Garden Update

This is the first summer I have attempted a vegetable garden. I have envied many, many gardens over the years and thought I didn’t have the space for one. Then I heard about square foot gardening and realized I could have a garden in as little as 4 square feet. I may not be able to feed my family on it, but we could learn a little and eat a little.

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You may remember this picture taken right after I planted the cucumbers and green peppers in May.

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And this is what it looks like today.

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We are harvesting cucumbers everyday now and I think we will get about 15-20 out of it by the end of the season. They are crisp, juicy and sweet!

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The green peppers are on their way. We have 3 that should be ready soon and it’s hard to tell how many more we will end up with since their season is just starting.

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For years I have been growing basil in a little pot. This year it isn’t doing as well as it has in the past. I just moved it to a sunnier spot to see if that will help. But there is plenty for my tomato basil mozzarella sandwiches. And the other day I made basic boxed tortellini, drizzled it with olive oil and threw chopped tomatoes and fresh basil strips on top. Oh, yummy!

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Finally, the mint is doing nicely. Again, not as well as in past years, so I moved it as well, but plenty for us. I love mint on green beans (oddly enough it is a very tasty combo). I throw some salt and lime juice with minced mint onto blanched green beans for a quick snack or dinner side.

But the one thing that is new this year is mint tea. I actually had to look up a recipe for this because I just wasn’t sure. But yes, it is just this easy: pick 7-10 leaves, put them with 2 cups of water in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. Then stir for 3 minutes and strain the leaves out. I add a touch of raw sugar and love it. Honestly, it isn’t any better than the tea bags you buy in the store, but the fact that I grew it and just plucked it from my garden puts it over the edge.

I hope you are enjoying your garden this summer! Share some of your favorite quick recipes with us!

Energy Bites Recipe

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One of our favorite snacks right now are these energy bites. We first tasted them at our gym where the kids and I eat lunch periodically. Everyone was talking about them, so we tried them. And Yummy!

After we had them several times I went online to see if I could find a recipe for them, and I found plenty! But none of them tasted as good as the ones we ate at the gym. So I asked the ladies in the deli for their recipe and they were more than happy to share it with me. In fact they even wrote it down for me on a scrap piece of paper that I have taped to the inside of my cabinet right next to my dressing recipes for quick reference.

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Energy Bites

1 Cup oats

1/2 Cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter)

1/2 Cup ground flaxseed

1/2 Cup chocolate chips (I use the mini ones if I have them)

1/3 Cup honey

1 Tablespoon chia seed

2/3 Cup toasted coconut

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Drop all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir. Then roll a spoonful size amount into balls and refrigerate.

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Enjoy!