Parsley works extremely well as a natural breath-freshener, but not only that, it’s full of medicinal benefits and nutrients. It’s a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, plus calcium, iron, and other vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K for bone health. Those are the kinds of things you learn in accredited online nutrition colleges.
It is extremely easy to grow, although I’ve recently found out it is biennial. This means you get a great crop the first year, then the second year it goes to seed very quickly, so you have an abundance of plants for the following year. I always just thought I had done something wrong to it. Seed Savers NZ recommend chopping the plant off to 1-2inches at the end of the first year to prevent the bolting.
In traditional herbal medicine, bruised parsley leaves have been made into poultices for insect bites, contusions, and itchy or chapped skin; the leaves or seeds used to settle the stomach, decrease flatulence, and treat colic; and the leaves and roots employed as a diuretic.
The health benefits of parsley are many, including for the gall bladder, the nervous system, stiff joints and your adrenal glands. You can take parsley as a tea, blended in a green smoothie, or juiced along with your daily 5+a day.
Shared on Facebook the other day was a great suggestion to use your excess crop to make homemade Garlic/Parsley Butter, Fresh herb butter or a Fresh Herby and olive oil mix (similar to Pesto) for adding to pizza bases, pasta, soups, casseroles etc. Make it up and freeze in ice cubes until required.
I’ve also used this versatile herb to make parsley jelly, and recently tried out a recipe for parsley pesto. I’ll share these recipes in the next couple of days.
My own strawberries have done extremely well this year, and get eaten straight from the plant so there are never enough to accumulate to make something out of them. Last year I posted on preparing for a bumper crop of strawberries by getting your strawberries in early, but that certainly didn’t work out that way for me. Extraordinary really – we moved house mid-year and I just ripped the plants out of my old garden and chucked them into polystyrene boxes I had been given. I fully intended to re-plant them, so I didn’t even throw much dirt over the top of them, just left them there, and they’ve flourished to my surprise.
After taking out enough of the fruit from my purchase to experiment with making fruit leathers, I was left with 1.5kg of pitted fruit, ready to make jam with. I’m a fussy jam eater, and I don’t like big lumps of fruit in my jam as it is too hard to spread. So first think I put my strawberries in the food processor and give them a burst for about 30 seconds, until the fruit was pulped.
Slowly, to prevent burning, bring the fruit to boiling point. When boiling add an equal amount of organic fair trade sugar to the pot and bring back up to the boil rapidly. The quicker you do this after adding the sugar the better the colour and flavour of the jam. I’m not a big fan of using such a large amount of sugar in anything, but sugar, like salt, is used as a preservative in this instance. The sugar inhibits the bacterial growth and keeps it from spoiling. This is the kind of tip you could learn in an online cooking school.
Boil the jam mixture for 15-20 minutes. The jam is ready when a small amount put onto a saucer develops a thin skin after cooling.
Put jam into warm jars and cover while hot.
Instead of skimming the jam, add a knob of butter when the jam is cooked.
Jam jars must be sterilised and thoroughly dry. I do this by washing them in very hot soapy water, rinsing well and putting in the oven on 100degrees to dry.
Always use a wooden spoon for stirring.