Happy Birthday Nasturtium Smoothie (recipe)

Not looking for any celebration here, but yesterday was my birthday. I went to visit my parents over the weekend and came into a large amount of garden produce – including some nasturtiums. I had this idea that I would use them in a smoothie, and save enough for garnish, so I could have what should feel like a pretty special smoothie on my birthday.

Well, circumstances were against me and I didn’t get around to making my birthday smoothie on my actual birthday, but gosh darnit, I was going to drink that smoothie while the nasturtiums lasted! So, we had it today. The following recipe is totally flexible – feel free to substitute similar flavours or consistencies – but the key for me was keeping the flavours light so that the flower flavours could show through, and keeping the colour nice and peachy-organge so that it would look pretty with the flowers. Your priorities might be different!

Happy birthday or merry unbirthday to all of us!

Happy Birthday Nasturtium Smoothies
Happy Birthday Nasturtium Smoothies

Happy Birthday Nasturtium Smoothie (makes enough for two adults and three kids)

Ingredients:

  1. One frozen banana
  2. 1 cup frozen cantaloupe
  3. 1 pint apricots canned in water
  4. 1/4 cup strawberry/rhubarb butter
  5. 1/4 cup elderflower cordial
  6. Handful of frozen strawberries
  7. Handful of nasturtium blossoms (don’t forget to save one as garnish for each cup!)
  8. 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  9. 1/3 cup hemp hearts

Blend in a blender. Or your fancy-schmancy Vitamix, show-off. Pour into cups, pop a nice straw in there, garnish each cup with a flower. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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When Life Hands You Lemons…

There was a terrible late-summer storm in my city this week. Several inches of heavy, wet snow fell, bringing down decades-old trees all over the city and decimating gardens. I found myself with a sudden harvest of very green, very frozen heirloom tomatoes. Something had to be done with them, and quick, before they started to get soft.

We’re not a relish-eating family, so that was out, and I’d already made about 9L of salsa so that was off the table as well. Coincidentally, a friend had just that morning gifted me with some yellow zucchini fromĀ her garden, because she had more than she knew what to do with.

Brandywine tomatoes and Brandy's yellow zucchini.
Brandywine tomatoes and Brandy’s yellow zucchini.

I come from a long line of picklers. Pickling is what we do.

This hangs in my dad's kitchen. h/t my sister for her badass crosstitch skills.
This hangs in my dad’s kitchen. h/t my sister for her badass crosstitch skills.

I found instructions for pickling green tomatoes online and, as I do, set about to make the recipe my own. This comes together really quickly, but looks crazy fancy. You give a jar of these to someone and they’re going to be hella impressed, and that’s before they taste them.

Pickled Green Tomatoes and Yellow Zucchini

  • 3 lbs green tomatoes, sliced into sandwich slices
  • 1 lb yellow zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  • 6 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 2 T sea salt
  • 2 t celery seeds
  • pinch cayenne
  • Bernardin Pickle Crisp or similar food-grade calcium chloride
  1. Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seeds and cayenne in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add tomato and zucchini slices and heat on med-low for 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes become slightly soft and translucent.
  3. Add the recommended amount of Pickle Crisp to the bottom of each of your hot, sterilized jars.
  4. Using tongs, carefully layer slices of tomato and zucchini, alternating for visual effect (I found two slices of tomato to one slice zucchini worked perfectly).
  5. Top up each jar with hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  6. Slide a knife down the edges of jars to release trapped air bubbles.
  7. Place heated lids and clean rings on jars.
  8. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Yields 8 half-pints.

These can be enjoyed as soon as 24 hours after preparation, and can be stored for up to one year.

Right? Right??
Right? Right??

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