Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Ideas and Thoughts - Worth Repeating

Dear Folks,

I'm sharing some prior posts that I think are fun and appropriate for Thanksgiving.  First up is my Pumpkin Oatmeal side dish - the other aspect of this recipe that I loved was IF YOU have leftovers, they easily can be formed into patties and quickly heated in the frying pan the next morning to go with a hardy breakfast.  There are so many good-for-you things in this dish - you should try it - and let me know what you think.

Here is a side dish for any meal -- warming and satisfying.

1 cup regular oatmeal (not instant or quick cook)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie spice kind, just plain)
14 oz can of chicken broth (or vegetable)
1/8 teaspoon smoked salt (or sea salt)
8 large basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Optional: other nuts such as pecans.
Stir pumpkin into broth in sauce pan, add salt and oatmeal and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly. Add nuts. Rinse and sliver basil leaves and fold into oatmeal just before serving. (Left Over Tip: form into patties and fry gently in a bit of olive oil, about 1 minute each side (just until warmed all the way through and slightly crusted on both sides.)
Optional: For a sweet version: Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries, and omit (or leave in as you prefer) basil leaves, and use only plain (non-flavored) salt.

Stuffed Pumpkin

First Official Thanksgiving

Listen to old time radio Thanksgiving shows

May you all have a safe, healthy, blessed and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hooked on "SodaStream"? Better mix choices and $ value.

Dear Folks,

If your family begged for the newest convenience device called "sodastream" that lets you make your own fizzy water, you may want to consider something other than their mixes for even better health choices.

Frozen Concentrated Fruit Juices!

The beauty of frozen concentrates is you can find a wide variety of no-sugar-added flavors with just the natural sweetness of the juice.  Add any fizzy water and you have soda!

Do the kids like orange soda?  Easy - concentrated orange juice + fizzy water = Orange soda.

The basic ratio is 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of concentrated to 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of fizzy water.  You can make the finished product a little 'lighter' by simply adding more fizzy.

If you are going to invest in a product that is touted at saving you money, being "green" and letting you make better soda choices for your family -- make it even healthier by using real fruit juices instead of formula mixes.

Sodastream's "natural" flavors are $9.99 for a bottle which makes 25 8-ounce cups.  That is $.40 a glass (cup).

A 12 ounce container of frozen juice concentrate (remember no-sugar-added varieties) is about $1.44 and makes 6  8-ounce cups.  That is $.24 a glass -- you save money and get better product.

I like ideas that reduce waste, limit additions to the land fill, and give you healthier choices.  If you just change the 'mix' you have the convenience of sodastream, limit landfill waste and give your family better flavor choices.  Anyone for pineapple/orange soda!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Herb Lady

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady