Thursday, October 17, 2013

Smoothies, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Nasturtium Pesto

Here are some random things:

  1. Nasturtium Pesto. My unadventurous palate had it's doubts, but it's really good stuff. Not as good as basil pesto, but almost. Given that the nasturtium is free, I calculated the total cost of making it at around R50 (using local parmesan, garlic, olive oil, and macadamia nuts as the other ingredients), for the equivalent of 4-5 bottles of what you'd buy at the shop for R35-R40 each. So while it's not cheap to make, you're getting much, much better ingredients than store-bought pesto, and you're saving at least R100 in the process.
  2. Simple Sweet Potato Gnocchi. (steamed sweet potato + as much flour as you need to make a workable dough, roll out into worms, cut into 1.5cm pieces, flip on a fork, boil until they float, and you're done) Sweet potatoes are very cheap at the farmer's market right now, and few people seemed to be buying, so I got a lot and we're using them for everything.  
  3. Noah squeezes the orange juice and picks the spinach. Which means it takes a really long time. Which is fine with me. 
  4. Smoothies. We somehow don't have an ice tray right now, but bananas, oranges and strawberries are in season so I cut and froze bananas and strawberries, and each morning we have the best smoothies with about 3 leaves of spinach from our garden, about 8 strawberries, between 1 and 2 bananas, and the the juice of 2-3 oranges. It's worth experimenting with: we're also trying out frozen guavas occasionally. Anyway. I'm really into it because usually I just feed the kids most of the good fruits and don't end up eating enough fruits myself; this way we all benefit.
  5. Strawberry ice-cream. We ran out of frozen bananas and the kids were going crazy, so I tried blending about a cup of milk, a large cup of frozen strawberries, a little plain yoghurt, and a teaspoon of honey. The result was a great strawberry smoothie, but when I ran it through the ice-cream maker, it immediately became the best strawberry ice-cream ever. I suppose you could also just freeze the smoothie a little, but we were in a hurry. 
  6. A ball taped to a string hanging from the doorway is the best thing ever. Until the kids start fighting over it. But still. 


Donna Reiner said...

I use all sorts of greens in my pesto. Sometimes it's arugla, broccoli rabbe, parsley. Generally it's whatever I need to have enough greens. I've never used macadamia nuts, but have used peanuts which I know you would not want to use with your children. I've also experimented with different hard cheeses.

Concrete Gardener said...

Thanks Donna! I am really excited to be able to try different greens, I haven't been very adventurous in the past. Surprisingly, macadamia nuts are the cheapest nuts at the moment in Cape Town, after peanuts. Our kids do eat a lot of peanuts- thankfully no allergies. Peanuts are actually a common first food in a lot of places because it is high in protein- I was surprised because I was accustomed to the allergy fears in the U.S..

Do you have a favourite pesto?