This winter we invite everyone to consider using our locally grown organic pea shoots and/or mizuna as your go-to choice for leafy greens. We chose these varieties for nutrient density, sustainability and regenerative agriculture principles.
From November to March everything at Sunrise Gardens is grown under lights in our indoor facility, known as ‘the shop’. The pea seeds come from local sources, reducing transportation costs and fossil fuel use. Peas also contribute to soil health, and we compost the roots and soil for reuse. Pea shoots are ready to harvest in 7 to 10 days, and thus are low in electricity requirements. Mizuna is the only leafy green we know of that is ready to harvest in 2 weeks. That reduces one entire week of the electricity that is needed to grow other greens, like baby kale. Mizuna is grown in composted peat, which reduces our overall peat usage and increases sustainability while reducing waste.
Pea shoots are delicious, crunchy and sweet as freshly picked peas out of the garden. Pea shoots, like all shoots, are very nutritious and a good source for antioxidants. Antioxidants are involved in plant structures and help to prevent cell damage. Pea shoots are excellent as a salad green substitute, cut bit size. They can also be used in sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, and wilted under entrees like meat or tofu.
Mizuna (Brassica juncea v. japonica) is a member of the notoriously nutritious Brassica family. Also known as water greens and kyona, it is a long-lasting, mild and slightly sweet tasting and delicious green that is an excellent substitute for lettuce and spinach. Mizuna enjoys cool and moist growing conditions, and is ideal to grow indoors or in the cooler portions of the growing season. In mild climates mizuna can be grown outdoors in the winter.
The antioxidant vitamin C is an essential nutrient that has an important role in immune function and helps to prevent damage to cell structures, reported in mg/100g. Pea shoots are a good source of vitamin C and have almost double the amount as mature spinach leaves or about as much as an orange. Mizuna has comparable levels of vitamin C to a serving of strawberries.
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) is required for blood coagulation and bone metabolism, it is most abundant in dark green leafy vegetables, reported in µg/100g. Pea shoots contain comparable amounts of vitamin K as mature spinach leaves, considered an excellent source of vitamin K. Mizuna is a good source of vitamin K.
The carotenoids (beta carotene/ vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin) are fat soluble antioxidants that protect cellular structures from damage, reported in mg/100g. The beta-carotene content of pea shoots is comparable to that of carrots and sweet potato, both are well known as good sources of beta-carotene. Lutein/zeaxanthin are carotenoids that act to help prevent age-related eye degeneration and cataract. Pea shoots contain high amounts of lutein/zeaxanthin. Violaxanthin is a carotenoid found in the photosynthetic organs of plants, and pea shoots are an excellent source. Mizuna is a good source of all of these carotenoids.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant involved in immune function and other important metabolic processes, reported in mg/100g. Pea shoots contain more vitamin E than a serving of almonds and an equivalent amount as sunflower seeds. Mizuna is also a good source of vitamin E, containing over 10 times more vitamin E than spinach.
|Plant Species||Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)||Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||Carotenoid (Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A)||Carotenoid (Lutein/ Zeaxanthin)||Carotenoid (Violaxanthin)||Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)|
|Mizuna||2.0 µg/100g||42.9 mg/100g||7.6 mg/100g||5.2 mg/100g||2.4 mg/100g||25.0 mg/100g|
|Pea Shoots||3.1 µg/100g||50.5 mg/100g||8.2 mg/100g||7.3 mg/100g||3.9 mg/100g||35.0 mg/100g|
National Institutes of Health, Health Information, Vitamin A. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
National Institutes of Health, Health Information, Vitamin C. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
National Institutes of Health, Health Information, Vitamin E. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
National Institutes of Health, Health Information, Vitamin K. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22 (2009)
Xiao, Z., Lester, G. E., Luo, Y., & Wang, Q. (2012). Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: edible microgreens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(31), 7644-7651.