As I sit here typing, a Nor’easter is blowing up a storm, literally, outside my window, snowflakes are sparse but fat, our wood-duck nesting box is submerged by the creek, but daffodils are blooming, despite it all, across the street in my neighbor’s yard.
I have been gone off and on for the past week with my dad having surgery in the Baltimore area, and it feels good to have a free morning to prop my feet up and write before I tackle my chores. On that note, I have to say I enjoyed reading my blogger friends’ posts as I sometimes sat in a waiting room, so thank you all for sharing your many talents!
One of the things that has brought a smile to my face lately is my little scrap garden I have growing in a tray in my kitchen, so I thought I’d share. For those of you who don’t know what a “scrap” garden is, it’s getting new plants to grow from kitchen scraps you would normally throw away.
I like to juice as often as I can, daily when able, so I have lots of scraps, and discovering how to grow a scrap garden is just another of the benefits. I am fortunate that I am able to buy all these plants locally, organic and non-gmo…otherwise, they don’t go in my juicer.
My favorite juice recipe is carrot, celery, beet, lemon, ginger, and green apple, and several of those ingredients can be regrown. Basically you just cut off the bottom portion of say celery, or beet, place in shallow bit of water, set to the side and let the transformation begin. Call me weird, or too easily amused, but when I see the tiny little leaves emerging I get absolutely thrilled!
Last year I started this “garden” late, maybe mid-summer, and though I don’t have pictures to share, my celery grew beautifully when planted outside. Our property is mostly wooded, so pots that get some sun are it for a garden, and the celery filled one nicely. The stalks really were too thin and woody to enjoy outside of soup, maybe lack of water, but the leaves were prolific and tasty and made for a delicious chickpea salad, which I’ll share the recipe for below, and soups as well. Read here for the many health benefits of juicing celery.
Beets are anti-inflammatory, a good cleanser and digestive aid, to name just a few of the benefits. The beets I planted last year from this method really didn’t develop, again only the leaves, but the leaves are very nutritional as well – read here to see how they compare to kale.
Ginger is my best friend when I am flying or riding in mountainous terrain….for someone who gets motion sickness, I cannot suggest this wonderful herb enough! During cold and flu season I like to make my own ginger/clove/elderberry infusion and drink throughout the day. It is a powerhouse of nutrients which you can read about here, so I like to add about a thumb size to the juice. This is a good article on how to grow ginger…a new houseplant…one that will nourish you when you wish to dig up a bit of the rhizome.
Lastly I have the mighty carrot! I don’t have high hopes for eating the carrot itself once I plant them outside, but again, the leaves will offer a great deal of nutrition which I read about in an article just last week, which included a recipe for carrot top pesto. Carrots are the bulk of the juice I make, and we are all aware of just how great they are, from cleansing the liver to helping to prevent cancer, read more about them to be inspired to juice them, or roast them-my favorite way to eat them cooked.
As promised, the link to the recipe for the chickpea salad is at https://cookieandkate.com/?s=chickpea+salad. I actually use the recipe from her cookbook, which I highly recommend, but simply substitute out the parsley for the celery leaves, and use raw red onion instead of the peppers and olives. It is wonderful after sitting overnight especially, and looking at this picture now I think I need to go soak some garbanzo beans!
Until next time, drink to your health!