The Kitchen Garden Comeback

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HOBART, N.Y. – From the White House to your neighbor’s backyard, it seems like everyone is planting a traditional kitchen garden these days. Once standard for most homes, farms, and even schools, more and more Americans are digging into their lawns and planting food of all kinds.

With increasing amounts of pesticides and chemicals being added to many fruits and vegetables, it is no surprise that so many people are looking for healthier, natural alternatives to store-bought produce. One of the safest, cost-effective and most enjoyable ways to get fresh produce is to plant your own kitchen garden. Not only can it provide your family with quality fruits and vegetables, but it is also an opportunity to bring beauty, color, and life to your backyard.

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The new book Cooking Well: The New Kitchen Garden (Hatherleigh Press, 2010), shows that you don’t need to be an experienced gardener nor gourmet chef to enjoy the fresh flavors of produce from your very own vegetable and fruit harvests. Simple instructions for planning and planting a kitchen garden combined with quick and easy recipes make it possible for anyone to prepare and preserve homegrown ingredients in delicious new ways.

Here are a few quick and easy recipes to try:

Katie’s Apple Raisin Pancakes

Ingredients: ¾ cup whole wheat flour, 1/8 cup oats, 2 tablespoons oat bran, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup raisins, ½ apple (chopped), 1 cup apple juice or water.

Directions: Combine the first stir dry ingredients, then add the raisins and apple.  Gently stir in the juice or the water until the dry ingredients are completely moistened. Pour batter by ¼-cupfuls onto a non-stick skillet or griddle.  Cook until the bottoms are brown and a spatula can slip easily underneath. Turn and brown the other sides.  Makes 8 Pancakes.

Cosmic Cucumber Wrap
Ingredients: 1 ounce lean ground beef, 1 tablespoon onion, chopped, 1 cup Romaine lettuce, shredded ¼ cup fresh tomatoes, diced ¼ cup cucumber, diced, 1 (8-inch) whole wheat tortilla
1 tablespoon fat-free ranch salad dressing

Directions: Brown ground beef and onion in skillet over medium heat, drain excess fat. Mix lettuce and tomato together with ground beef mixture. Chop cucumber and mix with salad dressing. Place tortilla on a plate and spread with beef mixture. Top with cucumber and salad dressing mixture and roll wrap.

Fruit Slush
Ingredients: 2 2/3 cups cantaloupe or watermelon, coarsely chopped, seeded, and peeled, 1 2/3 cups kiwi, coarsely chopped, 3 packets Splenda, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 cups water, ice.

Directions: In a blender, puree fruit with Splenda and lime juice until smooth. Combine fruit mixture with water in large pitcher. If desired, pour through a strainer to eliminate pulp. Stir well and pour into tall glasses with ice. Serves 4.

Cooking Well’s The New Kitchen Garden is the perfect book for those who already have a garden or want to start one. In these frugal times, more and more Americans are turning to their own backyards as a source for fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. Using ingredients from your own garden is a great way to save money and feel assured by the source of your produce.


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