svētdiena, 2011. gada 21. augusts

Frozen goodies IV - pear puree - baby food

With baby arrival coming closer on green carpet there has been more attention to baby food than ever before. Few posts before I already shared my apple puree. Now it was time for pear puree- so sweet and soft that I had to make it both for baby and grown-ups as well :)
This time I did two different purees, but first you have to

  • Pick loads of green pears from the garden.

  • Peel them, cut them in four, cut out the hearts.

Variation 1
  • Slice the quarters
  • Put all of them in deep oven bake tray and cover with foil
  • Cook them in the oven, stir once in a while until all soft

Variation 2
  • Cut the quarters in halves
  • Put all of them in a pot 
  • Boil them on low fire until soft and juicy
Next steps for both variations
  • Smash the pears even more

  • Let them cool completely
  • Put the tiny baby portions in the ice cube trays
  • Put the rest in larger freezing boxes
  • Both trays and boxes go in the freezing bags and in the freezer
  • Once frozen, take the baby puree cubes out of trays and put them in the larger box to take less space

Mmm... it smells so nice.. and tastes so good! And no added sugars, preservatives, artificial flavorings or any E-numbers for my little one :) Just pure pear puree here on green carpet. And the larger portions can be eaten as puree, used on cakes and other desserts ;) 

sestdiena, 2011. gada 20. augusts

Frozen goodies III - beans

Another week of harvesting and freezing on green carpet has passed. One of the best goodies of summer - beans!

Best prepared- boiled in salt water and served with melted butter or fried in butter after boiling. But unfortunate thing- available only in summer. Not this year, since we are expanding our freezing range.

  • Pick the beans
  • Cut off the ends 
  • Wash the beans
  • Put them in boiling water and boil them till soft (do not add any salt if for freezing)
  • When ready, immediately put the beans in ice water for a minute
  • Drain them and put them to cool completely
  • Put portions of beans in freezing bags and in the freezer until needed in winter! 

  • To prepare- defrost and fry them in butter... mmm... delicious! 

We love to eat them simply like above or with meat instead of potatoes or rice, but beans can be used also as a part of some good dishes with other veggies or meat :) 

piektdiena, 2011. gada 12. augusts

Frozen goodies II - chanterelle

One of the summer delights on green carpet is a chanterelle sauce on new season potatoes. Mmm... amazing.. 
But how to have it also on other seasons? Freeze them! 
  • Take your basket and go to the forest to pick these beautiful mushrooms
  • Clean the dirt, needles and leaves off
  • Tear the chanterelles in quite large pieces
  • Fry on the pan in butter till all the water has been drained from them
  • Cool them and place portions in freezing bags
  • Take them out of freezer whenever you want, defrost, put on the pan with butter, fry again, add salt, pepper and single cream.. and amazing sauce is ready to eat! 

Freezing is one of the best modern inventions on how to preserve foods from the rich seasons to empty ones, especially when such goodies are too much at once to eat. This summer on green carpet has been very kind to our freezers! 

Frozen goodies I - apple puree - baby food

There are unbelievably huge baskets of apples on green carpet this summer! Every one of them is so full of smell, flavor and goodness of nature.
Unfortunately I can't eat them all. Neither can I save them for my baby who will start eating regular foods some time in the spring. Since spring is the season, when nothing really grows naturally here, I have dedicated some of my time to prepare some goodies for my baby to eat then.
One of my own favorites- apple puree. Babies love it and everybody loves it, and it is useful for desserts, cakes etc.

  • Pick loads of apples from the garden.
  • Cut them in four, cut out the hearts.
  • Slice the quarters
  • Put all of them in deep oven bake tray and cover with foil
  • Cook them in the oven, stir once in a while until all soft

  • Squash them even more with spoon or fork and leave to cool
  • Fill them in the ice cube trays, put the trays in freezing bag and in the freezer

  • When frozen, remove from trays and put them in the box or freezing bag to take less space in the freezer
Some would think it's more convenient to savor them in conventional way- in the jars. But since this is prepared for a baby who will eat only very tiny amount of food at the time, it wouldn't be convenient at all, as I would have to think where to put the rest of the puree in the jar. This freezing in ice cube size portions, however, will allow me to have one frozen apple puree cube at the time to prepare for my baby. 

Another note- I purposely did not peel the apples before cooking, otherwise I would have cut off the most vitamin rich part of it. If tiny stripes of peel is bothering, you can take them out before filling the trays or when using the puree. 

 Mmm... it smells so nice.. and tastes so good! And no added sugars, preservatives, artificial flavorings or any E-numbers for my little one :) Just pure apple puree here on green carpet.

ceturtdiena, 2011. gada 11. augusts

Tea time

Summer has been a busy time on green carpet. Not just enjoying sun, swimming, fresh air, clean food and other countryside stuff. We have been also preparing for winter.
Today we packed away a huge basket with brown paper bags, all filled with goodness of summer that will keep us through the cold winter, uneasy stomachs, sleepless nights and just a need of pure cup of tea.
Few of our favorites:

  • Chamomile or Matricatia recutita sin. M.chamomilla L. 
Chamomile tea is used in natural medicine for heart burns, digestion problems, winds, intoxication, kidney problems. It is also great for rinsing a sore throat or for inhalations in the same case. Chamomile is also a great antiseptic herb, so it can be used for rinsing a wound and compresses. It works also for eye infections. It's wonderful for sensitive skin, even eczema, so can be used as lotion and just added to the bath, which is especially good for babies and their bums! This tea is also very calming, therefore good for an evening cup or baby bottle. 
  • Calendula or Calendula officinalis 
Calendula tea is used in case of poisoning or simpler digestion problems, especially good in cases of stomach and duodenal ulcers and for any inflammation. Fantastic to get rid of unwanted microorganisms, also streptococcus or stophylococcus. 

  • Linden or Tilia cordata
Linden blossom tea is one that I can't imagine my winter without. It is the best cure from flu to bronchitis. It has perspiratory, antimicrobial, diuretic, expectorating and stimulating for our bodies properties. Whenever there is coughing or any problem with upper respiratory tract, have hot and regular cup of linden blossom tea with honey- it works wonders. 
  • Mil foil or Achillea millefolium 
Mil foil tea is also one of the teas for cold where it is most commonly used here, however, it is also great for treating various eczema cases and stopping bleeding both external from wounds and internal of stomach or womb. But most often and great success is in treating upper respiratory tract inflammation, so another cup of tea to have when cold arrives!

  • Meadow sweet or Filipendula ulmaria
Meadow sweet tea is anti-inflammatory, perspiratory and anti febrile remedy. It is commonly used to treat cough and also urogenital tract problems. But the most wonderful part is the aroma experience of meadow sweet! It is also very calming and great if suffering from insomnia. Many sleepless nights are in front of us with baby on green carpet. But dried meadow sweet might ease them a little!

  • Woodland strawberry or Fragaria vesca
This summer we managed to save some from eating all of them, and we picked them also for tea. The woodland strawberry tea is good for treating womb bleeding, liver and kidney problems. And the wonderful taste and smell is so uplifting in the dark winter evenings! 

  • Trefoil or Trifolium pratense 
Trefoil tea is another great remedy in case of cough, bronchitis, asthma and such problems as it has expectorating, perspiratory and anti febrile properties. It can also be used in cases of urine infections. 

Along with these teas we have dried quite a lot of various mint teas both as remedies and just because we like to drink them. But mint teas are very common, so on green carpet we have today focused on the most, hmmm, medical herbal teas :) And besides all these fantastic properties we have now seen about each one of them, they all taste great, they are all ecologically clean, organically grown either in our garden or nearby meadows and forests, hand picked. What on earth could be more green than such tea. So we are going to be ready for the winter on green carpet, the strength of summer herbs will guide us through.