The Benefits of Eating Frozen Fruit and Vegetables

People usually eat fruits and vegetables for their nutritional values, but they cannot enjoy them when their season is over. When fruits and vegetables are out of season, cooks either have to adapt to eating the produce of the new season or depend on frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are used for various reasons like ease of using them and their nutritional benefits. Some of the benefits of eating frozen fruit and vegetables are:

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Full Of Nutrients

The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables starts lessening the minute they are picked. So, their nutritional value gets affected from the moment they are plucked and the time you take to eat them after harvesting them. But the nutritional value can be much more than fresh fruits and vegetables as they are frozen as soon as possible after harvesting them. Moreover, they are full of their nutritional elements, including minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, when they are plucked after their full maturity. Freezing fruits and vegetables at this stage help in locking most of their nutrients in them. On the other hand, the fresh fruits and vegetables you get in the market have to travel a long way to reach you, and during that period, they get enough time to reap and get maturity. So they must be harvested when they could not get the maximum amount of natural nutritional elements. They get ripened artificially during their transit period. So, frozen fruits and vegetables have more nutritional value than their fresh counterparts.

The fact that frozen fruits and vegetables are more or equally nutritious to fresh fruits and vegetables can be proved on the basis of two studies performed independently. These studies were carried out by the scientists of Chester University and Leatherhead Food Research center. They have performed over 40 tests on frozen fruits and vegetables as well as on the products kept in a fridge for 3-4 days to measure and compare their nutritional values. They found that the level of nutrients found in the samples of frozen foods is more than in the comparatively fresher items. Actually, the level of antioxidants, like anthocyanins, lutein, beta-carotene, and polyphenols, found in some of the frozen vegetables and fruits, were higher than in fresh fruits and vegetables. The results of these researches have confirmed that the nutrients are not destroyed when the foods are frozen. It has been found that frozen broccoli lost 10% of its nutrients when preserved for one year, whereas fresh broccoli lost over 50% in just one week.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Free From Additive

When fruits and vegetables are frozen, no unwanted additives are used while packing them in bags. On the other hand, canned fruits and vegetables have a number of additives in them, even if no sugar or salt is used while preserving them. You can find these additives from fresh fruits and vegetables if you check them minutely, but you cannot find any added material on the fruits and vegetables preserved in freezers.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Are Very Easy To Use

If you like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables then you can visit a local market of farmers to get the produce of that season, but in the long run, you will find that it would have been better if you have bought frozen foods. Along with preserving the nutritional values, the frozen foods are easy to use as you need not wash, chop, or peel them. And for that reason, you can pour them directly on your plate to eat them instantly after taking them out of the freezer. The ease of using frozen vegetables and fruits has also been proved through a study on working women. According to this study, on average, almost one hour is spent every day by working woman for preparing, serving and eating the food and cleaning up afterward when she uses frozen fruits and vegetables. But when they use fresh fruits and vegetables then they have to spend at least one hour for preparing, serving and eating each meal. Actually, they save a lot of time to reach and prepare meals with frozen ingredients than fresh ingredients.

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Can Be Used Flexibly

You can use frozen fruits and vegetables stocked in your freezer in different ways as necessary. You can spread them on the whole-grain toast with butter or use them as a topping on your oatmeal recipe. You can also sauté them with some garlic, herbs, and extra virgin olive oil and add some brown rice pasta or a bit of quinoa or add them in your stir fry dishes as the main ingredient to make delicious recipes of your choice very quickly. Moreover, you can use frozen ingredients throughout the year even when their season is off. Fresh fruits and vegetables, you cannot use them in their offseason, unless they are imported from elsewhere.  

Frozen Fruit And Vegetables Take More Care Of Your Health

Though buying fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to get nutrition, but it is not necessary. Nutritionists usually suggest eating 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day to remain healthy.  According to a recent study, it has been proven that fruits and more vegetables and fruit are consumed by the people who buy frozen produce than those who buy fresh ones. It makes people eating frozen produce healthier than those using fresh produce as their intake of vitamins and minerals is higher.

There are a number of benefits of eating frozen vegetables and fruits, but that does not mean that you should avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

Common Types Of Microgreens

With the cooler weather of fall upon us, it is time to conder moving our gardening efforts indoors, which make growing microgreens an appealing option.

But what to grow as microgreens?

Considering most garden vegetables and herbs can be grown as Microgreens, the options are many. So, which microgreens to grow for your family depends on what your family eats regularly, and Your family’s taste preferences. 

Most Common Types oF Microgreens

The broad type of microgreens (listed below in family groups)  Should provide the basics of what kind of taste the microgreens will have, and the growing conditions the type of microgreens prefer:

Amaranthaceae family:

  • The Amaranthaceae family includes amaranth, beets, chard, quinoa, and spinach.

Amaryllidaceae family

  • Amaryllidaceae family includes chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.

Apiaceae family

  • The Apiaceae family includes carrot, celery, dill, cilantro, and fennel.

Asteraceae family

  • The Asteraceae family includes chicory, endive, lettuce, and radicchio.

Brassicaceae family

  • The Brassicaceae family includes arugula, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, and watercress.

Cucurbitaceae family

The Cucurbitaceae family includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squashes.

Lamiaceae family

  • The Lamiaceae family includes the most common herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, sage, and oregano.

Poaceae family

  • The Poaceae family includes grasses and cereals like barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheatgrass.
  • The Poaceae family also includes in legumes, including beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

Related References

Commonly Used Perennial Culinary Herbs

Perennial herbs are an excellent choice for your garden. Perennial herbs continue to grow and provide fresh herbs for your kitchen for many years if given a little care.

You can prepare a mouthwatering recipe by using Perennial herbs. Perennial herbs are good for your health, and you can also use them to make salads, stews, and soups.

Perennial herbs can be grown at ease, and the best part is that you can harvest them at any time of the year. Some of the most commonly used perennial culinary herbs are:

Mint

Mint is recognized to be one of the well renowned perennial culinary herbs which are used for cooking on an extensive scale. Though it is lemony or bit-peppery in its raw form, mint leaves a cool after taste.

Mints have slightly dented, pointy, oval, and bright green leaves along with the sturdy stem. Mint is used for cooking on an extensively in Middle-Eastern and North African recipes.

This herb emanates a refreshing smell. The intense flavor of this herb makes it the best option to cook fish sauces, peas, lamb, vegetables, and chocolate. You can also use mint to prepare tea and other beverages. The most popular varieties of mint which are used for cooking include spearmint, good old peppermint, and apple mint.

Rosemary

It is another popular favorable herb that can be used for cooking vegetables, meat, and poultry. In addition to this, you can also use it with apricots, garlic, roasted potatoes, and roasted chicken. You are going to love this plant for its delightful scent.

They are used on an extensive scale in different types of floral arrangements. The intense flavor of this herb contributes to being one of the prominent reasons why this herb is used for cooking across the globe. It has needle leaves along with hard woody stems.

Sage

This is another worth mentioning name in the list of perennial culinary herbs, which is used for the preparation of Balkan and Italian dishes. You can fry it with light batter for preparing pork, sausages, and bacon.

You can also make the best use of this herb for preparing fresh stuffed pasta, butter, rabbits, eggs, to name a few. Furthermore, you can use this aromatic herb for making sauces, seasoning meats, and vegetables. Sage in its dried form emits strong flavor.

Dill

This herb has earned a high reputation for its fresh aroma and amazing delicate flavor. The leaves of this plant are soft and light. It is used for the preparation of Eastern and Northern cuisines. Dill is an ideal choice for cucumbers, green soups, salmon, beetroot, cream, pickles, and other recipes. Dill can also be used to season peas, potatoes, lamb, and fish.

Oregano

This perennial herb is primarily grown in the warm climate of Mediterranean and Eurasia. Also referred to as the wild aroma, it is used to flavor a plethora of American and Italian dishes. Oregano is commonly used in the preparation of Turkish, Grek, and Mediterranean dishes. Oregano, also, goes well with olive oil, tomatoes, lamb, pizza, yogurt, and kebabs.

Spring is the ideal season for growing this herb. This delicious herb comes with a lovely smell, and you can use it for different purposes in your kitchen.

Winter Savory

It is recognized to be the perfect herb for the preparation of cold and warm dishes. You can use winter savory to make tasty teas. winter savory is useful in adding an aromatic flavor to a plethora of recipes.

Besides this, it boasts of a bunch of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The intense flavor of this spicy herb makes it an ideal choice for the preparation of poultry, beans, and fish. You can also use it for garnishing the salad and flavoring the liqueurs.

Lemon Balm

This perennial herb comprises of medicinal properties, and it is regarded as an ideal option for the kitchen. You can use lemon balm to garnish meals. It can also be used for the preparation of teas and other beverages.

Lavender

This perennial herb produces a variety of purple flowers which add to the beauty of the garden. It is used for the preparation of dressings and salad. It offers a bit of sweet flavor to a plethora of dishes.

The dried lavender buds and lavender syrup make it the ideal choice for the preparation of Lavender marshmallows and scones. This herb also consists of different health benefits, which make it the prime choice for cooking.

Thyme

The perennial herb tyme can found in most kitchens. Tyme is known to have a pungent, earthy, and lemony smell. tyme is used widely in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries recipes.

Tyme can be used in barbecue meats, eggplants, mushrooms, chicken, roasted vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and goat cheese. You can also add this herb for preparing stews and soups.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned herbs are regarded as the best option for the preparation of different cuisines. They are used primarily after drying, and their flavor and aroma enhance the taste.

The best thing about these perennial herbs is that perennial herbs can easily be grown in pots, in your yard or in your garden. All you need is an adequate amount of water, right exposure to light, and care and you are good to go.

Easy Gardening – Garden Seed Tapes

What are Seed Tapes?

Seed tapes are products designed with seeds perfectly attached between narrow strips of biodegradable tissue layers, which are ready for planting in both the garden and house. They are ideal for sowing in containers, large empty garden plots, as well as fill-ins in tighter areas.

The seeds are applied at the correct distance along the tapes to reduce overcrowding of newly germinated seedlings. The tapes can consist of a single variety, custom mixtures, and multiple species of seeds. You can find products with flower, vegetable, and herb seeds embedded into them.

What are the Advantages of Seed Tapes?

  • Provide an easy and efficient way to plant tiny seeds quickly.
  • Seeds are planted at the same depth allowing for a more uniform germination rate.
  • Seed tapes enable you to space plants evenly and eliminate seed wastage. This helps avoid overcrowding that may call for thinning of young seedlings, which is a tedious and time-consuming task.
  • Less thinning also means less disturbance to the root of plants left in your garden. Otherwise, you risk delaying or inhibiting the growth and even performance of the plants.
  • Prevents birds from eating the fresh seeds that you sow.
  • Makes the sowed seeds less susceptible to wash away in a downpour and ruining the evenly spaced rows.
  • Almost all the seed tape products are biodegradable and considered to be environmental-friendly.
  • Very convenient for senior gardeners, particularly those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility complications.

What are the types of Seed tapes?

Seed tapes

Seed tapes are one of the most common types, which are ideal for growing most vegetable seed varieties, salads, as well as flower seeds. They are usually available in different lengths, especially between one to six meters. However, it is possible to have the garden vegetable seed tapes produced in specific lengths to suit your unique gardening needs. Also, the seed tapes can come as a single track containing one variety of seeds or multiple tracks with different seed varieties.

Seed discs

Seed discs are designed in different sizes. You’ll find smaller and larger seed discs. With smaller seed discs, the diameter often ranges from 8cm to 12 cm, a size that easily fits most typical flowerpots. They are perfectly suited for sowing herbs indoor, such as in the kitchen or windowsills.

The larger discs, on the other hand, range from 14cm to 46cm in diameter. You can use them for sowing seeds in outdoor pots, as well as hanging containers or baskets.

Seed mats

If you want to sow seeds in big planters, garden borders or window boxes, then seeds mats are a great option. With seed mats, you can easily produce a great color display of stunning bedding plants. Well, good examples of such plants include marigolds and pansies.

The size of seed mats vary. Often than not, you’ll find mats available in the size of a small business card and up to 100cm in length.

Seed carpets

Seeds carpets are suitable for planting salads, mixed vegetables, and wildflower fusions in large borders or other large garden areas. They are simply ready-made “mini-gardens” or “allotments,” which are usually one meter or larger in length.

How to Use Seed Tapes

It’s an incredibly easy process. First off, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, just like you would with any new seedbed. Once you have a weed-free garden bed, it’s often recommended to follow the guidelines on the package of the seed tapes, discs, carpets, or mats.

In most cases though, you’ll be required to place the seed tapes in a straight line on the soil using the proper rowing space. After that, gently cover it with the top layer soil and then water the area. However, you should avoid prolonged watering after sowing.

If the soil has not been moistened by Mother Nature, consider watering it several hours before sowing. But don’t make the garden bed sopping wet.

Where to buy Seed tapes

You can find the different types of seed tapes we’ve discussed above at most local garden centers or nurseries, DIY stores, and grocery stores. Alternatively, you can just buy from reputable online garden retailers.

When to harvest Yardlong beans

While (Asparagus) Yardlong beans can grow up to 36 inches long, however, it’s best to harvest Yardlong beans at 18 inches or less when Yardlong beans are at their most tender and flavorful.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

How to Grow Tepary Beans In Your Garden

Tepary beans are native to the Americas and have been planted by the local people for thousands of years. Tepary beans are creamy and nutty in flavor, and they can be used in any dish. They are perfect for soups and stews. Though they are small in size, tepary beans are dense and meaty. They are easily grown in Sunset climate zones. They are rich in nutrients and grow from 1 to 3 feet tall with a foot spread of 3 to 4 foot. They are known as the most heat-tolerant crop in the world. They are mostly planted during summer and monsoon season which produces infrequent rains from July to August. Let’s see how to grow tepary beans?

Advantages Of Growing

Growing is one of the most popular hobbies in America these days. Growing and gardening are considered the best way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Growing gives the gardener, the ability to experiments with new seeds and new varieties. Growing plants at your home can provide you more control over the quality and longevity of the plants. Growing plants is an art; one can use many different techniques.

Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is also known as direct seeding, which means that you directly start planting seeds in the garden than buying plants and transplanting the plants. Sowing seeds directly do not mean that you just plop some seeds in the ground and leave it for the results. You need to take care of some of the factors before sowing, make sure that the area is weed-free, though there is competition for water and nutrients; it’s quite easy to mistake sprouting weed seed for your flower or vegetables and accidentally pulling out them. Make sure you plant seeds 3 times deep as their circumference is. Some seeds require light to germinate. Then, what you need to do is gently press into the damp soil so that they can make good contact with light and air. Always mark the spot first where you want to sow the seed because you may think you remember, but you don’t so it’s better to mark the spot. Don’t wash the seeds away, water gently. It is crucial to keep the soil moist, but not soaking, until the seeds germinate. Once you have had good germination, continue to pamper the seedlings until they become mature plants.

Growing seedlings

A seedling is a young plant which develops from a plant embryo from a seed. Development of a seedling starts with the germination of the seeds.

  • Deciding the best time to plant your seeds: When you start your plants too late, it may not have enough time to get mature so start your plants a little early so that it gets enough time to get mature.
  • Gather all the supplements you need: Germinating healthy seeds require quite a few things. First of all, you need seeds, a seedling tray or a food storage container, a plastic wrap, a small fan, and a timer. If you have used the supplies before make sure to clean them before using them again.
  • Plant your seeds: Before you start planting your seeds, soak the Rockwool cubes for at least half an hour. Make sure to plant the appropriate number of seeds based on their crop types.
  • Ideal Conditions for germination: Once you are done with the planting of seeds, it’s time to provide them with ideal conditions for germination. Green leafy seeds and herbs germinate well in the range of 55-75degree F, whereas fruity crops require upper range. Also, make sure that you cover the seedling tray with a plastic wrap.
  • Keep your seedlings healthy: As soon as you see something green coming out of the seeds, make sure to give them proper light, especially in winter. If it’s too cold outside to place your plant outside, use fluorescent bulbs and keep it inches away from your plants.
  • Strong seeds: Make your seeds strong by performing some tasks such as set a small fan and gently blow on them, make sure they get proper sunlight.

Transplanting seedlings

Transplanting the seedlings should be done with a very gentle hand and not roughly. Use a blunt knife ease the seedlings without disturbing the preceding seedlings in the line or tearing out the seedlings.

To transplant, the seeds, loosen the soil and fill each container with planting mix. Handle seedling by their leaves and make sure that you do not damage the soft stems of the plants. Poke a hole into the planting mix and place the seedling over there. Water it right away and keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days. After 10-11 days the seedlings are ready to be kept outside.

Insect and pest control

Insect and pest control treatment for seeds includes the application of pesticide to the surface to reduce or control the pests. Apply a chemical barrier to the seed so that it can protect the young seedlings from getting damaged by the insects. You may use systematic pesticides.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

Tepary beans, in my experience, don’t have many problems and the few they have can be handled like any other garden bean.  However, there is one really important thing to remember, which is that tepary beans are a desert bean and are water misers, so, they need minimal water and certainly much less than other traditional garden beans.  Actually, tepary beans tends to be more productive and mature earlier if once established and flowering, if they experience some mild lack of water stress.

When are tepary beans ready to harvest ripe?

The days of maturity depends on the cultivator, but can range from 60 – 120 days to harvest as dry beans.  Tepary beans are harvested for their dry bean seeds, so don’t get in a hurry to harvest them and let them dry on the plant, if possible.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting of tepary beans seeds a the bean pods dry out.  Keep in mind that tepary beans are most a wild beans and will shatter and drop their seeds if left too long. Also, the bean pods will be brittle when dry, so, harvest gently to minimize your bean seed loss.  You will want to shuck the bean pods after allowing them to finish drying in a cool try environment to be sure they are completely dry.   The dry tepary bean seeds can be stored in a cool place and saved for cooking until the for food purposes for up to five years.

Related references