All Posts for April 2019

Spring into Sprouts! Earth Day Every Day

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

 

One of the Many Earth Day Logos

Sprouting is a great project to delve into, especially if you have no backyard garden to plant flowers and veggies. We have a patio, and my husband plants the flowers while I grow the herbs and some veggies. But “baby greens,” also called spoil sprouts, gourmet sprouts, or micro-greens can be done on your windowsill. By sprouting organic seeds, you are growing locally and organically. How good is that?

 

Ready to harvest! Sunflower on the left and buckwheat on the right.

Tools: Bowls for soaking seeds, strainers, small plastic tubs, organic garden soil, paper towels, dark plastic bags,

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Find some small containers, such as tubs from strawberries, tofu, or other foods that come in plastic containers. Wash and dry and fill with potting soil. (I buy organic soil from a local nursery and also may be able to obtain composted soil.)
  2. Soak about 1/2 cup of seeds of choice in jars or bowls overnight. Next day, strain and leave in the strainer to sprout a little before planting, maybe one or to days, rinsing the seeds at least once each day. You may not see any “tails” yet.
  3. On the second or third day, fill the tubs with soil and add water to soil to moisten. Spread the seeds onto the soil, shoulder-to-shoulder, that is, don’t worry about spacing. Moisten a piece of paper towel twice the size of the tub and fold in half over the seeds.  Moisten the paper towel. Cover with a dark plastic bag and tie off the end and then place on a warm windowsill. Check in 24 hours. If the paper towel is dry, moisten and place tub back in its mini-greenhouse.
  4. In 3 or 4 days you should see the black plastic looking higher than when you first planted the seeds. Time to remove the paper towel and black plastic and let the seeds sprout on your windowsill, giving them some water at least every other day or every day is the temperature on the sill dries out the soil.

Here are the micro-greens while they are still growing.
The black hulls are beginning to fall off.

5. By the time one week has passed, more or less depending on the temperature on your sill and whether or not it is a sunny window, the hulls will probably fall off by themselves and land on your windowsill, so putting a small tray under the tubs may be a good idea.

6. You can start cutting down the tallest sprouts and let the shorter ones come up now that they are not “shaded” by the earlier sprouts. The ones you cut down will not grow back, but you will get a second harvest from the shorter ones that were shaded by the earlier sprouts.

7. The micro-greens are full of nutrients, since if they were placed in the ground, they would become plants. And since they are eaten raw, none of the nutrients are destroyed, so only cut down what you can use each day, keeping them “alive” in the soil.

Add micro-greens to salads, sandwiches, as garnish for soups, sprinkled on celery stuffed with nut butters, in wraps and just to munch on!

 

This is a cooking-by-the-strings of your apron recipe, because a lot depends on the house temperature, the quality of the seeds, and “getting to know” what the seedlings need. I also soaked and planted peas to make pea shoots, and they spoiled before they sprouted and I had to compost them. So don;t worry if the first couple of times you have problems. You can email me at: menupause.info@gmail with questions.

 

EXPERIENCE L!FE: A Review

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

At my D.O.’s office last week I picked a new magazine from the magazine rack I had not seen before. It is called EXPERIENCE L!FE and the April 2019 is all about Earth Day, so I thought it would be perfect for a review.

Upon further investigation, I found this informational description (excerpted) on their website: https://experience-life.com-sub.biz:

Experience Life magazine is dedicated to helping its readers live and sustain healthy lives. The magazine provides articles about fitness, nutrition, quality of life, and general health and wellness.

EXPERIENCE L!FE features stories written by people who have competed in marathons and triathlons about their fitness and training routines. Also featured in the magazine are recipes and guides to help readers come up with healthy dishes to serve at home…..

Readers of EXPERIENCE L!FE are treated to articles about quality of life and general health issues…..Also featured in the magazine are recipes and guides to help readers come up with healthy dishes to serve at home.

Of course, the healthy dishes caught my eye, and inside the April issue is this paragraph in the section called “Confident Cook:”

Our Nutrition Philosophy

“We believe in focusing on eating high quality, whole foods—an array of vegetables, fruits, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils—for meeting everyday nutritional needs. We recommend choosing organic, local, and unprocessed foods as often as you can, aiming for grass fed or grass-finished meats, free range poultry, and wild-caught or sustainable farmed fish; and opting for full-fat dairy (with more bio-available nutrients). We advocate for quality over quantity and in trusting your body to guide your unique nutritional needs.”

While the recipes are not all vegetarian, in the April issue the magazine features “Plant Power” by Robin Asbell and the recipes are all meatless, with a terrific list of whole plant foods showing how to obtain protein from meatless items, from Tofu to Chia Seeds.

Additionally, there is an excellent article on Earth Day called “Take a Bite out of Climate Change,” listing what we can do as individuals to counter climate change. Here is the list, with the article itself delvng into the details of the suggestions:

1. East more plants                            6. Waste Less Food
2. Support small farms                      7. Increase your food budget
3. Shop Farmers’ Markets                 8. Buy in bulk
4. Avoid feedlot meat (grass fed)     9. Cook from scratch
5. Select sustainably Raised Fish     10. Seek Progress, Not perfection

I hope to address some of these points in future postings, incorporating them into my Earth Day Every Day category.

Another excellent article, Living Small by Jessie Sholl, writes about a family who scaled down their lifestyle to minimize waste and lists these suggestions, which are expanded upon in the article:

1. Refuse to bring unneccessary stuff home. (ex. business cards and take-home menus)
2. Reduce bad habits (ex. leaving lights on)
3. Reuse (ex. moth-eaten sweater becomes material for cat bed)
4. Recycle (ex. keep recycling bin next to garbage can)
5. Rot (compost your non-meat scraps)

This is just a “taste” of this excellent magazine with beautiful photos and interesting articles. Check it out yourself! Subscriptions for EXPERIENCE L!FE run about $25 per year.

 

 

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