As gardens begin to grow, one of the first perennial herbs to appear are chives. Chives are quite resilient and are particularly easy to grow both in garden beds or in pots. They can stand a bit of shade, tolerate drought, and grow well in any type of garden soil. For first time gardeners, this is an excellent plant that will yield a reliable source of flavorful nutrition.
Chives belong to the lily family and are part of a large genus of over 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. Known for their strong scent and distinct flavor, chives, along with garlic, onions, scallions and leeks are known as allium herbs. Allium species have been cultivated around the world for centuries and are valued both medicinally ad for their fabulous flavor.
If you grow your own chives, you can continually cut them back so the crop will continue into early fall. If you let happen to let them go you will get lovely purple-pink globe shaped chive flowers that make a beautiful garnish as well as a bright addition to spring or summer salads.
Chives are best when used fresh. Rinse and dry them well, then snip with scissors or cut with a very sharp knife. Snipped chives can be placed in freezer bags and frozen for later use, but will not maintain the texture of fresh shoots.
This is an herb that will elevate so many dishes, including soups, stews, salads, sauces, marinades, dressings, and dips. Adding a few tablespoons of chopped chives to cottage cheese will add a pleasing punch to a super simple snack. Make an easy supper of baked potatoes or sweet potatoes topped with Greek yogurt and chives. Mixing chives into cream cheese, along with lemon zest, and a grinding of black pepper will make an excellent spread for sandwiches or crackers. Omelets prepared with chives, parsley, and dill are a nice choice for any meal.
Chives contain valuable vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins K, A, and C are found in chives, as well as calcium, an important mineral. Chives also contain small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Purported to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral, eating more chives may boost your immune system and assist in maintaining superior levels of health.
If you buy your own chives at the grocery store, look for a bright green color with no sign of yellowing or wilting. Chives will keep in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for several days. Before using, rinse and dry well and trim the ends before using.
Enjoy this light and bright spring herb.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Healthy snacks give your family the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day. As you plan snacks, think of them as “mini meals” that include two of the four food groups.
Try these simple nutritious snack ideas:
1. Whole grain crackers with a cheese stick
2. Fresh cut fruit with a yogurt dip
3. Nut-free trail mix. Mix dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, and apple rings with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, along with your family’s favorite cold cereal.
4. A small tortilla wrap spread with Greek yogurt, some jam and a banana.
5. A smoothie made with vanilla yogurt, blueberries, apples and some orange juice.
6. Vegetable sticks (like cucumbers and carrots) dipped in hummus.
Make snacks interesting by using a variety of shapes, colors, and textures.
• Offer different types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, Swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, slices, and balls)
• Switch up the vegetables and fruit. Make sure you have a colorful variety in the fridge to choose from.
• Kids love to dip. Use cottage cheese, hummus, yogurt, or guacamole as healthy dips.
From planning to packing, get everyone in the family involved when making snacks. Take children grocery shopping and let them choose some of their favorite foods like breads, vegetables, fruit, and yogurts. Set aside time in the evening to pack lunches and snacks. You’ll be happy you did during the next day’s busy morning rush!
Food Allergies: Schools have different policies when it comes to food allergies. Many schools have a nut-free policy throughout the whole school, and some have policies just for some classrooms. Find out about the food allergy policy at your child’s school. Once you know about the foods that need to be avoided, keep them in mind when reading the ingredient list on food labels and when packing lunches.
Back to school snacks can be nutritious and delicious. With a little planning and creativity, your kids will love snack time at school.
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2019 All Rights Reserved
If you’re tired of the same old sandwich or just want to build a healthier sandwich then try using these delicious spreads instead of mayonnaise.
Reduced Fat Greek Yogurt
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Cottage or Ricotta Cheese
Light Cream Cheese
Macadamia Nut Spread