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Grow your own sprouts: cheap fresh veggies

March 17, 2010 • Paige

I love bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts on salads and sandwiches, but I am not going to pay $3 – $5 per package for them.  Right now I’m sprouting things I already have on hand: wheat and lentils, which are almost ready to eat. I think sprouted lentils are my new favorite food.

Growing sprouts is easy. You can sprout dry beans and grains from the grocery store in two to five days in a bowl or jar on your kitchen counter.  Place two or three tablespoons of seeds in a jar.  Rubberband a piece of  netting, mesh, or pantyhose over the mouth as a breathable lid. Rinse the seeds thoroughly, then soak over night.  Drain and rinse, then place the jar on its side in a semi dark place. Rinse and drain every 12 hours to keep mold from forming.   

Sprouts will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks.  They must be rinsed every 7 days and kept dry. Some sprouted beans and grains need to be cooked before eating, but they cook up in half the time. 

Next I’m trying black eyed pea sprouts, black bean sprouts, and brown rice sprouts.  I found this great recipe I want to try, for sprouted beans and rice!  They cook in about half the normal time. Sprouted black beans cook in about 45 minutes.  Sprouted brown rice cooks in about 15 minutes, and requires less water.

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My plants update 3/13/10

March 15, 2010 • Paige

My marjoram is hanging in there and starting to spread out and grow a bit.  All three rosemary plants almost doubled in size over the week.

Growing your own fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs does not have to be costly.  If you have your own compost pile, you have a renewable source of gardening soil.  Plastic pots from the dollar stores work just as well as the more expensive kinds everywhere else.

My stevia is growing fast! I may need to move one of the little shoots to another pot. 

I brought home new plants this weekend, which I’ll have to photograph tomorrow when the sun is up.  I got basil, dill, thyme, lemon thyme, greek oregano, two kinds of tomatoes, and a couple of strawberry plants.  I have also planted snow peas and green beans – I will be planting a lot more of those as soon as we can get our garden boxes together.

Categories: Gardening & Sprouting
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Skillet Granola: cheap, and delicious!

March 9, 2010 • Paige

Wow – I will never buy boxed cereal again!!  Skillet granola is incredibly easy and CHEAP.  I made this with just oats, honey, and butter and it is delicious!  Next time I’ll add some sesame seeds and some raisins, maybe some shredded coconut.

Skillet Granola

2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup of old fashioned oats

optional: 1/4 cup of sesame seeds or sunflower seeds, added just before the oats.
optional: 1/2 cup dried fruit added just as the granola begins turning golden brown.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Slowly stir in honey until combined.

Add sesame/sunflower seeds and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the oats and cook about 4 minutes, continuing to stir.
Add dried fruit just as the oats start to brown. 
Granola is done when the oats are a golden brown.

Spread granola on a sheet  of tin foil to cool.  It will crisp up as it cools.

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My herb plants

March 8, 2010 • Paige

I am so glad that the weather is warming up.  Since it was so nice out this weekend I decided to clean up and re-pot the plants on my front porch. At the height of summer my porch was overflowing with herbs, but when winter set in, half of my plants died completely and several more died down to a stick or two. 

We had three stevia plants and thought they all died but this one is coming back!  Stevia leaves are a natural sweetener, and we used them in our iced tea and are able to cut the amount of white sugar used by half.  You can buy stevia crystals in the stores but growing your own is free!

(Before) My marjoram is starting to come back but it was scraggly and had a bunch of dead bits.

It is a lot happier now after a thorough trimming and being placed in a bigger pot. 

(Before) My rosemary plants all made it through the winter, but they are looking a bit battered.  All three of them needed bigger pots.
(After) They are much happier now and have a lot of room to grow. I don’t use a lot of rosemary in my cooking but with this much of it I’ll start!
I still need to get started with my vegetables, and there are a few other kinds of herbs I’d like to grow.  This was really just an excuse to be outside enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon. 
Categories: Gardening & Sprouting
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Bulk buying and supporting local business

March 7, 2010 • Paige

We have a local honey farm (Hummer and Sons) that produces the most delicious honey. We support local and home based businesses whenever possible, but this really is the best honey ever.
In the grocery store, local honey is about $4.00 per pound, but it can be gotten for a lot cheaper directly from the farm.  I sent my husband down to the honey farm this week to buy a gallon of honey.  Their website offers gallons for $30.00, but a gallon of honey weighs about 12 lbs, so shipping would blow the price per pound way off.  The price at the farm for the gallon was $27.00, droping the cost to $2.25 per pound.  We saved even more money that we expected.  And we have a gallon of light spring honey. I am going to stock up on dark winter honey when it is in season.  YUM!

Categories: Being Frugal
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