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What's So Great About Turmeric?

the turmeric powder in spoon and roots on wooden plate

Turmeric is making a comeback. Chances are, you've heard about the many health benefits that this relative of ginger carries. Its distinctive flavor and vibrant color are just bonuses to this incredible food.

Continue reading “What's So Great About Turmeric?” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2017)

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Fall 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2017)” »

As It Turns Out, Coconut Oil Isn't That Good For You

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Coconut oil has been lauded as one of the most impressive health products for years now. From being a moisturizer to the preferred cooking oil, coconut oil boasts many benefits and reigns supreme as top health food. That is, until now.

In June, the American Heart Association (AHA) re-emphasized their long-standing recommendation to limit food sources of saturated fat, and in it, they specifically single out coconut oil as one of the worst sources. According to the statement, coconut oil is just as bad as beef fat and butter because it's mostly saturated fats.

Saturated fats are known to raise LDL cholesterol, which is the "bad" cholesterol that's often linked to animal plants. LDL is also found in tropical plant oils, such as coconut. Its makeup, according to the AHA, is about 82% saturated fat. Comparatively, butter is only 63% saturated fat and, perhaps even more surprising, beef is only 50%.

An even stranger statistic gathered by the AHA shows that about 72% of Americans believe that coconut oil is a healthy source of oil, whereas only 37% of nutritionists suggest so.

Of course, this raises the question as to how coconut oil gained its reputation. One important takeaway is to always research what the latest food trend is and rely on reputable sources like actual nutritionists as opposed to your favorite health guru on Instagram.

Read more on the American Heart Association's findings over at Huffington Post.

8 Microgreen Dishes to Celebrate the Best of Summer

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We hate to admit it, but summer is almost over. (Don't worry—we're mourning, too.) It's one of the best times of the year with its abundance of amazingly fresh produce like plump tomatoes and juicy strawberries, but alas, it's coming to a close.

So, to celebrate what this wonderful season has gifted us so far, we've gathered some delicious recipes that highlight the best of summer, featuring microgreens.

Cheers to you, summer.

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Microgreens Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Via Everyday Dish

Ingredients
1 pkg microgreens
6 radishes, halved or sliced
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/8 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
coarse sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Method
Place the microgreens and radishes into a serving bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
At the last moment before serving, dress the salad lightly with dressing, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

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End of Summer Salad

Via A House in the Hills

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups micro arugula
1 cup blackberries (ripe and sweet!)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 ear red corn, cut off the cob
1/2 bunch white asparagus
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons chopped caper berries (stems removed)
1 1/2 tablespoons of mint, finely chopped
sea salt
black pepper

Method
1. Rinse and dry microgreens. Set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, mint, garlic, chopped caper berries and a pinch of salt. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
3. Trim ends off of asparagus (I trimmed a good 1 1/2- 2 inches off of mine to get to the softest part). Lightly coat spears with olive oil and cook on medium heat over a grill pan or on your grill until seared to your preference. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and pepper. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
4. Assemble the salad by combining microgreens, corn, asparagus, blackberries and pine nuts in a large bowl. Add salad dressing (recipe makes enough for some leftovers, depending on preference). Toss well and serve immediately!

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Parmesan and Ricotta Pizza with Pistachios, Bacon, and Micros

Via What We Love Most

Ingredients
Honey Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Pepper, Fresh Ground
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Pistachios, Chopped
4 Strips Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sliced into 1-2″ strips
1/2 Cup Micro Greens

Method
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare the dough and sprinkle a small amount of corn meal on a pizza stone or baking pizza pan to prevent the pizza from sticking. In a bowl combine together the Ricotta, Parmesan, Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper, mix well then place the mixture atop of the prepared pizza dough. Then layer with the Bacon and half of the Pistachios.

Bake the Pizza for 14-18 minutes until the dough is browned and the bacon is crispy.

Before serving garnish with the remaining Pistachios and the Micro Greens.

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Strawberry Microgreen Salad

Via Real Healthy Recipes

Ingredients
3 cups organic microgreens
1 cup sliced strawberry
Strawberry dressing (6 strawberries, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon raw honey, 2 tablespoons olive oil, dash of salt and pepper — blended)
¼ cup chopped candied walnuts

Method
Toss the microgreens with strawberries and dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Via Foodness Gracious

Ingredients
For The Salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup heirloom tomatoes halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted
2 1/2 tbsp green onion sliced thinly
1 ounce small can cooked black beans Rinsed 14
1/2 avocado cut into small squares
2 cups micro greens

For The Dressing:
2 cloves large garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Method
Combine the red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor.
Pulse on high speed while adding the oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Cook the quinoa as per the instructions on the pack, once it's ready let it cool.
When cool, add the rest of the ingredients.
Add two tablespoons of dressing to the mixture and toss gently. Add more dressing if preferred.
Place on plates and serve at once, or store in the fridge until ready to use.

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Charred Rainbow Beet and Pistachio Salad

Via Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Ingredients
2 small bunches rainbow beets, trimmed & washed - larger beets cut in half (about 8 small-medium beets)
Canola oil for beets

Basil Lemon Olive Oil:
2 cups loosely packed basil- I used purple & regular basil
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 juice of lemon
pinch of kosher salt
1 tbsp chopped Pistachios
1 cup of Micro Greens
Citrus Herb Salt - optional

Method
scrub & trim beets, toss with about 1 - 2 teaspoons of canola oil until lightly coated. Place beets on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with foil and roast on the grill for about 30-45 minutes until beets are a little charred and soft (grill thermostat should be between 350-400*, if roasting in the oven roast at 350*)

Remove beets from grill, keep cover and allow to cool until beets can easily be handled. Peel skin off the beets & discard the skins. Quarter or half the roasted beets, set aside.

To make the basil olive oil, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combine.

On two small plates, drizzle a bit of the basil olive oil on the bottom of each plate. Place a small amount of micro greens on each plate, arrange half of the beets on each plate, sprinkle with citrus herb salt & pistachios, top each plate with the remaining micro greens.

Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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Sumac and Thyme Salmon Burgers

Via Wild Greens and Sardines

(makes 3 1/3 pound salmon burgers)
Ingredients
1 pound [Sockeye] salmon, skinned, pin bones removed
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons sumac
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for pan frying

Method
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Cook 4 minutes on the first side, flip and cook another 2 minutes, or until the salmon has just as hint of pinkness in the middle.

Note: To determine if the salmon burger is seasoned to your liking, I recommend cooking off a small piece first.

Tzatziki:
2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
1 large (seedless) cucumber
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, smashed to a paste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, more if you like
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice, to taste
sea salt to taste

Grate the cucumber (most recipes call to peel, but I usually grate with the peel). Squeeze out any excess moisture. Smash the garlic to a paste with a little sea salt with the side of a chef’s knife or in a mortar and pestle.

Combine the yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, dill, and olive oil. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Note: Add fresh mint if you like, along with the fresh dill.

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... And last but not least, dessert! Sure, it's not a salad per se, but aren't salads really just greens mixed with other things?

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Mini Strawberry Chocolate Tarts with Whipped Goat Cheese and Basil Micros

Via Vegetarian Ventures

Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

For the filling:
1.5 ounces of goat cheese, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
About 1 1/2 cups strawberries
handful of basil micro greens (or regular basil if you can’t find micro greens)

Method
To make the crust: Whisk together the almond flour and salt. Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil and whisk until a crumbly dough forms. Divide the dough in half and press the dough into two miniature pie pans (or a regular size pie pan if you doubled the recipe). Use a fork and pierce the dough all over. Stick in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 15 minutes or until it starts to brown. Remove from oven and let cool before adding toppings.

In a blender or food processor, combine the goat cheese, yogurt, and maple syrup. Spread into an even layer on the tart crusts.

Top with strawberries and basil micro greens.

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With an Urban Cultivator, you can benefit from growing your own microgreens all year 'round, no matter the season. From wheatgrass to fresh basil, all is fair game and easy to grow, too.

What's your favorite thing to make in the summertime? Let us know in the comments section!

Learn About... Sunflower

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves Continue reading “Learn About... Sunflower” »

Everything You Need to Know About Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, has many names. Indian ginseng, padalsingh, and winter cherry are just a few of the titles that it also carries. As its most common moniker, Indian ginseng, implies, ashwagandha has certain rejuvenating properties that make it one of the most beloved herbs in the health world.
Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Ashwagandha” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2017)

how-to-pair-fresh-spring-and-summer-produce-with-cannabis

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Summer 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2017)” »

Blue Majik: Why Blue is the New Green

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Blue food has been popping up all over the place, but no, the culprit isn't blueberries. If you have been keeping up with food trends, then you may have heard of something called Blue Majik. As the name implies, this is what's been turning all of your favourite smoothies, juices, and even lattes a beautiful blue hue.
Continue reading “Blue Majik: Why Blue is the New Green” »

A Perfect Easter Dinner Featuring Microgreens

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Easter acts like a timestamp, officially welcoming the spring season. With all this delicious produce suddenly available, Easter gatherings are the perfect time to sample what nature has to offer!

To help make your Easter gathering a little easier for you, we've compiled some delicious recipes and come up with ways in which you can incorporate microgreens into these dishes. After all, there's nothing like sneaking in healthy foods when your guests least expect it!

Here are some recipes for a perfect Easter dinner featuring microgreens.

Continue reading “A Perfect Easter Dinner Featuring Microgreens” »

Appliances of the Rich and Stylish: Urban Cultivator

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From CNET

The Urban Cultivator takes growing your own organic sprouts to a whole new level. For $2,500 you can have this sleek looking appliance automatically water and light four trays of typically expensive microgreens at a time while looking pretty cool in your kitchen. Note that it requires plumbing at the point of installation.

Read the post in its entirety here.

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