Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘seeds’

Taking a break

Well after two weeks straight of practically every meal containing, cheese, cream, butter or sausage in one form or another, we decided that our first meal of 2013 needed to be something healthy.  To take a break from the overindulgence.

What could be nicer than a comforting, friendly bowl of hot oatmeal?

Holidays 2012037

No one says it has to be the boring bland porridge of childhood!

I laid out a selection of toppings to go along with it:

  • fresh blueberries
  • dried cranberries
  • brown sugar
  • hemp seeds
  • milk

Holidays 2012035


It was wonderfully fortifying and a nice rest for the digestive system!


Holidays 2012036


Energy balls or holiday treats?

My friend and I had been out on a full day of serious shopping but knew we had a very special dinner to look forward to, so didn’t want to fill up on pesky lunch!

We were at the health food store when she spied some “energy balls” in the display counter and insisted that we get some.

I’ll admit, they were some tasty energy balls and certainly did tide us over till dinner, but it always gets my goat when these places charge so much for something so simple to make.

So here I will reveal the secret to energy balls!

The key ingredient here is dates!  You must have dates and then everything else can just be whatever you have available.

Start with about 10 dried dates, cover them with boiling water and then let sit for about 10 minutes till they soften up, drain and then put into the food processor.

Grind those up first and alone, because those are what everything else will stick to.

Then, in no particular order, into the processor add:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cut hazel nuts

etc etc etc

You could add pretty much any nut or seed, even hemp seeds, or dried cranberries whatever small dried thing of that nature that you might have.

Whiz those all up until it resembles a fine meal texture.

Then if you like, add chocolate chips or carob or something like that and then give the processor  a few more pulses till they are mixed in but not pulverized like everything else.

Then on to a parchment covered tray………

I always use gloves for this kind of thing because I really hate sticky on my fingers!

Carefully roll the mixture into a ball, the size is your discretion.   It you are going to use them as a serious energy ball for after work outs or that kind of thing, you could make them golf ball size.

If you want them as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea as I tend to use them you will want them smaller “meat ball” size.

And then if you want to use them as a holiday treat to trick your friends and family into eating something healthy……then just make them small homemade truffle type size.

Then once you choose your size……roll each ball and then either leave as is or you can then roll them in some additional delicious thing like dried coconut or like what I have done with these, sesame seeds or just plain coco powder.


Place them on the tray and then put in the freezer for about half an hour before serving/eating.

Once they have set, you can put them in an airtight container and put them back in the freezer where they will last a good few weeks.  Just give them about 10 minutes out before eating.

Or put them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy often.

Or pack them up in decorative tins and give them away!

They are a very versatile little thing…..oh and they DO actually give you a boost of energy!!


Oh and PS depending on what you put in them, they are vegan and RAW.

Foraging – The series

Historical moment here folks!

This is the very first  official “GUEST BLOG” from What Have We Got Here!

And what’s even MORE exciting is that it isn’t just one little ol blog but a series!

My good friend Jacquie who lives in Montreal, Quebec recently had a VERY note worthy food adventure and really wanted to share it with us!

Please enjoy Foraging – Part I



Photo: Joe O’Leary, author of the Wilderness Survival Guide. Used with permission


Forage /ˈfôrij/

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): -ed/-ing/-s

Etymology: Middle English foragen, from Middle French fourager, from fourage

intransitive verb

1 : wander in search of food

2 : the latest development in the “eat local” movement

Early humans were hunters/gatherers, in other words, foragers finding their food in the local countryside. Using trial and error, our ancestors were able to identify plants that were useful to them and weed out those that weren’t. Some plants could remove the sting of poison ivy, some fruits could prevent scurvy

Lemons and limes were carried on early sailing voyages to supplement the sailors’ poor diet and help prevent scurvy. Photo: André Karwath

and some leaves made an excellent poultice to help heal wounds. Some trees produced seeds that were edible (and nutritious), some roots could be made into delicious drinks and some bark and seedpodswere found to boost the flavour of other foods.  This lore was passed down through the generations and may still linger as a spark in our collective unconscience.

People have always used vegetation for food and medicinal purposes. While early humans started cultivating some plants, such as wheat and rice, through the ages other  plants dropped off our radar. They became “weeds,” even though they had once been used regularly to cure our ills or provide sustenance.

 Food is now an international industry. Our grocery stores are filled with produce from all over the world, all through the year. Popular products are genetically modified to survive early picking, natural pests and longer transportation times. But the pendulum is swinging back and foraging is once again gaining popularity as a way of providing food for our tables.  

As a logical extension of the eating locally philosophy, foraging brings “local” right to your doorstep. And you don’t need to be living in the wild to take advantage of natures abundance.  Edible plants abound in parks and along the sides of roads. You just need to know where to look and what to look for.

An abundance of useful and edible plants can be found growing naturally all over. Photo: J. Dinsmore

It became popular in the seventies to use “natural” ingredients in skin- and hair-care products and to revive homemade recipes for everything from soap to lipstick. We started growing our own sprouts and making our own bread with new old grains such as spelt and flaxseed. This movement levelled off for a while, but with the newfound interest in eating locally, people are re-discovering, and delighting in, the edible world around them. Local now means the park across the street, the bushes surrounding your cottage and the side of the road you take to work.*

But you don’t need to go out and pull edible roots out of the ground yourself. A new type of restaurant that cooks up  dishes based on foraged ingredients  is popping up like dandelions in the lawn to satisfy the curiosity of foodies and the need of some to go “back to their roots.” I recently had the luck to dine at one of these restaurants, in the Laurentian mountains outside of Montreal, and will be writing a review of the restaurant and the meal.

* Please be aware that most vegetation in public spaces is sprayed for pests and disease and is therefore not suitable for eating. Many municipalities also have by-laws concerning the harvesting of plants on public property (including roadsides), so make sure you research and do your homework before setting out to forage.


Check back tomorrow for Part II of Jacquie’s adventures in Foraging!


Growing Stuff April 20th

I’ve decided to try and grow some potato on purpose this year. 

Last year I was trying to grow cauliflowers when suddenly a potato plant started growning in the middle of them and took over the whole party.  I suspect it was from peels that I had tossed in to compost.

Potatoes growing in the cauliflower! ( last year )

So this year I have a nice little potato with some eyes on it.  I’ve cut it into a few bits.

Potato buds

Then I have planted the bits in a nice deep tub of dirt.

I’ll let you know what happens.



If you look REALLY closely you can see a few tiny weeny Swiss Chard sprouts trying to grow from the new batch of seeds I planted outside.  I really think these ARE chard because they are red!

Chard sprouts


I am happy to see that the oregano plant has a few little leaves trying to grow.  Last year it was completely dead but then came back full blast!

Oregano trying to grow




I found out that a friend of mine is actually an award winner tomato growing expert!!  The things you find out about people! 

Anyway, I had been telling her my growing troubles but commented on how pleased I was with the progress of my tomato plants that I am growning inside from seed.

She told me that it is very important to mound the dirt around the base of the plant.  This helps make it stronger for when the tomatoes appear.   So that’s what I did!

AND I added coffee grounds to the dirt as a fertilizer

( click here to read from Grounds to ground)





As for the mystry plant?

The concensus is……..that is it some sort of sunflowers!

Rogue Sunflowers!

Weekly update April 13

I just realized that it is Friday the 13th!!

I don’t think plants care about that!

Well, I think that I figured out what the mystery plant might be………seems the neighbour kid “Jack” traded his family cow to some questionable character for some lousy beans!  And he hid them in MY flower pot!!!

No…..not really.

Truth is, I still have NO idea what the heck these are!   ( If you are just joining us, CLICK HERE to catch up on what I am on about )  But it seems they grow bigger by the day!

Mystery plant

And now they seem to be developing a bud of some sort! 

Mystery bud on mystery plant

 I think I will keep them indoors till they flower, because I know the birds will go crazy on them if I put them out on the balcony!

I planted some “new” Swiss Chard seeds in a bigger pot outside and am trying again.   So far nothing has sprouted and when I came in yesterday I noticed that “someone” ( pesky squirrel) has been digging in the pot!  “Why I otta………”

But I am pleased to report that the tomato plants are coming along wonderfully!

AND the little container of “micro greens” which is really just lettuce that you cut before it grows into its real self, are doing just fine too!

Micro greens

Although I have had to take extreme measure to protect them.  Seems birds LOVE micro greens!

I think it will be warm enough to start planting some other things really soon!

Can’t wait!

Something has gone terribly wrong

Now I’m no horticulturist, but I am pretty SURE that what I’ve got growing in my pot is NOT Swiss Chard!!

I can’t imagine how this happened.  I keep a basket with all of my little seed packages that I use over the years and so I went back to review the pictures.  I mean….I could have absent-mindedly grabbed the wrong packet of seeds and not put chard in the pot……..perhaps?   But there is really nothing in my seed collection that looks like THIS stuff!!

What is this??

My only thought… that over the winter I used this particular pot to toss a few handfuls of bird seed into now and then.

When it came to planting the chard, I just used the same pot that was already half full of dirt, tossed in from fresh dirt on top and then added the chard seeds.  Perhaps whatever bird seed is…..was lingering underneath and grew up crazy!

If I look closely there ARE a couple of red stemmed spouts that could actually be chard.  But obviously what ever this stuff is has smothered it to death!

NOT chard!

What an unfortuante turn of events.  I shall let this stuff continue to grow……see if it grows up to be anything….even a flower perhaps……but I tasted it and it wasn’t very good.

Back to the drawing board on the chard!

But in better news, the little tomato plants are coming along very nicely and I am 99% certain they ARE in fact tomato plants!!

Yes, these ARE tomato plants!

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