Tag Archives: garden

Bloobs!

I knew it was about to happen a few days ago when my husband came walking into the house, said,”Open up!” and popped a sweet little blueberry into my mouth.

The first blueberries of the season are ready! :D

When I say I like blueberries, I mean I REALLY ADORE blueberries. Last year at this time, I was pregnant and I ate so many that I expected my son to have blue hair. (He does have really pretty blue eyes…hmmm….)

So here they are…and since we have raspberries, too, which are my husband’s favorite, they are all mine! 

I know, it’s only a small handful. But there are lots more on the way!

So what do you do with a few choice bloobs?

You throw them into your oats, of course!

This morning’s fuel:

  • Oats
  • Almond milk (and the last of a container of coconut milk) 
  • A sprinkle each: almond slivers, walnuts, dried cranberries, chia seeds, cinnamon
  • A smallish teaspoon of coconut oil
  • My prized blueberries
  • One date

A bowl of oats in the morning is nothing new. I’d be willing to bet that most of you out there had them, too, topped with your choice of fruits, nuts, and yummy things to up the nutrient content.

But that’s not the only reason I eat them.

Not only will this mug of oaty goodness keep me going all morning, but it will keep my son going too! You see, oats, nuts and coconut oil are just a few of the many lactogenic foods, which can help keep a lactating mommy’s milk supply healthy and strong. 

Sure, you need a good supply of calories, nutrients and hydration in order to maintain a good supply, but it’s also important to eat foods that support the very chemistry within your body that causes lactation to happen.

Careful, though. ”The more, the merrier” may be true in the case of chocolate and cute shoes, but it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to lactogenic foods (or lactogenic herbs, like fenugreek, blessed thistle, etc.) Oversupply sounds like a blessing, but it can be a problem, too, as your baby can experience digestive issues if you are producing too much foremilk and he is full before he gets to the more nutrient-rich hindmilk. (I had oversupply issues for the first 6 months…) Too much of a good thing may also make you more prone to clogged ducts and mastitis. No fun. :(

But, as I can fully attest after an all-out panic when I nearly lost my supply due to a surge in my son’s development, lactogenic foods and herbs can be a mommy’s best friend when used wisely. Have you ever heard a woman say, “I tried to breastfeed, but it didn’t work for me?” or “My body didn’t produce any milk,” or the always frustrating, “You’re lucky it worked for you” ? :x In a society where processed, fast food and “fat-free” weirdness are the norm and many people can’t even identify a lot of fresh, whole foods, it really makes you wonder…

I don’t mean to criticize anyone: I will fully acknowledge that some women do have medical issues that thwart their efforts to breastfeed, but I’ve been told by many a medical professional that these conditions are very few and far between, and if eating more grains, herbs, legumes and healthy fats might help, isn’t it MORE than worth a try?

If you’d like more information on lactogenic foods and herbs, check out this article from Mobi Motherhood International. or contact your local chapter of LLL. Both helped me, and I hope they help you, too!  

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Have you ever used lactogenic foods and/or herbs to increase or maintain your milk supply? Would you consider it?

What is your favorite way to eat fresh blueberries?

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You have until Saturday, June 26th to enter to win free coconut milk products from Turtle Mountain! Click here.

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Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

Writer’s Block of Chocolate

Today, I don’t feel so much like writing. I think I wrote too much at work and used up all my words.

Instead, I feel like eating chocolate. And that shouldn’t be a problem because I just replenished my stash.

I love chocolate….and it loves me, too. Know how I know? There’s a love poem inside each one of these…

Found these on clearance at the Tar-zhay for $1 each. They were in my basket before I even knew what happened. Yup, I bought ‘em all. And they should last me a good, long time since I have to watch my caffeine while nursing. Only one little square at a time for the mama.

And on my last shopping excursion, I found this strange creature:

That’s right…bread and chocolate. It’s a chocolate bar with French bread in it. I’m going to h*ll, fo sho…

I’m not opening that one yet. It’s going to wait until I get in that French bread and chocolate mood. Don’t act like you don’t know that mood…

Don’t you just love the clearance aisle? I do…but it makes me sad, too. I often find my favorites in there, or products I’ve been wanting to try, and finding them there emblazoned with a big red clearance sticker is a little rush, no doubt, but it also means that those products are most likely being put out to pasture because nobody is buying them. Then, I can’t buy them anymore either. :(

I hate that.

My latest trip to the clearance rack also yielded a box of cinnamon Clipper Tea (it seriously is a soft, fuzzy blanket and slippers in a mug)  and a bottle of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. Fun!

So, I mentioned that yesterday was my husband’s family reunion. That might seem the perfect vehicle for blog fodder, but it just didn’t happen. I was going to put together a side dish, but I totally s**t the bed and brought drinks.

I know. You don’t have to say it. Bad blogger. Bad foodie. Bad healthy eating advocate.

But at least I brought Honest Kids juice. It’s not even sweet, and it’s the only juice I’d give my kid out of a little bag if I did, in fact, give my kid juice. 

We played some games and the husbo won a big watermelon. I was kind of stoked about that. 

Then I won. What did I win, you ask? Well, I won this:

Yes, that is a 7.5 lb bag of sugar. Ummm…….yeah. That’s what I thought, too. :?

The heat and humidity were out of control, but somehow I got talked into walking these steps carrying a 20-lb baby on my hip…

…and found this at the top! 8O

Who knew I’d find a big lake at the top of a flight of stairs? It was like finding Narnia or something. 

My husband got a hankering for a nip of wine on the way home, so we stopped at a local winery (Hunter’s Valley) that’s just a little too far out of the way to visit regularly, and picked up two bottles for home. Way to multi-task! 

I had only eaten some mixed bean salad at the reunion, so I was ravenous. I had visions of a falafel salad dancing in my head, so I got out the mix I had in the cabinet…

Did you all know about this stuff? 

It was the easiest thing ever, inexpensive, and it made really good falafel! Better than I’ve had in a lot of restaurants even.

Who knew?! 

I’ve been paying out the nose for falafel! NO MORE! Five bucks, my foot!

Falafel from scratch would be more impressive, yes. But this stuff is welcome in my pantry any time! Thanks, Casbah!

Feeling very proud of my warm falafel patties, I found them a home on top of a bed of organic greens and baby spinach, along with organic grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, fresh crumbled pepper-crusted chevre, a few artichoke hearts and a dressing I threw together with dill from the garden. (I thought it was a lot like tzatziki, until I looked it up and realized that I had, in fact, made tzatziki.)

Wow. This post is way random, and I think it has too many links. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow. 

I’m gearing up for my first giveaway in the next few days, so be sure to check back in soon!

‘Nite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………

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Have you ever made falafel from scratch? How did it turn out?

Do you ever have trouble stitching the pieces of your day together into one cohesive blog post?

and finally,

what would YOU hope to find at the top of that flight of stairs?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Banana Soft-Serve Sundae Bar!

Yesterday was a SCORCHER! The high temps and humidity caused my dessert to wilt. :(

But I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

My brother and his girlfriend are in town from Ohio. He’s finishing up his doctoral dissertation at Ohio State (O! H!) and has quite the budding music career, so we don’t get to see them a whole lot. (If you choose to click on that link, you are doing so at your own risk. You have been warned…)

I was in charge of dessert, and since my bro and his crafty companion are always up for new and interesting foods, I decided to make Vegan Banana Soft Serve with a close-but-not-quite-vegan toppings bar! 

I made the biggest batch ever – 12 nanners. It came out perfectly smooth and ice-creamy, but then the heat got to it and it started to break down, so we had to eat it superfast!

Mmmmm….

I think everyone was surprised at the short ingredients list. :razz:

I asked the husbo to stop at the local farm stand on the way over to pick up some local berries. Boy, did he ever!

He brought these…

and these!

They were tiny and sweet, just like real berries should be.

Some toppings, which I coarsely chopped. 

Couldn’t forget the peanuts. Salted, of course, for that real “banana split” taste.

…and there you have it! Easy as pie. Actually, much easier than pie.

Healthy Banana split-ish desserts, perfect on a hot summer day. And I didn’t even feel bad when I went back for seconds. ;)

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the ‘rents. Since they are the ones who inspired my veggie love so many years ago when I was just a wee pea, I’d like to share a few pics of their garden…

I’m off to my husband’s family reunion for the day. I’m not sure what I’m bringing yet, which is really unlike me. I usually have those things figured out weeks in advance after flipping through cookbooks for hours. But this is my first year with the baby, so I think I get a pass, right? :lol:

Have a HAPPY Sunday Sundae, everyone!

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Squash Blossom Insecurity

OK, crafty foodbloggers…I have a challenge for you.

It irks me to no end that there are so many things I don’t utilize from my garden. 

I was reminded of this irkiness by a post on Oh She Glows this morning…(garlic scapes are among the things I don’t use.)

…along with beet greens, fiddlehead ferns, and many other things I probably don’t even know I can use.

But by far, the one thing that makes me feel the most wasteful is:

THE SQUASH BLOSSOM.

I know these can be eaten, as I’ve seen many a cooking show featuring beautiful chevre-stuffed, tempura-battered squash blossoms with luscious dipping sauces. 

I just don’t know if I can pull that off. :? But I sure would feel like a pretty hot mama if I did…

Does anyone out there have any tips, recipes, general words of encouragement pertaining to the use of the oh-so-beautiful squash blossom? I sure do expect a lot more to pop up soon, and the husbo really wants to eat them (of course, he could learn to prepare them! But I’m not holding my breath… )

Help!

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad

I saw an article this morning that said Facebook games are experiencing a big decline right now. I’d like to think that’s because we are a nation of such productive gardeners and farmers that we can’t bear the winter months without having something to hoe, and now that the real gardening season is underway, we much prefer to get out and work in the real dirt, tending to real ghost peppers and pattypan squash, sweeping our virtual FarmVille selves under the rug until the next frost. 

I’d also like to think that someday I’ll fit into those shiny silver pants I used to wear when I danced to Front 242 at the Vault so many years ago.

I fear that neither of these things are true.

Speaking of real vegetables, did I mention that I love BEETS?

I really, really love beets. I love them plain with butter and salt, I love them pickled, I bet I’d probably love them grilled, and I especially love them when they’re grown in my yard!

Remember these guys? Thanks to all for your great beet suggestions! The general consensus seems to be that beets are best when served in some kind of salad, and since I had to find a way to use both my handy dandy new food processor and this fresh dill…

(could this be THE fresh dille?)

I whipped together a lovely pink Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad!

I boiled the beets until fork-tender with an inch of stalk left on so as not to let all the nutrients escape…

Then, immersed them immediately in cold water so the skins peeled right off. Ees pretty, no?

Next step: I thinly sliced half a red onion and put it in cold water to soak while preparing the dressing.

For the dressing, I whisked together the following:

8 Tbsp olive oil

6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

big handful freshly chopped dill

2 Tbsp agave nectar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 generous squirt lime juice

I then sliced one large cucumber (with a 2-second whirr! Beautiful!), quartered the tiny beets, and tossed them together in a large bowl with the dressing and the onion, drained.

Pretty in pink!

Lest you should think that I eat healthy all the time ( ;) ), I’d like to mention that we had a charity luncheon at my office, which featured this delectable little dessert:

In fact, it was so nice, I ate it twice! Someone who heard me say how much I enjoyed it brought me another one at my desk. On any other day, I would never consider accepting it, but today I’m subscribing to the Tao of Granny… 

Yup…you got it. I ate ‘em both, and I loved it.

So there. :lol:

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food