February's Tip and Recipe February 19 2014

Gardening season is just around the corner, and I like to wake up my beds with a shovel, natural fertilizer and amendments and get them ready for the warmer weather, spring rains and seeds.  One activity that I made into a ritual is to save all of my eggshells that I used in between gardening seasons.  I put them in a Pyrex dish and once it has a decent pile up, I bake them at 300 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (mind the aroma).  Once cooled, I fill my blender with the eggshells and pulverize them into a fine powder.  When the early spring comes around, I mix in (depending upon how much soil or ground you are trying to cover) the powdered eggshells with my nutrient-rich soil and any other amendments (for me, its poultry manure as we have lots of chickens and turkeys running around our property).  This is a good way of utilizing eggshells from all the baking during the holidays and everyday breakfasts while saving money on gardening nutrients.  Have too much eggshell powder?  Share them with a fellow home gardener!

Recipe of the month:

I’m sure we are all baked out after the holidays, but this recipe is a tasty one during these cold days.  It is a great alternative for birthday cakes and would make a tasty dessert to share with that special person on Valentine’s Day!  Recipe courtesy of Jessy Stevenson.  Enjoy!

CAKE

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups carrots
  • 1 ½ cups Pistachios
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups coconut oil
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare one  9” springform pan.  Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices together in a separate bowl.  Combine eggs, honey, maple, oil, yogurt, and vanilla and mix in a separate bowl.  Mix wet ingredients into dry.  Add carrots and 1 cup of Pistachios.  Pour into springform pan and back for 45-60 minutes.  Let cool 20-30 minutes and then frost.  Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of Pistachios on top.

MAPLE FROSTING

  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and let thicken before spreading onto cake.