Terra Organics Superfoods Series
Superfood #4: Microgreens
We’re excited to offer microgreens for the first time this week! Smaller than baby greens, but harvested later than sprouts, microgreens are the seedlings of veggies and herbs, usually picked within 2 weeks after germination when they’re 1 to 3 inches high. These petite greens have a higher nutritional density than the mature plants they grow into, so eating just a small amount can have a powerful benefit.
What’s great about microgreens?
Microgreens are known for their high concentrations Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K (good for strong bones!), as well as high levels of antioxidants. Even the microgreens with the lowest value of Vitamin C still had almost twice the level found in tomatoes.
Vitamins C, E, and K are good for the health of your skin and eyes, and are thought to fight cancer as well. Studies have shown microgreens to have 5 times more concentrated nutrients than the matured vegetable (and is some cases much more).
How do I use them at home?
Along with being full of nutrition, microgreens have intense flavor. A little goes a long way. They’re tender and bright, and bring a sense of springtime to your plate, so they’re wonderful used as a garnish. If you have living microgreens in your kitchen, snip them with scissors just above the soil so you can enjoy the stem along with the leaves. They’re beautiful on soup, in your salads, and layered in a sandwich. Cooking isn’t recommended as the water content of these tiny greens is quite high, besides, they’re just so flavorful and easy, you’ll be happy sprinkling them fresh over your meal.
Superfood #3: Kombucha
Many of you already know and love this slighty sparkly probiotic beverage. Vimana Culture in Tacoma is continuing a 2,000 year old tradition of brewing this delicious, slightly sweet, vinegary, fermented tea and it's a pleasure to see their flavors change with the seasons. You might be adding probiotics to your diet through yogurt, or kefir. Kombucha is another good source for probiotics, which aid in gut health and digestion.
What is it exactly? Kombucha is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast, and sugar to black or green tea. This tea is then fermented. The fermentation process is important to the character of the beverage, developing the light fizz, and the probiotic benefits so wonderful for digestion.
What else is great about kombucha? If the effervescent, earthy tea isn't already getting your interest, you might consider some of its other benefits. Kombucha is high in antioxidants which are good for your immune system. It's an anti-inflammatory so may help prevent pain associated with arthritis. Also, the acetic acid that builds up during fermentation can kill harmful bacteria.
Besides, kombucha is tasty, and due to its popularity, you may be lucky enough to find a local source from a fantastic small business such as Vimana Culture here in Tacoma where they test their kombucha daily for "quality and joyfulness," so drink up.
Superfood #2: Watercress
A delicate name for a cruciferous veggie that packs nutrient dense power; watercress is ranked #1 by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of what they call “power house fruits and vegetables.” The study evaluated over 40 fruits and veggies seeking to help guide consumers toward foods that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. A healthy dose of watercress in your diet may also guard against osteoporosis and anemia. When you eat watercress, you’re getting iron, fiber, riboflavin, and vitamins B6, B12, C, and K!
What’s it like?
Watercress is in the cruciferous (or brassica) family with other veggies you may know better, like kale, broccoli, arugula, and Brussels sprouts. It’s a peppery, tangy, leafy green that can be found growing wild in watery areas, as well as on farms.
It’s best eaten very fresh, but can be stored for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. You could wrap it in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag, or store it like a bouquet in a glass of water with a plastic bag fairly loose over the top.
How to eat it:
You’ll have no trouble fitting watercress into your meals!
Soup: Puree watercress with a soup of pears, leeks, butter, and stock.
Salads: Serve on its own with just a light dressing, or try it as an alternative to the familiar basil in a colorful tomato, watercress, mozzarella caprese.
Sandwiches: Layer it in where you’d put your lettuce, or feature it with just a bit of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper (tea time anyone?).
Pesto: Process watercress with nuts and cheese for a nice sauce.
Saute: Use in place of other greens in a stir fry, or sautéed with butter and radishes.
If you like a bit of fresh, peppery bite, this beautiful green will be welcome at your table!
Superfood #1: Fresh Turmeric
It’s 2017, a new month, and a new year, so let’s be engaged in our health and find the encouragement and nutrition we need to take care of ourselves (steamy turmeric tea, or creamy curry sauce anyone?). Terra welcomes fresh turmeric to our store for the first time as we refocus on health and nutrition this new year; join us!
It’s an anti-inflammatory, an excellent source of iron, and is a powerful antioxidant that potentially fights cancer and heart attacks. It’s also good for an upset stomach and heartburn. Besides, it provides a beautiful sunshine glow to rice dishes, smoothies, tea, soup, and dressings.
You’ll recognize it from curry dishes and satays. It’s described as bright, aromatic, mild, and peppery. Turmeric is a favorite in foodie destinations such as Portland, our neighbor to the south, and it’s been used in eastern cooking for centuries.
Storage and Preparation
You may want to wear gloves when using fresh turmeric as it will lend the same golden orange color to your skin as it does to the foods you prepare with it. Store it in the refrigerator and expect it to keep for a couple of weeks. If spoiling occurs in a small spot, you can simply cut that off and continue using it. Like ginger, you’ll want to peel turmeric with a veggie peeler or spoon before grating, or slicing for use.
So, what do you do with it?
Smoothies: Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of grated turmeric to a smoothie, especially one with yellow tones which the turmeric can brighten.
Tea: Steep slices of turmeric root with its cousin fresh ginger for an evening tea.
Rice: Peel, place in a garlic press, and press over steamed rice to create golden rice.
Soup: Add to pureed soups such as cauliflower, carrot, or parsnip.
Dressings: Turmeric is also nice added to dressings and veggie dips, such as savory yogurt dips. Bring on the veggies!
We hope it will brighten your day!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ADD TURMERIC TO YOUR ORDER