Soooooo, what should I be planting in Summer?

I was recently interviewed about my edible garden. As parts of the interview were edited to fit it into a quick story, I have decided to publish the whole interview on my blog. Over the next view weeks I will take you through a quick gardening 101. Last week I shared about the trend of “The Organic Home Garden” You read about that here.

Q:What are some great summer veggies?

For the beginner gardener spring is the perfect time to start experimenting. It is the season of abundance.

Easy summer veggies include

  • Lettuce of all kinds
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • All kinds of your favourite herbs
  • Pumpkin if you have the space
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Silver beet

All these plants are great for beginners. You start to sow your summer vegetables in spring after the last frost.

 

Making a pressed rainbow salad is easier than you think!

pressed-Salad-main-150x150

In winter time, salads are not my daily choice of food, like they are in summer. I tend to go for the warm and comforting foods I grew up with in The Netherlands where it is always cold and rainy.

Now living in Australia where the weather is so different, I have found that my diet has changed according to the climate. Although winter here in Sydney can be rather cold as well, during the day we often have beautiful clear skies with full sunshine. Some days you can still wear short sleeves even. So nice. During the winter season I do enjoy a salad every now and again and in particular I like to enjoy a pressed salad. 

A pressed salad is more a vegetable salad, than a lettuce salad. it is packed full with nutrient dense and low calorie vegetables from all colours of the rainbow. What I love most about this salad is the fact that all the vegetables in it can be eaten raw, to give you an extra boost of precious enzymes that otherwise would have been destroyed in the cooking process. Because of the way the salad is prepared, the raw vegetable fibers become soft and thus easily digestible. The salad also goes through a slight fermentation process providing you with beneficial bacteria. You can use any vegetable you like, but I like to stick with cruciferous vegetables mainly as they give you the added benefit of immune boosting and cancer fighting activity through the release of powerful ITC’s (isothiocyanates) a compound found only in cruciferous vegetables. 

INGREDIENTS

  • celery stalk

  • kale

  • bok choy

  • carrot

  • red radish

  • cabbage red and green

  • spring onion

  • pear

Grate, shred, cut or slice all vegetables and put them in a bowl. Per 3 cups of vegetables add 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt. Take the vegetables in your hand and gently massage them. You will notice that water gets released and the vegetables will reduce in size. Once you have massaged the vegetables for a minute or so, put a plate on top of the salad and a heavy jar filled with water to continue the pressing process. You can press the salad for up to 5 hours or just 30 min. This is up to you. Once you are ready to stop pressing, drain of the liquid. If it is to salty, give it a bit of a rinse. Dress the salad with some apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey and enjoy. 

Radish Salad Recipe

radishes__62699_zoom

 

Radishes……..

I only ever saw them used as a decorative garnish on the food buffet at the local Chinese restaurant in the town I grew up. Together with carrots, which was another Chinese carving favourite.

But tonight I cut up thinly a bunch of radishes I had bought for a pressed salad I was going to make. I didn’t feel like making the pressed salad, so instead I decided to simply eat the thinly sliced radishes as a snack on its own. Except, that is somewhat boring. What happened next needed to be shared with the world. It is absolutely astounding what a drop of olive oil and apple cider vinegar can do to an otherwise boring bunch of radishes. You MUST try this at home, peeps! It is impossible for me to describe or put into words what party occurred on my tongue. But as the Dutch would say “It was like an angel urinated all over my tongue” If you want to know what that tastes like, follow the recipe instruction below 😉

  • 1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • a drizzle of apple cider vinegar
  • a shake of Herbamare 

Put everything In a small bowl and combine well. I had a lidded bowl and gave it a good shake.

Absolutely enjoy this all by yourself, you will not want to share this!

 

 

Soooooo, what should I be planting in Winter??

I was recently interviewed about my edible garden. As parts of the interview were edited to fit it into a quick story, I have decided to publish the whole interview on my blog. Over the next view weeks I will take you through a quick gardening 101. Last week we sowed seeds for the Summer garden.. You read about that here. Today it’s time to plant some seeds for the Winter garden.! 

Q:What are some great Winter veggies?

For the beginner gardener, winter can be a daunting season, but it is actually a really easy season to grow food. You don’t have the issue of hot and dry days, where the sun is roasting your pumpkins. You also do not need to worry about watering as much as there is no heat to cause major evaporation. I love winter!

Easy winter veggies include:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Radish
  • Beetroot

All these plants are great for beginners and you can start sowing seeds in January/February. That way you will get a head start and have food all winter.

Eat a Rainbow

phytonutrients
Vegetables and fruits come in several different colours, which I am sure you all have noticed!

If you eat at least (and I do recommend you eat more) the 5 recommended servings of vegetables daily, you can almost eat a rainbow of colours. Colours who each serve a special purpose to your health. How cool is that!

All vegetables apart from having vitamins and minerals, also contain several disease fighting PHYTONUTRIENTS. Each colour made up of different phytonutrients and each phytonutrient serves a different purpose. But all phytonutrients have anti oxidant promoting activities. Anti oxidants help to neutralise free radicals therefore preventing cell damage and damage to our DNA. DNA methylation when accumulated results in cancer. More reason to eat several rainbows every day!

Let’s have a look at each colour and it’s super powers:

Phytonutrients can often be identified by the colour of the vegetable.

  • Blue & purple foods like berries, eggplant, red cabbage are rich in flavanoids
  • Yellow & orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, papaya and melon are rich in beta carotene, hesperidin, lutein/zeaxanthin.
  • Red & pink food like tomatoes, guava, cherries, watermelon are rich in lycopene.
  • Green foods like kale, spinach, collard greens are rich in indoles.
  • White foods like garlic, onion, leek are rich in powerful sulphur containing phytonutrients

BLUE/PURPLE

THINK: Heart, Brain, Bone, Arteries & Cognitive health. Also fights cancer and supports healthy ageing

YELLOW/ORANGE

THINK: Eye health, Healthy immune function, Healthy growth and development

RED/PINK

THINK: Prostate, Urinary tract and DNA health. Protects against Cancer and Heart disease.

GREEN

THINK: Eye health, Arterial function, Lung health, Liver function and Cell health. Also helps Wound healing and Gum health.

WHITE

THINK: Healthy bones, Circulatory system, Fights Heart disease and Cancer

 

My top tips for a healthy and happy veggie patch.

 vegepatch
I was recently interviewed about my edible garden. As parts of the interview were edited to fit it into a short story, I have decided to publish the whole interview on my blog. Over the next view weeks I will take you through a quick gardening 101. Last week I shared about the benefits gardening has on the mind, body and soul. You can read about that here. Today I am giving you a couple more handy hints and tips on how to get a healthy start in your veggie patch.
 

Q: What are some tips you can give us to build a healthy veggie patch?

A: There are many things to consider and location and position is a topic we covered a few weeks ago. Here are 6 more tips to get you off to a good start:

  1. Always plan ahead.

    Your summer garden is planned in winter. Seeds can be sown in the green house from August. This gives you a nice head start. Your winter garden is planned in summer. Seeds for the Winter garden are sown in February

  2. Use Heirloom seeds and seedlings where possible.

    These seeds can be saved, are not sprayed with pesticides and are not hybridised. Heirloom seeds are true to type, which means, when sown again, you get exactly what you got the season before.

  3. Use only organic fertilizers for your garden.

    They are available online or in your hardware store. Healthy soil teems with organisms needed to metabolise the minerals your plants need to grow healthy and strong. Synthetic fertilisers kill these organisms. Nothing grows well in dead soil. You can also make worm juice onsite, if you have a worm farm. Worm juice is not a fertiliser but a tonic full of healthy bacteria needed for your soil. I liken it to a probiotic. Seaweed emulsion is a mineral supplement helpful in growing strong and healthy plants.

  4. Don’t use pesticides.

    Healthy soil creates healthy plants. Healthy plants are resistant to pests.

  5. ALWAYS mulch, mulch, mulch!

    It protects your soil, protects those organisms needed to grow your healthy plants and the mulch also nourishes your soil with the nutrients it needs as the mulch breaks down.

  6. Use drip irrigation on a timer.

    It allows you to take a holiday, which we all need to do from time to time 🙂

Only plant food you are going to eat and share surplus with your neighbours.

Go for 2&5

1serve

This is 1 serve of vegetables. 75gr, 1/2 a cup. We are advised as adults to eat at least 5 of these serves every day and our children to have at least 2 serves, but from research we know that many struggle to reach this number of serves.

I want to give you a few ideas to help you reach your daily quota. In the morning most of us reach for the cereal, after all it is so quick and easy. But by doing so you miss out on an awesome opportunity to start of your day with a serve or 2.

Let’s us start with a satisfying breakfast;
  • How about  some eggs with a side of sauteed spinach, mushrooms and baked beans next time? 1 cup of raw spinach is 1 serve, but by the time you saute that not much is left over, add 1/2 a cup of mushrooms and 1/2 a cup of baked beans and you are well over half way of your daily quota! And who doesn’t love a full breakfast first thing in the morning?
If you have a sandwich for lunch or a wrap;
  • why not pack it with a cup of salad greens or sprouts, some cucumber and tomato. Add some chicken, cheese or beef and you will be sweet for the rest of the afternoon plus you got another serve out of the way!
If you are a salad person;
  • 2 cups of leafy salad greens make up 2 serves, add some carrot, tomato, cucumber, red onion and you are well on your way to the nirvana of ultimate health 😉
  • Coleslaw (homemade!) is another awesome salad full of natures cancer fighting goodness. The small green cup in the picture above is exactly 1 serve of rainbow coleslaw. I bet you can easily devour 3 serves in one sitting!
How about an afternoon snack, I hear you ask,
  • Some raw carrots, celery sticks, cucumber and cherry tomatoes served with hommus is delicious way to get those life giving phytonutrients into your cells. And this is a great snack for morning tea or afternoon tea instead of the office donuts that get passed around! Just have those donuts after the healthy stuff, okay? 😉
Now that you are already 4 serves in, dinner will be easy.
  • Just pick your favourite vegetable and have 75 grams of it. But if you had cereal for breakfast, well, you will need to have 300 grams of you favourite vegetables. How about some delicious roasted broccoli or cauliflower, topped with some grated cheese? Another favourite of mine are green beans and carrots, covered in butter and a little bit of garlic.

Please share with us on Facebook your favourite way to get your veggies in? Do you know how many serves you get each day?

Try to reach the 5 serves a day goal and observe how you feel.

For this and more tips to balance your health and wellbeing join me for my FREE 6 week nutrition course in The Ponds from April 23rd. For more info contact me at annemarie@honestpantry.com.au

A strong intention versus a “good idea”

intentions

A car gets you from one physical location to another physical location. But what gets you from an undesirable path to your desired path of life?

Lets talk about intentions, one of the first things I have my clients think about and write down.

Without an intention or goal you have no direction or map of where you are heading and how you are planning on getting there.

  • Where do you want to go?
  • What do you want, what do you REALLY want and WHY?

For an intention or goal to really work, they have to come from a deep desire to change the course of your path. Is the situation you are finding yourself in right now so dire that you’ll do anything to change it to a life that you know brings you true happiness and joy?

If your intentions are strong you are more likely to stay FOCUSED and keep on course.

It is your inner motivation and conviction that gives you strength and stickability to keep on going, rather than others motivating you to do something that at the time seemed a “good Idea”.

A strong intention is NEVER “a good idea”, but always a life and death situation for the one who sets the goal. A “good idea” is not what gets you to your desired end result, EVER.

Making positive changes in your life can hurt, they are often sacrificial therefore always costing you something. If your intentions are not strong enough you will come up with every single excuse under the sun as to why you can not do what you set out to achieve. It usually only takes 3 days into your journey to start making excuses.

  • I don’t have time to cook
  • I don’t eat vegetables
  • I don’t like salads
  • I can’t stop eating lollies, chocolates, cookies etc
  • I hate walking, it’s raining, cold
  • I have to get up too early to get to work so I can’t make breakfast
  • I don’t want to send through my numbers everyday

And there are many more excuses I have heard in the past from people who came to me for weight loss and health coaching. The funniest excuse I ever heard was from someone who did not send through his numbers to me each morning. Food diary, step count, weight and weight loss for the day. His excuse? I DON’T HAVE SCALES.  ‘Sigh’

With strong intentions you’ll still have hurdles, but instead of finding EXCUSES, you’ll find SOLUTIONS.