that's fine--we work with what we have!

My sister has a house, and I live in an apartment, but I wanted to grow stuff at my place too.  I don't have any direct sun (which is great for the summer as it keeps my apartment cool, but not so great for growing anything) so what's a girl to do?  Get myself a grow light of course, and grow stuff I know I'll use on their own, and which will go with what we're growing in her garden.  What that means for me, is several kinds of herbs, green onions, and romaine lettuce!

The square pot on the top left contains green onion seeds, and check it out!  My first food baby...the good kind!  Isn't it cute as a button?!  I think I shall call him Oliver.  If Oliver had cheeks I'd squish them he's so cute!

I realize it's the very beginning of March, and nothing can be planted in the outdoor food garden until the end of May, but why should I have to go without?  The packets contain tonnes of seeds--I'm going to get the most out of them!

LOL I just now wondered how many hours my grow bulb should ideally be on per day, and Google'd it...  I ended up on a marijuana website!  OOPS!

OK so there's a lot of info out there (besides the "grow-op" crowd, but they don't necessarily seem to agree, which I suppose makes sense since there are so many products out there...soooooo I'll just figure out what works for Oliver and his friends, once they make an appearance.  We're all different, so why not them right?

I'm an Urban Farmer Gal Scientist!!  

Friday, March 1, 2013

A few months ago I tried Holy Crap cereal for the first time, and was surprised that it tasted so lovely! It was so simple and delicious, and my love affair with buckwheat groats began!

First what I did is create a cold cereal with toasted buckwheat groats--otherwise known as kasha. (I have a friend named Kasha so it's pretty funny for me!).  I combined kasha, apple bits, walnut pieces, cashews, dried coconut, golden raisins, milk and a drizzle of maple syrup.  SO GOOD!

Then last night I was watching a bunch of raw food videos (I'm not a raw foodist, but sometimes their recipes are really delicious, and it's a great way to get in more plants!) and I saw a video of someone making buckwheat porridge.  Yum!  Then I came across a recipe for a raw buckwheat breakfast on Oh She Glows.    It looked DELISH!

I didn't have all the toppings she said she put on it, so I decided to change it just a bit.  Here's the original  recipe, with my additions in red (mine is for one person for two days--so 2 servings):

  • 2 cups raw Buckwheat Groats, (note: this is not the same as Kasha or toasted buckwheat) soaked in water for minimum of 1 hour or overnight (I used 3/4 cup buckwheat groats)
  • 1.25 cups non-dairy Milk (1/3 cup milk)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (I discovered that soaked chia seeds makes a much runnier porridge--use dry chia seeds and allow to sit in the fridge all mixed together for 10 minutes or so)
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (use Agave if you want it raw. I used maple syrup), or to taste (I used maple syrup, and just a drizzle.  You do it to your taste)
  • Pinch of kosher salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • I also added 3 strawberries to this.  If you add fruit, be sure to adjust the liquid so that your porridge isn't too runny.  It's easier to add more liquid if needed, then try to remove it somehow later!

Optional Toppings:
  • Chopped fruit or dried fruit (banana, Berries, kiwi, apple, peaches, nectarines, raisins, mango, etc)
  • Chopped nuts and or seeds (I used almonds)
  • Nut Butter 
  • Toasted coconut, chocolate chips, etc

I have kumquats in my fridge, so I made a kumquat cashew cream to drizzle on top.  Just soak cashews in water overnight (while buckwheat is soaking), drain, and then in a blender, combine cashews, water, kumquat, and lemon juice.  If you want to use the cream, but don't have kumquats, that's fine--just use a fruit you have on hand. :)

On top of that, I put blueberries and dried coconut.

You can save any unused portions in the fridge for the next day--it keeps well. :)