Looking for a healthy way to stay hydrated? Take out the sugars, syrups, or artificial flavors and naturally flavor your water instead! You can add fruits, veggies, and herbs you’re already growing in your AeroGarden to make basic H20 more exciting. Here are a few ideas for some delicious flavors…
Strawberry-Cucumber: This is quite a refreshing infusion. Use strawberries grown in an AeroGarden Grow Bowl for that fresh taste.
Tomato-Basil Water: Veggie infusions are the perfect way to achieve healthy hydration. Plus you can use garden-fresh tomatoes and basil from your AeroGarden.
Pineapple-Mint Water: Looking for a tropical flavor? Pineapple and mint are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Watermelon-Rosemary: This sweet combo will add plenty of color to your drink. And you can take rosemary from your AeroGarden!
Blackberry-Sage: This sage infusion has a perfect subtle, refreshing flavor.
Infusion Tips: There is no single “correct” way of infusing fruits, veggies and herbs into your water. Just fill a pitcher or large glass with your favorite ingredients and let it sit for a few hours. You can muddle your ingredients for a stronger flavor. Infused water stays good for about two to three days and you can always top off your water. After a few days, start again with fresh ingredients!
Check out this quick easy pepper-basil dip recipe! It is excellent as a vegetable dip or sandwich spread. Plus, you can use fresh herbs and veggies from your AeroGarden!
INGREDIENTS 3 garlic cloves
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
PREPARATION (Makes 2½ cups)
With processor running, drop garlic through food chute; process until minced. Add basil; process 5 seconds until chopped. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Serve at room temperature.
Special equipment: Four 12″ skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (medium-high heat or gas).
Whisk together garlic, herbs, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then set aside 2/3 of vinaigrette for brushing. (set aside some of the chopped parsley and basil).
Halve onion lengthwise and cut halves lengthwise into 1/2″-wide wedges. Thread 1/2″ apart onto skewers (to hold layers together). Brush onion and eggplant with some reserved vinaigrette.
Oil grill rack, then grill pepper with onion and eggplant, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally with tongs, until onion and eggplant are very tender, 6-10 minutes; transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Continue to grill pepper, turning it until skin is blackened, 1-2 minutes longer. Put pepper in a deep bowl and cover with a plate, then let stand while grilling remaining vegetables.
Quarter zucchini lengthwise; brush them and tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette. Grill, covered only if using a gas grill, turning tomatoes less frequently than zucchini, until tomatoes are just blistered, about 3 minutes; transfer to baking sheet. Continue to grill zucchini, turning, until just tender, 1-3 minutes longer.
Peel pepper and thinly slice flesh. Cut tomatoes into wedges and chop remaining vegetables. Add to bowl of vinaigrette along with remaining herbs and salt to taste, tossing to coat.
Cooks’ notes: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, vegetables can be cooked on an oiled 2-burner grill pan over medium-high heat. Vegetables can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Rewarm before serving.
Basil is usually the first seed to sprout and it grows rapidly. Harvest basil
(and any other fast-growing herbs) to keep them an inch or two below
the lights, and avoid raising the Light Hood until all other plants are well
1 cup matchstick-size strips seeded peeled cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
2 tablespoons finely shredded carrot
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce (nam pla)*
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced serrano chili
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
1 pound sea scallops
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass*
1 large garlic clove, chopped
Pull noodles apart; place in large bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to cover generously. Soak noodles until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Drain; return to same bowl. Cut noodles in half (or in thirds if very long).
Add snow peas, bean sprouts, cucumber, herbs, peanuts, and carrot to noodles and toss to blend. Combine 1/3 cup water and all remaining ingredients in small bowl; whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Stir dressing into noodle mixture. Let stand 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Sprinkle scallops with sugar, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, lemongrass, and garlic; stir 1 minute. Add scallops; sauté until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes.
Divide salad among 4 plates; top with scallops and serve.
Available at Asian markets and in the produce section and/or Asian foods section of some supermarkets.
Basil is one of the fastest growing herbs in the AeroGarden so here is a recipe that focuses 100% on basil. Use right away on toast, in sandwiches, with crackers, mixed with warm pasta – or freeze and pull it out in the middle of winter to bring tastes of summer back when the temps are cold outside.
2 cups of basil
3 cloves of minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup parmesean cheese (more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pulse basil, garlic and toasted pine nuts in a food processor until coarsely combined. Slowly add oil while processor is running until mixture is smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add parmesean cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and store in refrigerator. If freezing, transfer to freezer safe bowl and top with olive oil.
What is YOUR favorite Pesto recipe? Please post them so we can all enjoy!
The most frequent mistake made by new AeroGardeners growing fresh herbs is in NOT trimming back basil. Basil grows like a weed in the AeroGarden, and often excited gardeners raise the light hood quickly to accomodate it. Don’t do it! Raising the light hood diminishes light to all the other plants, and they need it more. Instead, trim back that basil. Again and again! The more you trim basil, the more it bushes out. For every one branch you trim, two new ones appear!
Start trimming after the second set of true leaves and never look back. Enjoy your harvests in soups, salads, pastas and more. By aggressively trimming back your basil and keeping the lights down low, you’ll not only harvest more low growing herbs like thyme and oregano, you’ll also harvest more basil too!