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These Recipes Prove that Berries and Herbs Go Together Like Milk and Cookies

Call us crazy, but we love the berries-and-herb combination even better than milk and cookies. It's sweet. It's a bit savory. It's unexpectedly good. And it's the best way to make the most out of summer's bounty! With berries and fresh herbs in season, these recipes will have you impressing your guests and their tastebuds.

Lemon Basil Sherbet

(via Food52)

Sherbet is a grossly underrated in our humble opinion. And this combination of lemon and basil is absolutely perfect for warm summer evenings, relaxing in your backyard, the perfect end to a delicious dinner. It is an especially great solution for the unavoidable excess of basil plants you end up with every single summer.

Check out the recipe over at Food52.

Grilled Halloumi with Strawberries and Herbs

(via Epicurious

It's true. We love halloumi. What's not to love about grilled cheese? This recipe calls for that, along with some strawberries and herbs to lighten up what may otherwise be a bit of a heavier meal for some.

Find the recipe on Epicurious.

Watermelon, Tomato, and Four-Herb Salad

(via Food52)

Is there anything more refreshing than watermelon in the summer heat? What about some fresh tomatoes? And what about all of those things, but also with mint, tarragon, and basil? This watermelon, tomato, and four-herb salad is an excellent option for those potlucks that you never know what to bring.

See the recipe at Food52.

Fruit Salad with Thai Herbs

(via 101 Cookbooks)
We know that we've already featured one salad, but summer is all about salads. There's nothing quite like a refreshing one during this season, is there? This summer fruit salad with Thai herbs will transport you to the Southeast Asian nation, featuring a medley of lemongrass and mint, as well as hints of toasted coconut.

The recipe can be found over at 101 Cookbooks.

Berries with Lemon Mint Syrup

(via Food & Wine)

Sometimes it's okay to feel like you can't be bothered. Summertime is the best for that. For a muss-free, fuss-free dessert, here are some berries with lemon mint syrup. Delicious. Simple. Perfect.

Find the recipe on Food & Wine.

While herbs such as basil is a perfect summer plant, they often fail to make it past the autumn months. With an Urban Cultivator, you can grow basil year-round, which means you can enjoy these recipes anytime and be transported to summertime.

Featuring a wide variety of herbs and microgreens for you to grow, Urban Cultivator appliances are perfect for your culinary adventures.

What's your favorite berry and herb recipe? Let us know in the comments section!

Here's Why You Should Keep Hydrated (and What to Eat to Make Sure You're Hydrated)

"Eight glasses a day," the illusive "they" say. Hydration is important. This is something that's most likely been hammered into your head since grade school. But why is it exactly so important? According to the USGS, up to 60% of the adult body is comprised of water. So, the logic follows: if 60% is not fully there because you're dehydrated, it makes sense that you wouldn't be the best version of your bright, shining self.

Here are some reasons as to why you should keep hydrated every season, but especially throughout the summer.

1. It can help to increase mental alertness

One of the biggest side effects of dehydration is sluggishness. Proper hydration can help with your energy levels and your mental alertness, as studies have shown that staying hydrated before, during, and after a workout can help reduce fatigue and improve endurance. So keep that water bottle filled for your next workout—you're going to need it!

2. It can help lower the risk of heart diseases

The risk for heart attack increases when your arteries are blocked with cholesterol and plaque, and even though one may try his or her best to avoid such foods, you may still fall risk to narrowed arteries. Proper hydration can prevent strain on your heart, helping to increase the amount of blood circulating through your body. When you're dehydrated, your heart rate can increase and you can feel palpitations as a result.

3. It can help clean your body from the inside

Yes, your kidneys do help naturally remove waste from your body, but your kidneys can't work alone. They need water in order to function properly, which is why you need to stay hydrated to help them do their best work. When your body is properly hydrated, you can help your body eliminate waste more efficiently.

4. It can help promote weight loss

If weight loss is your goal, you know about the importance of hydration. It's the best kept non-secret of those in the fitness world. Not only can it help with your workouts, but staying hydrated can also help suppress hunger. According to some studies, thirst is actually often mistaken as hunger, too. So before you dig in, maybe drink some water and see if that helps.

5. It can help improve your complexion.

Celebrities always talk about this one, and while this type of endorsement may not have you reaching for your water bottle, proper hydration actually can help improve your complexion. When you are dehydrated, your skin can appear dry, flaky, and tight, and wrinkles can seem more pronounced. Though hydration won't prevent wrinkles or get rid of them, it can help your skin appear more elastic and supple.

6. It can help improve your mood

One can't possibly be in a chipper mood when dehydration is taking over. Known to cause headaches, it's one of the biggest reasons behind cranky behavior. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect one's mood. Feeling down? Chug a glass of water and see if that helps.

Sometimes remember drinking water can be hard—we get it! But it can really affect your day-to-day functioning. You may not be very hydrated if:

  • You're not urinating very much
  • Your urine is very yellow
  • You have dry mouth
  • You're dizzy, lightheaded, or you have a headache
  • You are extremely fatigued

If you have trouble remembering to drink water, there are lots of foods that can help you stay hydrated, too. We touch on that here, and our favorites are of course lettuce and peas, because we can grow microgreen versions of those in the Urban Cultivator! When you grow in an Urban Cultivator, it's even easier to incorporate those hydrating foods into your diet. From pea to lettuce, you can grow an enormous variety of microgreens and herbs that will keep you and your body happy, healthy, and hydrated.

Our challenge to you is to stay as hydrated as possible. Get out there and enjoy the sun—but be sure to take care of your body, too! Consider this your reminder to finish that glass of water.

What's your favorite way to hydrate? Let us know in the comments section!

What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2019)


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 Summer 2019. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Summer 2019)” »

This Home by Liquid Interiors Marries Nature with Smart Technology

Architectural Digest recently featured a stunning home designed by Hong Kong-based commercial interior design studio that utilizes sustainable materials, filters for clean water, as well as an Urban Cultivator in the eco-sensitive home. The 1,730 sq. ft. three-bedroom apartment located in Hong Kong's Clearwater Bay was designed by Rowena Gonzales, the founder of Liquid Interiors.

Strongly influenced by her learnings on cancer triggers that suggest high formaldehyde levels that are created from home renovations, Gonzales' mission is to design interiors that do not have the negative side effects of renovations past. Below is a highlight from the feature:

"The kitchen is a self-sustaining food growing system which the family can operate to grow and harvest their own greens. There’s an Urban Cultivator installed beneath the cold-pressed juice bar that grows microgreens and herbs to use for salads and juices. Combined with a Smart Cara Indoor Composter, the dehydrator pulverises any food scraps into a powder akin to an aromatic spice blend. This creates a circular system because the remnants are used as fertiliser to sustain the backyard garden. The pantry design has giant glass jars to encourage purchasing raw ingredients in bulk that are packaging-free, and decorative recycling bins to store co-mingled recyclables for sorting and recycling."

Explore the kitchen below, and read the rest of the feature on Architectural Digest.

Plants Are Growing in Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living Spaces, and Popularity

Forbes recently discussed the recent trends of interior design, with a focus on the growing popularities of plants. Highlighting the trade show LivingKitchen in Cologne, Germany, Forbes makes mention of Urban Cultivator appliances and how it can help you grow fresh, nutritious microgreens in the comfort of your own kitchen. Below is a highlight:

If you prefer your greens more contained, there’s an undercounter appliance from Canadian-based Urban Cultivator that will grow, light and water them for you. It wasn’t on display at LivingKitchen, but was introduced to the United States at the 2015 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, and has been exhibited at smaller design shows here since then. It’s a premium product selling fastest in coastal markets and high end new home communities.

Read more on Forbes.

How to Embrace Cauliflower-Mania

Cauliflower is, of course, not new, but there seems to be a refreshed interest in this cousin of broccoli. From cauliflower rice to pizza crusts, this dynamic vegetable is inserting itself into every meal.

The proof? There's been a steep increase in the popularity of packaged cauliflower products, according to Nielsen. And it's no surprise—in addition to being delicious and versatile, cauliflower is also incredibly good for you.
Continue reading “How to Embrace Cauliflower-Mania” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Spring 2019)

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 Spring 2019. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Spring 2019)” »

A HowStuffWorks Investigation: Do Microgreens Deliver Macro Nutrition?

We've gone on and on and on about the many benefits of microgreens before, and we'll stand by all the health benefits that come from it. It is, after all, the basis of Urban Cultivator. So, maybe it's time for you to hear from another source.

HowStuffWorks—the group behind the very popular podcast, Stuff You Should Know—is an award-winning source of "unbiased, reliable, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works." Recently, they looked into just how microgreens deliver macro nutrients.

Pointing out that microgreens have taken over the food world, they discuss how microgreens not only have a more concentrated flavor, they do appear to be rich in nutrients like zinc, iron and potassium, and disease-fighting antioxidants.

And how do they compare to their mature counterparts? You'll have to read HowStuffWorks' piece.

Read the rest of the informative article here.

Learn About... Arugula

"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! Continue reading “Learn About... Arugula” »

Healthy Meals to Make For Valentine's Day

Rose pedals

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and if we're all being honest to ourselves, sometimes, Valentine's Day plans get put on the back-burner.

If you're a bit behind with the planning, don't worry, as we've got some healthy alternatives to the nightmare that is going out for dinner on Valentine's Day.

Featuring fresh herbs and vegetables, these dishes will leave you and your date feeling good. Here are some healthy meals to make for this Valentine's Day. Continue reading “Healthy Meals to Make For Valentine's Day” »

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