Posts tagged: wild foods

Make Your Own “Green Smoothie Frozen Concentrate”

By , July 5, 2011

Green smoothie frozen concentrate made with lettuce, spinach, and lambsquarters.

So I peeked into my remaining three bags of lettuce from the garden this year, and discovered that they were starting to go south and needed to be used right away. I separated out the slimy leaves, washed the rest, and had an idea! I’ll make green smoothie frozen concentrate cubes!

To make the concentrate:

1. Pour some kefir, water, juice, or watered-down yogurt into a blender. You won’t need too much — just enough to get everything to blend together smoothly.

2. Add lots of greens. Ideas are: lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, lambsquarters, purslane, mint, parsley, cilantro, edible flowers, etc. (Kale is the only one I don’t like in a shake, but if you do, go for it!)

3. Start the blender and let it run until you have a uniform slurry.

4. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

To use:

When you’re ready to make a green smoothie, thaw out some cubes; I usually use 2 cubes when I make a shake for myself. Add the green liquid to your blender containing the rest of your smoothie ingredients — I like to use fruit and kefir with some ground flax seed and vanilla extract. Blend & enjoy. Yum!!

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If you’re curious about green smoothies, you might check out the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko, or the related website. My friend Sasha recommended this book to me, and I loved it! While I don’t agree with absolutely everything in the book, I’m glad I read it.

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Springtime Dandelion Salad

By , January 29, 2011

Light lunch: Dandelion salad & raspberry leaf tea with grassfed cream

Spring’s in the air! (…till Tuesday, at least, when it’s supposed to get down to -8!) It’s been shorts & t-shirt weather here — the robins have been chirping their summertime songs, and I opened all the windows yesterday to let the fresh air in. My body also seems to know that spring’s coming and it’s time to eat light, clean, liver-cleansing foods. I’ve been craving juicy oranges, fresh lemons, and bitter dandelion salads. Bitter is usually my least favorite taste, but I’ve been eating dandelion salads almost daily lately. Dandelions won’t be growing in the yard for another couple months yet, so I buy the greens at our health food store.

I’ve been really enjoying this particular salad:

dandelion greens mixed half and half with lettuce (sometimes I leave out the lettuce altogether)

green onions

avocado

sunflower seeds

fresh lemon juice and flax seed oil generously drizzled over, with salt & pepper to taste

Chop the greens up nice and small and eat the whole thing with a spoon!

Jerusalem Artichoke Latkes for Hanukkah

By , December 9, 2009

Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Latkes for Hanukkah

Today we’re making Latkes with a twist, just in time for Hanukkah (which begins this Friday night). I used my garden-grown Jerusalem Artichokes in place of the potatoes that would traditionally be used for latkes. I’m not Jewish, by the way, but I do like Jewish food, and I think it’s fun to get into the spirit of the holiday. 😉

Jerusalem Artichokes (a.k.a. Sunchokes) are actually the edible tubers of a sunflower that’s native to North America. They’re kind of a lost vegetable, having been more popular in days gone by. Sunchokes are usually used in place of potatoes, but have a more pronounced, earthy flavor…and although they can be eaten raw, I prefer them cooked.

This year, I grew them in a small pot in the garden (though they do grow wild in fields). I’ve heard that once you plant them, it’s hard to get rid of them…so I just bought a small tuber from the Whole Foods produce section, broke it into pieces, and planted it. The sunflower grew very tall, and a few weeks after the first frost I dumped out the pot and harvested quite a few jerusalem artichokes. So easy! Anyway, that’s a post for another day. Onward with the recipe:

Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Latkes

Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Latkes

(Makes about 6 latkes / Ingredient measurements don’t have to be exact)

1/4 cup finely diced or grated onion

1 cup grated or shredded Jerusalem Artichoke, raw

1 large egg (or two small ones)

4 Tbsp flour (possibly more), divided — I used whole wheat

1/2 to 1 tsp salt, to your liking

1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper, to your liking

Oil, to fry in

If you remember, go ahead and squeeze any extra liquid out of your shredded Jerusalem Artichokes. I forgot to do this and my latkes turned out fine, but I’ll try to remember to do it next time because extra liquid does make the oil splatter when the latke is placed in the pan.

Beat the egg(s) in a bowl, and mix in the Jerusalem Artichokes, onions, salt, and pepper. Mix in about 2 Tbsp of flour. You want to have enough flour in there so that the batter holds together after you form it into a little patty.

Pour enough oil (olive oil is traditional) into a frying pan so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Set the burner to medium, or a bit higher. To test the oil, drop a bit of batter in and if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.

If the batter sizzles, the oil is hot enough.

If the batter sizzles, the oil is hot enough.

Form some of the batter into a little patty, and flatten slightly, like this:

Making a latke

If the latke batter holds together, it's ready to be cooked in the oil.

If the patty just falls apart in your hand, put it back in the bowl and add more flour to the mixture.You’ll notice that as the batter sits around, it will get more watery, so you will likely have to mix in another couple tablespoons of flour.

Slide the patty into the hot oil in the pan. Cook about 4-6 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. When you see the edges begin to brown, it’s time to check if the bottom is golden.

Cooking a Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Latke

When the edges begin to brown, check to see if the bottom is golden.

If the latke isn’t browning, turn the heat up a little. If it’s browning too quickly, turn the heat down a little.

Turn the latke over when the bottom is golden brown.

Turn the latke over when the bottom is golden brown.

When the latke is done, place it on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve right away, or make the latkes earlier in the day and then warm them in the oven before serving.

Serve plain, or with sour cream, applesauce, or any other favorite condiment.

Happy Hanukkah!

This post is part of today’s Pennywise Platter Carnival over at The Nourishing Gourmet.

How to Make Snow Ice Cream

By , December 2, 2009

Having been born and raised here in Colorado, I’ve had lots of wonderful experiences in the snow over the years. I love the snow! Sledding, shoveling the sidewalk, cross country skiing, building snowmen, and getting excited when the really big storms hit. And…making snow ice cream! That’s a sweet memory from all the way back to early childhood. It’s awfully easy, and the main ingredient is free! But it’s also a special treat that can only be made when it snows enough! This is how my mom and I have always made it:

Snow Ice Cream

Fresh, clean snow

Milk (Whatever you have. Whole milk is nice, and some cream is even nicer.)

Maple syrup (or sugar)

Vanilla extract

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First, set out your ingredients. You’ll want to work fast once you bring the snow inside.

Once it has snowed at least a couple inches, go outside with a large bowl or pan. Scoop up the cleanest snow you can find, being careful to not scrape along the grass…and avoiding dog pee, if applicable!

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Now, there aren’t any measurements for this recipe. You just sort of eye it, mix it up, taste it, and adjust. Into the snow, pour some milk, add some sugar (any sugar will work, though I especially like maple syrup for making snow ice cream), and then add a little vanilla.

Mix it together with a spoon and taste. Add more snow, milk, sugar, or vanilla if needed, until it tastes good to you. You’ll get a feel for the ingredient amounts once you make it.

Serve it up and enjoy immediately before it melts. It doesn’t really hold up in the freezer since it will pretty much freeze solid. Enjoy this ephemeral, wintertime treat!

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Enjoying Wild Foods: Purslane

By , August 23, 2009
Purslane Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Garden Salad with Purslane, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers

Once you discover the world of edible wild plants, you realize that there’s food everywhere! Even in the asphalt jungle of an urban environment.

Purslane is a very common weed that I often see growing in sidewalk crevices or in barren, disturbed soil. It’s extremely nutritious, so I was happy to find it growing near our apartment recently.

Continue reading 'Enjoying Wild Foods: Purslane'»

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