Salads from the Garden

Salads are always a good go to meal when the garden is flourishing.

August 2, 1884

I haven’t had much time for trying out new recipes or thinking up a topic for Eating Naturally. The garden here has been over producing. We ate roasting ears for 3 solid weeks and are now on a cucumber, tomato and zucchini diet with a pot of green beans thrown in for good measure.

With all the fresh vegetables available it’s easy to put a pan of garden- fresh vegetables on the stove and overcook them. This results in a once vitamin- rich food reaching the table with most of the vitamins gone.

So eat all the vegetables raw that you can. Try cucumber sticks crisped in ice water as an out- of-hand snack. Zucchini slices are a good addition to a tossed salad. And don’t forget the old reliables, green onions, radishes, carrots and celery that have long been favorites eaten raw.

If you cook the vegetables try gourmet cooking techniques to preserve the vitamins and minerals. To retain the nutritive content, decrease the cooking time.

Also, vitamin leaching (the dissolving of the nutrients into the cooking liquid) is particularly serious, so it’s wise to use the smallest amount of water possible when cooking vegetables.

Water soluble vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and C, are preserved by cooking leafy vegetables using only the water clinging to them after they are washed. Be careful they don’t burn. The night we had our last pitch party I cooked Swiss Chard this way for supper. After turning the burner on high, I got busy chasing some dirt that had eluded me and forgot the Swiss Chard until the odor of charring greens permeated the whole house. The smell was overpowering but was even worse after I tried to get rid of it by spraying room deodorant all around. The smell lingered on through the whole party and for several days afterward.

For green beans, peas, carrots or beets a fourth to a half cup of water is suggested for best results. Cook only until crispy tender for maximum vitamin retention. Here, too, care is needed to avoid burning them.

A garden salad is a super way to use raw vegetables. Croutons are nice served with them but they are expensive. Here is a recipe for home made croutons. Of course, you can use white bread if you prefer.

Whole Wheat Croutons

Cut 3 slices whole wheat bread in 1/2 inch cubes. Spread out in a pan and toast in oven until crisp, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs or with curry powder. Put in a plastic bag and seal.

This recipe produces a product similar to Eagle Brand that is called for in so many recipes and is so expensive.

Condensed Milk

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered milk

Blend or beat until smooth. Will thicken later. Makes 1 pint.

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