Posts Tagged ‘Micro greens’

Spring into Sprouts! Earth Day Every Day

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

 

One of the Many Earth Day Logos

Sprouting is a great project to delve into, especially if you have no backyard garden to plant flowers and veggies. We have a patio, and my husband plants the flowers while I grow the herbs and some veggies. But “baby greens,” also called spoil sprouts, gourmet sprouts, or micro-greens can be done on your windowsill. By sprouting organic seeds, you are growing locally and organically. How good is that?

 

Ready to harvest! Sunflower on the left and buckwheat on the right.

Tools: Bowls for soaking seeds, strainers, small plastic tubs, organic garden soil, paper towels, dark plastic bags,

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Find some small containers, such as tubs from strawberries, tofu, or other foods that come in plastic containers. Wash and dry and fill with potting soil. (I buy organic soil from a local nursery and also may be able to obtain composted soil.)
  2. Soak about 1/2 cup of seeds of choice in jars or bowls overnight. Next day, strain and leave in the strainer to sprout a little before planting, maybe one or to days, rinsing the seeds at least once each day. You may not see any “tails” yet.
  3. On the second or third day, fill the tubs with soil and add water to soil to moisten. Spread the seeds onto the soil, shoulder-to-shoulder, that is, don’t worry about spacing. Moisten a piece of paper towel twice the size of the tub and fold in half over the seeds.  Moisten the paper towel. Cover with a dark plastic bag and tie off the end and then place on a warm windowsill. Check in 24 hours. If the paper towel is dry, moisten and place tub back in its mini-greenhouse.
  4. In 3 or 4 days you should see the black plastic looking higher than when you first planted the seeds. Time to remove the paper towel and black plastic and let the seeds sprout on your windowsill, giving them some water at least every other day or every day is the temperature on the sill dries out the soil.

Here are the micro-greens while they are still growing.
The black hulls are beginning to fall off.

5. By the time one week has passed, more or less depending on the temperature on your sill and whether or not it is a sunny window, the hulls will probably fall off by themselves and land on your windowsill, so putting a small tray under the tubs may be a good idea.

6. You can start cutting down the tallest sprouts and let the shorter ones come up now that they are not “shaded” by the earlier sprouts. The ones you cut down will not grow back, but you will get a second harvest from the shorter ones that were shaded by the earlier sprouts.

7. The micro-greens are full of nutrients, since if they were placed in the ground, they would become plants. And since they are eaten raw, none of the nutrients are destroyed, so only cut down what you can use each day, keeping them “alive” in the soil.

Add micro-greens to salads, sandwiches, as garnish for soups, sprinkled on celery stuffed with nut butters, in wraps and just to munch on!

 

This is a cooking-by-the-strings of your apron recipe, because a lot depends on the house temperature, the quality of the seeds, and “getting to know” what the seedlings need. I also soaked and planted peas to make pea shoots, and they spoiled before they sprouted and I had to compost them. So don;t worry if the first couple of times you have problems. You can email me at: menupause.info@gmail with questions.

 

National Gardening Week

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Since this is National Gardening Week, I thought I would post a photo of my patio garden, as I do almost every year, and feature an herbal salad dressing, using the chives you see in the large bin on the right. This plant comes up every year and stays viable for cutting into November, so it is the one herb I can count on.

But first, I want to invite you to go online to read Lisa Scottoline’s latest Chick Wit column in The Philadelphia Inquirer: Live, Life, Love section from Sunday, June 4th. In this week’s witty column entitled “I’m all (green) thumbs,” the lawyer turned writer riffs about middle-aged forgetfulness: “Welcome to gardening for the middle-aged, where you can’t remember what you planted….I did make a map of the garden, but I can’t remember where I put it.” Perfect!Fortunately, my patio garden is small enough that I don’t forget where I planted an herb, but then again, I am always misplacing the seeds somewhere in the house.

In Dr. Douillard’s (www.lifespa.com) list of plants, with their color, bloom time, taste and fragrance, CHIVES are listed as being in their prime in May and June, although my chives seem to be vibrant from spring through fall. My plant is green; however, the chart lists red to lavender to purple with a strong onion taste.

Here is a spring salad with my chive dressing. Enjoy the tangy taste. The dressing is almost the same color as the lettuce, so it’s hard to see, but you will definitely taste it, especially is you use half an organic lemon with the skin still on, instead of the juice of half a lemon.

Chive Alive! Dressing for Spring Salad

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, blender or food processor, bowl for tossing, serving bowl, container (ex. cream pitcher) for dressing.
Prep. Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan

Ingredients

Dressing

1/2 organic lemon, chopped into small pieces
(Note: You may also just squeeze the juice of half a lemon)
1/2 cup cold water
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (start with 1/4 cup)
I peeled garlic clove

Salad (Feel free to use your own salad items.)

3-4 cups (or 1/2 head) salad greens (I used red-tipped Romaine)
slivers of radicchio
4-5 slices of leek
1/2  peeled avocado, sliced into bite-sized pieces
salt & pepper to taste (optional)
sprouts or micro greens for garnish and flavor

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, place chopped up lemon or lemon juice, cold water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and peeled garlic clove and blend until lemon pieces are well macerated. If too thick, add more olive oil and buzz again. (This depends on the size of your lemon and how thick or thin you like your dressing and whether or not you use whole lemon skins or just the juice.) Set aside.
  2. Wash and dry greens. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Sliver the radicchio, slice the leek (white part mostly) and peel and slice the avocado. Toss, adding salt and pepper, if using. Place in an attractive serving bowl or on a flat platter.
  3. Right before serving, toss salad with a small amount of the dressing. Garnish with sprouts. Place extra dressing in a serving container for guests to add as needed.

    Variations: Substitute organic lime for lemon or a little of each. Add feta cheese in small pieces. Yield: One head of lettuce serves 8 people, so if you use half a head, you have four servings.