Can we Eat Healthier in Winter?
By Rob Sproule
“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
““ Doug Larson
“Can you pass the cake?”:
Baby it’s cold outside!
We reach for the comfort foods in winter, and why not? Our minds are telling us to curl up and be cozy. Our bodies are telling us to store fat to survive the winter. And our touch-of-the-winter-blues is telling us that carbs, well, just make us happy.
Microgreens have more nutrition per pound than, well, anything. (Even more than sprouts!) Buying them is expensive; but growing them is cheap. All you need is a south facing window, any old container and a bit of potting soil. The seeds aren’t expensive, especially if you buy larger packs to keep in the fridge.
We’re still going to reach for the leftover shortbread and the pasta. When the mercury plunges, it’s just what we’re going to do. But supplementing nutrient rich greens will give us an extra energy boost, help fight off those winter colds, and provide our body with more of what it needs to stay vital until spring. And when it comes to beating the winter blues, they can be a great mood-booster as well.
You’ll need some seeds. Microgreens are common plants, grown in the common way, and simply harvested before they’re mature. Avoid fancy seed mixes with cute little names. Buy big packs of common varieties like:
There’s nothing fancy about these greens. Try to get big bulk packs (easy to find in the spring) and store them in the fridge. If you have leftover seeds from last year, try them out.
Find a container. This won’t cost you a dime. Dig that old plastic clamshell out of the recycling or cut the bottom chunk off your milk carton. You need a few inches of soil and drainage holes. Avoid anything that’s been painted on the inside.
Sow them thickly. Here’s a tip: the gap between seeds should match the width of the seeds. It shouldn’t be time consuming; just sprinkle them and avoid seeds piling up. Cover with a layer of potting mix that is, again, about the width of the seeds.
Water gently (invest in a showerhead for your watering can) until it’s coming out the bottom. Keep evenly moist for a couple of weeks and harvest when they’re a few inches high. Leave an inch at the bottom. The seed will keep growing after harvest, and you might get another crop.
Best Microgreens to Grow:
There’s a microgreen for almost every vitamin. If you’re craving Vitamins C, K, and E, reach for red cabbage, garnet amaranth, or daikon radishes. Daikons make a spicy sandwich.
Cilantro is rich in lutien and beta-carotene, which are important for eyes, skin, and cancer prevention. Peppery arugula is packed with calcium and the folate in chard helps aid in keeping pregnancies healthy.
Vitamins and flavour are more concentrated in microgreens than they are in mature veggies. Everything is intense, fresh, and packs up to 40X the nutritional value per pound as compared to mature plants.