My Tiny “Scrap” Kitchen Garden

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.

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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.

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celery, beet, ginger, carrot

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.

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this always reminds me of sand art, liquid form

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!

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new celery leaves emerging

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.

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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.

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Ginger

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.

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new leaves forming to left of carrot

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.

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chickpea salad

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!

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Until next time, drink to your health!

∼Jen

Beautiful, Healing Foods…

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”― Hippocrates

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I am passionate about people living a life of health and vitality and am saddened when I see those living in pain or less than the optimal life they could be enjoying. For that reason, I have been wanting to do a blog post about the life-changing, and sometimes life-saving role our diets play in our quality of life for quite some time. After binge-watching a few Netflix (links below) with my husband over the last few nights, I couldn’t put off a post like this any longer!

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cookieandkate.com

Growing up, my maternal grandmother was one of my favorite people in the world.  I loved spending time with her in the summers listening to her stories, making Christmas ornaments in the winter, and eating chocolate mint ice-cream and Russel Stover chocolates in any season! Sadly, she died at what would be considered young today, her body hunched over and joints crooked with painful arthritis while she dutifully consumed the myriad of prescription drugs prescribed to make her life somehow more pleasant.  I vividly remember sitting at her kitchen table with her one day as she sorted through her many medications, and somehow, even at a young age, I knew there was something very wrong with that picture.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have done my very best to convince her to get rid of the processed foods and lay aside at least some of the Russel Stover to make room for some more fruits and veggies.

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Great food blog and cookbook…cookieandkate.com.

I’ll skip many details of my own health journey or this post would be way too long. I will say, however, I was fortunate to be raised by a mother, a nurse by profession, who was  very much in tune to the role of proper nutrition and diet in a healthy lifestyle.

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recipe from Cookieandkate.com

Last winter I had a bit of a health scare, and thankfully it was just a scare, but for the week of uncertainty I spent many hours researching health sights on the web and found this gem:  https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com.  This site is loaded with nutritional information and video testimonials of people who all beat cancer through diet and some also with alternative remedies.

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Another great cookbook and food blog

I decided to try this plant-based diet, and my husband also joined in.  The great news for him was that at his next doctors visit six weeks later he had lost 11 pounds, but even better his blood pressure had dropped 40 points…enough to keep his doctor from prescribing blood pressure medicine, yahoo!!  For myself, I noticed that the mysterious leg pain that was so bad it would keep me awake at night disappeared, as well as the sometimes intense hip pain.  I would have considered myself a really healthy eater even before this…organic, non-gmo food, very little processed foods, occasional juicer, but switching to this plant-based, sugar-free diet was the real health ticket for me-no pain, yes please!

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From son of Dr. Esselstyn in movie Forks over Knives

One thing I learned in the Chris Beat Cancer series, is that processed dairy raises the risk of breast and prostate cancer, a fact which has been scientifically known since the 70’s.  Immediately what came to my mind were all the cute little pink ribbons found in the dairy aisle…funny, I’ve never seen even one in the fruit and vegetable aisle, hmm.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that one, but my less than noble conclusion was verified in the documentary we watched last night, which I highly recommend, called What the Health.  This video was a real eye-opener, it will make you mad, but that can be a really good thing if it stirs you to action to improve your health.  It is also filled with some very inspiring stories though, so I promise you’ll be smiling at the end!

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Engine 2 blog/recipes..

Two other great documentaries: Forks Over Knives, which has some seriously jaw-dropping studies, and the really inspiring and definitely entertaining one: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  Both sites have many resources listed, as well as links to the movie, the second can be viewed free on the site for a limited time, so go enjoy!

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From Engine 2 recipe index

 

 Lastly, I highly recommend the incredibly informative video series called The Truth About Cancer which can be found at this site: https://www.cancertutor.com/global-cancer-documentary/  Face it, sadly we all know of people who could benefit from this info. and for so many ailments other than cancer.

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The Wimpy Vegetarian blog

In closing, let me just say that I am very thankful I live in an age where we have life-saving  medicines and technology, but the fact remains that there are many, many diseases that can be prevented altogether, and in many cases even reversed with the food choices we make.  The good news is…

God has filled our earth with wonderful, natural medicines just waiting to be consumed, and that my friends, is really, really something beautiful.

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ohsheglows blog

Until next time!

∼Jen

So, I think I’m supposed to add a disclaimer here, but very important, nonetheless, Please check with a doctor and be monitored before deciding to decrease or stop any medicines or adding herbal remedies!