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I'll drink to that!

Written by Karen on August 14th, 2015.      2 comments

 
 


Quite a few of us here at Kings Seeds have a daily routine of drinking our veges, nuts and fruit.  Smoothies, juices and kefir water for good intestinal bacteria.  Have you noticed all the advertising lately for getting your vitamins and minerals via drinks?  We thought it would be fun to look at some of the different kinds of drinks, especially those that use your veges and fruit from your garden.




Smoothies
This drink comes down to personal taste.  If the vegetable or fruit can be whizzed up in a blender, it can go in a smoothie.  I think we all started with the trusty old banana or berry smoothies but the combinations you can get at cafes now is endless and a lot more interesting so it only takes a little creativity at home to come up with a smoothie that is your own personal favourite.

It used to be that all smoothies were milk or yoghurt based, but there are many other alternatives.  Have you tried coconut milk or coconut water?  Fruit or vegetable juice?  I have used my ginger-beer that has gone flat as a base before.  Of course it all depends on how thick you like your smoothies and how much juice is in the ingredients you are using because you may not need to use a base at all.




 
 
Some of the popular things to grow for your smoothies are any of the leafy greens like kale, silverbeet, spinach and any number of green herbs.  Other greens would be wheatgrass, buckwheat, the leafy tops from radishes or beetroot.  Then there are all sorts of vegetables such as beetroot, celery, carrots, rhubarb, radishes, tomatoes,  pumpkin, squash, zucchini.  Some of these are better if pre-cooked or cut into small chunks.  Berries are a fabulous addition when in season and they are great because they can be used fresh or frozen.  During berry season, I tend to put the seasonal excess in the freezer to use during the winter months as a treat, especially blueberries and goji berries.

I have a recipe for a great smoothie that is particularly good if you have imbibed a little too much the night before.  It is full of antioxidants and hydrating helpers and the basil has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Ingredients for Hydrating Booster Smoothie
1tsp coconut water
175ml very hot water (not boiling)
2 green apples, quartered
7.5cm piece of cucumber
50g spinach
15g basil
1/4 lemon
2 Tbsp honey

Process all the ingredients except the honey.  Pour into 2 glasses and sweeten with the honey.  Serve while warm.





Licorice Tea
Have you seen our new addition to the herb range ........... Licorice.  Grow it for the root which you can then use to make a refreshing tea.  Okay, I realise that many people are not so fussed on the licorice flavour, but for those of us that are, this is delicious.  I drink it when I need to curb sugar cravings and it does a great job.

There are many health benefits and research is finding more as this becomes a popular tea.  The regular drinking of licorice tea helps to boost the immune system so it is also a good choice of drink when your have a fever or virus helping you to feel better faster.  It helps with digestive and intestinal issues and has been reported to ease the severity of stomach ulcers.  It is also believed to help with stress relief and to ease menstrual symptoms.

Get it planted this spring/summer because it takes two years growth of the horizontal runners before it is ready to harvest.



Wines

If you are interested in making fruit wines there are many great websites to help you learn how to do this, or give you some tips on technique.  We have a few things in our range that you could grow for this purpose.  In particular, rhubarb is great as a wine.  Dandelion or parsnip are other options.  What other things from our range have you used to make wine?






Purl or Wormwood ale
This is an English drink which was made by infusing ale with the tops of wormwood plants.  It was drunk by the labourers as an early morning drink.  By the end of the 19th century the Purl lost popularity as it was replaced by beer an in paricular the beer known as "bitter".




Fermented Drinks

Handia
This is a rice beer made in some parts of India.  A combination of 20-25 herbs in the form of a ranu tablet is used as the fermentor.  They are mixed with rice and left to ferment for approximately a week.  The liquor is a low alcohol strength and served cool to cool the body in the high temperatures of the regions.




Jabol

A Polish fruit wine that is defined as cheap wine.  It is made from fermented fruit and the origin of the word is derived from the Polish word for apple "jablko".  It is bottled at 8-18% alcohol by volume and the labels I saw depicted apples, cherries and strawberries but there are also references to mint or chocolate Jabol.



Şalgam

This is a turkish drink that is made with a vegetable from the turnip family and looks very similar to a beetroot.  Purple/red carrots are added resulting in the great colour seen in these pictures.  It is a cold drink served on the streets of southern Turkey with carrot sticks in it and restaurants serve it without the carrot stick.  It is traditional to drink salgam with kebab and beware, because it turns your mouth purple.
 
 

 















Şalgam is fermented with ground bulgur, salt and water then purple carrot and şalgam turnip are added into this fermentation. Şalgam turnip gives it an earthy flavor with a salty tang.  The pounded wheat is fermented for a week waiting for it to acidify.  Then it is put in barrels with the cooked vege and left for another week.  Salt is added, then it is filtered and poured into bottles.

 
 



Pruno
This is made in prisons from just about anything with the sole purpose of creating an alcoholic drink.  The main ingredients tend to be fruit, sugar, ketchup and bread to provide the yeast.  This is heated and left over and over, spanning several days until the juice from the ferment is ready to siphon off.  The resulting liquid is nothing short of vile (think bile like wine cooler) but serves a purpose as far as the prisoners are concerned.



 

 

Just wondering if you have noticed the regular use of the word "superfoods" lately, especially in the media and in marketing of food.  It seems to often be linked with smoothies?  Just a warning to be wary of this word being bandied about.  It is quite often used to make claims by advertisers that have not been proven and our opinion is that it is not applicable for using in conjunction with these drinks as we all use different ingredients but superfoods is a whole different blog.

I hope at least one of these drinks inspires you to have a go at creating a drink from your garden.



Cheers.........






 
 

2 Comments

Julia says ...
I agree with your comment about how super foods are being promoted as being great additions to your smoothies. They probably are but most come from other countries wh, but the claims are not always backed up. We have so many nutrient dense plants growing right in our own
gardens that we overlook. As Wilma kindly mentioned in her comment I use weeds in my smoothies and they are delicious, very nutritious and don't cost anything. Picking them gets us outside in the fresh air, sunshine and connects us with our pieces of nature. Start by adding a few leaves of plantain or dandelion in your smoothie - I assure you the fruit will cover the bitter taste, although bitter is good for digestion. There's lots of info on my website www.juliasedibleweeds.com Thanks for an informative article with all those different fermented drinks that we could learn to make with local produce.
Wilma Ham says ...
Hi Karen.
What a fun post and I have to share with you that my friend Julia from www.juliasedibleweeds.com is also a great smoothie fan. She is going a step further though and includes edible weeds in hers. Now of course I am adding weeds too which is so helpful now my garden has not much in it. My smoothies were revolting to begin with as I thought the healthier the better and healthier was in my books as many greens as I could stuff into the blender. Horrid they were but Julia, just as you said, taught me to not go too hard out on the greens AND put some tasty fruit in it as well. It has been so awesome to go out there on a treasure hunt and find those weeds.

Now I am also going to grow dandelion on purpose because of the coffee I can make from the roots. I am looking forward to growing weeds, if they live up to their expectations I do not have to fuss over at least one crop I am growing :).
BTW somebody who is using your dandelion seeds pointed out that their leaves are sweeter tasting than the wild ones. Thanks again for all your drink ideas, cheers indeed, Wilma