It’s that time of year again where the weather is getting nice, trees and flowers are budding and blooming and hopefully you’re spending more time outside. I know we are! I long to get my toes out, my hands in the soil, and getting lost in the woods. This past weekend was a great weekend to be outside, we neglected inside duties and focused on family and outside cleanup.
Saturday was spent on a family outing to Hagerstown, visiting a loved one, yard sales and a trip to the city park for a picnic lunch and to feed the ducks. We also stopped by a bakery for a sweet treat, even though it was later in the morning, it had a poor selection and was nothing to write home about. Luckily, I packed some of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes in our picnic basket!
Picnics are a favorite in our house, we enjoy the process of the packing the basket (ok that may just be me), finding the perfect spot and just enjoying time together in a pretty place, usually somewhere near water to play in. Fuel up for a hike or just relax and watch our son play, its just nice being out. Our picnic basket consisted of lots of fruit (grapes and apples), chips, cupcakes, granola, fruit leather, string cheese, and I had dilly tuna on lettuce while everyone else had turkey sandwiches on kaiser rolls. Something to make everyone happy, full and energized.
Saturday ending with a bonfire and roasting marshmallows with friends. Good times.
Sunday was all about the garden for me and burning more bush for my husband. Our son played and made “soup” with his friends, helped me with the garden or daddy with fire.
I’m excited for the garden this year, hopefully it will be a better year. The ground it worked and I have my layout. I even put in cabbage seeds and broccoli. I cleaned up and mulched the strawberry patch. I will be planting various peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, peas, cucumbers, lettuce and herbs. Some were started inside and waiting a little longer before being put in the ground. It is still a bit early.
I have been planning my garden which is something I do but not to the extent I have this year. My planner husband is rubbing off on me. I have two small beds, one is about 2’x8′ and the other a 2’x3′. I usually just plant willy nilly and plant whatever strikes my fancy. This year I really thought about what we eat and what can be preserved for later. I am using the square foot gardening concept as a guide and going to use my small space to the full capacity. There will be more tomatoes this year, plus salsa fixings. We should have enough tomatoes for canning some sauce, stewing and just eating. If the tomatillos take off like they have in the past we will have plenty for salsa verde and enchilada sauce. More on my garden adventures later…
Between being outside or on the road, easy snacks are always good to have on hand. We always have fruit but sometime you want something a little more filling. Some staples in our house are nuts and dried fruit, easy items to just grab a hand full and go. So to keep with the grab and go concept my son and I made raw energy bites.
1 to 1-1/2 cups whole pitted dates
1/4 cup dried cherries
3-4 dried figs
1 tbsp raw hulled hemp hearts
2 tbsp raw sprouted buckwheat
1 cup raw almonds
Combine all ingredients in the food processor, process until dough like. (If needed stream in water, 1 tbsp at a time) Roll into tablespoon size balls*
Line a sheet pan or plate with parchment paper, arrange the balls on the plate and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour. *If you plan on packing them for a hike or bike I would suggest rolling the balls in finely crushed nuts or coconut before refrigerating.
Substitute any nuts or dried fruits you like, if you want you can even add chocolate!
What makes these energy bites?
Hemp Hearts are a complete plant base protein that contain about 10 grams per 3 tbsp serving, they contain all 10 amino acids, and the good fatty omega-3 and 6. Plus many other vitamins!
Sprouted Buckwheat is high in iron, calcium, lecithin and contains all B vitamins. When sprouted it becomes packed with live enzymes to help with digestion.
Raw Almonds are great for heart health, they are also high in manganese, copper and riboflavin that aid in energy production. They also contain about 5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup.
Dried Figs are high in potassium, folic acid and iron.
Dried Cherries are high in antioxidants.
Hope you enjoy and get outside!!