Thursday, January 31, 2013

The World's Healthiest Food, Are You Eating It?


Clients often mention in their sessions that they need “new foods”. I’m the first to suggest a new recipe, or interesting combination but remind them there aren’t necessarily new fruits and vegetables. Except when there are. Six months ago I didn’t know about microgreens, they were new to me and I was hearing about them everywhere. On one hand, I  was excited and wanted to try them immediately but then there's always that inner cynic wondering could they live up to the hype? Turns out they do.

Microgreens are harvested less than two weeks after germination. When it comes to greens, immaturity is a virtue as research (yes actual research, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, take that)  has shown they are four to forty times more nutritious than mature greens.  Do not insult microgreens confusing them with sprouts, they are grown differently and taste differently. My CSA, Rustic Roots, started offering microgreens from Good Water Farms.  Good Water Farms is in East Hampton and is and operated by Brendan Davison, and Marsha and Nick LaTessa. I asked Emer from Rustic Root if she’d answer a few burning microgreen questions for me.

Where did micro greens come from/why are we suddenly hearing about them? 
Microgreeens are quickly becoming a go to food for many health conscious people. Because of the intense process of farming them, they are expensive but many higher-end food outlets have begun supplying them. The reason you are hearing about them is because they are a powerful source of nutrients with a tremendous amount of flavor.

Do all greens come "micro"?
You can grow all greens micro but some have more flavor than others. We are loving the Kale, Arugula, Purple Basil, Sunflower, Pea Tendril, Radish and Broccoli micros.

My son asked, "can you do a whole salad micro"? I had salmon burger with micro kale and avocado; the boys used them as their burger topping. They loved that they were the healthiest vegetable to eat.
Lauren, I let Brendan from Good Water Farms answer this question. He said “of course you can do a whole salad of micros, we do every night. You hardly need dressing, a little balsamic and a touch of feta makes an awesome salad that is tasty and super nutritious. Your boys using them on burgers is great. Try to see if they will take to them being added to their sandwiches too. Kids love them, and think they are "cool".  My daughter is like a little cow, she just grazes all day on them. Microgreens are the answer to get your kids to eat their veggies, period!"

Is it worth it to juice microgreens?
Some NYC juicing stores are using radish and kale in their microgreen elixirs.  They can also used best in smoothies.

Do they spoil faster/are they more perishable?
They have a solid 10-day shelf life once they are cut. Surprisingly, a small 4oz container will last you a few meals too.

Thank you Emer, other "micro" ideas I found, a microgreen pesto, a micro salad with a curry vinaigrette, I can see adding some microgreens to soup at the end of cooking or since the flavor is mild even baking with them. I'm excited to tell my clients about this new superfood. 
Have you heard of microgreens? Seen them in stores? Or on menus? If these are new to you are you excited to try or skeptical? What is your favorite "new" food or food you're enjoying more lately?


22 comments:

  1. Lauren - such a great post! Love microgreens - and I tried a kale version this weekend (of course)! 2 Guys From Woodbridge and Windfall Farms at UnSq Greenmarket have an amazing selection. As for "new" foods, not really "new" but I have somehow become obsessed with chia - especially breakfast "pudding" (fresh almond milk, cinnamon, stevia, chia. Blend blend blend. Done.)

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  2. Who knew being immature could be a benefit?! :) I hadn't really heard about these (much) before, so thanks for the info Lauren. I think before I considered them similar to sprouts...ooops!

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  3. Seems, when young you have all the things (nutrients) you need in a small package, hmn maybe we are like our vegetables after all. Not sprouts...now you know.

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  4. try cacao in that chia jen, also a vanilla bean when making almond milk elevates it to a whole other level. Will get myself down to union square soon.

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  5. Yum! Micro greens are delish. But they ain't cheap! I had an awkward micro green shopping experience at the USQ farmer's market. There is a stand there often, or at least there was one there last year, and I saw the cute, adorable, greens and went crazy, loaded up a bag. Got to the cashier and she say's, "$40". My head exploded. I didn't look at the price before loading up. Needless to say I ate microgreens with every meal that week. I guess you don't expect greens to be pricier than organic meat....

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  6. I love hearing about new foods so this is right up my alley. I have heard of microgreens before but never really knew much about them. This has inspired me to give them a try though. We have a big salad for dinner usually one night a week (and I put one together at that time for lunch the next day) so I certainly have a use for some salad greens. Depending on the actual price I may just mix in some micros with the regular greens for a nutrient burst, but this is definitely worth a try.



    I'm interested to try micro kale - I have tried kale raw in a salad and wasn't crazy about it, I prefer it cooked. But maybe the micro variety will have a different taste so I'm looking forward to trying that. Fun to change things up once in a while!

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  7. Eager to try! Where can we get them/when are they in season? Farmer's Markets only? Recipes? Thanks for the tip!

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  8. Natalie Wessel, CSCSJanuary 31, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Or you can just grow them yourself (and save a lot of money), reusing a plastic salad container + seeds + potting soil. Only takes about 10 days. Here's an article from Organic Gardening with easy instructions to grow your own window garden of micro-greens. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/growing-microgreens-indoors.

    And here is a link to a place that sells microgreen "kits" with dirt and seeds included. Fun to do with kids, too. http://www.growingmicrogreens.com/microgreen-kits

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  9. Great interview! I haven't gotten around to trying microgreens yet, but now it's definitely on the grocery list. Have you tried juicing with them?

    PS - I love the nut box that you're selling in your online shop. So great for portion control!!

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  10. something kathy hasn't tried? I'm shocked, you better get on it. As for the nutcase, clients are loving we have them in our online store too.

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  11. Natalie, thank you for this. Full disclosure I came across a lot of sites to grow your own while researching. I'm such a hopeless "grower" that I left our but thank you for reminding me.

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  12. microgreens are great now when many greens are not in season. Farmers' markets and good markets have them. Use as you would any salad green (each has a different taste), as a topping or in the pesto I linked to.

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  13. much more mild taste and texture micro kale versus old kale, enjoy and let me know.

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  14. the food that gives me the most register shock is wild salmon. I still buy it. Funny micro moment cameo.

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  15. Andrea@WellnessNotesFebruary 1, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    I think I have heard about microgreens, but I have never paid attention... Now I will! And I love the comment below that mentions you can grow them yourself. I'll have to look into that!

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  16. www.thedomesticatedwolf.comFebruary 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Both the microgreen pesto and micro salad sound amazing...definitely will try! I am also fascinated by micro kale - I must find this!

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  17. cool and keep hearing about them looking forward to growing more greens

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  18. I've been enjoying micro greens for awhile now (Did I really get on a trend before you?? :-). Love, love, love them! My favorite is a micro green sandwich-Drizzle some olive oil on bread, spread some avocado on, and then pile it high with micro greens. Since my kids are fairly greens adverse unless on a Caesar salad, or maybe on a turkey sandwich I hadn't thought to serve them, but maybe they can get in to these mini greens...maybe for my next gardening project!

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  19. I find it hard to believe your kids are antigreen, ironic-no? and yes you pre-greened me with the micros. EA is trendy after all.

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  20. it's delicious and does last over a week. Let me know what you pin down "wolf"

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  21. would've been good on your cleanse Andrea.

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  22. you grow them, I'll buy them.

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