Category Archives: Recipies
Try out these tasy recipies….living ‘out there’ we try out fynbos foods, wheat-free, gluten-free, fussy toddler foods, organic delights, decadent desserts, you name it!
Carissa berries are commonly known as ‘Num-num’s’. The humble Num-num bush has glossy dark green leaves and big spiky thorns, protecting its delicate jasmine-like flowers and plump, juicy red berries.
When you pick a Carissa berry, you will find a milky latex at the base of the berry– this milky latex is usually a warning sign in most plants – but in the Carissa berry, it is non-toxic.
The berries are rich in pectin, which makes them great to add to jams, preserves and relishes, binding everything beautifully and glossing it with a ruby-red hue. It is also very high in vitamin C making it a nutritious snack eaten raw. The taste of the berries are tart, sweet, with a cranberry like flavour.
Carissa berry, beetroot and apple relish
¼ cup of Carissa berries, sliced
2 apples cored, peeled and diced
4 small beetroots, peeled and diced
¼ cup of sugar
2 tbs honey
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
Place all the ingredients in a small pot, except for the honey. Simmer over a low heat until most of the liquid has reduced, for approximately 40 minutes. When it starts to look bubbly and sticky, add the honey and simmer at a low heat for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool down. Pour it over a soft, room-temperature cheese such as Camembert or Brie cheese. Try to share it with your friends – that’s if it even makes it out of your kitchen!
How to grow Carissa
Carissa macrocarpa, or ‘Num-num’, is a handsome evergreen shrub with fairly large shiny leaves, and grows to about 2 meters in height. It has thick sharp thorns and can be used to create an effective, impenetrable hedge. Carissa is found naturally in coastal areas from Humansdorp, all the way up to Mozambique. Although able to survive drought and poor soil very well, it grows faster in good soil with some watering. Carissa berry produces beautifully-scented white flowers from spring to mid-summer, and is followed by large red fruits rich in Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Carissa can be grown easily from seed sown in the spring, but it can also be grown
from semi-hardwood cuttings in spring.
Did you know…our recipe book is in the making! Take a sneak peak on the Veld and Sea website HERE
There are many different species of the rose-scented Pelargonium. With the Pelargonium graveolens being my personal favorite, it is the one I most frequently use. Just a mere stroll past a Pelargonium graveolens, and crushing a leaf under your nose can inspire a host of tea-time recipe ideas including iced teas, jellies, scones, cupcakes, ice-cream and much more. Used in the correct way, this delicate fragrance can be carried out into your food. If you simmer the leaves gently in some milk, you will be left with a kind of fragrant milk. NOTE: Be careful not to bring the milk to a boil as this will leave a leafy taste.
Spearmint chocolate cake with rose Pelargonium chocolate-truffle icing
FOR THE CAKE
What you will need:
½ cup of cocoa powder
1¾ cups of flour
1½ cups of sugar
½ cup of oil
1 cup of spearmint tea (simmer spearmint in water for 5 minutes)
2 tbs spearmint, chopped
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs, separated
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the egg whites. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and then carefully fold them into the cake mixture. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 minutes. Test to see if the cake is ready by gently pricking the cake with a butter knife, and if the knife comes out clean; your cake is ready to come out of the oven.
FOR THE ICING
What you will need:
175 ml of cream
1 slab of milk chocolate, crushed into tiny pieces
A handful of rose-scented Pelargonium leaves and flowers
50 g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
Simmer the leaves, butter and cream over a low heat for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a metal bowl over the crushed chocolate. Add the vanilla essence and beat with a whisk until smooth. Leave the icing to cool. Once it has hardened slightly, ice the cake and decorate it with the Pelargonium flowers.
What is the difference between Geraniums and Pelargoniums? They both come from the same family or Genus called Geraniaceae. An easy way to tell these two species apart is observing them when they are in flower – Geraniums have five petals all of equal size and Pelargoniums have two petals of equal size at the top, and three of a different size below.
How to grow Pelargonium graveolens
Pelargonium graveolens, or more commonly known as ‘rose-scented Pelargonium’, is an easy-to-grow shrub, and grows to a height of one metre. Pelargonium grows naturally from George, through the Eastern Cape, and northern regions, right up to Zimbabwe. It grows best in moist, semi-shaded positions. Pelargoniums flower right through from August to January. The flowers are easily distinguished by their distinct white, pink or mauve-coloured flowers. Pelargonium leaves can be used to make a tea to treat stomach ailments. The tea or crushed leaves are also good for treating symptoms of insomnia.
Copywrite Roushanna Gray and Gael Gray 2016
FACEBOK: Veld and Sea
What is in the gelatin found in jelly, in marshmallows and jams, ice creams, yogurt, puddings and in so many other food products?
Prolonged boiling of the left over goodies from meat industries like pig bones, beef skin, horns, tendons, ligaments, fish by-products – a mouthwatering mixture of edible bone glue …whipped up with a bit of modified cornstarch, a lot of sugar and a few E numbers thrown in for colour and flavour and luck.
Yum yum. Delicious, just the thing to feed our kids.
Dont get me wrong, pasture raised happy-meat gelatin has a host of amazing nutritional benefits, but if you are looking for something little lighter, a plant based option that is easy to use..then read on.
Agar agar can be obtained from different types of red algae. In South Africa we are lucky to have many different kinds of seaweeds that produce the agar which is used as a gelling agent in food.
Dont forget your list of sustainable seaweed foraging rules and your mollusk permit for legal seaweed collecting.
Its a pretty basic method:
Cook seaweed in hot water to dissolve the agar
Strain. Add flavouring of your choice
Pour into molds and chill (you and the jelly)
If you are not up for the whole foraging-for-jelly vibe, most health stores stock agar agar powder. Sun dried jelly seaweed removes the vibrant red color of the seaweed, turning it translucent and flavourless, making it perfect for picking up what ever colour and taste you are wanting to come through in your agar recipes.
Kelp beds at low tide.
Sun bleached jelly seaweed.
Agar agar rose, cinnamon and cardamom panna cotta.
Marsala rooibos chai jelly.
FRUITY VEGAN JELLY RECIPE
2 cups of water/ juice
1/2 cup of sun bleached jelly seaweed/ 1 tsp agar agar powder
Sweet spice of your choice (optional, I like to use cinnamon, cardamom and star aniseed)
1 cup of seasonal fruit
Honey to taste
Edible flowers to garnish
Place water, jelly seaweed/agar agar and spice in a pot over a high heat. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. If you want a sweeter jelly, add honey.
Arrange the fruit at the bottom of your bowl or mold and pour the hot jelly liquid over the fruit through a sieve to catch the seaweed and spices.
Chill until set, turn out onto plates and decorate with edible flower petals.
Remember that in foraging, positive identification is very important, there are poisonous species out there you do not want to be eating. It also saves a lot of wasted experiments in the kitchen with the wrong seaweed that contains no agar…believe me, I have been there!
Want to forage for your own jelly seaweed? Then join us on one of our upcoming coastal forages held throughout spring and summer in Cape Town where we cover a range of our local edible seaweeds and shellfish and discover how to harvest, prepare, cook and preserve them. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter is alive.
The squelch of mud under your gumboots, the soft touch of rain on your face, the warmth of a fire in the evening. Dams filling up, rivers flowing, crisp winter greens.Bright copper kettles with warm woolen mittens. You get the idea.
Have you ever seen a sheep shake off rain like a dog does? Its brilliant. The sheep-shake is the new essence of winter for me. That and spinning wool by the fire. The smell of lanolin as I peddle barefoot. 2000 and what did you say?
Here are some photos of #farmlife #capepoint #goodhopegardens
And of course, winter brings weeds. Weeds, weeds, weeds.
They have popped up all over our gardens, jostling for position in-between our flowers and veg. There is a cute saying that goes
Weeds – If you cant beat them, eat them.
Many weeds are edible, but you must be able to identify them correctly before attempting any wild weedy snacks as there are also many poisonous ones out there. Two good ones to start with would be Marog or Imfino – our local Lambsquarters and family of the Amaranth, and of course Urtica dioica the stinging Nettle.
Nettles are a mega nutrient high superfood. Its best to wear gloves when picking them and if you put them in a bowl and pour hot water over them, the stinging properties go away, leaving you to handle them freely. Marog comes in many different varieties, ranging from red through to dark green. You get a small grained, big leafed variety whose leaves you can use like spinach or a big grained, small leaf variety whose seeds can be used as a grain. Here is my Winter Greens soup recipe which include both of these weeds:
Winter Greens soup
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions with their greens, chopped
2 tbs chopped wild garlic leaves
2 cups of chopped spinach
2 cups of chopped nettles
2 cups of chopped marog leaves
a handful of white rice, amaranth or quinoa
1 litre of veg stock
Salt and pepper
Plain yoghurt or cream to drizzle over each bowl
Cook the onions and garlic over a medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the rice, stir, cover with a lid and turn the heat down and cook for about 15 mins. Add the stock and the greens and cook for a further 15 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and drizzle the yoghurt or cream over each and garnish with a sprig of herbs.
You can enjoy this soup along with many other delicious wild food dishes at our Forage Harvest and Feast courses starting up again at the end of July.
FORAGE HARVEST FEAST
Fynbos Foraging Course
This half day course takes place in and around the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point
Each course is different according to seasonality and availability in the gardens and the Fynbos. Explore the gardens, discover and pick edible floral foods and fresh organic vegetables. Learn about indigenous edibles, and how to utilize them in your kitchen, how to grow them in your garden and their medicinal properties. Notes and recipes on the plants that we use in the meal will be provided.
You will enjoy wild food snacks and drinks, a delicious meal shared by the group made from ingredients that we will forage and harvest along the way and end with a decadent wild desert, Fynbos tea and Buchu brandy.
Email roushanna@hotmail for more details.
Two weekends ago we had our very first Veggie Garden Club meeting here at Good Hope Gardens Nursery. The goal is to come together as growers from the area and to discuss ideas, problems we encounter in our gardens, share seeds and recipes. There are a lot of food producers locally as well as those who would like to learn, and I thought it would be great if we could get together and share knowledge and inspiration. We had a nice turnout for the first meeting, some people could not make it, but we filled the big wooden table in the Forage and Harvest classroom where the first meeting was held. The meetings will happen once a month at different gardens each time. Lucky for us, Kate Higgs – a fantastic photographer – joined our group and quietly took these beautiful photos.
There were a few things from the garden on the table for inspiration/to munch on.
The group members varied from expert experienced permaculturists to those that had not yet started a veggie garden. Everyone had something interesting to contribute whether it was questions, answers, ideas, seeds or recipes.
Topics I had in mind that I wanted to cover were:
Crops, seeds, crop rotation and maintenance.
Topics that were discussed over the one and a half hours:
- Baboons: Baboons are one of the biggest problem a food gardener faces in our area. We spoke about how to baboon proof your garden, what materials to use (check out your local dump) and how to build the structures like geodomes, cages and fencing.
- Veg planting guide: A Western Cape planting guide was handed around and we looked at what would work specifically in our area, what seeds we should be planting into the ground, what seedlings we should be planting and what to plant into trays.
- Hints and tips: The more experienced growers shared some hints and tips:
- Carrots and coriander need 8 days to germinate – after planting directly into the ground, cover with wet newspaper or hessian and keep moist for 7 days. On the 8th day, remove the cover and hope for a sunny day…..you will find the seeds have germinated and the weeds will have grown long, thin and white along the ground, searching for the sun. Once the cover is removed, the sun will scorch these white weeds, leaving you with only what you want in the bed.
- Wild rocket VS normal rocket – Wild rocket likes shade in late summer, it doesn’t get bitter, it self seeds easily and has smaller leaves. Normal rocket is a heavy feeder and would prefer to grow individually throughout your garden so scatter them around rather than plant a patch of them.
- The taste of herbs are diminished by the shade so rather plant in a sunny spot.
- For sweet carrots you need lots of minerals in the soil so add some phosphorus and potassium for tastier carrots.
- We touched on seed saving, how to harvest seeds, how to store them and who had seeds to share.
- Soil improvement – in our area the soil is very sandy. Sandy soil is good for drainage but needs to be enriched. We spoke about what to add to your soil. Get some horse manure from your local stables and mix with straw, Keep it wet and covered and spread over the sandy soil.
- MULCH MULCH MULCH. Watch Back to Eden for information on why mulch is so great for your garden. If you are not religious and can get past the biblical references, stick with it to watch and see how much sense the “forest floor” theory makes. Also invest/borrow or hire a wood chipper to chip up whole trees (branches and leaves included) or branches that need pruning in your garden. You can also get wood chips from your local dump or recycling center. Mulch should be about 10-15cm deep on your beds.
- We had a little talk and diagram drawn out for us by Pete explaining how wicking beds work. These container beds are about 120cm wide made from plastic containers or lined pallets. They have water and solid objects like rocks and bottles in the bottom layer, covered by biddem cloth. Next is a 30cm layer of compost followed by 6cm of wood chip. The is an inlet pipe that leads down to the water tank and feeds the plants through capillary action, so you don’t water the plants, just very occasionally top up the tank. Also an outlet pipe for overflow. Great for those with small gardens, or wanting to grow veg if you only have a courtyard or balcony. Pete makes these to order if you are not a great with tools.
- We debated drip irrigation VS sprinkler/hose watering.
- Living near the Atlantic ocean we all have access to lots of seaweed. We spoke about using seaweed as a mulch or fertilizer. If you use undiluted seaweed your spinach can become more salty as a high content of salt in the soil will be absorbed by leafy greens.
- Hugelkultur was discussed and how we could/have implemented this in our own gardens.
- We shared recipes for leaves of the sweet potato and butternut. The first three shiny new leaves on a sweet potato vine can be used like spinach. Butternut and pumpkin leaves can be cooked with ground up raw peanuts in a coconut sauce and served on rice.
- A few of us had brought along some seeds to share – there was excitement and sparkling eyes as the seeds were passed around and we felt a bit like kids in a sweet shop.
What we should be planting now:
Seed Sowing Chart details by Franz Muhl.
Directly into the ground:
Beetroot. Final spacing: 8-12cm. Germination time: 7-14 days. Maturation time: 8-9weeks. Heavy feeder.
Radishes. Final spacing: 3-8cm. Germination time: 3-5days. Maturation time: 3-4weeks. Heavy feeder.
Carrots: Final spacing: 4-7cm. Germination time: 7-10 days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.
Lettuce. Final spacing: 25-35cm. Germination time: 3-7days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.
Coriander. Final spacing: 1cm. Germination time: 7days. Maturation time: 3-5weeks. Medium feeder.
Garlic. Final spacing: 8-12cm. Heavy feeder.
Peas. Final spacing: 4-5cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.
You can also direct seed turnips, nasturtiums, swiss chard and kale.
Into seed trays:
Onions. Final spacing: 10-15cm. Germination time: 6-14days. Medium feeder.
Spring onions. Final spacing: 4-8cm. Germination time: 6-14days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Light feeder.
Kale: Final spacing: 40-50cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 6-10weeks. Heavy feeder.
Swiss chard. Final spacing: 25-35cm. Germination time: 7-14days. Maturation time: 8-10weeks. Medium feeder.
You can also plant lettuce into trays.
Seedlings into the grounds:
Broccoli. Final spacing: 30-40cm. Germination time: 5-10days. Maturation time: 8-9weeks. Heavy feeder.
For organic seedling, Harts Nursery is a great place to buy from.
So maybe if you live in the Deep South you will be tempted to join us next month or if you dont live in the area, you will be motivated to start your own veggie garden club. As you know, food is kind of important to us humans – we should all learn how to grow our own and teach our children at the same time.
Happy planting and happy eating!
With so much hype about what and what not to put INTO your body, its easy to forget what and what not to put ONTO your body.
Quickly take a look at your makeup, body creams, sun block, hair care, nail polish, soap, etc.
Turn them around and read those labels. Did you know that what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body?
As if you had eaten it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love beauty products as much as the next woman, in fact I have nail polish on right now, but the ingredients in some of the products out there are scary. Examples:
Benzoyl peroxide, Hydroquinone, Sodium lauryl sulphate, Parabens, Phthalates, BHA, BHT, Polyoxyethylene?
Er, no thanks.
A little bit of poison here, a little bit of toxic harm there – kind of the opposite of a beauty product in the long run don’t you think?
Check these blogs out for a little heads up..
And take a look at this very cool blog post by Organic Beauty Talk
So I decided to make my own body butter. It does take a little bit of effort but its one of the best cream I have ever used, and so worth it. You’re worth it! I can understand all the ingredients, I could eat them if I really wanted to, and our Echinacea plants which has been charging in the garden were just begging to be used.
ALL NATURAL BODY BUTTER RECIPE
You can use whatever healing herbs you may have growing in your garden, I used these ones for their skin fortifying properties and makes a great healing body butter cream. A fantastic after-bath moisturizer and excellent night face cream – your skin will still feel hydrated in the morning. Use on chapped dry lips, rashes, bruises, rough knees, stretch marks, anything really.
Echinacea – high in anti-oxidants and anti-aging properties.
Centella asiatica – toning, tightening and healing.
Lavender – calming properties and relief for skin allergies.
Comfrey – high in protein, skin healing, anti-inflammatory and wound healing.
Put these in a double boiler over a very low heat. Add 500ml coconut oil and leave to infuse for 3 hours.
Remove from heat and strain into a non reactive bowl. Melt 150g of beeswax over a very low heat and add to the herb oil. When its cooled down, whip with a mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
This recipe should give you enough for 4 small jars.
Whats your favorite natural beauty product? Share with us and lets all get even more gorgeous!
For me, summer = tomatoes
There are so many different tomato varieties with such fun names, here are some examples:
Cherokee Purple, Lemon Boy, White Queen, Vintage Wine, Beefsteak, Green Grape, Black Russian, Yellow Stuffer.
Pretty cool. You can just imagine the colour variety.
We have been eating tomatoes all the time. As in every meal. With glut you need to get creative. Think out of the veggie box – Like in my Summer Glut post.
This time I am thinking very much In the Box. Or In the Bottle.
For my kids, tomatoes = tomato sauce, they dont really like the real thing. Which becomes a problem when your fridge is half full of them and so is your garden.
So I tried to make them a healthy version of the gloop they love so much. Are there any parents out there who have spent hours of effort in creating “delicious” healthy meals for your child only for it to be pushed aside or “Bleurgh!” to be declared after the first bite?
Yep. This was not one of those times. Success!
TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE
So first you have to put your tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. Then put them in cold water so they are easy to handle – now the skin is super easy to peel off.
Then you add HONEY (I used two tablespoons) HERBS (I used oregano and thyme, you can use anything including wild sage, caramalised onions and garlic, wild garlic or whatever your heart desires) SEA SALT (just a few crunches)
Blitz with a hand blender.
Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for a few hours until the sauce has halved.
Very fussy six year old boy eating homemade tomato sauce. That took hours. Miracles can happen!
Goodbye Allgold. Hello kitchen. We have a winner.
The fragrant smell of sun warmed tomatoes is the true essence of summer to me. Watering rows of tomatoes and getting a hit of that fresh, clean smell conjures up images of cold salads, hot beaches and long hazy days.
To be honest with you, I’d rather bottle that smell over the tomatoes that would last us through winter. A whiff of summer memories versus tomato sauce…hmmm. Tough choice.
Am I the only person who would buy Eu de Tomato?
We have also have loads of marrows in various stages.
As most veggie gardeners know, the sweet dainty marrows you get at the beginning of the season have a small window that quickly closes and they suddenly turn into uncontrollable monsters overnight with little taste, just waiting to surprise you from under their leaves early in the morning. “Haha!” you hear them cry as you spy new ones everywhere. “We are even bigger today! What will you do with us now?”
You have to get creative. Always get creative, or your family will finally realize they are eating marrows for the fourth week running. After giving away armfuls to neighbours and friends, they eventually start avoiding you, having run out of marrow recipes. Guys, wait – don’t run so fast! There are so many, many recipes for involving marrows into almost all your meals, ranging from marrow bread to marrow chocolate brownies to stuffed marrow flowers. Here is our current favorite:
DOUBLE MARROW PASTA
This is a tasty, light, wheat free recipe. There are no quantities here, only suggestions, and you can add or omit any of the ingredients except the marrows. Obviously.
You can also shape the marrows to any pasta shape of your choice, even cut lasagna sheets out of the larger ones. They hold flavours very well so it works well as a pasta alternative and are great marinated raw.
Ingredients: Marrows, cheese, tomatoes, basil, avo, herbs, lashings of olive oil and crunches of sea salt
Peel the bigger marrows with a potato peeler until the seeds are showing. Top and tail the small ones and keep whole.
In a pot of salted boiling water, pop the small whole marrows in. After 4 mins, add the marrow strips (the “pasta”) and remove from heat. Leave for one or two minutes, drain, toss with olive oil and sea salt and serve with the rest of the ingredients. Excellent with an icy glass of white wine/spring water with lemon/afternoon siesta.
Scrumptious Summertime – Enjoy!
On a freezing cold and drizzly Saturday morning, our wild food enthusiast group set off on a Forage and Harvest garden tour.
We looked, picked and dug, touched, smelt and tasted, prepared, cooked and ate indigenous edibles, organic veggies, floral foods, wild herbs and weeds.
Everyone walked away with new plant knowledge, recipes, notes, a packet of seeds, new friends, a full belly and a smile on their face.
Here are a few of the many beautiful images that Juliette de Combes took on the day:
Thank you to all the wild food enthusiasts in the group!
Lets do it again sometime – new season, new ingredients.
If you want in on the fun, contact us
and discover local wild food.