This is the way we garden for edibles in the city, by using containers! Luckily our condo tower has an accessible rooftop where we can garden on containers and raised beds with a useful composting bins nearby. We have totally eliminated putting organic (fruits, vegetables and eggshells) from the landfill and proud to say that we have been doing it for close to 8 years now. Between the “greens” and “browns” from the other gardeners in the building, we manage to keep the composting bins in order. Here’s a sampling of our garden harvest this year.
Yes, you can grow lettuce in these small containers! These planters are usually used as balcony planters but we found better use for them for growing our organic leaf lettuce. Tip: Stagger planting the lettuce from seed to ensure you have a continuous supply through the growing months.
Our raised cedar planter with tomatoes and cucumbers. If you have not tried fresh cucumber still warm from the garden, it is sweet, crunchy with tons of flavour!
Popsicle mould with handles substituted with plastic spoons.
How many times have you bought popsicle moulds only to have the handle break off or have gone missing? In a pinch, I used plastic spoons inserted into the mould. Voila! You can make use of the whole popsicle mould again! It is best to use sturdy plastic spoons or the little spoons you get when you try some ice cream.
This popsicle recipe is full of fruit goodness. This recipe is not exact which makes it easy to adjust to whatever you have on hand. This recipe can be used as a smoothie (almost like a mango lassi) and is great to make into sugar-free popsicles.
mango pulp (from really ripe mango)
fruit juice (approximately 1 cup)
2 dollops of vanilla yogurt
banana (for extra creaminess) – choose very ripe bananas for extra sweetness
Blend until the mango fibres are blended together. It will have a thick consistency. Pour or spoon into popsicle moulds. If you have extra, add ice and make it into a refreshing smoothie! Enjoy!
Here is a simple coconut flour banana pancake recipe. This is my second attempt in cooking with coconut flour and found this recipe created just the right consistency. Cooking with coconut flour is a little different in that you use a lot less, the batter consistency is a little more runny, and takes a little longer to cook and not as firm when you flip it over. Making it a dollar size makes it easier to flip over.
2 eggs (Omega 3 is preferred)
1/3 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup milk (coconut milk, almond milk, regular milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil (add coconut oil if you use skimmed milk)
2 tablespoons coconut flour (organic preferred)
Yields approximately 16 dollar-size pancakes.
Beat the eggs and add the mashed banana. Add the milk, vanilla, honey and coconut oil. Beat some more until all incorporated. Add the coconut flour to the liquid mixture and let it rest for 5 minutes before cooking. By letting the batter rest for a few minutes, it will allow the liquid to be absorbed by the coconut flour. Use coconut oil to grease a cast iron pan, add more coconut oil in between when necessary. I use a tablespoon of batter for each dollar-sized pancake.
Cook one side longer than traditional (wheat) pancakes. Once the sides are no longer shiny, slide your spatula under the pancake. It is ready once the pancake does not stick to the pan.
Once you flip the pancake, cook the other side until brown. The pancakes will be a bit softer than traditional pancakes.
This year we dyed our Easter eggs the natural way using vegetables and things we found in the kitchen. It was my first time to make it so it was as like a fun science experiment which you can get your young kids involved in.
We used Omega-3 hard-boiled eggs and approximately 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 2 cups of liquid.
red cabbage – cut into pieces and boiled in two cups of water. Add vinegar
1 medium beets – cut into chunks and boiled in 2 cups of water. Add vinegar
Here’s the result:
Yellow – used paprika and a pinch of turmeric. Add boiling water and approximately one teaspoon of vinegar. I used a small jam glass jar good to fit one egg.
Light blue – red cabbage after 4 hours
Deeper light blue – red cabbage after overnight
Light lavender – mixed equal parts red cabbage and beets dye bath after overnight soak
Molten blue – white egg rolled in the boiled red cabbage pieces from the dye bath
Molten blue with white streaks – We experimented with wrapping rubber band on white egg then soaking it in the red cabbage dye bath for 4 hours then rolled it in the boiled red cabbage pieces.
Dark Red Brown – I was expecting this to be deep red but instead we got a deep red-brown from using red beets. Next time, I will use glass jars for all the dye baths, since we used a clear plastic container for this one.