Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Make Green Powder

Those of you with a dehydrator will be interested to know that I have been making my own green powder.

There's no particular recipe just a reminder to make sure you include as wide a variety of greens as you can. I have saved leaves from broccoli and kale (remove from stems as these don’t dry so well, or dry till leaves are dry and crumble dried leaves off), peelings from cucumber, green beans (I removed the seeds), courgette skin, lettuce and wheat grass.

Once dry I used my Personal Blender to grind up and popped the lid on. The small blender container becomes the storage jar, too. For a bigger load I used the Vita-Mix. And yes, I felt virtuous and smug (which is not the same thing).

I did not tell the Smoothie Drinkers and it could not be tasted, which suits me, too. It is an easy and frugal way to increase greens, also cutting down on waste.

If you don’t have enough to dry at a time, save your collection in the fridge for a few days, in a damp plastic bag or airtight container. I suppose you could freeze it until you have enough for a full dehydrator but I haven’t tried that. Try to spread thinly and evenly over dehydrator sheets (mesh) to ensure best drying time.

In theory, you could save pulp from green juices. Even though most of the nutrition has gone into the juice there must be some worth the keeping in the pulp. Again, I don’t know as I can’t test that.

Lettuce that has gone to seed is not only too bitter but losing its nutrition as the plant is transferring its food from leaf to seed. Best to pull it out and add to compost or worm farm or, let a plant stay to naturally seed down if there’s enough growing time left in the season. Otherwise you could save the seed for next spring.

Sprouts can be dried and ground. Carrot tops (leaves) but not any of the green part of the top of the carrot itself, the outside leaves of cauliflower (not the stems), pea pods and peas. Broccoli stems (cut away the tough part).

I have perpetual spinach in the garden, this week I shall pick a few young leaves for salad and older leaves for drying.

The green leaves of tomatoes are NOT to be dried and eaten nor are potato greens. If you would eat the green in salads or cook it, then you can dry it. Okay, I don’t eat cauliflower leaves but I suppose one could.
Use herbs judiciously as they pack a powerful punch.

If you’re confident about foraging then perhaps puha (NZ) BUT you need to be a confident forager.
You could add spirulina and chlorella but in small amounts as they can be strong tasting.
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I recommend organically grown greens to make your own Green Powder.

If you don’t have a powerful blender, it’s best not to use the older, tougher leaves. You won’t be able to break them down enough into a powder, and you don’t want to stress your digestive system unnecessarily with too much fibre.

Just mix it all up and top up your jar as more greens are dried. Even though you may not dry a variety at one time, adding to it will ensure that the variety is there as the season brings new greens in and phases out others.

If you don’t own a dehydrator you can use your oven. Using the fan, turn it on to the lowest temperature and, which should be around 50C. Crack the door open with a wooden spoon and let it do its thing.  Be sure the wooden spoon is secure. Best not to leave the house if there’s a possibility of the spoon dropping down in the oven and onto the element.

To add in a smoothie, one teaspoon per person is adequate.

What do you think? Are you inspired to give it a go?


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Michelle Obama and the Miami Heat

I don’t know much about Miami Heat but going by the basketball I’m safely guessing they’re a top NBA team (our DS18 not only would know this but all their names, stats and probably birthday, too*).

I’m loving their promotion of healthy food and drinking water as an important thing for them. We all know how influential sports stars and other celebs can be. Full points to them from me.

I think I’ve just become a fan of Miami Heat. Note...did you see the serious bling on his hand? I like that, too.

*I’ve just read this to DS and he informs me that they are 2012 and 2013 NBA Champions, boasting arguably the world’s best basketball player, LeBron James. (Told you!)

Show your children and Significant Other. The leverage you can get out of this is priceless.

Strawberry Wine

This summer I have been decluttering. After numerous book shelves, boxes and the filing cabinet it was time to tackle my recipe folder. It was long overdue for some culling and keeping. Amongst the collection of recipes-I-must-try-one-day was one for Strawberry Wine. I don’t know why I kept it as I don’t imbibe but it sounded like a lovely idea to pass on to those who do.

Since strawberries are in season, here is the recipe should you wish to give it a whirl. I think raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and other berries would be just as nice. A range of Berry Wine to impress family and friends. Do tell us if you make it.

1 bottle white wine
250g strawberries
10 lemon balm leaves (fresh)
2 T rosemary leaves (fresh)

Wash, hull and slice strawberries. Finely chop herbs. Mix berries, herbs and wine in clean glass container. Seal and shake. Refrigerate for two days, shaking occasionally. Strain through cloth lined sieve. Serve chilled.

This recipe came from a Grass Roots magazine some years ago. The instructions included drinking whilst dozing in a hammock in the sunshine, which I thought sounded rather nice. It’s been a long time since I dozed in the sunshine.

And I imagine that the wine infused berries would taste rather nice, too. If you don’t like them, give them to the worms – they will be happy.

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The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001