From Mumbai to Makawao
Our last blog highlighted the use of our Grow to Eat Kits being used in India and one of the highlights was the bhel puri being consumed by students for healthy snacks using microgreens grown right in the classroom. Inspired by the pictures I decided to try and make some puri using our microgreens being currently grown.
Originating in Mumbai the bhel (puffed rice) and sev (gram flour noodles) puris originated as street food and have been elevated to high end eateries there. I was able to find a sev puri kit on amazon that had all the ingredients especially the sev and chutneys.
We had some sorrel (slightly lemony) and methi (fenugreek) microgreens growing so we chopped them and created our microgreen mix that are featured in this dish.
The resulting product was savory with so many textures and both sweet and salty with some predictable heat! No wonder it is a favorite snack. Because of the layered construction, you can alter the components to your taste. Incredible!
The Kits Have Landed
We are pleased to introduce our new Grow to Eat Microgreen kits to the US Markets. Taking our original SIP design, our partner Linesh Pillai from Urban Green Fate Farms in India has produced a breakthrough product for microgreen growing. The product has been used in schools, institutions, restaurants and high end resorts to provide “zero carbon greens” from seed to fork in 7 to 10 days.
These kits have taken India by storm and are a true breakthrough product giving people access to an almost fool proof way to grow their own super nutritious microgreens. Our previous Urbafresh blog and Microgreen Farm blog highlight uses in India of the unique self watering kits. They are being used to teach from kids to grow their own “zero carbon” food.
Kits will be available in our web store, at selected distributors and in stores soon. Contact us for more information or for wholesale quantity purchases.
MicroFarming for Nutrition
Our new Grow to Eat kits are delivering nutrition and education to kids in India. We'll highlight the efforts with shots from two locations with pictures recently taken. Our first location is the Jeevarathni Foundation Orphanage which serves as a safe haven for 37 children that were found on the city streets and given a new lease on life.
The kids have been introduced to the growing of microgreens and consume the results of their micro farms grown on premises. Here are pics from the site.
The second set of photos is from a remote school where they are now growing microgreens to add to their behl which is a savory snack prepared fresh for them.
Zesty Kohlrabi, the New Kale?
Move over kale. Kohlrabi is about to enjoy a resurgence in popularity and with good reason! Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is a round, tuberous vegetable belonging to the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and kale). Its taste can be described as the meeting of broccoli and cabbage.
While kohlrabi is only now making a name for itself in the United States, it has long been a major player on the international food scene. Cultivated in Europe since the 1500s, this vegetable is particularly beloved in Germany. Translated, its name can be broken down into ‘kohl’ (German for cabbage), ‘rabi’ (turnip), providing an accurate description of what it tastes like. Germans are both the largest producers and consumers of kohlrabi, they serve it alongside everything from eggs to roasts to salads.
Kohlrabi also makes frequent appearances in Indian cuisine. Referred to as ‘knolkhol’, kohlrabi pairs well with the warm spices native to India. There, you might find it plated with dal and brown rice, or pickled to be consumed with bread and yogurt. It is high in fiber and has a high ratio of vitamin content including B-12, A and C. Loaded with iron, and boasting purported anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, kohlrabi is virtually one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
One of the main reasons that kohlrabi has found its way to our shores is that it is extremely healthy. Nutrient packed and with a stunning appearance. More study on the nutritional values associated with kohlrabi need to be done, but without a doubt consuming these tasty microgreens are good for you and taste great.
Our Zesty Kohlrabi Microgreen Kit contains everything you need to grow 3 complete trays of this delicious microgreen.
From Outer Space to Your Space
Recently on the International Space Station the astronauts served a crop of space cabbage that was grown and harvested entirely in space!
What an amazing accomplishment and a critical building block for humans in a quest to create extraterrestrial missions and habitats.
NASA chose to grow Tokyo Bekana cabbage due to extensive testing balancing growth speed, nutritional content, and actual taste testing. According to the NASA ISS pages ... "The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. The Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery, but utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth."
The ISS unit is lighted by energy efficient LED lighting that not only promotes effective use of limited resources by being an energy miser and not emitting large amounts of heat like conventional grow lighting. There is also something to be said of the soothing purplish colors of the red/blue mix of LED lights as the actual act of nurturing plant growth has been clinically shown to be calming and helpful for the human mind.
The very points that NASA brought up are wonderful advantages that you can bring into your home.
Our new Personal Microgreen kit includes the LED grow lighting as pictured so you can grow right in your home or apartment crops of nutritious Tokyo Bekana microgreens. Microgreens have been shown to a higher level of nutrients typically contained in the mature vegie (4 to 40 times for key nutrients). Our easy to grow kits provide all the materials to grow out these wonderfully airy pieces of food.
With our personal LED system, you grow out one tray at a time regardless of the time of year or weather conditions. All without any pesticides, herbicides or chemicals (our custom growing media is sustainable coir with kelp and worm castings). All of the advantages that NASA saw in their Veggie experiments can be had in your personal space!
New Look, New Direction
Our companies are always moving forward so it is with great pride today that we formally unveil our new logos and the start of a new direction for Urbafresh.
Let's first begin with our new logos. We are entering our fifth year in business and want to face the future with our new identity. Our logos represent our commitment to bringing you the finest in microgreens, micro farms, kits and products. We will be unveiling over the next few weeks exciting products and innovation to lead us into our next chapter for the Urbaform family of companies.
Urbafresh along with MicrogreenFarm will be unveiling exciting new products, technologies, kits and foods promoting health and wellness. These efforts and products are all part of our new look and direction ... stay tuned!!!
If you search on Google for Peas Shoots or Sprouted Peas, you will find there are millions of articles and highlights of the topics. You can see many articles highlighting the amazing nutrition to be found in these tasty additions to your diet. AND you can grow them in your home in just a few days!
Both Pea Shoots and Sprouts contain high levels of Vit A, C and K. Pea Shoots because they are growing leaves, have a dose of chlorophyll and the sprouts contain a good dose of protein.
There is a big difference to growing both, so this kit gives you the supplies and tools (wide mouth jar not included) to grow both in your home. Pea sprouts are sprouted in a jar with just water and will be ready to eat in 2-4 days depending on how much sprout you like emerging (see photo of sprouts at 3 days).
Pea shoots on the other hand are pea microgreens that are grown in our coir growing media for 10-21 days depending on your taste. We harvest the shoots as the first tendrils start to emerge and each plant will give you 2-3 shoots before exhausting the initial nutrients.
The kit includes:
Get it today in our store ...
Red for Heart Health
Red Cabbage has long been a staple part of diets that were colorful and highly nutritious. Microgreens take all the goodness of the mature cabbage and package them into a tiny, beautifully colored new wrapper. Microgreens provide some 4-40 times the nutrient content of their mature counterpart so a little goes a long way as far as nutrients from you food.
Red Cabbage in particular has been found to help mitigate a high fat diet that is common today. Red Cabbage microgreens were found to be more beneficial than the mature cabbage itself and also benefits the CVD (cardio vascular disease) profile with a lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride readings.
Our Red Cabbage microgreen kits contain:
1 growing tray and humidity cover (approx 5"x5") made from recycled plastic bottles
1 custom blended Wonder Soil compressed coir wafer with worm castings and kelp (enough for three crops)
1 seed spreader container for easier seeding of your grow tray
1 small sprayer for misting of your seed and watering
enough seeds to grow 3 trays as pictured
complete instructions and support provided through our website
Easy to grow and great to eat ... seed to harvest in 7-12 days!!!
The Fruits of Our Labor
Just growing our great microgreens and shoots is a first step to unlocking all the nutrition and goodness found in these tiny powerhouses. Today a quick snapshot of how we used two of our trays in a delicious and highly potent mix of ingredients at dinner.
We took our mung and snow pea shoots and added them to a mix of tofu, onion, garlic in a stir fry (olive oil, lemon and soy sauce). The snow peas are tender while the mung is fibrous so we cooked the mung with the tofu and onion initially and added the snow peas just before serving. It was an incredible meal!
Much has been made about toxins that have been creeping into our environment through pollution and waste. Worldwide concerns of air and water leading to the poisoning of our bodies. Chronic disease has emerged as one of the most significant health threats of our generation.
Research has shown that the tiny broccoli sprout can have significant impact on cancer cells and even led to a short lived patent being granted on just this property. Researchers have proven time and again that the powers of these micro forms of broccoli are huge detox elements that the body can use. New research has also shown that these same active constituents of the broccoli sprouts can have a incredible detox effect on people in heavily polluted air. Researchers used subjects in heavily polluted areas of China to test their hypothesis and results were significant.
The active ingredient is an enzyme called glucosinolate is found in many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Researchers have also identified that components in radish can have complementary effects on the health aspects of ingestion. Which brings us to our new micro detox kit. Science tells us that there are significant benefits that can be gotten by ingesting these micro vegetables. Research has also shown that you can add just a little to your diet and have the effects of anywhere from 4-40 times the benefit of the mature vegetables.
Our Micro Detox kits will provide you with a potent source of these nutrients delivered to you from seed to plate right in your own home in a matter of days to enable a steady diet of these nutrients. An added plus is that this mix tastes exceptional. We are enjoying adding the mix to our dinner salads and stir fry. This exceptional mix can be harvested in 6-8 days and will provide many enjoyable meals - snip, rinse and serve!
Alan Yoshioka is chief tinkerer at Urbafresh, this blog will reflect current topics, products and experiments being studied.
Positive Health Wellness