NOURISHING OUR CHILDREN | Healthy Snacks and Why | April – May 2015

WR590px-nourishingBy Jasmin Schellenberg —

HEALTHY SNACKS AND WHY

Yogurt & Dill Crackers
(makes 5 dozen 1-1/2 inch crackers)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 6 Tbsp butter, 4 Tbsp soft and 2 Tbsp melted
  • 1/2 cup yogurt

Mix all dry ingredients then add the soft butter and beat in the yogurt until it forms a thick dough. Cover in a bowl for 8-12 hours in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into four portions. Roll each portion out to 1/16-inch thick and cut into 1-1/2 inch squares. Place on a cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. Brush them with the melted butter and prick each cracker with a fork to prevent puffing. Bake for 6-8 minutes until gold around the edges. Crackers will store for two weeks in an airtight container.

 

NUTRIENT DENSE MEAL

Braised Short Ribs with Sun-dried Tomatoes(Serves 4)

  • 8 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 2 cups dry red wine, with a little extra
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 2 bay leaves

In a Dutch oven melt butter and crisp bacon. Remove bacon for later. Increase the heat to high and, in batches, brown the ribs for 1 minute each side. When all all ribs have been browned decrease the heat to medium, and put all the ribs on a plate. Add all vegetables, and if necessary, more butter, to the pot and fry veggies until softened—about 5 minutes. While the vegetables cook, process tomatoes and herbs in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle until a paste forms. Stir into vegetables, return ribs and bacon to the pot, add wine and broth, and drop in the bay leaves. Leave the pot in the preheated oven (120 degrees C) for 6 hours until the meat falls off the bones. This could also be done in slow cooker. Enjoy.

 

MYTHS UNVEILED

Is it possible to have our youngest generation growing up thinking their food comes in containers from the grocery store? Imagine your children knowing where their food comes from, what it really should taste like, how it is grown, and that they can actually grow food themselves. Let’s help them plan a garden this year, without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Growing your garden organically (without any chemical “help”) is possible.

The most important tip: rather than trying to suppress the bad we support the good health of the plants. If you already have a suitable garden patch you can plan some easy-to-grow crops for children. Berry bushes take a few years to establish, but they are easy to grow and fun for kids to pick. Radishes, lettuce, snap peas, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes would be my choices to grow with children. They are easy and harvested at different times to keep their interest up.

We go by the rules of the biodynamic calendar. There are root days for things like potatoes, carrots, beets, etc. You seed, transplant, weed, and harvest on root days only. Then, on leaf days, lettuce, cabbage, leeks, etc. are seeded, transplanted, weeded, and harvested. On fruit days tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, apples, etc. are seeded, transplanted, weeded, and harvested. On flower days, broccoli and any flowers you have are seeded, weeded, transplanted, and harvested. You easily can find a biodynamic calendar online. Keeping to these rules will bring you more success, yield, and plant health.

Also, you want to start adding some compost to your garden. Invest in a worm factory and use their castings as a natural fertilizer. Make a liquid tea from their castings and spray it onto your plants. Companion planting, like planting garlic between your strawberries, will also help defend against pests. Read up on how biodynamics work. Grow chamomile and pick them on flower days early in the morning as well as dandelions (young flowers only) and dry them separately.

Imagine the deep satisfaction when your children pick their own strawberries or peas.

 

A WALK THROUGH YOUR “GARDEN” PANTRY:

GET RID OF: All your chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

REPLACE WITH: Natural compost. Make compost teas and dried flower teas for strengthening the health of the plants. Use 1 gram each of chamomile, dandelion, Valerian, and yarrow. Steep for 15 minutes. Add to 10 litres of cold water per 1/2 acre (use less if you have a smaller garden). You can also add to this tea 1 gram horsetail and 5 grams oak bark, boiled for 15 minutes and cooled off. Spray with a hand or backpack sprayer over the entire garden. This will help your plants get strong and disease-resistant.

 

Brought to you by Jasmin Schellenberg.

Inspired by and resourced from “Grasp the Nettle” by Peter Proctor and Maria Thun.  

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