Monday, August 20, 2012

Fresh Snacks From the Garden

Our house is bare of the types of snacks children have come to love - ice cream, cookies, what do you say to a 9 yr old who is not happy because she is wanting an evening snack and there is nothing she likes available.
I suggested spinach leaves with dried cranberries rolled up inside - her own snack invention...she did that earlier in the day. I suggested the flax/quinoa seed crackers...didn't feel like it.
Then it dawned on  me - the garden! Surely the carrots, her very own row, must be ready or near enough. So out we went....with a hand spade in hand.  I dug up cute little carrots for her - she was delighted.  We picked lots of vine ripened tomatoes - orange heirlooms to Romas to an heirloom Russian variety that has a blush color. I accidentally pulled up a fairly large beet when pulling a weed...time to pickle!!
Abby happily washed up her carrots and didn't even mind taking out the compost. They were super fresh, flavorful and cute - about 4" long for the longest one.
I made myself a lunch plate of little tomatoe half seasoned with Italian seasoning, the other half seasoned with Celtic sea salt and black pepper. Yum!

I just came across a recipe for a power juice at Whole Living - made with beets, carrots and apple. I am going to have to give it a try since our garden can supply 2/3 of what is needed.
Credits to this juice blend - “Detox Cred: Antioxidant superstars, red beets contain betalains, compounds that fight inflammation and support your detox by neutralizing toxins and making them water soluble and easily flushed from the body. In one study, beet fiber increased the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.”

As I don't have a juice extractor, I will simply use my Ninja Pro Blender, which is an awesome smoothie maker, and probably go with a bit thicker texture and benefit from the additional fiber.

Red Power Juice
-1 small beet, chopped
-5 carrots, chopped
-1 apple, cored and chopped
-1/4 cup fresh mint sprigs

DirectionsPress beet, carrots, apple, and mint sprigs through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately.
Another smoothie using the fresh carrots, also from Whole Living, utilizes mango and we happen to have that on hand as well. I wonder if I can talk Abby into this tomorrow morning...I will just blend the carrots in the Ninja blender and strain the pulp, or I should serve all of it as I firmly believe pulp has most of the nutrients and fiber we need.

Orange Fresh Juice
1 mango, chopped (or 1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks)
1 cup fresh carrot juice
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup ice cubes (omit if using frozen mango)

Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth.

How is the harvest going from your garden? Include your children in the harvest and the taste of the vegetables will be enjoyed all the more!

To your health!

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