Quick Protein-Packed Super-Food Breakfast Shake

I have a confession to make....I've gotten lazy and I have put my eating habits on the back burner.  Between moving and working, sick kids and various other stresses and emergencies this past month, I can honestly say I have fallen off the wagon, or at least my wagon.  But now that I'm on the verge of catching this nasty bug that's been hanging around my house, I've decided I need to get back into the groove of staying healthy by eating healthy.  With most of my kitchen stuff packed and crazy mornings before school, I haven't been eating the best breakfasts and I've even skipped a few.  So that's what I'm starting with today.  An easy quick breakfast I can have on the go when I don't have time to make a proper one.  Luckily, working in a Naturopath's office has some great benefits, one of which is being exposed to some pretty amazing products.  I found 2 powders in the shop that I thought would work perfectly for me in the morning.

First is Greens First Berry; a nutrient rich super food powder.

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 And then comes the ND Shake for Women; a professionally formulated women’s multivitamin with a blend of 18g plant protein, greens, super fruits and fibre, plus nutrients specific to women’s health such as cinnamon for blood sugar balance, calcium for bone health and cranberry for a healthy urinary tract.

So here's what I came up with:

Quick Protein-Packed Super-Food Breakfast Shake

  • 1 level scoop of Greens First Berry
  • 2 rounded scoops of ND Shake for Women
  • 1.5 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup Almond-Coconut Milk

Place all ingredients in your shaker cup and get mixing.  I don't have one so I mixed everything in a Mason Jar.

I was truly impressed with how it turned out.  It was smooth and sweet with a lovely fruity taste.  Not even a trace of green or swampy flavour from the greens.  My shake tasted surprisingly familiar...almost like Strawberry Fig Newtons.  Mmmmm!

The best part is it's vegan, gluten-free and totally filling.  I had my shake about 7:45am this morning and it kept me going all morning and now at 12:30pm, I'm not yet hungry.

What's your go to breakfast on the run?

Overnight Pumpkin Pie Chia Oats

Have you tried making overnight no-cook oatmeal?  Well, until recently, neither had I.

I love oatmeal in the Fall and Winter, but once it starts getting warm outside, I have no desire to eat the stuff.  But these no-cook oats are a super easy way to still love your oatmeal all year long.  This stuff is fantastic for an on the go breakfast.  Make it in mason jars and you have an easy, healthy breakfast on the go. And I absolutely love that I can make it up before I go to bed and when I first peak into the fridge in the morning it's all set to go!

The flavour combinations are just about endless as the oats & chia are very neutral tasting and can be mixed with just about anything you can think of.  So lets start with the basic Overnight Chia Oats and then I'll share a couple of my favourite flavour combinations!
Basic Overnight Chia Oats

1/3 cup of Oats & Chia  ( You can use all oats or all Chia, but I like combining the two. 2 parts Oats & 1 part chia)
1/2 cup milk - I use Almond/Coconut milk, but any milk you like works just fine
1/8 teaspoon - Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice (depending on the flavour you're going for)
1/4 teaspoon - Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  Vanilla (or 1/4 teaspoon ground Vanilla bean)

Place all ingredients into an airtight container and SHAKE!  This is where the mason jars come in handy, but anything with a good sealing lid will do.

Put in your fridge and that's it.  In the morning you will have some lovely chia oats.  Now time for the flavours!  Here's 3 combinations I really enjoy and I hope you will too!


Pumpkin Pie Chia Oats

1/3 cup of pumpkin puree (I make my own, but you can find it at the store too)
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Maple Syrup for drizzling
Add ingredients to your Overnight Chia Oats, mix well and enjoy!

Apple Pie Chia Oats

1/3 cup of Apple sauce
1/4 cup of Walnuts or Pecans
1/2 teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup for drizzling
Add ingredients to your Overnight Chia Oats, mix well and enjoy!

Cranberry Walnut Chia Oats

I started making this to use up my leftover Cranberry  sauce after Christmas, but love it anytime!
1/4-1/3  cup cranberry sauce or chutney or cooked cranberries
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Honey for drizzling
Juice from 1/2 an Orange

I'm so addicted to making this stuff and with the chia it keeps me going all morning. What's your favourite overnight oat flavour?

Cheers,


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Foodie Friday: Beautiful & Simple Beet Salad

When was the last time you ate beets?  Most people I know would never buy a beet let alone eat one.  But they are missing out!  Beets are AMAZING!  Gorgeous colours and chalk full of nutrients; beets are worth a second chance.  They are low in calories and have zero trans fats & zero saturated fats!  They are full of flavour &  fiber and contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron along with vitamins A , C and niacin! Oh, and did I mention they are cheap & available pretty well year round! Can you tell I like beets?  So here's a super easy and tasty beet salad recipe.  The great part is you can change it up very easily to suit your tastes.


Balsamic Beet Salad

Ingredients:
2 Really big beets, or 6-8 regular sized beets
1 small onion (Sweet or Vidalia or whatever you have on hand)
Fresh Basil
Fresh Oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 tbsp Olive Oil (or another oil you prefer, I used Peanut as I was out of Olive)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (you could change it up with Red or White Wine Vinegar too)

Instructions:
Boil your beets until fork tender.  Don't worry about peeling, wait until they are cooked; it's much easier.  Once your beets are cooked, let them cool and peel them.   Cut them into bite sized pieces or you could even julienne them if you so desired.  Place them in a large bowl.  Finely chop your onion and add to your beets.  As for the herbs, use as much or as little as you like.  I recommend 6-8 good sized basil leaves and the same for oregano.  Chop them up a bit to release the flavours and set aside.  In a small bowl combine the oil and vinegar, herbs and salt and pepper.  Mix until well combined.  Then add it to your beets & onions and mix well.  Then pop your ruby salad into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.(the longer the better) And then enjoy!
This salad is great served as a side dish.  Our why not make it the main attraction by adding some goat cheese or feta and some toasted almonds or walnuts and serving it on greens or over Quinoa? Mmmm!

Got a favourite beet dish?  Please share!
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Tip Tuesday: DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Recently I found myself out of dishwasher detergent.  Oh the tragedy! Rather than buying a new box I decided it was about time that I made my own.  And so I did.  And surprisingly enough, it wasn't terribly difficult.  I scoured the Internet for tips and tricks and recipes.  There's a lot of information out there so I recommend that you figure out what works best for you.  There are so many variables when determining what is the best combination.  From your water, to your dishwasher, to how you load it and how often you run it.  So don't be discouraged if something doesn't work quite right.  Just tweak it until you find the combination that best suits your homestead.  Here's what works for us:

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax  - cleaning agent
1 cup Baking Soda - cleaning agent
1/4 cup Salt - for a little scrubbing action
1/4 cup Citric Acid - for grease cutting

Mix the ingredients well in a container that seals well.  I used a mason jar and it worked perfectly.

Now a few things to note with this recipe.  First off, you can easily substitute the Baking Soda with Washing Soda.  However, for some reason it was impossible to find in my city so I've been using regular Baking Soda with no difficulties.  Secondly, I found it tricky to locate Citric Acid.  It can be ordered online, but I managed to find a small quantity at a Bulk Food store in the candy making area.

Once all the ingredients are mixed together then you're ready to run your dishwasher.  I used 2 teaspoons of the mix and instead of a rinsing agent, I just simply used white vinegar.

I couldn't believe the difference from the very first load!  My dishes were shiny and squeaky clean.  And the inside of the dishwasher was noticeably cleaner.  My silverware was sparkling and you could almost see yourself in the plates!

We've been using this recipe for just about 2 weeks now and it's been great.  I would say it works the same, if not better than our previous store-bought  brand and at a fraction of the price!  Plus there's not a whole bunch of fragrance and fillers, just 4 simple ingredients.

When I calculated the cost I was quite surprised.  My homemade detergent was cleaning the dishes for just $0.07/load compared to store brands that are anywhere from $0.10 to $0.40 a load!

Here's my breakdown:

1 kg Baking Soda - $6.76
1 kg Borax - $2.82
1/4 kg Salt - $0.56
1/4 kg Citric Acid - $4.39
(the online price per kilo is great but the shipping almost doubles the price.  So I  will need to find an alternate supplier to help take the price down)

Total: 2.5 kilos for $14.39.  Which works out to 438 teaspoons.  And that works out to 219 loads for $14.39!

So my cost per load is $0.066!  Awesome!   

Once I figure out a solution to my citric acid dilemma, it will bring the price down even more. Do you make your own dishwasher detergent?  What do you use?  Love to hear your tips and tricks!

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Foodie Friday: Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Granola

It's a grey and dreary Fall day here at the Homestead.  So what better way to spend the morning then whipping up a batch of granola.  It's super easy and my recipe is nice and healthy too!  The thing I really love about making my own granola is that each time you make it ends up being a different creation.  Maybe you were out of this, or didn't have that, so you used those instead.  It really doesn't matter what you through in, it's always bound to be good.  And most of the time, that's how I roll...cooking with whatever is in the cupboard.  So for possibly the first time ever , I wrote down what I made today.  Hope you enjoy it!  And feel free to experiment and get creative.  As I am gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy/egg-free, there are none of those unpopular guys in this recipe.  But really, you don't need any of them anyways.  See for yourself!

Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Granola

Ingredients: 

5 cups of Gluten-free Oats
1 cup of Spelt Flakes (mine were organic)
1 cup of Raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2  cup of toasted buckwheat groats (Kasha)
1/2 cup of almonds - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Allspice
Sprinkle of ground Vanilla Bean
2 tbsp of Coconut Oil - melted
1/2  - 3/4 cup of Brown Rice Syrup - you can use maple syrup, agave etc. as a substitute

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until well blended.  Use your warming oven to melt your coconut oil in an oven proof dish.  Mix your melted coconut oil and brown rice syrup together and mix well.  Then add the mixture to your bowl of dry ingredients.  And mix it up.  This may take a bit of elbow grease, but you want to make sure all those awesome seeds, nuts and oats are coated in yummy, gooey goodness.  Pour your almost granola onto 2 baking sheets.  I like mined lined with parchment paper, but if you don't have any then simply grease the sheets with a little more coconut oil.
Bake for 12 minutes and then take them out and give them a good stir and then place them back in the oven some more.  You will need to repeat this a few times just until your granola is dried and slightly golden brown.  My batch took about 30 minutes overall. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool.  Then stir again to break up any delicious clumps.  And store in an air tight container.  This granola will last a few weeks in your cupboard if you don't eat it all before then.

This granola is great for breakfast as cereal or mixed into a yogurt.  Or why not stash a bit in your bag for an on the go snack?  It's even a great handmade gift served little mason jars tied with a bow.  The options are endless.  Add dried fruit if you like, take out the nuts, add some more spice or less, you choose...it's your granola!

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Foodie Friday - Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup

After foraging in the fridge yesterday I discovered some long forgotten Leeks.  I wouldn't usually buy Leeks, but they arrived in our CSA Produce box last week and I felt they deserved to be eaten since the farmer had worked so hard to grow them.  Realizing I didn't have a whole lot of time to come up with or research some fabulous and delicious recipe, I decided to whip up my own Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup.  With just a few simple ingredients this soup can easily be prepared in about an hour and a half.  And it's healthy and yummy too.  Hope you enjoy it...I had to keep my husband at bay as he wanted to slurp the whole batch!

Lazy Day Leek & Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 leeks
3-4 medium sized potatoes
2 tablespoons of oil (olive, grape seed, peanut etc)
2 cup of chicken or veggie broth
3-4 cups of water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:
Clean and chop your leeks and potatoes in to bite sized pieces.  I used both the white & green parts of the leeks and left the skin on the potatoes. In a large pot, toss the leeks, potatoes, oil and some salt & pepper if desired. Sautée veg for 3-5 minutes and stir occasionally.  Then add your stock and water and bring to a boil.  Turn down the temperature and let simmer for about an hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.  At this point you can simply enjoy your soup.  But if you like a creamier version then simply blend half of your batch with a hand blender or food processor.  Then stir it all back together and voila!  A creamy Leek & Potato Soup sans cream.

On a side note, I had meant to add some smokey bacon to the mix, but my good intentions were forgotten.  It would be lovely added to the soup at the end or simply sprinkled on top.  Use veggie broth for a vegan soup or add a dollop of Crème Fraîche or cream for serving to make it a little more heavenly.  You could  also add some fresh herbs; I decided to to use minimal seasoning to highlight the natural flavour of the organic leeks.  The choice is yours and the options are endless.

It's grey and rainy here at the homestead so I think a steaming bowl of soup for lunch is in order! 
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Foodie Friday - 3 Ways to Make Mushy Bananas Marvelous

I was inspired by my breakfast this morning and thought that you might enjoy a few of my banana saving recipes.  A lot of people don't care for or know what to do with brown mushy bananas and just end up pitching them before the fruit flies set in.  But before you resort to banana abandonment check out these super fast, easy and tasty ways to use up those browning bananas.

1.  Smoothies - this is the easiest way to use up bananas.  Mushy bananas are a great addition to any smoothie by providing some sweetness and a little extra thickening.  We don't use a lot of fruit in our smoothies, but the kids love a little banana in theirs.  Not ready to make a smoothie in the morning?  Just peel the banana and freeze in a container to use for next time.  I always have a few frozen at any given time.  Great for a quick breakfast smoothie or to whip up some last minute muffins or bread.  Speaking of muffins...

2. 5 Minute Muffins - seriously - 5 minutes!  I found this recipe recently and thought it was too good to be true. But after making them I discovered they are just too good...period.  I made them with peanut butter, but the next batch will be with Wow Butter so my daughter can take them to school.  I froze half and they still come out great from the freezer.  Just pop them in the toaster oven or just take them out the night before; so delicious and moist.  Can't believe they are gluten-free and grain-free. Amazing!  Thanks to Whole Lifestyle Nutrition for sharing this recipe.

 Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins
Recipe adapted from The Sweet Spot
  
Ingredients
  • 1 cup nut butter (ex. cashew, peanut, almond, and sunflower seed)
  • 2 medium sized bananas (The more ripe, the sweeter!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (try making your own!)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey(or other sweeteners such as maple syrup, stevia, etc.)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Toppings: dehydrated unsweetened coconut, raisins, flax seed, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, and/or anything else you can think of. I dotted the tops with blueberries and I'm having visions of strawberry coconut or raspberry & dark chocolate.  The options are endless!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. You can also use a stick blender if you have one.
  3. Blend until well mixed.
  4. Pour batter into a greased muffin tin. You can also use a mini muffin tin to make 24 mini muffins.
  5. Add additional toppings of your choice to each muffin and lightly stir into each cup
  6. Cook time: 15 minutes for full size muffins and 10 minutes for mini muffins.
  7. Reheat in a toaster oven for about 4 minutes at 350 degrees F, or eat at room temperature.

3.  Chia Pudding - if you haven't tried Chia pudding yet, you really need too.  Chia is a power-packed seed from South America.  These tiny mild flavoured seeds are chalk full of vitamins and nutrients.  They are full of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese and protein and can be added to just about anything.  I've used them in smoothies and added them to muffins and cookies, but my new fave is Chia Pudding.  When placed in liquid the seeds soak it up and turn to gel. I liken it to a tinier version of tapioca.  So here's my super easy Tropical Chia Pudding Recipe:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of Chia
1/2 cup of Almond Milk (or any other type of milk)
1/2 a ripe banana
1 teaspoon of unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
* Optional Stevia to taste

Instructions

Mix the Chia, Almond Milk, Coconut (and Stevia if using) in a bowl.  Stir every 5 minutes or so to break up any lumps.  You'll notice fairly quickly that the seeds start to gel in the bowl.  Now some sites tell you to mix the pudding the night before.  I've done mine first thing in the morning and it's been ready to eat in about 20-30 minutes.  Feel free to add additional milk if the pudding is too thick.  If your banana isn't super mushy then simply slice on top.  If it's really brown, mash with a fork and mix into your pudding.  And voila!  A super healthy, tasty and easy pudding for breakfast or dessert. Enjoy!

Tried some of these recipes?  Let me know how you like them.

In the meantime, I'll be waiting for my bananas to ripen!
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Tip Tuesday - Save your Sterling, Sinks and Pans with Soda

Do you have Baking Soda in your house?  Did you know it's a little powerhouse and cheap too!  Ditch those nasty chemicals and put the Soda to work.  There are a million different ways you can use Baking Soda in your house. How do you Soda??  Here are 3 of my faves:


1.  Clean your Silver - I remember this from Science class.  Super easy and it actually works!
Can you see the 1/2 I did?

What you Need:
1 piece of aluminium foil
1 litre of water
1 tablespoon of baking soda
A big pot - one that's large enough to hold your tarnished treasures
Tongs to fish out your now sparkly silver

How to do it: Put the water, baking soda and aluminium foil into your potBring to a  boil.  Carefully place your tarnished items into the put.  Only a couple at a time.  It shouldn't take long to come   clean but really yucky ones may need some extra time.  Fish out your silver with the tongs and dry them off with a soft cloth.  And admire your teeth in your new shiny silver!

2.  Clean your Drain

This is super easy and cheap!  Two things I love!  Pour 1/2 a cup of Baking Soda down the drain in question.  Then pour 1 cup of vinegar.  Let it sit for an hour or so.  And then run some hot water down the drain.  Voila!  Told ya it was easy!

3.  Clean your Burnt Pans

Recently I've had a bout of burning pots and pans.  I don't know why.  It's something I haven't done in years.  But for some strange reason I've done a lot lately. I burned quinoa, lentils and potatoes.  Some of them were so bad I thought I would have to toss my pots in the garbage.  But I was able to salvage them. Yay for Soda!

What you need:

1 cup of vinegar
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 cup of water approximately - depending on how big your pan is
Your burnt stainless steel pot or pan
A scrubby as you may still need a little elbow grease

How to do it:

Cover the bottom of your pot/pan with water.  Then add your vinegar and bring it to a boil.  You may notice it looking cleaner already. Remove from the stove and add your soda.  And watch the bubbles start working! Then empty out your pan and scrub as usual.   You can add a little extra soda to add some scrubbing power.   And that's it.  You can even make a paste of soda and water and use that to scrub if you don't want to use the stove.  But it will decrease the time and effort required to eliminate the evidence of forgetting a pot on the stove.  Hubby doesn't need to know that I could've burned the house down.  :)

Not bad for 1st time given it's never been polished. Time for round 2!
Happy green cleaning!  One other thing before I go...I use just ordinary Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for cleaning.  But when it comes to beauty or health products and baking I always use Aluminum-free Baking soda.



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Foodie Fridays - 3 Easy Back-to-School Dinners

It's the last Friday before school starts.  Time to get back into routines and schedules and time to enjoy the last long weekend of the summer.  But who wants to worry about what to make for dinner.  It's a constant challenge in our house to figure out what to have for dinner.  One of my goals it to eventually have all my meals planned out for the week/month ahead.  Until that's a reality I just go day by day and by whatever I have in the fridge.  So I thought I would share a couple of staples in our home that are easy, quick and very cost effective.  And the kids like them too!

Navy Bean Soup - this recipe come courtesy of Honey Bee Hams.  If you haven't tried them....you have to!  They are by far the best tasting.  Being on a limited budget, we do not purchase their whole hams.  But you can buy their ham bones which are perfect for this recipe.  And I just happened to have one in the freezer.  Sometimes they even have sales on the bones so take advantage when you can.  They are huge and meaty and perfect for soup.

1 Honey-Bee Ham bone
1 lb Navy Beans - I didn't have navy beans so used black-eyed beans instead
4 Quarts Water
3 - 4 Potatoes (diced)
1 Medium Onion (diced)
4 Carrots (diced)
1 Can Whole Tomatoes
4 Celery Stalks (chopped) - I didn't have any so I skipped the celery and it was still delish!

In a 6 quart pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a rapid boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for 2-3 hours or until cooked.  Season to your particular taste.  ENJOY!

This recipe makes a LOT of soup so make sure you have a big pot.  I started to put the ingredients in my slow cooker and then realised that with just the beans and water it was about to overflow.  This soup is tasty and filling.  It also freezes well so I always have a few tubs stashed in the freezer to pull out for a quick lunch or easy supper.

Mini Bacon Wrapped Meatloaves - whoever came up with this idea is pure genius!  A little meaty cupcake...who wouldn't love it.  So really, you can use your own meatloaf recipe and make it into cupcakes instead.  I've never really used a recipe for meatloaf; just grabbed whatever I had available and threw it in the oven.  So mix up your old family recipe and form into balls that will fill fit into a cupcake pan.  Take one slice of bacon and wrap it around the edge of each cupcake hole and then put your meatloaf ball inside.  A standard meatloaf with 1.5 lbs of ground beef will make about 12 mini meat loaves.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 mins to an hour until the bacon is crispy.  And then your done.  Perfect sized for kids and great for packing in lunches.  They are great in the freezer too as you can easily pull out however many you want for a quick dinner.  If you want to get really fancy, you can even top them with mash potatoes for the ultimate meat cupcake! Check out this recipe for Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Cupcakes!

Oatmeal Salmon Patties - found this little gem a while ago when I found our pantry bursting with canned salmon.  I personally can stand the stuff, but hubby thought it best to have a stash in case of emergency.  This little fish cakes are super easy to make and talk about frugal.  This recipes feeds me and my hubby and the 2 girls usually with 1 or 2 cakes left over for the next day.  Thanks to Food.com for the recipe.

2 (7 ounce) cans boneless skinless pink salmon - the salmon we have has both.  I leave the bones in and take out    the skin 'cuz it creeps me out.  Just mash the bones with your fork first.
3/4 cup Quaker old fashioned oats, uncooked
1/3 cup skim milk or 1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 egg whites or 1 egg
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dill weed
1 tablespoon margarine - EEE!  No margarine here, I have used butter, but my fave is coconut oil or peanut oil
Directions:
Combined all ingredients except margarine; mix well. Shape to form oval patties about 1/2 inch thick. Pan fry the patties in margarine over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve hot.

Dig in! Hope you like them as much as we do!

Starting to get hungry,

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Tip Tuesday - Seasonal Gardening

With Labour Day fast approaching and summer slowly slipping away, I thought it would be fitting to discuss seasonal gardening tips.  I have to admit, this summer I did not tend to my garden as much as I had hoped.  That being said I'm getting all geared up for my Fall planting.  I don't do too much to the gardens this time of year but here are two of my staples that I do at the end of each summer.

1.  Mums....yup...Mums - I love them!  So many gorgeous colours and they just never seem to stop blooming.  I have two cast iron urns on the front step that I like to fill will plants each Spring and Fall.  This Spring I thought I would plant my herbs in them. It was great in the Spring, but once the sweltering heat and unrelenting sunshine on the front of the house started it was all over.  I think all that's left standing is my Rosemary and Curry.  There might be a few scraggly bits of Basil and Parsley hanging on for dear life.  So this weekend I will be switching over my dried herbs to some glorious mums.  What a quick and beautiful way to welcome in the Fall by changing over your pots.  Now...just to decide on colour?  Perhaps I'll let the kids decide...what do you think?

2.  Clover.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I plant Clover.  I try to do it twice a year, but this year being so busy with adjusting to life as a family of 4 I will only get to it once.  Why you ask?  Well, Clover is green...in the colour sense, but also in the eco-friendly sense.   Clover requires much less water than traditional grass and is much more drought tolerant.  And an added bonus, if you let it flower it's great for the bees!  Plus it will crowd out the other unsightly weeds that we try so hard to eliminate. Clover also puts nitrogen nutrients back into the soil - bonus! So we sow it in the Spring and Fall into our lawns.  I don't have time to worry about pulling weeds or how perfect my sod looks.  But love the look and feel of Clover and so happy my kids get to see actual honey bees.  I still remember the first time I asked at a Big Box store if the sold Clover...they looked at me like I had 2 heads and the lady behind me offered me hers from her yard.  So spread the word...Be Clever...plant Clover!

Do you have any end of summer gardening musts?  What plants do you use to make the season change?

Planting love...and Clover,

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