Sunday, December 18, 2016
Winter doesn’t mean you can’t eat fresh, nutrition packed greens. There are many that grow well indoors and many different ways of growing them.
Something easy and nutritious are sprouts. I bought a simple, inexpensive sprout grower. You can get seeds on line and in many grocery stores, nurseries, and big box hardware stores. I like buying a seed mix so I get a nice variety of taste and nutrition.
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition and so easy to grow. There are all kinds of seed sprouting kits out there. The one I have that I really like is 3 levels so you can have one that is fully sprouted that you are using with 2 in various stages of growth so you always have a ready supply of sprouts.
With a simple sprout grower, you can have nutritious sprouts of many different veggies, beans, and/or grasses in 3-5 days. All you do is put a teaspoon of seeds in the grower and water it twice daily.
Sprouts are great on salads, in eggs, or just as a quick snack. They are a beautiful garnish on any dish.
Microgreens are also very easy to grow indoors. You can get variety seed packets of microgreens anywhere they sell seeds or on line. You can reuse a plastic salad container or seed flat to use as a pot. Just add potting soil, sprinkle the seeds down as instructed on the seed packet, tamp down gently, water, place in a sunny window and you will have microgreens in 10-21 days, depending on the variety. To speed up sprouting, you can use a warming mat to boost the soil temperature. Once sprouted, just cut with scissors and use or place in a glass jar in the refrigerator for keeping.
If there are still seeds visible after your initial harvest, you can wait and see if they will sprout or go ahead and start your next batch of microgreens. I would compost the used soil and start with fresh to keep the chance for any soil diseases to develop. Be sure to sanitize your growing container before adding new soil and seeds.
Wheat grass is another great edible. I put it on salads. You can also juice it. Wheat grass is a great alkalizer. Today’s diet is so acidic. Basically anything we eat besides leafy greens and some other vegetables are acidic. Your body’s blood pH must stay between 7.35-7.45; anything above 7.0 is alkaline. Wheat grass helps balance your pH. Wheat grass is also a purifier of the blood. There are wheat grass growing kits too. Or you can use an old salad tub that you fill with potting soil and grow them right in the salad tub or seedling flat.
Sprouts and microgreens mirror the taste of their grown counterparts. Here are some reco's based on taste:
Spicy-mustards, arugula, radishes, sorrel, cress, basil, oregano
Mild-amaranth, chard, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, beets, kale
You wouldn't want to grow as sprouts varieties that produce a really thick stem like squash or melons. These will just be chewy.
If you like to add color (which also adds different nutrients), be sure to include varieties like purple amaranth, neon chard, red kale, red varieties of mustard (Ruby Streaks, Giant Red), red-veined sorrel, red beets, purple basil, or many more.
So, if you are wanting some fresh, nutritious, home grown food, it is super easy to grow any of these indoors year round!