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Garden food – How to Sprout Lentils

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What to do with those dried lentils in your pantry… Sprout them! Add then them to salads, eat them as a snack, add them to smoothies or use them as micro greens in the winter (if you can’t grow your own salad due lack of light). They have a mild and slightly nutty flavour. Delicious! And so healthy… Try doing it with the kids: they will love seeing it grow so fast!

I’m cautious to what goes into my body nowadays, especially since I became a vegetarian two years ago. I like to eat “real food”, by that I mean that I avoid processed food, even for vegetarians and vegans. I want to make all the food I eat by myself. I buy organic produce, or grow as much as I can in my garden, I buy local and seasonal. I never thought it was difficult to quit the meat though, as there are so much delicious stuff to replace it with. And replacing the meat really helps our health and also the environment. What’s also interesting is that blood tests I’ve done lately shows that my iron and protein levels are so much better now since before, when I still ate meat.

Anyway, my new favourite source of protein nowadays are lentils and beans. I make salads with boiled lentils together with chopped red onions and add a really tasty sesame dressing (2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp Japanese soya sauce, 4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and 4 tbsp tahini sauce). Or you can make this quick salad dish above from sprouted lentils: a chopped up apple from the garden, sprouted lentils, cherry tomatoes and some basil leaves. And again, the sesame dressing. Yummie!

 

 

 

You need:

– a big glass jar

– a rubberband

– a loosely woven piece of cloth (like cheese cloth, but any cover that lets out water will do, a small sieve for example).

– lentils: black, red, green… any kind will do.

 

How to do it:

– rinse and put the lentils in your jar.

– add water almost to the top, grab the cheese cloth and attach it on the top with the rubber band. Keep it close by so that you don’t forget about them. I keep my jars in the kitchen, by the window, as that’s where I am several times per day.

– in the morning, add water through the fabric, and shake them lightly, then remove the water again. They need to constantly stay moist, but not wet.

– keep adding water, shake and remove for a few days. Morning and night will do. It will take about 2-3 days until your sprouts are ready to eat, but you can leave them to grow as big as you want them.


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Garden food – Dried apple rings

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Did you know that you easily can dry the edible produce that you find maybe in your garden and in the forest? It takes very little space and it will store for a very long time if stored the correct way. If you think about it, a lot of products in your pantry are actually dried: pasta, müsli, oats, flour, nuts, raisins, spices, rice etc. There are lots of different ways to dry products: in the oven on very low temperature, over a heat source, hung in a paper bag (best for herbs) or on a long string or wooden stick, which is what I’ll be telling you about today 🙂

 

DIY Dried apple rings (made into a decorative garland!) :

1. Gather your apples. Pick about 5-6 for this project and check them for worm holes, rot or small stains. Only pick the prettiest ones. You can peel the apples or leave the skin on. If you have kids and want to make them eat it, kids usually prefer peeled apple rings. Then, with a corer, remove the seeds, leaves and stems until they look like the apples in the picture.

 

3. Cut the apples into 2-3 mm wide rings, but throw away the top and bottom ring as they easily mould and are basically only skin anyway.

 

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4. Grab a 1metre long thread (strong enough to hold 6 apples!) and a needle. Pierce a few apples at a time and pull the thread through. I made a knot around apple number one to make sure they stayed on the thread and saved about 30 cm on the same side to be able to hang it.

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4. Between two securely attached nails, hang up the garland. Spread out the apples evenly on the thread and give the apples a week or two before eating or storing them. For storage information, see below. Good luck!

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Storage advice: Dried products must be protected from moisture, light, dust and excessive heat and the best storage place is a dark and dry place with a temperature of 10-20 degrees Celsius. Packaging materials are brown paper bags, plastic bags, cloth bags of dark and dense fabric, glass jars and wooden boxes. It’s good to write down the content and packaging date on all the packages, it’s so easy to forget 😉 Vegetables, berries, fruit and mushrooms can be packed tightly, but herbs are packed loosely. Brown glass jars can be store in the kitchen shelves, but transparent glass jars must be kept in a dark place, a cupboard for example.

 

Alternative drying method for a quick snack: Spread out the apple rings on an oven plate and dry them overnight on the lowest heat, at 50-100° C.

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Garden food – Apple sauce

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äppelmosss-3The apple tree in our garden is now full of nutritious and delicious apples. There are so many of them and although we’re eating all of the fallen fruit, there is still so much left and if I don’t figure out what to do with them soon, they will rot on the ground … So at the moment I’m trying to figure out the best ways to preserve them over the winter and here is one way: homemade Apple sauce! In our family we use this apple sauce for everything; at breakfast over oat porridge and milk, sprinkled with cinnamon or as a apple pie filling, or just plain (warmed up) with milk as a dinner dessert or as a after school snack. 1 kg gives about 1 litre of apple sauce to be stored in the freezer or in sterilised jars in a cool and dark place over the winter. This apple sauce is super easy to make too, and will even be cheaper than the cheapest apple sauces on the market. It is also a much healthier alternative than the store-bought ones.

Apple sauce (recipe inspired by Annas mat, Anna Bergenström, 1991)

1 kg apples

1,5 dl water

1 gram ascorbic acid

1 dl sugar

one tea towel

 

1. Start by washing the apples, peel them, remove stems and leaves and cut them into large cubes.

2. Add 1,5 dl water to a big pot, add the apple cubes and boil them for about 8-10 min while stirring occasionally.

3. Mash the apples with a potato masher or with a mixer for a smoother sauce.

4. Add the sugar and the ascorbic acid and stir thoroughly.

5. Freeze the apple sauce flat in zip bags (for an easy storage in the freezer) or in glass jars old fashion style (easier than you might think!)

 

To preserve in jars (IKEA‘s glass jars with a rubber lid is perfect for this, but any glass jar which has been sterilised will do fine):

1. Boil the glass jars and the rubber lids (or the metal lids) in some water in a big pot to sterilise them. 5 min will do 🙂 Save the water!

2. Add the apple sauce to the jars leaving about 2 cm of space left at the top. Put the rubber lids back on the glass jars while wet if you use rubber lid jars. If you use normal screw-on metal lids, just screw them on as tightly as possible.

3. Fold the tea towel in two and add it on the bottom of the pot in which you sterilised the jars. Put the glass jars on the tea towel and slowly bring the water to boil. Leave it boiling for about 20 min. This will make the lids stick to the glass jar, creating a vacuum and store well over the winter. Store the jars in the fridge or in a cool and dry place.




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Garden food – Muffins with fruit or berries

 

 

Did you ever make muffins? It’s so easy! And totally and utterly delicious. You can make them in so many varieties that you’ll never get tired of them. Here is the recipe we use at home:

 

This recipe is for 12 juicy muffins.

 

Ingredients:

 

3 eggs

3 dl sugar

1,5 dl milk

150 g butter

4,5 dl wheat flour

3 tsp baking powder

3 tsp vanilla sugar

(1 tbsp whiskey!)

pretty paper forms (cupcake style)

 

(blueberries, cherries, chopped apples/cinnamon powder etc. etc.)

 

How to make them:

 

1. Put the owen on 200°C

 

2. Whisk eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until fluffy.

 

3. Put the butter in a cup and melt it in the microwave (1 min). Blend the butter with the milk and add it to the egg/sugar mix.

 

4. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar and whisk all to a smooth dough. (Don’t forget to taste the dough, it’s really gooooood!)

 

5. Put paper forms on an owen plate or put them in a cupcake owen plate (great if you want to get that “mushroom shaped” muffin! See the picture above)

 

6. Add the dough into the paper forms and poke in some blueberries or cherries or chopped up apple pieces (topped with cinnamon) depending on your taste.

 

7. Bake in oven around 12-14 min.