Monday, 27 August 2012

Our daily bread

There are so many ways to make your daily slice of bread a little more attractive. The following ones include some help from your garden. Simple ways are adding herbs to plain spreads and butter, while other spreads are easily created by blending vegetables with spices. Here I will present you some of my favorite ideas - and easy ones too - to make your own sandwich spreads; for daily use or as appetizers:

Butter or cream cheese variations with fresh herbs:
(for vegan ones: use mashed chickpeas/beans/lentils and olive oil as your basis)
Dutch classic: garlic, chives, parsley, lovage;
Mediterranean: garlic, chives, (lemon)thyme, rosemary, lavender;
Sweet and spicy: gingersyrup (or ginger and sweetener), curry powder, red pepper;
Fresh: yoghurt, borage (cucumberherb), lemon balm.

Vegetable spreads:
Mid-eastern: grated carrot (and turnip), yoghurt, cumin powder, raisins;
Perfect couple: mashed roasted pepper, feta cheese;
Non-musty humus variation: chickpeas, lots of lemon juice, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes or olives.

Try to fill Indian cress flowers with some of the creamcheese spreads! The one with ginger and curry makes an excellent combination with this spicy flower! Another idea is to use the spreads as dips for slices of cucumber, pepper, celery, carrots and toast.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Strawberry spinach

This pretty creation proves how our time- and money-oriented society somehow causes victims of diminishing diversity. Not only this strawberry spinach - which was pushed aside by the much easier pickable (through machines) common spinach - but also for example vegetables that are not suitable for transport to other places because of their weak tenability, such as achocha. Wouldn't it all be a little more exciting to alternate your daily plate of greens with little red fruits tasting like spinach beets, or shape up your salad with tiny spiky cucumbers?

Not only the red fruits of strawberry spinach are edible and create crispy and juicy accents in meals, the leaves of this goosefoot species can be eaten as well and taste similar to spinach. They are a good source of vitamins C and A. The last edible part of strawberry spinach are the seeds, which can be cooked or grounded into flower. Next to this, the fruits can be used as a dye. 
Don't be scared off by the following: the seeds were also used as a toxic in Native American societies - put in rivers to stupefy or kill the fish. However, consuming strawberry blite in small portions is not harmful, but before eating it, make sure to visit the pfaf site.