The Canny Gardener

how to be a smart gardener


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Nourishing Nasturtiums

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Nasturtiums are one of the easiest plants grown from seed at home and at present, in October they are still flowering.  So I decided to use them in a potato salad to make a mouth watering and hormone balancing dish today.

Ingredients:

500gms waxy potatoes such as charlotte or pink fir

6 tsps mayonaise (shop bought is fine!)

3tsps greek style yoghurt

1 tsp Dijon or English mustard

4 Spring onions, chopped

handful of Nasturtium leaves, stems and flowers, including seeds- chopped.

Sand and ground pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes as directed- 15-20 minutes but make sure they still hold the shape.  No need to peel. Make the dressing using the next three ingredients. Once the potatoes are cooled, then add the dressing and lastly, add the chopped Nasturtiums leaves, flowers and seeds.  The seeds are a good and cheap substitute for capers.

Nasturtium leaves have a high concentration of Vitamin C and are also a natural antibiotic. Eating a couple of the peppery leaves at the onset of a cold can stop it dead in its tracks. The gentle antibiotic reaction makes it ideal for treating minor colds and flu, especially at the start of autumn.

Here in the photo I grilled a mackerel and added it to a bed of marinated onions.  Mackerels are rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals and oils.  Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids occur in high quantities in this fish. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Various minerals also occur richly in the fish. These include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and selenium. Trace minerals include zinc and copper. The fish also contains protein and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10. Onions are good for thyroids.

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Sage- the ‘wise’ plant

 

Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) is a perennial, evergreen shrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, with many medicinal and culinary uses.  It is traditionally used in sage and onion stuffing for turkey or chicken.

Salvia and “sage” are derived from the Latin salvere (to save), referring to the healing properties long attributed to the various Salvia species. It has been used internally (as tea or directly chewed) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.  Other uses are as an antisweating agent, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and tonic.  But most of all, I love it because of its hardiness which means I don’t need to do much for it.  But Sage is a generous plant- with its medicinal and culinary uses and now also for ornamental uses.

sage tea

 

This photo shows sage tea which is traditionally offered in many Mediterranean cultures,  especially in the winter for its great benefit in combatting winter colds and congestions.  You may put some honey in it if you like to sweeten it.  I have also used it in my bath, the hot water releases the beneficial oils.  Make sure you always have some sage growing in your garden (mine grows in a pot)!