Chamomile flowers for tea

This year I decided to put more effort in my part of the garden and sowed a few different easy to grow plants in a mini greenhouse in early March. One of the plants that survived is the chamomile. I am pleased that I was able to harvest these beautiful and fragrant small flowers. I pick the flowers before the full heat of the noon sun. Since I only have one pot, I harvested several times allowing more blooms to grow. I used a 2-step drying process since I don’t have much room, a small harvest and pick the flowers at different times.

Step 1: Paper napkins secured on both ends to hold the fresh chamomile blooms.

Step 2: I transfer the dried flowers after a couple of weeks to a paper bag.This will allow the blooms to dry more. I reuse the paper napkin for the next batch of blooms to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may only have enough for a cup or two of chamomile tea but it is nice to know that it came from my garden, and that is good in my books!

 

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Spaghetti Squash Quick Meal

Another savoury dish that is quick, easy, and healthy based on this recipe. I changed it according to what freshest ingredients I had on hand and to taste. It is almost like a salad best served at room temperature. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge and heat up later but I find that it was not as well-received in the family as when it was first served.

spaghetti-squash2
Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti squash – roasted cut side down with a bit of oil (bake at approx. 30 minutes of until done)
  • bacon bits (to add some crunch and savoury taste)
  • sliced olives
  • tomato wedges – cherry or grape tomatoes
  • grated cheese (I used French Gruyère)
  • olive oil – the good kind you would use in salads
  1. Roast the spaghetti squash in the oven, cut side down.
  2. Scoop out the spaghetti squash flesh using a big spoon but keeping the long strands to resemble “spaghetti noodles”.
  3. Add the bacon bits, sliced black olive, fresh tomatoes and grated cheese.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.

Best served at room temperature.

spaghetti-squash spaghetti-squash1
spaghetti-squash-meal

 

Blueberry Tart on Puff Pastry

What to do with bucketful of blueberries after picking fresh from the farm? A quick and easy dessert with puff pastry and fresh blueberries. This dessert was inspired from this Blueberry Tart recipe. Mine turned out smaller but the taste is wonderfully light and sweet with a bit of tanginess from the cream cheese and lemon.

blueberry-tart

I suggest you follow the recipe from the source. With the smaller puff pastry, I adjusted the cream filling proportionately.

 

Quick Easy and Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffinIt’s blueberry season! No matter what time of year, this quick and easy blueberry muffins are a great snack or breakfast on-the-go alternative. You can make these blurry muffins using fresh or frozen blueberries. Super simple to make with only one bowl and a 2-cup measuring cup to use and no electric mixer required! What could be simpler?

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Mix together in one bowl all the dry ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar if you don’t have any brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (prefer Himalayan pink salt for added minerals)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together in a 2-cup glass measuring cup:

  • 1 egg, beaten (crack the egg into the cup and beat with a fork)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (grape seed oil)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (Tip: coat the measuring spoon with oil before measuring molasses and the molasses will easily slide off)
  • Milk – pour enough milk to the 1 1/2 cup mark on the measuring cup
  1.  Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended (do not over mix).
  2. Fold in 1 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries.
  3. Use an ice cream scooper to spoon into silicon muffin cups or liners.

YieldTray of blueberry muffin: Approximately 16 regular size muffins

 Substitutions for a healthier muffin:

  • white flour = whole wheat, oat flour, flax seed
  • white sugar = molasses for added nutrition, reduce sugar by 1/4 cup
  • Himalayan salt = for adding more minerals

Moist muffin with plump blueberries. These muffins have a great texture with minimal mixing of the batter. It can easily be frozen after baking. It’s great with a little dab of butter while still hot or pair it with a slice of cheddar cheese for a satisfying snack.Blueberry muffin halves