Pineapple and Cilantro Moscow Mule

This tropical cocktail is summer fun for everyone and can easily be made into a mocktail by leaving out the vodka and adding more ginger beer.
Image & Recipe Credit: TMIO
Ingredients
  • 6 cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple puree
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ginger beer
Instructions
  • Gently muddle the cilantro leaves in a sturdy glass to release their oils.
  • Add ice to the top.
  • Pour the vodka over ice
  • Add pineapple puree and lime juice
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Stir, garnish, and serve
*Pineapple puree- blend pineapple chunks in blender until smooth.
*Optional- to sweeten the drink add some agave.
Serves: 1 drink

Ask AeroGarden: Having Cilantro Trouble?

Question:  “I have had issues trying to grow cilantro.  I just can’t get it to grow…help?”

Answer:  “Cilantro can sometimes be challenging. We’ve seen it take 5 to 8 weeks to germinate but we don’t want you to wait that long.  Sometimes the hulls surrounding the seeds are very hard like Navy Beans and need to be soaked overnight.  Another tip is pouring water right down the center of the hole and placing a quarter over the label and checking underneath it once a week for successful germination.  Once it has sprouted, please remove the quarter.”

 

Get to the root of it! Feel free to ask your question at ask@aerogarden.com and get an expert answer from the AeroGarden team.

Vinaigrette Basics

Not just for salads, vinaigrettes can be used to marinate meat, seafood, and vegetables. Homemade salad dressing can range from a simple two ingredients to a more complex vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette foundation is three parts oil and one part vinegar. OR for extra pizazz do 2:1 oil to vinegar ratio. Whisk together and add a little Kosher salt. Finish with fresh ground pepper.

  • Vinegars include: sherry, champagne, balsamic, red, white, or rice wine.
  • Oil: for a mild base use grape seed, or use your best extra-virgin olive oil for grassier flavor.

Build up vinaigrette by adding a mustard, something sweet, spicy, an allium, and herbs. Use any of these combos:

*Let your taste buds guide you in ingredient amounts!

Tips for Salad Gardens

In the spirit of August’s Seed Pod Kit of the Month, Heirloom Salad Greens, here are some salad tips-

Temperature- Salads prefer cool temperatures below 72 degrees. Take care to keep your garden away from sunny windows that might increase the temperature. If you are struggling with keeping your salad garden cool, try the following tips:

  • Add ice cubes to the water bowl regularly.
  • Place your garden in a cooler area in your home, such as a basement.
  • Avoid placing your garden near other gardens or appliances that might give off heat.

Harvesting- There are two ways to harvest your salad greens.

  1. Remove whole leaves by cutting the base of the leaf with scissors or shears, or by gently pinching off with you fingers. Spread your harvest evenly across your garden.
  2. Prune the top 1/3 of the leaves, as if you are giving it a hair cut!
  3. Avoid harvesting right after adding liquid nutrients to your garden, it will have a mineral taste as the lettuce quickly absorbs the nutrients.

BLT Salad with Aioli Dressing

Try this delicious bacon, romaine lettuce, and seared cherry tomato salad!

Feel free to substitute the romaine for any lettuce variety from the AeroGarden Heirloom Salad Greens Seed Pod Kit (25% off through August!)

 

INGREDIENTS

    • 5 ounces applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices)
    • 12 cups torn romaine lettuce (from 1 large head; about 13 ounces) OR any lettuce variety in the Heirloom Salad Greens Seed Pod Kit (25% off through August!)
    • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 garlic clove, pressed
    • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

 Toasted sourdough bread with avocado is a tasty side for this salad too.

PREPARATION

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels. Crumble bacon coarsely. Optional– lightly sear the halved cherry tomatoes in the skillet to enhance flavor. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet; reserve skillet.

Place lettuce and tomatoes in large serving bowl. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, then mayonnaise and vinegar; whisk until blended, 30 to 40 seconds. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over lettuce and tomatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle bacon over. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 serving.

Courtesy of Epicurious

Garden Check Up: Roots

The condition of the roots reflect the health of the plant. Healthy roots are light colored and firm. Unhealthy roots turn brown and mushy and can have a bad odor.

To prevent root rot try the following steps to promote garden health:

Rinse and Refill the water bowl. This is good to do at-least once a month to replace old water filled with excess minerals left over from the liquid nutrients that the plants did not absorb. After refilling- add the recommended amount of liquid nutrients for your AeroGarden. Optional– add a teaspoon of food grade hydrogen peroxide to the water.


Mature plants will have an advanced root system that may overwhelm the water bowl of your garden. If the roots are healthy, then you will need to water more frequently due to the limited space in the water bowl and those thirsty roots.

 

To root trim or not? Some people do trim the roots of their mature plants BUT there is a high risk of over trimming and killing the plant. Because of this risk, it is not recommended.

So take a look under the grow deck and do a Garden Check Up on your roots.

Mint Mojitos

This Cuban drink is one of the top refreshing cocktails you can enjoy, especially during warm days. Lime + mint + bubbles (and let’s not forget, Rum) = Perfection! Great for a summer happy hour using mint from your AeroGarden.

 

Get started –

  • Cut a lime into wedges
  • Add a lime wedge and 10 mint leaves into the bottom of a glass
  • Use muddler or handle of wooden spoon to crush mint and lime to release mint oils and lime juice
  • Add 2 more lime wedges and 2 tablespoons of white sugar and muddle again
  • Fill the glass up to the top with ice
  • Pour 1.5 fluid ounces of white rum over the ice
  • Fill the rest of the glass with carbonated water
  • Stir
  • Taste – Add more sugar if you want
  • Garnish with lime wedge and mint sprig

Tips –

Avoid over-muddling the mint, it will give the mojito a grassy taste. Over crushed mint breaks the chlorophyll filled veins in the leaf which gives a bitter grass taste.

You want to lightly press down on the leaves with the muddler or wooden spoon and gently twist.

Don’t forget, the Cocktail & Mocktail Herb Seed Pod Kit (July’s Plant of the Month) is 25% OFF through July!

-Cheers!

 

Bolting Lettuce

What does “bolting” mean and why does lettuce do it!?

Well, it’s when the plant bolts into rapid growth and goes straight to flowering. The plant goes into survival mode and goes to seed.

Hot temperatures will trigger bolting in cool season greens, such as arugula, mustard greens, romaine, beet greens, and lettuce. other plants known to bolt are beets, broccoli, cilantro, basil and dill.

Can You Eat it After Bolting? No. When this happens, the flavor turns bitter and the leaves tend to get smaller and tougher. At this point it is inedible.

But you can prevent bolting….

How to Prevent:

Keep the water in your AeroGarden bowl cool.

If the water feels warmer than room temperature, add cold water and or ice cubes to the water bowl.

Very rarely bolting can be temporarily reversed or slowed down if you catch it early enough and trim off the flowering stocks. This can give you more time to harvest before it becomes inedible.

 

 

German Potato Salad

This potato salad is not only loaded with fresh herbs, but is also vegetarian and vegan friendly. Making this a perfect side dish for any backyard bbq. Try this tasty recipe out with your AeroGarden herbs- dill, chives, and parsley.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds halved small waxy potatoes (have some fun with colorful varieties)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds and toss
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Add as much herbs as you like! Yum.

PREPARATION

  • Cover 2 pounds halved small waxy potatoes with cold salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
  • Add to potatoes along with 4 sliced scallions, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, and 1 teaspoon toasted caraway seeds and toss, crushing potatoes slightly; season with salt and pepper.

One way to cut down on prep time is with the Mezzaluna Herb Chopper & Cutting Board. The comfortable grip and rocking motion make quick work of herb preparation. Plus, the Mezzaluna has double blades!

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Epicurious

Is It Time To Clean Your Garden?

Before starting a new Seed Pod Kit, you’ll want to clean your garden for a fresh start. Do Not throw away your filter by accident! It’s easy to do when removing plant roots.

Start by dismantling your garden:

Roots can grow into the filter, so be sure to clean it out and reinstall. If the filter looks too worn, replace the filter to prolong the life of your pump.

While you are doing maintenance on your garden, you may want to consider using Airstones. This will give your plants an oxygen boost for better growth! Note: Airstones are for use in all aerator/bubbler models.

 

After each planting, you should clean and sanitize your AeroGarden to reduce the risk of root pathogens that can destroy your crop.

Here’s how:

  • Fill the bowl with water and add ¼ cup of chlorine bleach
  • Let the water pump or aerator circulate the bleach solution for 5 minutes
  • Empty the bleach solution, rinse well, and then fill with clear water (no bleach)
  • Allow the pump or aerator to circulate the clear water for 5 minutes
  • Empty and rinse once more to ensure that all bleach is rinsed from bowl

Or without bleach: 

Add 5 cups of distilled white vinegar (instead of ¼ cup chlorine bleach) and follow instructions above.