My Garden in a Jar

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Before I began my garden, mornings have always been a challenge. What to have for breakfast? Hmmm, what to have for breakfast? It is always so easy just to pour some cereal into a bowl with milk; especially if you are running late.  Not always the best health option though and you are usually hungry again in a few hours, because the cereal really lacked substantial nutritional value or any at all.

During one of my harvests, I remembered the green smoothies that I craved so much during my two year visit to the Bahamas, from 2010 to 2012. A lady called Chrissy Love had become so enamoured with her mysterious concoction, that she started a business around it, “Chrissy’s Raw Bar” or something like that, selling primarily green smoothies (mysterious because we really never knew what was in them–she’d say, “spinach, kale, garlic and other stuff.”) and other raw fruit and vegetable based goodies that were so delicious, that my two young daughters would say, “mommy can we go by Chrissy today-pretty please.” This was amazing because one of them does not eat vegetables in their recognisable form.

That memory convinced me that I could have green smoothies for breakfast. I could harvest my greens, wash them, throw them in large zip loc bags and into the freezer. I just pull out what I need every morning. I began to research the nutritional value of parsley and spinach (high in iron), kale, one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, chock full of vitamins B6, K, A and C. Kale also packs iron, phosphorus and calcium among other essential nutrients. Apart from these three key ingredients, I also use avocados, turmeric, ginger, limes, microgreens, whatever I have in my garden, supplemented with what I can get from my friends’ gardens. I only have to purchase bananas, which I add for a bit more substance and I try my best to find locally grown ones.

My breakfast menu now consists of a range of green smoothies. The base is always coconut water with spinach, kale and parsley and then I just add what I have or what my palette dictates on any given morning. It could be ginger and turmeric or avocado and lime. I might add a banana or a few chunks of pineapple. Whatever the blend, I am always satisfied and even more so, sitting on the deck, taking in the early morning sun.

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