Friday, June 28, 2013

Today in Our Garden #GardenCuizine #FIGS on the way!

Today In Our Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
Figs - finally on the way! At last, after years of very slow growth, our little stick of a fig tree is showing signs of nutritious figs. Last year I know I spotted some too, but suddenly they disappeared. Hopefully, the squirrels or birds don't eat these before we do. 

Our Ficus carica was purchased at a local garden center over 5 years ago. I don't have a record of the identification of our fig tree. It could be 'Chicago Hardy', 'Celeste', or 'Brown Turkey' fig. I don't think it's 'Celeste' though, since the fig tree has not been fast growing or shrub-like. In fact, it's been the opposite, slow growing with tree-like form and little branching out. It doesn't die to the ground either in the winter like I read Brown Turkey fig trees do. We may be better able to ID the tree by the size of the ripe fruits.

As you may know from previous blog posts, we've been attempting and planning to propagate winter hardy figs from both cuttings and air layering. Stay tuned for updates on propagating figs.

April Showers bring May flowers...but's June!!
We sure have had plenty of rain for June. How about you? Here in NJ, we're expecting even more thunder storms and rain for the next several days. New Jersey may go down in history as having the wettest June ever. Luckily, so far we haven't seen damage from too much rain. On the contrary, all our gardens are green, lush and the blooms are absolutely beautiful.

Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Related Links
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Homemade Just Peachy Black Bean Dip in 5 minutes #recipe #GardenCuizine @foodbankSJ

"Just Peachy" Black Bean Dip
Low fat ~ High Fiber ~ Low sodium

Boost your nutrition and weight management diet with high fiber protein from beans. Serve beans as a side dish or puree beans for dips or sandwich and fajita spreads. Pureed beans are quick and easy to make in just 5 minutes. Kids love homemade bean dips too, which make a tasty snack on whole grain crackers and raw fresh vegetables. Try and avoid the temptation to serve bean dips with tortilla chips to encourage eating more veggies.

Black beans are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and provide 30% of the daily recommended amount of dietary fiber. One ounce of black (or white) beans yields 2 grams of protein. In general, beans are inexpensive and readily available in cans or dried. Dried beans are easily hydrated. Simply rinse, soak in water and then cook until tender. Of course, you could also grow your own beans in your home or community garden.

To reduce flatulence sometimes associated with legumes, introduce beans to your diet gradually. Some people find products like Beano helpful.

1 can cooked black beans, rinsed
1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup prepared salsa: Food Bank of SJ Just Peachy Salsa! (of course, homemade or any salsa can be used. We like to support our local food bank)
splash hot sauce (optional)

Putting it all together

  • In a small bowl or directly in your storage container - using a hand held blender - puree the beans, water, lime juice and cumin. Add more water if needed.
  • Stir in the cilantro and salsa
  • Enjoy!
  • NO added salt is necessary
Serve with your favorite multigrain crackers and rinsed raw garden vegetables, such as baby carrots, celery, cucumber slices, bell pepper slices and grape tomatoes.

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data ...coming soon
Related Links
Support your local food bank  Food Bank of South Jersey
Nourish Healthy Kids List of Legumes
USDA canned Black Beans fact sheet

Photo, recipe and blog post Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Puff Pastry Pinwheels topped with low fat frozen yogurt and Jersey fresh blueberries #GardenCuizine

Puff Pastry Pinwheels
topped with your favorite low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream 
and Jersey Fresh Blueberries

Recipe yields 18 pinwheels

1 box frozen puff pastry dough 
1 egg mixed with splash water for egg wash
large chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao)
colored sugar crystals (optional)
low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream
Jersey fresh blueberries

cookie sheets lined with foil and lightly sprayed with nonstick spray
preheat oven to 375° F
Putting it all together
This recipe is a fun and easy one. I just made a large batch of puff pastry pinwheels for Trinity Episcopal Church's blueberry festival that is being held tonight. Puff pastry pinwheels are fun served at summer BBQ's and picnics too.

Simply buy puff pastry dough and thaw at room temperature until workable. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this could take 15 to 30 minutes. You could also thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Store-bought puff pastry dough is folded like a letter in 3 parts. 
  • Unfold the dough and cut the dough into thirds along the fold. 
  • Cut each rectangle into 3-inch squares.
  • using a paring knife, make a diagonal cut from near the center to the corner. Leave an inch or slightly less in the center uncut
  • fold the tips towards the center to form a pinwheel. Egg wash to hold and egg wash exposed dough
  • sprinkle with colored sugar crystals if desired
  • place a large chocolate chip in the center
  • when your cookie sheet is full, bake until golden
  • continue until all your squares are made into pinwheels.
  • Serve topped with your favorite low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream and a generous portion of Jersey fresh blueberries!
Nutrition Data fresh Blueberries: based on USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:
Excellent Source: Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese*
Good Source: dietary Fiber 
1 cup (148g) raw blueberries: 84 calories; total fat: 0.49g (0.7% DV); Sodium: 1mg (0% DV); dietary Fiber: 4g (14% DV); Carbohydrate: 21g; sugars 15g; Vitamin C: 14mg (24% DV); Vitamin K: 29mcg (36% DV); Manganese 0.50mg (25% DV).
Percent Daily Value (%DV) is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
* Manganese aides in bone health and is part of enzymes involved in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese is considered an essential nutrient. Safe levels should not exceed 11mg/day. 
Related Links
Jersey Blues by Diana Wind, RD
Jersey Blueberry History Rutgers
Blog post copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.