Being a certified organic farm that specializes in year-round greens, we get a lot of questions! There are a lot of people that are new to the microgreen world and want to know more about how to use them, what their nutritional value are and how long they last. Here are some of the questions we get asked most frequently.
Why choose sprouts, shoots and microgreens?
They are flavourful, nutritious, certified organic and locally grown and processed.
The early stage of plant growth at harvest makes them high in vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins that act as part of the plant structure and protect the plant from UV radiation. The enzymes released during germination mean the nutrients in these young plants are highly bioavailable. Different plants have different nutrient profiles: sunflower shoots are highest in total antioxidants, radish shoots are highest in vitamin E, and broccoli shoots are highest in vitamin C.
Sprouts are the whole young plant including the roots kept in a moist environment and grown for 4 to 5 days. Shoots are grown in a soil medium and are the first leaves (cotyledons) and stems of plants cut above the root and grown for 7 to 14 days. Microgreens are grown in a soil medium with several true leaves cut above the root and grown for up to 21 days.
Are they safe?
The main issues and risks for food safety are the same for microgreens, shoots and sprouts as for all agricultural products: contamination from animal and human contact and spoilage. We purchase all of our sprout, shoot and microgreen seeds from a certified organic sprouting seed manufacturer where all seeds are grown for human consumption, and each lot of seed is tested by an independent lab for pathogens like E.Coli and Salmonella. The source is important because seed grown for animal feed operates under different regulations than that grown for human food. Our water is from a well that is tested regularly. We follow good agricultural practices and maintain the highest standards of hygiene and sanitation throughout our indoor production facility, including prompt refrigeration after harvesting.
Foods associated with foodborne illness in Canada and the U.S. caused by E. Coli: alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, clover sprouts, cantaloupe, pre-cut and packaged spinach and lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and fruit salad.
How do I use sprouts, shoots and microgreens?
Salad shoots (pea, sunflower, broccoli and radish) are excellent in a rice bowl with vegetables and herbs, in salads, or added to a smoothie for extra nutrition and vegetables that are easy to hide from children. They can be added to pizza when it is finished cooking for a fresh crunch.
Spicy mix (mustard, radish, cabbage) is delicious on sandwiches, wraps, burritos, in tuna or egg salad and on top of mashed potatoes.
Broccoli and Kale shoots are very mild in flavour and well suited to smoothies, salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Our sprouted bean mix (chick pea, green pea, lentils) is great added to salads, rice, stir-fry and in individual soup or chili bowls for added texture, protein and crunch. Hummus made from our sprouted bean mix is delicious.
Do you have questions regarding our year-round greens?
If so, feel free to send them to use via this handy contact us form.
Or there is always the good ole fashioned face-to-face route – visit us at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. We are there every Saturday!