Let chives, the bulbous plants of the Lily family (related to the onion), bring cheer to mothers all over on Mother’s Day.

Many of us prize the beauty of chives as attractive borders or edging plants in gardens and in sunny windowsills. By mid-summer we appreciate its showy violet flowers, which appear atop its tall and slender stems. The great herb offers many amazing benefits.

Decorative Uses

Dried: Chives dry beautifully to create a strikingly decorative arrangement. Herbal craft books provide specific drying methods.

Fresh: Cut a few long stemmed blossoms and pop into your favorite vase for a joyful kitchen display.

Healthy for You 

An outstanding herb for health, chives contain healthy antioxidants, are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and are rich in iron and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. Low in sodium and cholesterol, the herb also provides a pungent volatile oil, laden with sulphur compounds that may offer antibiotic properties.

Kitchen

Not only do chives offer beauty and nutritious worth, but more notably chives provide zest to an array of foods. What would a bake potato be without a sprinkle of chives? It would be like showing up for a party unclothed!

In the kitchen, chives are popular for their culinary uses and make an ideal spice. The aromatic chive adds a mild garlicky, pepper-type flavor to a wide-range of culinary delights. Beverly Lynn Bennett, Vegan Chef in Eugene Oregon and coauthor of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living comments, “Chives are very easy to use in recipes, most often with potatoes, creamy sauces, and light dishes. In recipes they easily substitute for green onions using 1/4 or 1/3 of the amount called for.”

Culinary Endeavors

Chives are best when used fresh. Snip and freeze (in ice cube trays or bags) for later use since the herb loses its flavor when dried. “Chives can easily be grown indoors in a flower pot, snipped into small pieces, used in long lengths for contrast, and their beautiful purple flowers make lovely garnishes,” explains Bennett. “Some people like to finely chop chives with a knife, while others find a pair of kitchen scissors easier and more fun.”

In celebration of kind and caring Mothers, set this wonderful dip out on the table in a flash. Click ‘Next Page’ for the recipe and enjoy!

Garden Green Goddess Dip 

Recipe created by Vegan Chef, Beverly Lynn Bennett (visit: veganchef.com).

This flavorful and vibrant dip gets its hue from an assortment of green
herbs and veggies like spinach, avocado, green onion, chives, parsley,
dill, and some soy yogurt to give a light and creamy texture. Definitely a
healthier option for dipping your veggies or crackers into than the typical
spinach dip or ranch dressing, and deliciously proves that avocadoes can be
used for more than just making guacamole. Feel free to add a little extra
contrasting color to your presentation by placing carrots slices around the
edge of your dip and scattering chopped red pepper over the top.

1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
8 oz. spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and destemmed
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup loose parsley, washed well
1/4 cup chives, sliced
1 T. freshly chopped dill
1 T. lime juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. hot sauce, of choice
8 oz. plain vegan soy yogurt

In a non-stick skillet, saute the green onion and garlic in the olive oil
for 2 minutes to soften. Add the spinach and continue to saute until the
spinach just wilts. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool
completely. Transfer the spinach mixture to a food processor. Add the
remaining ingredients, except the vegan yogurt, and process for 2-3 minutes
or until smooth. Add the vegan yogurt and process well to combine. Taste
and add additional salt, hot sauce, or lime juice, to taste. Transfer the
mixture to a glass bowl, cover, and chill for 30 minutes to allow the
flavors to blend. Serve as an appetizer with raw vegetables, bread slices,
crackers, or chips, or use as a condiment on sandwiches, cooked vegetables,
or grains.

Gift Options

•    The Cook’s Cupboard Herb Collection (includes chives); www.burpee.com

•    Growing & Using Chives: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-225 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) (Paperback) by Juliette Rogers; www.amazon.com

•    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano; www.amazon.com