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gardening



Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off the 90 Calories in a Cup of Yoplait Light Yogurt

There are a number of reason’s that Yoplait Light Key Lime Pie flavored yogurt might not be considered healthy. There’s the strange light green coloring (pretty sure it’s not natural) and the 10 grams of sugar. But, it’s clearly a healthier choice than some other snacks I’ve been known to indulge in, like donuts!

yog

This past week while at the grocery store I saw there was a special on these yogurts. Ten for $5 or something like that—a deal that’s hard to pass up. Add in the fact that things were downright warm in Portland and this seemed like a fitting treat. So I grabbed a few and went on my way. I’ve been enjoying the yogurts all week and, aside from the fact that they’re not exactly natural, they’re a fairly healthy treat: No corn syrup, 20% of the daily recommended value of calcium, and just 90 calories.


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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off the 272 Calories in a Slice of Cheese Pizza

As a former New Yorker, I used to live on pizza. (Or, “slices”, as we said in Brooklyn.) I had a handful of go-to spots, places with thin crust that’s been tossed to perfection, savory sauce, and just enough cheese. But when I moved I largely gave up my pizza habit. It’s not as easy to come by restaurants selling slices to go, and the consistency is just different. Or so I thought.

pizza

A few days ago I stopped into one of the few local pizza chains that do offer individual slices. Most were piled with artisanal toppings—things like roasted squash and apples—but on that particular day I spied what looked like a classic slice. Fresh mozzarella, a little red sauce peeking thorough, and not much else.  I ordered one, sprinkled on a few fresh pepper flakes, and was immediately transported. It tasted like home.

Still, my waistline has been happy to not have to deal with regular stops for slices. Just how many calories had that pitstop cost? Around 272, by my math (and Self.com).
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Gardening Provides a Bounty of Benefits to Prisons and Public Schools

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade. 
Rudyard Kipling 

The act of planting a garden – working the soil, tending to the plants and reaping the bounty is a time-honored tradition that has slowly morphed from necessity to hobby. Over the last 100 years, America’s industrialization and urban expansion have eliminated the need for gardens in most households. Unfortunately, some apartment dwellers are packed so close together that growing basil in a pot on the windowsill is the closest they’ll get to a harvest.

Today we’re highlighting two programs that teach gardening skills in the United States. Though the “participants” are very different, they all receive benefits that go far beyond the eventual food a garden yields.

 

Prison gardens

Prison Garden

Last week, the National Public Radio (npr) website ran a story about several minimum security prisons that have developed their own vegetable gardens thanks in part to the Insight Garden Program. Inmates who qualify for the program are allowed to work outside where they tend to a small area of raised beds that grow everything from tomatoes to lettuce. Beth Waitkus, Director of the Insight Garden Program said she created this endeavour after the tragedies of 9/11 to, “restore her faith in humanity.”


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Pick a Peck of Homemade Sweet and Spicy English Cucumber Pickles

I will never buy pickles from the grocery store ever again.

I’ve seen the light.

I’ve tasted victory.

Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?

When I remember the summer of 2013, it will be the Summer of the Pickle!

homemade pickles

My grandfather planted a beautiful garden in his backyard this spring. We’ve been reaping the benefits of his hard work all season and I couldn’t be more thankful. My house doesn’t allow for a garden, so when he emailed and asked, “what would you like me to plant?”, I sent him a list that probably took him by surprise.

At the top of that list were English cucumbers. A thinner skin, sweeter taste, and fewer seeds, English cucumbers are a much better eating experience than the ‘ole standard cucumber. While not an issue when grown in the backyard, when bought at the store, English cucumbers typically come without the layer of wax found on regular cucumbers. And they’re prettier. For what that’s worth!

english cucumbers

Grandpa’s harvest has been good, which means we’ve had English cucumbers out the wazoo. A girl can only eat so many before she starts daydreaming about getting rid of cucumbers. So I asked my three-year-old sous chef, and pickle aficionado, if she’d like to spend a Saturday making pickles. She was delighted at the invitation and we set to slicing a heaping pile of cucs.
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Use It, Don’t Lose It! 10 Deliciously Vegan Recipes for Your Summer Garden Surplus

The great thing about having your own backyard garden is access to fresh, organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs any time you want. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to supply your groceries. The downside is having way too much of a good thing. One “harvest” in my garden last weekend yielded six cantaloupes; there are only three people in my household. That’s a lot of melon!

It’s a shame to let all of that excess produce go to waste. And as the summer draws to a close and all of those plants reach their peak of production, you’re going to have a lot of fruits and vegetables on your hands.

tomatoes

My primary policy is to share the wealth! I keep what we can reasonably eat and then start sharing the rest with friends and neighbors. No one has ever passed! My secondary policy – get in the kitchen! When pinched for creativity or inspiration at meal time, use what you have available as your muse. We’ll give you a little help to get started.

Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad – Any extra cucumbers and tomatoes will go to good use in this simple vegan salad. You can also use some of the basil and chives you’re growing.

freekeh taboulleh
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