Support | Press

Teff is About to Become Your New Favorite Grain


Earlier this week, the New York Times revealed their list of food prediction trends for 2017. Along with sorghum, spirulina, and whey, the publication also names teff as one of 2017's next big food. So, what is teff anyway?

Originating from Ethiopia, teff (or Eragrostis tef) is a tiny ancient grain that's high in protein and important minerals like iron. Evidently, it's been around for some time, but it didn't catch on in North America until about two years ago, when sales soared after there was a renewed interest in ancient grains.


In addition to being low in fat and sodium, teff is a very nutrient dense food that contains eight essential amino acids, calcium, copper, aluminum, manganese, phosphorous, barium, thiamin, and of course, iron. It's also rich with vitamin C, which is not very common within grains.

Teff can also help to control blood sugar level with its relatively low glycemic index that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels and athletes like runners fuel up before a big race. As well, like flax before it, teff can help improve digestion by regulating bowel movements.

Perhaps most importantly, though, teff has actually shown to improve symptoms associated with celiac disease if it was eaten regularly enough as well as iron deficiencies.


Health benefits aside, teff is an incredibly versatile grain that can be eaten in a variety of ways, from being eaten whole to being baked into cakes. Its nutty flavor can help add dimension to any dish, lending itself very well to such things as breads, pancakes, and much more.

Now that you know a little more about teff, try these recipes and start incorporating 2017's superfood into your diet!


Banana bread with teff and chocolate

via Oldways Whole Grains Council

1 cup teff flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until well-blended, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating until blended.

Add the banana and vanilla, beating until blended. Beat in the water. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into an 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


Teff brownies

via WildFlours gfg

1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
2 cups dark Teff Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch nutmeg
pinch cardamom
2/3 cup softened coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Topping Ingredients (optional):

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1 Tbls coconut sugar
1-2 Tbls melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a glass baking dish (9×9) or square cake pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients except the coconut sugar with a whisk. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil, applesauce pumpkin puree and coconut sugar until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again. Stop and scrape down the sides.Then beat again until the dough thickens slightly.

Spread the dough into the prepared pan using a spatula. Even it out so that it is level and smooth. Sprinkle with prepared topping if using.

Bake for 20 minutes (do not over bake). Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Teff is just another thing to add to your diet so you can make 2017 your best year ever. A varied diet featuring microgreens and such grains will help you ace those goals.

And, considering the versatility of teff, adding it into your diet can be as easy as blending it into your morning microgreen smoothie!

Will you be trying teff out in 2017? Had it before and have a great recipe featuring it? Let us know in the comments section!

10 Ways to Help You Eat Better in 2017


It's a new year, a fresh start, a clean state. There's no better time than now to create some new resolutions to help you have a better 2017.

Resolutions are hard to keep, though. It's easy to be disillusioned when you don't have the proper steps to achieve your goal. One of the hardest ones to keep is eating better.

In an effort to help everyone live better in the new year, we've set out some tips to help you eat better in 2017. No, it's not going to make your life miserable, and no, you will not only be eating grapefruits.

Here are 10 ways to help you eat better, without sacrificing all the good flavours that fresh food has to offer. Continue reading “10 Ways to Help You Eat Better in 2017” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2016)


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 Winter 2016. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2016)” »

The Best Winter Herbs to Grow (and Eat)


The winter can be frustrating for some. There's fewer hours of daylight, the weather can be bone-chillingly cold, and you find yourself rotating between squash, brussels sprouts, and bread. It can get dull and repetitive.

But just because it’s colder, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your herb garden. Growing fresh food should be a thing you can do 365 days a year.

So, here are some herbs that do a little better in chilly weather—the perfect winter herbs to grow and eat. Continue reading “The Best Winter Herbs to Grow (and Eat)” »

6 Spooky but Fresh Recipes Perfect for Halloween

jack o lantern

Halloween is here, and everyone is busy putting together last minute Halloween costumes. Instead of simply serving buckets of candy this year at your Halloween gathering, why not make some deliciously ghoulish dishes instead?

Here are six spooky but fresh recipes perfect for Halloween, featuring herbs, microgreens, and vegetables. Continue reading “6 Spooky but Fresh Recipes Perfect for Halloween” »

Learn About... Flax


"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... Flax” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2016)


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 2016. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2016)” »

Usher in Autumn With These Awesome Recipes Featuring Fall Herbs


Summer is great and all with its hot, sunny days and patio dinners, but there's something beautiful about fall. Between fall fashion and comforting dishes, autumn is one of our favorite season.

Of course, one of the downsides to summer to coming to an end is the lack of variety in fresh produce. Worry not, though: autumn's also got an all-star line-up of flavor.

To help usher in our favorite season, we've rounded up some of the tastiest recipes featuring fall herbs. So, pull out your best knit sweater and whip up these dishes!




Fenugreek is a lesser used herb, but you shouldn't fear it: it carries a sweet smell resembles that of maple syrup, and taste like burnt sugar.

While both the seeds and leaves are edible, they have very different physical properties. The seeds resemble corn kernels and are hard, and the leaves are flat and looks like mint.

Fenugreek is common in Southern Asia, popular in Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisine. Try it in Chicken Katsu Curry and Saag Aloo with Roasted Gobi Curry.

Read more on fenugreek here.

Chicken Katsu Curry (via BBC Food)
Saag Aloo with Roasted Gobi Curry (via BBC Food)

chopped chive over white background


Chives can be oniony or garlicky in flavor (depending on the variety) and can be used fresh or dried, and even its light purplish flowers are edible. The entire length of the tubular leaf is used in foods. Chinese chives have flat and wider stems than regular chives.

This is one of the most common herbs used across the globe. Try it in some new recipes, like Buttered Noodles with Chives or Shallot Tarte Tatin with Whipped Goat's Cheese and Watercress.

Buttered Noodles with Chives (via Food Network)
Shallot Tarte Tatin with Whipped Goat's Cheese and Watercress (via BBC Food)



Sage isn't only known for its hearty, savory flavor, but studies on the herb have shown that sage does in fact improve memory, attention/executive function, alertness and mood after getting doses of sage.

It's one of the essential herbs for all cooks, used mostly in Italian, British, American, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Try making Pasta with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan, and Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic, recipes which prominently feature the earthy herb.

Read more about sage and its benefits here.

Pasta with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan (via NYT)
Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic (via Saveur)



Sorrel is a lovely herb that has a tart taste. There are three major types of sorrel: French sorrel, broad leaf sorrel, and red-veined sorrel. The latter is often used for decorative purposes due to the contrast between the lime green leaves and crimson veins that run along them. While more attractive than the French and broad leaf varieties, red-veined sorrel's flavor is the same.

Because of its sour flavor, it lends itself well to desserts like Lemon Cupcakes with Bitters, Sorrel, and Toasted Meringue.

Learn more about sorrel here.

French Sorrel Soup (via Honest Food)
Lemon Cupcakes with Bitters, Sorrel, and Toasted Meringue (via Imbibe)



Tarragon is one of the four major herbs in French cooking, and is often used for chicken, fish, and egg dishes. You'll probably recognize its flavor being a major component of Béarnaise sauce.

There are three types of tarragon: French tarragon, Russian tarragon, and wild tarragon; French tarragon is best for culinary purposes. Try tarragon in Tarragon Chicken and Creamy Chicken with Asparagus and Tarragon.

Tarragon Chicken (via Food Network)
Creamy Chicken with Asparagus and Tarragon (via BBC Good Food)

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 7.51.00 PM


Parsley is probably one of the most popular herbs in the world. It's used to season meats, soups, stews and potato dishes, but it's often used as a garnish or as a palette cleanser because of its natural fresh flavor.

As it's one of the most commonly used herbs in the world, it's probably time that you try some new recipes featuring the ubiquitous herb, like Lamb and Veal Meatloaf Polpettone or Uchucuta Sauce with Lamb Chops.

Lamb and Veal Meatloaf Polpettone (via Cooking Channel)
Uchucuta Sauce with Lamb Chops (via The Guardian)


While these recipes are bonafide hits, fall weather may have you wishing that you could make some pesto with fresh basil.

And, with an Urban Cultivator, you can do just that, no matter what season it is. Featuring automated lighting, watering, and temperature functions, you can grow a number of microgreens and herbs in the comfort of your own home.

What herbs or vegetables are you most excited for this fall? Let us know in the comments section!

Here's Why the Health World is Crazy For Chlorella


You may have heard of chlorella before—often used in smoothies and known to have major health benefits—but do you know what it actually is and what it can do for your body?

Chlorella is the latest superfood, an all-natural supplement that's native to Japan and Taiwan. It's an algae (similar to spirulina), and it boasts a number of benefits: boosting cardiovascular health, counter the negative effects of radiation, promoting normal hormonal function, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

It is rich in vitamin B, magnesium, amino acids, beta carotene, potassium, phosphorus, and perhaps its most important component, chlorophyll, which gives chlorella a deep green hue.

We've gone over the many benefits of including chlorophyll into one's diet, so here's a quick recap.

Chlorophyll's main nutrient is magnesium and has the ability to strengthen cells, cleanse the body and maintain functioning of circulatory and intestinal systems, and more.


Now, back to chlorella. Just one ounce of chlorella has 16 grams of protein, and is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. Per gram, it has more nutrients than greens such as spinach, kale, and new health world darling, broccoli. Yes, chlorella is even healthier than broccoli, which has cancer-fighting properties.

Chlorella's detoxifying properties is one of the biggest reasons as to why people have turned to the health food. Heavy metals, which you may carry in your body through vaccinations, fish, radiation exposure, or tooth fillings, can do damage to our bodies. But chlorella will wrap itself around such toxins, keeping them from being reabsorbed.

Studies have also shown that chlorella can boost one's immune system, promote weight loss, regulate hormones (which can benefit one's metabolism), and increase energy levels.

Chlorella also reduces oxidative stress that's most often caused by poor diets, stress, and pollution, the three of which can speed up the ageing process. High levels of vitamin A and C is also good for our skin. It also helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol.

Chlorella most commonly comes in pill and powder form. One tip: be sure to purchase cracked cell wall chlorella, as its exterior cellular walls are actually tough for humans to digest. Ironically, researchers believe that it's these walls that help to remove toxins from the human body.


Of course, different people appear to react to chlorella differently. Some side effects have been reported, including indigestion, fatigue, vertigo, and lethargy.

The easiest way to introduce chlorella into your diet? Through a smoothie! Try this smoothie recipe out featuring chlorella, courtesy of Vega.


Supercharged Blueberry Chlorella Smoothie

½ cup frozen blueberries
½ of a banana
1 tsp powdered chlorella
1 cup cold water
2 or 3 ice cubes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Have you tried chlorella before? How do you like to consume it? Let us know in the comments section!

Financial Post Catches Up With Urban Cultivator


Recently, Financial Post spoke to our CEO Tarren Wolfe as a part of a series that FP Entrepreneur is doing about what Dragons' Den alumni have been doing since signing their respective deals.

Needless to say, we were very excited to share our news due to the progress we've seen over the past five years. Since signing a deal with Arlene Dickinson, we've increased our international reach with dealers and distributors worldwide, installed units in Michelin-star restaurants, and opened our flagship Living Produce Aisle store.

Take a look at some of the highlights from Tarren's interview with Financial Post.


On the current state of food and its delivery:
"Our food delivery system doesn’t make sense. Why are we shipping food all around the world, food that’s losing nutritional value by the hour, and wasting fuel to do that, when we can grow micro greens anywhere pretty easily?"

On our collaboration with Microsoft:
Urban Cultivator appliances are seen all across Microsoft campuses, growing microgreens to feed its employees. In addition to its presence at Microsoft, the company's engineers, who want to feed the hungry, are working with Urban Cultivator to develop a product that will address world hunger.

On Living Produce Aisle:
"We sell flats to restaurants and live cut smoothies, live cut micro green salads [...] The initial goal was to create a better showroom for potential buyers of the cultivator. It's great because it also enforces the education around why live food is better in general, and people can see it’s attainable. We developed a new consumables program that has expandable seed sheets. And we’re moving lots of cultivators out of it, too."

On our company's future plans:
"We're developing a machine that can operate completely self-sufficiently. So it can run on the streets of India or Africa to feed the poor."


Read the Financial Post article in full over at their site. For immediately updates, sign up for Urban Cultivator's newsletter below, and follow UC on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Tech Support
Visit our video tech and grow support section to get the most out of your Urban Cultivator.