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HOW AND WHY I GREW MICROGREENS, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO !

Growing Superfoods at your home were never easier.


My Introduction into Microgreens

My story for this started a while ago when a local Microgreens company reached out to me and sent me some microgreens to try and share on my Instagram. At that time, I was not a frequent user of Microgreens. I knew that it was nutritious and aesthetically pleasing on a dish, and it could bring quite a bit of flavor to the dish. So I made some of our meals and incorporated these tiny little plants into my dishes, and my family loved the taste of it, as I could bring pronounced flavors to dishes. I loved Microgreens, as the versatility was astounding; If I wanted a hit of peppery flavor in the dish, I could just put some arugula microgreens, and If I wanted a hint of nuttiness in each bite I could just finish it with sprigs of Alfalfa. So I thanked the local Microgreen company that sent me some, Instagrammed it, and went on about my business. Time passed by and I got tempted to start using Microgreens in my dishes again, as they are simply wonderful, but the gardener in my mind started to get curious about growing these wonderful super-greens.

 




The reason why I thought about growing Microgreens

You may know me as a passionate gardener, and you are right. I love nature and growing anything, but the place I live, we happen to have 4 seasons resulting in the need to replant everything in the spring. So, in the summer and the spring, I can grow anything at home outdoors , but once winter comes around I cannot do it anymore. I especially love growing fresh greens to incorporate into my family’s diet for the wonderful health and flavor. So that left me with one option, and that was to grow inside my home, and this got me thinking about growing microgreens at home. The benefit was that If I grew inside, I can grow year-around, and winter would not be a roadblock. I did some research and found out that there are hundreds of varieties of Microgreens that I could grow, and many were not even available at the store.


Why I grew Microgreens inside, and why I chose to do it this way

Now technically, you can grow anything inside your home, be it regular Greens or Microgreens or even full plants, but some facts led me to find out that Microgreens are extremely easy to grow hydroponically. You can grow many plants hydroponically, but some plants grow easier than others in this method, and in the case of Microgreens, you do not need fancy equipment or grow lights to get started. The benefit of growing hydroponically is that you do not need soil or fertilizer, and that makes growing it a no-mess job. Another benefit of growing hydroponically is that replanting is even easier, just throw the paper towel away (or compost it), and you can start all over. As I said before, growing microgreens inside makes weather a non-issue and I love how it brightens the space and looks so natural. Growing anything inside your house automatically makes it a piece of functional-decor:)

I will be showing you how to grow regular non-microgreens in your home hydroponically as well, without fancy equipment in a following post. Also, this process is extremely fun, and It’s a wonderful activity to do with your kids as well.


Why you should incorporate Microgreens into your diet

With all that fun stuff out of the way, let’s get into how I grew microgreens and how you can too!


The Materials Necessary

If you were not aware before, let me debase the facts. Microgreens are very healthy, and depending on the variety have a plethora of health benefits. Some of the top microgreens that are extremely healthy include Arugula, Kale, Amaranth, Broccoli, Chia, Radish, Mustard, etc. More importantly, when some of these greens have a Macro (Larger Full size) type, you might wonder how are the smaller Microgreens any better in terms of health to its larger cousin?

According to sources, Microgreens are healthier than their Macro-cousin. Studies show microgreens typically are more nutrient-dense compared to their larger cousins. I will link a study here. I will also be doing another article soon, with more data on these comparisons as the information on the nutrient content of microgreens is quite fascinating. However, a consideration to be made is that putting Microgreens on top of unhealthy food doesn’t make it necessarily healthy, but it will enhance the taste.

 There are a couple of things to get started.


You’ll need-

Kitchen Paper Towels

Small Plastic and wooden containers, I will elaborate on this

Seeds and Grains- I will elaborate on this

Water and preferably a sprayer

With that out of the way, let’s get started!

Step 1- Pick your containers


Containers are very important in the process of growing microgreens in your house. The container facilitates growth, passively maintains the moistness that is integral to the growth of your Microgreens. You can choose many types of containers, but I recommend clear plastic containers for small seed microgreens. An example would be the clear disposable plastic box that Costco packs their strawberries inside. I would choose disposable clear plastic containers, as you want to be able to poke holes into this, big enough for water to flow through. To poke holes, I would simply heat a thin knife or fork on the stove, and then poke the plastic with that. These containers never have to be new, and all the containers you see in my pictures have been recycled numerous times, in the past. For example- the blue container is just an average mushroom container that you see at Costco.

 




    Plastic Containers are fine to use, however you may use foil containers as well if you desire.


Step 2- Kitchen Towel Procedure


This sounds insane, but the medium for growing microgreens is going to be your garden variety kitchen paper-towel. Take 1 sheet that’s big enough for your container, and cut a second one the same size and lay both of them together. Take these two-layers of tissue and dampen them with water, and then lay the wet towel in the container of your choice.


Step 3- Sprinkle The Seeds


The method that I am discussing thus far, pertains to the usage of a smaller variety of seeds. These varieties include flax, chia, mustard, radish, buckwheat, the list continues. Sprinkle your seeds on top of the damp tissue that is laid in the plastic container. It is Imperative to sprinkle evenly, but not sparsely, as this is what can ensure the microgreens will grow evenly like grass.





On the left is flax seeds, that I just sowed. On the right is how the flax will look like when they sprout after a couple of days!


Step 4- Tuck them in their new room




This is the room they will stay in for a bit. A dark cabinet.


At this point, you should lay a damp kitchen towel over the seeds to cover them, and then find a dark place for the whole thing and let it reside there for 3–4 days for it to sprout.


·       Keep the seeds moist. This is where the water sprayer comes in handy, and each day you should check to see if the seeds and tissue are moist. Remember that, seeds need adequate moistness to germinate.


·       If your seeds do not sprout on the 4th day, your seeds may be damaged and be ungrowable. You can give it another day or two, but it is unlikely that it will sprout. Usually, seeds that do not sprout are due to the seeds being old. Buy some brand new seeds and then, try the process all over again.If your seeds have sprouted, you can proceed with the next steps.


      


Use a Sprayer, to keep the seeds moist. Later on, use a sprayer to keep the leaves moist.

These guys are starting to sprout, on the left is Alfalfa, on the top-right is buckwheat, and on the bottom right is a mix of broccoli seeds and flax in one box. Yes, you can mix microgreens seeds, I will elaborate later in the post.

Step 5- Notice the Changes

Around the time that the seeds sprouted, you should start to see tiny yellow leaves forming. This indicates that your seeds are growing correctly. At this point, you should remove the damp tissue that is above the seeds, and move the entire container to an area with indirect sunlight. When the sprouted microgreens get exposed to sunlight, within 60–90 minutes the yellow leaves will become green. This yellow to green conversion is due to Light-Dependent reactions in plant leaves. When the plant is exposed to sunlight, chloroplast’s chlorophyll, start having reactions and green pigmentation occurs. (I know this is a simple explanation, but this isn’t biology class!)



Looky Looky, Yellow Leaves!


I chose a place like this near the windows to keep my microgreens. By the way, the plants in the bowls are greens that are grown hydroponically. A post on how to grow these is coming up soon!

Additionally, to maintain moistness in the paper towel, lay your box of microgreens on top something like a baking tray.




See the baking Tray? That will keep your Microgreens Moist. The varieties shown in the picture from left to right are Chia, Mustard, Flax.


Pour enough water that a thin layer forms underneath the Micro-Green boxes and sides. This will maintain water moistness inside your boxes and paper-towels. Why? Water is a molecule that has the effect of osmosis. Water flows to an area of less water from an area that had more water, so if your box has less water than what the tray has, the micro-greens and the tissue will absorb the water to maintain equilibrium with the tray. Doing this in tandem with spraying the leaves on top will keep your micro-greens spry and tender till you decide to use it.

Step 6- Break-in Point is complete, real growth begins now!

At this point, your micro-greens will start showing real growth in the coming days. When it grows to a length that you like, cut some of it and use it in garnishes, salads, Lentils, sandwiches, and more! 




These are buckwheat microgreens, and they taste AMAZING!

Additional InformationYou can put a variety of different seeds into one growing box to make a medley of grown greens. However, you need to put seeds of similar sizes, so if you want to mix flax with something, mix it with Chia.

Some of the pictures that I have shown in this post have greens that were not covered in the post. These are just regular greens, grown hydroponically. These include the greens in the wooden bowls and many other greens you are going to see in the coming posts.

If you Google online about growing hydroponically, you are going to get an onslaught of products, and methods for growing hydroponically. From my personal experience with growing Microgreens, you do not need any specialized products to grow microgreens and that includes fertilizing the water. However, you can use such products and I will make a post explaining the various tricks on how to use such products to boost the growth.

If you live in area where the tap water is hard water, please use RO (Reverse-Osmosis) water or purified water when watering or sprinkling water in any way when growing microgreens. Hard water may kill your microgreens and render your seeds useless.





Stay tuned on how to grow these!

Once you start growing microgreens in a container and harvesting them, you will eventually run out of microgreens in a container. At that point, ball up the tissue in the bottom, with the unwanted roots, and throw them away. (Of course, this makes for great compost, nothing shall be wasted!) However, remember to recycle the container and use it again to grow more microgreens. The goal is to keep this affordable and sustainable.

 



These Buckwheat Microgreens are dying to be used in a salad.

Final Thoughts



This is how I started growing Microgreens at my house, but this is only a start. In the coming posts, you’re going to see many more interesting methods of growing greens, and microgreens, newer ways to grow, and much more! Stay tuned on my Instagram and comment here if you found this helpful.

 



If you were inspired by this post, and end up growing microgreens or greens at your house like this, please tag me on Instagram, and I will share your pictures on my IG Story. Additionally, once you start incorporating into your dishes tag me as I'd love to see what ways you all come up with.



Here are some pictures of Microgreens used in my dishes!




These are a Mix of Microgreens, and in a dish populated with roasted mushrooms and cheese, this gives a sharp fresh bite that pairs well with the other flavors.




These are Buckwheat Microgreens. In this dish, it gives a delicately sweet and mildly tangy flavor that helps cut through the salty cheese and pesto in this dish.





The Microgreens used in this Picture are Flax. It gives a fresh a subtle bite, that compliments well with the deep flavors of the Egg and Tomato.


THANKS FOR READING AND STAY TUNED !

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KITCHEN ORGANIZATION MY WAY I


Hi all, 

I get lots and lots of requests to show my kitchen.  I like to do a video but not soon, I promise will do it.  Before showing the full kitchen tour, let me share some pictures of my kitchen cabinets one by one. What makes a kitchen great is not so much about the space, it’s about how you organize it.  I am not an expert in everything but try my best to keep it organized the way I love , it makes my cooking easy even in the busy mornings.

I don't have a big pantry but I do have lots of kitchen cabinets so I arranged things grouped based on my usage.  Also my kitchen is not a modular kitchen (wish I had), it is absolutely traditional design.  “Make it work with what you have”

Here is how my nuts/smoothie cabinet/healthy snack cabinet looks like... Since we enjoy having lots of smoothie/ bowls, overnight oats etc. I have clubbed those related things along with nuts that are used for baking, honey/sweetener and also some bread spread.  I tried to put all those related things in one cabinet. 




I usually buy nuts in small quantities and refill them when they run out. 

Container Used :


I will not say my kitchen is zero percent plastic.. I try to keep plastics at a very minimum.
The glass containers are from Home goods and TJ maxx.



What is inside the Cabinet ? 

First Rack from the top :

1. Organic molasses
2. Honey with comb
3. Brown rice syrup
4. Peanut butter
5. Mulberry
6. Chocolate hazelnut spread
7.Date sugar
8. Date syrup
9. Homemade hot chocolate mix
10. Edible gum

Second Rack

1. Cashew nuts
2. Almonds
3. Walnut
4. Pepitas/ Pumpkin seed
5. Pecans
6. Dates

Third Rack

1. Flax seed
2. Goji berry
3. Hemp
4. Cocoa nibs
5. Chia
6. Coconut sugar
5. Red dates/jujube

Apart from those above nuts , other nuts and fruits like pistachio, Hazelnut, Sunflower seeds, bee pollen etc. are stored in the freezer and few dry fruits (which I rarely use) like dried apricot, raisins, cranberry etc. are refrigerated to keep them fresh.




Few of the packages I keep them this way and place them behind the bottles. These are nicely sealed so I don't transfer them to bottles.

Packages :

Raw Cacao powder
Raw  Cacao Paste
Raw Cocoa butter
Super 5 Grass juice blend

Above things are ordered from Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed this post... will try to post more ...so stay tuned.

Do shoot your  queries in the comment section. Let me know what do you love to see from my kitchen?  Will post one by one. 



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