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The best way to eat local

Herbed Buttermilk Dip
Herbed Buttermilk Dip

Spring is in the air and gardeners are busy tending their gardens and awaiting fresh flavours to enjoy all summer long! Health Canada recommends eating seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. G

rowing your own fruits, vegetables and berries makes this easy to achieve because nothing beats the taste of home-grown produce! Gardening is also a great life-skill for kids, and a great way to get fresh air and exercise for everyone.
If you are new to gardening, have limited yard space, or don’t want too much of a time commitment, there are many convenient options for growing edibles at our local Atlantic Superstore garden centre. Many of these don’t even require you to actually plant anything yourself – for example, tomatoes that have been pre-planted in the proper sized pots for growing on a deck or patio.
Two of my favourite garden centre items are the selection of fresh herbs and salad bowls – both of these are already grown and ready to enjoy as soon as you bring them home, and you can keep them indoors or out. Fresh herbs can add extra flavour to any dish from dips to desserts. The recipe below for Herbed Buttermilk Dip uses fresh basil, parsley and chives and you can enjoy it with fresh garden veggies. Using fresh herbs in your cooking can reduce the amount of salt you add to recipes, without sacrificing flavour. The salad bowls are potted planters filled with a mixture of live greens that are ready to eat and will keep producing all season. This is a fun, fresh and convenient way to add more leafy greens to your diet, providing folate, vitamin A, C and some calcium and fibre. You can add chopped greens to sauces and omelettes, or they are great in salad, of course.
If you already have a garden at home, why not try adding something new this year? The PC® Triple Strawberry Combo includes Framberry, Pineberry and Strawberry Seaburst berry plants. The Framberry has the appearance of a raspberry and a tangy sweetness. The Pineberry has a striking white colouring and red seeds with a pineapple-like aroma and taste. The Strawberry Seaburst has a traditional sweet and savoury flavour and ability to adapt to conditions, making it easy to grow in your garden all summer long. Try these berries in desserts or salads to wow your company with something different this summer!
There are so many benefits to growing your own edibles at home: cost, exercise, fresh air, nutrition benefits, and the list goes on. Whether you are new to gardening, or an expert, try something new this season.

Herbed Buttermilk Dip
1 tub (500 g) PC Plain 0% M.F. Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup (50 mL) buttermilk
4 tsp (20 mL) finely chopped green onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) each finely chopped fresh basil, chives and parsley
1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) Worcestershire sauce

1. In bowl, stir together yogurt, buttermilk, green onion, basil, chives, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Cover and chill until ready to serve, up to 5 days. Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).
2. Serve with PC Blue Menu Naan or chopped vegetables of choice.
Makes 16 servings
Per serving: 20 calories, fat 0 g, sodium 95 mg, fibre 1 g, protein 3 g
Recipe source:

Jillian Reid is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Have a nutrition question? Want to book a free appointment or educational store tour for yourself or your community group or business? Contact me by phone at (506) 866-2115 or by email at

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