Nourish: Whole Food Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans + A Blog Hop Giveaway

Nourish

I will attest to the fact I wished carrots tasted like french fries so I could convince myself to eat more of them.  I really, really wish this!

Thanks to Nettie Cronish and Cara Rosenbloom I’m discovering that while whole foods won’t have that greasy, deep fried yumminess they still elevate my tastebuds, open up all my senses and make my body feel better. Healthy can taste great. Rosenbloom, the registered dietician, and Cronish, a chef have come together to create a cookbook full of delicious, healthy recipes encouraging readers that including nuts, seeds and beans into their recipes and their diets is a fabulous way to eat.

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Nourish is not about a massive overhaul of your life.  It’s about incorporating healthy ingredients into food that you probably already eat at home.  Beans added to salads and soups, crunchy seeds stirred into grains, nuts coating your favorite meats.  Simple yet wonderful changes to easy and incredibly tasty dishes.

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

All throughout the books the authors include nutritional information about the very things you should be eating and educate you on how to make these additions to your everyday meals. All of the recipes are vibrant and easy to follow, with mouthwatering photos to draw you in and after cooking many of the recipes they are just as divine to your taste buds as they are for you eyes.

Pistachio Studded Quinoa

Pistachio Studded Quinoa

Thanks to Whitecap Books and a group of amazing Canadian bloggers one reader has chance to receive a copy of this lovely cookbook.  You can enter by scrolling down to the bottom of this post and clicking on the rafflecopter link.  And by visiting the links to my blogger friends and entering there you have so many chances to win this great book. And you may also discover some new go to blogs along the way. These ladies rock!

Kelly from Kelly Neil Photography

Tiffany from Eating Niagara

Regina from Leelalicious

Redawna from Nutmeg Disrupted

Gwen from Devour and Conquer

Hilary from Cocoa Bean, the Vegetable

Erin from How to Eat

Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

Stephanie from Kitchen Frolic

Caroline from Do it All Working Mom

Libby from Libby Roach

Katrina from Kitchen Trials

Laureen from Art and the Kitchen

Emily from Best of this Life

Lauren from Lauren Follett Nutrition

Zannat from Food for Happiness

Sarah from Kiwi and Bean

Charmian from The Messy Baker

Make you leave a blog comment below telling me what changes you have made or would like to make to include nuts, seeds and beans into your recipes at home to be eligible for the rafflecopter entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside. 

No purchase necessary to enter. 

Giveaway will run from Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 12:01am to end on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond.  If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner’s name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter. 

Prize value is approximately $30CDN.

Garden Seeds

Some of you may have already started sowing seeds indoors or are just beginning to decide on what you want to grow this season. Catalogues are starting to get dog-eared and list are being created. Seed exchanges may be popping up in your neighborhood and garden displays are getting larger and more prominent in your local hardware stores.

For any beginners interested in getting a jump on their spring planting by sowing seeds inside and transplanting the sprouts when the weather has warmed up here is a great guide to everything you need to know about seeds.

Types of Seeds

Seeds can be divided into two categories; angiosperms, which are seeds produced in flowers

and gymnosperms, seeds produced in cones. Just as in everything else in the world there are exceptions to the rule but for simplicities sake we will stick with those two.

Seeds can be further separated into heirlooms or hybrids.  Heirloom seeds are reproduced through pollination tracing back several decades to their identical parent.  These are normally what you would find at seed exchanges. In the case of heirloom vegetables they are typical grown because of their flavor and not their size or yield.

Hybrid seeds are created by breeding together two varieties of plants to create one with the best characteristics of the parents.  These usually create plants with high yield,disease and pest resistance and in some cases even specific colors.

Pretreatment of Seeds

Some seed varieties need to be pretreated before they can be sown.

Presoaking

Beets, carrots and spinach are a few examples of seeds that benefit from being soaked in warm water for 24 hours. This softens the coating encasing the seed making them easier to grow and more reliable in germination.

Pre-sprouting

This can be done by placing the seeds in a wet paper  towel in a plastic baggie and placing it in a bright warm area.  Once the radical tip begins to emerge from the seed it can then be planted in the soil. This is great for seeds that have long and unreliable germination rates or if your growing season is particularly short.

Scarifying

Some seeds have a thick or hard outer shell and therefore need a small piece of the coat snipped away. Do not cut completely through the shell or the seed will no longer be viable.

Planting Seeds

Seeds can be sowed directly into the soil or can be started earlier indoors in special pots and containers. Seed starting kits are available in most major stores and garden centres.  Some plants don’t transplant well from the indoors so it is very important that you read the information on the back of your seed packets or to research the seeds online.

Starting seeds indoors gives a plant a healthy start in life by providing the ideal growing condition needed like temperature, light, humidity and controlled moisture as well as providing areas in the country with shorter growing seasons the chance to  plant more varieties.

Harvesting Seeds

You may decide after  your plants have grown, flowered or produced edibles that you want to harvest its seeds to exchange with neighbors or to keep for the next year.  With the right tools and a little bit of time invested you can successfully collect your own.  One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make when harvesting is not writing down on the storage bags what plant those seeds come from.  You would be surprised how short our memories can be. I also recommend jotting down why you want to harvest that particular seed.  Did it have huge flavor, a beautiful colour, or seemed to be relatively pest and disease free?

Start harvesting by snipping off the ripened seed heads and placing them in a LABELLED paper bag.  Make sure you are doing this on a dry day.  Any moisture can cause fungus to grow in the bag destroying all your collected seeds. If you are not completely sure they are dry spread them out on a LABELLED sheet of newspaper to finish drying for a couple of days.

Unfortunately when you are harvesting you also tend to pick up lots of extraneous detritus like bugs, dirt, and other plant material.  Here is where it can take a little extra time.  If the seed is large enough you can pick them out using tweezers and transferring them to your final storage container.  If the seeds are smaller you can get different size tea strainers with small and large holes.  Realistically your final seed pile will be less than 100% pure.  Seeds can be stored in small tins, paper envelops or plastic vials.

While growing plants from seeds and harvesting their seeds can seem like a lot of work it is best to remember that all plants started this way.  As you walk through the garden centers or if you get an opportunity to check out a seed exchange take the time to appreciate the work those growers put in to provide you with  the starting points to your next garden.

 

 

Seedy Saturdays

Seedy Saturdays

Despite the weather not showing many signs of the arrival of Spring there are things going on around town that can give a person hope that warmer weather is on the horizon. Over the last couple of weeks and continuing on into the next several events known as Seedy Saturdays are popping up all over Canada.

Seedy Saturdays

An event where gardeners of all expertise can catch a few workshops, share some growing tips and trade, share and exchange seeds they have saved from their gardens from previous years.  It’s a perfect place to pick up hard to find heirlooms and new and interesting varieties of flowers and edibles.  Many of the vendors make a living growing crops and saving the seeds for purchase the following year.

Seedy Saturdays

Seedy Saturdays mark the beginning of the growing season for many and luckily there are many happening across the country to make everyone’s heart warm up just a little bit.

Check out the Seeds of Diversity site to see when you nearest event happens.

Seedy Saturdays

 

Blackberry Lily

Also known as the leopard lily it’s the shape of it’s seed pods that give it it’s fruity name.  Used in dried flower arrangements this seed pods help prolong the life of your plant in the garden by self seeding.  It’s bright spotted blooms only last one day yet it’s abundance of flowers still make it a showy display in your garden.  If you don’t let the plant self seed they are grown from fall planted bulbs.

This plant has been used medicinally in East Asia to treat asthma, swollen liver, spleen conditions, gonorrhea and malaria.

Blackberry Lily

Belamcandus chinesis

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 3′
  • Width: 12″
  • Bloom Time: July and August
  • Bloom Colour: Orange, Yellow, Red
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Bacterial crown rot, leaf spot, iris borer
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, containers
  • Special Features: Fall colour, winter interest, cut flowers, dried flowers, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 8-10

Example Varieties: