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Strawberry Crunch Muffins

I am so glad it is the beginning of Strawberry season.  Strawberries are so fun and delicious.  They are low in calories and are an excellent source of vitamin C.  This week’s recipe features this berry delicious fruit in a nutritious whole grain muffin.  Your family will not even know that they are eating something so good for them!

Makes: 12 muffins

1 cup of fat free plain or vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup fat free milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup low fat granola

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 tablespoons oat bran

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine yogurt, applesauce, milk and eggs; blend well.

In medium bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, granola, wheat germ, oat bran, baking soda and salt.  Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in strawberries.

Fill each muffin cup about three-fourths full.  Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown or until a wooden pick inserted into center come out clean.

Nutrition Information: 166 calories, 5 g protein, 34g carb, 3 g fiber, 2 g fat, 36 g chol, 108 pg folate, 2 mg iron, 459 sodium.

Freezing Temperatures & Frost Protection, Part 2

So, we are one day in to our wintry blast. So far the low has only been 30 degrees, which is not a big deal for most things. We also have a lovely coating of ice, which is breaking tree branches right and left. The forecast for tonight is for 26 degrees.

You can see that there’s ice everywhere, including on our garlic! You can see how the waxy leaves caused the water to run while it was freezing!

So, what do you do about ice on your vegetables? LEAVE IT ALONE! The ice is actually a small measure of protection at this point, and at any rate, you need to let things thaw normally. What about tonight? Do you cover things? It is up to you. Even if we get down to 26, you shouldn’t see much damage on things other than potatoes.

But what about fruit trees?

Iced CrabappleThis crabapple is still budding out, not yet in full bloom. For our fruiting apples and other trees, what should you do? First, no need to remove the ice. Again, it is providing some measure of protection, especially as long as it is still raining or drizzling.

The ice will probably melt this afternoon, as the temperatures get slightly warmer. So should you cover your fruit trees to protect the buds and blossoms?

First, you should look at this chart to determine what the damaging temperature would be for the stage of bloom your tree is in and determine how much damage there is likely to be: Critical Temps for Fruit Trees. If you are only looking at 10% damage or a little more, I wouldn’t bother covering your trees.

If you are looking at a significant amount of damage, you could cover your trees, if you have the means to do so. HOWEVER, they are also forecasting 12 mph wind with gusts up to 20 mph. Most likely, the wind will cause your pockets of warm air to blow away, so covering won’t get you much. I know, I’m a bastion of cheery news today, aren’t I?

Looking at the conditions, I would guess that this wintry blast is going to cause some percentage of damage to our fruit crop this year, but probably not a complete loss. But then, it looks like we’re going to get another chance next week too!

 

Handouts from the 2013 Grow Good Food Workshop

If you missed out on the Grow Good Food Workshop this past Saturday (or if you had to leave early), here are the handouts for you to download. They are all PDFs, and some of the files are pretty larges, so be warned!

Vegetable Gardening from the Ground Up 2013 Revised

Growing a Garden in Heat and Drought

Organic Pest Control

Grow Your Own Salad

Starting Seeds Under Lights

Fruit Trees for Small Spaces

Cooking with Fresh Vegetables & Herbs

Food Preservation 2013

Carrot Pineapple Salad

5 cups carrots, grated
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks, packed in their own juice, drained
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together grated carrots and raisins; set aside.
In a blender, puree pineapple, vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon
until smooth. Pour over carrot mixture; mix well. Chill for 30
minutes and serve. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

Variations:
• Use 1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano instead of the cinnamon.
• Purchase a larger can of pineapple and add pineapple
chunks to the salad with the raisins.
• If no blender is available to make the dressing, try yogurt or
reduced-fat mayonnaise for dressing instead. Or mix 1 cup of
the juice from the pineapple with the cinnamon, vinegar, and
brown sugar to make the dressing — then add the pineapple
chunks to the salad.

Health Hint
• Raw carrots are often better accepted by picky eaters than cooked carrots.

This salad is a good source of fiber as well as being a fun change from
green salad with a meal.

Denise’s Delightful Dishes: Pockets full of pears!

After the holidays it seems like I crave sweets more than normal.  My resolution for 2013 is to try to make better food choices.   So one way to do that is to eat  fruits and vegetables are in season.   This is the list of produce that is in season during the month of January.

  • pears
  • blood oranges and other citrus fruit
  • kiwi
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • spinach
  • avocado
  • cabbage
  • chard

The following recipe is one of my favorites treats.  It is a fruit pocket.  It reminds me of pie and cobbler, but with a healthier twist.  It is easy enough for kids of all ages to make a simple snack that’s full of fruit and flavor!

Pocket Fruit Pies 

Level: Easy Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 large apple or 2 medium peaches
or pears
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons milk
sugar (optional)

Directions:
Remember to wash your hands!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Warm tortillas in microwave or oven to make them easier to handle.
3. Peel and chop fruit into small pieces.
4. Place 1/4 the fruit on each tortilla.
5. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
sprinkle over fruit.
6. Roll up the tortillas with the fruit.
7. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and make small slashes to allow
steam to escape. Brush with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar,
if desired.
8. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.
9. Serve warm or cold.

Helpful Hints: This easy snack helps work fruit into a daily diet. Tortillas,
with a variety of toppings, make great snack builders!
Safety Tip: Allow pie to cool slightly before tasting – the steam and sugar
can burn!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 fruit pocket (140g)
Servings per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 300   Calories from Fat 50

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5 g 8 %
–  Saturated Fat 1.50 g 7 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 350 mg 15 %
Total Carbohydrate 55 g 18 %
–  Dietary Fiber 4 g 16 %
–  Sugars 14 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 0 % Vitamin C 6 %
Calcium 10 % Iron 15 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  Your daily values may be higher of lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories – 2,000 2,500
Total Fat < 65g 80g
Saturated Fat < 20g 25g
Cholesterol < 300mg 300mg
Sodium < 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

Calories per gram:
Fat 9 – Carbohydrate 4 – Protein 4