#FoodFocus – Micro Greens – Pea Shoots

Micro greens intrigue me. So I decided I would try my hand at growing some. I started out with some harvested nasturtium seeds as well as a packet of peas and chives. Since the weather in my neck of the woods is still gorgeous, I could sow them, cover and leave them out in the sunshine. Well, it didn’t take the peas very long to germinate! The nasturtium are coming; the chives are still hiding 😉  I used open pollinated Heirloom pea seeds. Remember also that organic and untreated seeds are best!

I am a huge fan of cooking shows and cooking competitions. I am mesmerized by how absolutely stunning some of the dishes are plated. The ones that I seem to really take notice of are the ones with tiny shoots or leaves of some green or another. As I began researching micro greens, I realized that these tiny plants beautifully adorning these culinary creations are actually nutrient powerhouses! That’s why I had to grow some of my own! Now I wonder why it has taken me so long to discover this.

So here’s what I’ve learned from  (Hannigan, n.d):

  • First, the definition of a micro green: It is a universal term for any green vegetable or herb that has edible leaves and is harvested when the first set of true leaves sprout, the cotyledon growth stage.
  • Micro greens are different from sprouts as they are grown in soil whereas sprouts use only water.
  • They have more nutrients than sprouts because they absorb more minerals from the soil and also undergo more photosynthesis.
  • Micro greens have a very intense flavour of the original vegetable.
  • Some popular micro greens are leafy greens like kale, arugula, chard and herbs including basil, cilantro and chives.
  • Their nutritional content is a much more concentrated version of the original plant.

 

pea-shoots
Pea Shoots

I am SO excited about my pea shoots!! These are only 7 days after they were sown. The tiny tendrils are starting to appear!

What a difference a day makes! Here they are at 8 days.

pea-shoots-8-days
Pea Shoots at 8 days germination

 

I look forward to sharing some simple ways to include these amazing little greens in your meal planning!

 

Works Cited

Hannigan, I. (n.d). What Are the Health Benefits of Microgreens? Retrieved from SFGATE: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-microgreens-1456.html

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