Friday, 21 June 2013

Everyone Needs A Clump Of Chives!

If you have a black thumb and can't grow a single thing, you can still grow chives.  All they need is a bit of dirt, some sun and water.  They'll grow on patios, balconies and window sills.  They live happily in the flower garden and will even keep aphids and black spot away from your rose bushes.

I've been doing a little research into foods our ancestors ate and why they put the effort and time into growing certain plants and herbs.  The pioneer woman who first lived in this house didn't have time or energy left to grow something just for a pretty garnish on her potatoes.  The nutritional value of chives completely stunned me!  This herb from the allium (onion) family is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

Calcium, zinc, manganese, copper, iron, vitamins C, K, B complex, AZ, and A are all found in amazing quantities in chives.  Everything from bone health to fetal development, neuro damage repair to cardio health are enhanced by getting a good supply of the nutrients in chives.  Check out the information at Power Your Diet and you won't look at chives as something to sprinkle on a baked potato any more!

I started hunting up some ways to use them and, since the plant blooms in June in my neck of the woods, wanted to use the blossoms.  They have the mild onion taste of the leaves, with a pepper kick to them.

I gathered some blossoms and shook them off to make sure there weren't any creepies hiding in there. You could wash them but I don't bother when it comes from my own pesticide free garden. ~

This is a fun project to do with the kids.  Fill a jar with chive blossoms. ~

Pour in natural vinegar to cover.  Always go with natural for cooking.  It costs about a dollar more for 4 litres but the other stuff is mostly chemicals.  ~

The kids will love seeing the vinegar turn a pretty shade of purple within a couple of days. ~

What you have is a wonderful, flavoured vinegar that tastes peppery and smells like onion.  Mix one part flavoured vinegar to two parts olive oil for a terrific salad dressing.  I add chopped basil and a bit of sea salt to my dressing.

While they are in bloom, I'm separating the blossoms and sprinkling them on any food that I'd usually put pepper on. I'm also freezing some, first on cookie sheets, then in bags for winter use. ~

Did I mention that studies show chives can reduce the chance of prostate cancer by 50%?  Or, that you can lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol production, increase liver function, prevent anemia, break down clots in blood vessels, prevent lung and oral cavity cancers and bolster oxygen levels with the nutrients in chives?

Those pioneers were some smart cookies! ~

I'm sharing this with:  A Favorite ThingFrom The FarmNifty Thrifty TuesdayFrom The Farm Blog Hop