Seeds to Sprouts to Seedlings: Tips for Growing Up Healthy Kits

 

If you have been successful at having your seeds grow into sprouts, you are on your way to have healthy food at home, year round!

Sprouts

First of all, there is nothing that is stopping you from eating the sprouts as-is!  Many call these “microgreens” but we could call them baby herbs or veggies too.  Studies show that the first stages of sprouting from many seeds, actually contain several potent nutrients for our bodies.  So really, our organic seeds can be used in sprouters too.  

(The one major downfall of sprouting is the risk of potential bacteria & mould growth that could end up contaminating your food, if you do not wash and/or cook the sprouts.)

Seedlings

After seeds turn into sprouts, they quickly within a few days turn into seedlings.  This is where you truly get to see it turn into a growing plant, still full of nutrients yet just like wine, the flavours develop with “age”.  This stage is where you can begin to enjoy a luscious & living green addition to your home, patio, office or backyard.  As it grows, so do its roots.  This is where you have to make the decision:

  1. Harvest ALL the leaves, make a delicious dish and start again with new seeds or another Growing Up Healthy Kit.
  2. Re-pot into a larger, indoor container or outside garden with additional triple mix or topsoil.

Replanting

We highly suggest re-potting into a bigger container.

  1. It extends your growing season.
  2. It makes it easier to keep up with it’s watering requirements. (The bigger the plant, the more water it needs & the quicker it uses water.)

You can still harvest SOME of the leaves from the tops of the plants (to promote side growth and bushiness), but leave lots to let the plant be able to get enough sunlight to grow even bigger.

Why replant?


Imagine your plant is like a goldfish.  The bigger the tank, the bigger the fish can grow.  The roots of a seedling can only grow so much, and with a bigger place for them to stretch out, they can support a bigger herb plant with even more branches, leaves and ultimately flavour & ingredients for your culinary creations & eating pleasure!

How to replant?

Just place the entire seedling with the “mesh pot” included into a new pot filled with soil.  Cover the top of the original pot with some soil and press down.  Water & place in a well-lit window or sunny spot outside.

Note: Removing the seedling from the mesh pot will not be as helpful as you think.

  1. The roots might be attached to the mesh and you might rip & damage the plant’s way of getting water & nutrients. Don’t worry, it’s designed to be biodegradable & will disappear as time goes on. 
  2. The special pot has a way to control the water to the plant which means it makes it easier to not over- or under-water it. (This is a huge advantage for Basil which doesn’t like dry soil!). 

Is it Cilantro or Coriander?

It’s both! But it’s not what you think… 

Fresh leaves are the cilantro

If the plant grows tall and “goes to seed”, it produces tiny greeen balls that look like berries. Those can stay on the plant to become dry, brown seeds. These are coriander (or replant to grow cilantro!). 


One plant. Two flavours: One herb. One spice. 

Plus re-grow the seeds to recycle the plant & never run out of cilantro and coriander! 

Bits & Bursts of Herbs: 10 Easy & Everyday Uses for Basil in Your Kitchen

As we have been “growing” here at Growing Up Healthy home office, we have become the go-to for advice on using culinary herbs in everyday cooking.  We listened to our first customers and are working on something brand new to help Canadians in the kitchen.  But who doesn’t like a “taste test” or sample?  So we are giving you some easy uses of herbs that are included in our convenient & fun Organic Seed to Fork Kits!  Here’s first in our series to help you get cooking with “Bits & Bursts of Herbs”

10 Easy & Everyday uses for Basil

in your kitchen

  1. Add it to your pasta sauces – tomato, creamy, cheesy & olive oil – it’s all good!
  2. Combine it in a pitcher with seasonal or frozen berries for a naturally sweet & flavoured water
  3. Chop or rip it up finely (kids can do this easily to help out) & throw it in your morning scrambled eggs
  4. Throw into your rice or quinoa pot during or after cooking to add colour & flavour
  5. Toss it into any salad for a surprise flavour
  6. Blend it with your strawberry smoothies
  7. Make a basil tea – Steep leaves for 5 minutes & sweeten with maple syrup or honey.
  8. Make a simple pesto recipe (we have one in our Organic Basil Kits!)
  9. Add whole leaves to oil to add flavour without the chopping
  10. Go gourmet & flavour butter easily – chop basil finely, add a splash of lemon juice and mix into soft butter.

Now, get cooking with Growing Up Healthy Organic Seed to Fork kits!  We make it easy for you to simply Grow. Cook. Eat.

DIY Herb Saver / Keeper

There are seasons when it rains, it pours.  Sometimes that rain brings a bumper harvest.  Yet, sometimes, even when we put in great efforts, our bounty seems lacking.  Every food should be savoured & appreciated – no matter how plentiful or scarce it is.

Herbs can be used in small or large amounts, depending on the recipe you are using (or the creativity one might have in the kitchen!).  Yet in small spaces and over time, herbs can be a sustainable “crop” to grow.  All you need is to learn how to keep a “fresh” supply.

 

One way to have fresh herbs on hand is to harvest a little at a time when needed, or “on demand”.

A second way is to harvest the herbs frequently (keep growing the same plant & only harvest less than half of the leaves OR plant new seeds) and keep them fresh until you are ready to use them.

Traditional ways to keep herbs are to wrap the bottoms in a damp paper towel and/ or an open bag in the fridge.  This helps to avoid herb stems from dehydrating & wilting quicker.

Yet, there is a quick do-it-yourself method to having fresh herbs that store in your fridge, standing up, and with no waste!

Here’s how to make a DIY Herb Saver & Keeper Kit:

DIY Herb Saver & Keeper Kit

Materials Needed:

  • Wide-mouth mason / canning jar & lid
  • Used single-serve applesauce container – rinsed clean
  • Water
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Unscrew the lid & lid insert from the mason jar.  Set aside the middle insert (will not be using this).
  2. Fill the applesauce container with water to at approximately 3/4 full.
  3. Place applesauce container in the middle of the upside down lid/ring.
  4. Cut the herbs to fit the jar.
  5. Place the herbs into the jar with the stems sticking out of the mouth of the jar.
  6. Tip the jar over the applesauce container and hold just above it.  Do not rest it on the applesauce container yet!
  7. Lift the metal ring up around the applesauce container and towards the upside down jar.
  8. Screw the ring/lid around the jar carefully.  The applesauce container will be the bottom of the herb saver.
  9. To keep it weighted and more sturdy, use a clay disc (like a brown sugar softener) at the bottom of the applesauce container.
  10. Place in your refrigerator to keep cool.  Replace water in the bottom, if needed.

TIP: Be sure to check underneath that the applesauce lid has not shifted sideways.  They need to be centered to keep a better seal if ever overturned, since they fit almost perfectly into the hole of the ring.  This helps with screwing the lid on as well, so the jar/herb saver is not on an angle which can tip in the fridge and soak your herb leaves.

Now you can continue to Grow. Cook. Eat. with a bit of help from Growing Up Healthy!  Don’t forget to grab your Organic Seed to Fork Kit at our online store or one of several retail stores in Ontario.

 

Hello world! Let’s get Growing!

Welcome to the idea that sprouted from the teachings of Nutrition Bites!

Our “Seed” Story

Growing Up Healthy with Nutrition Bites is an idea that “grew” from trying to strengthen the connections between children, food skills and personal health.  Teaching only parts of the story leaves children (and many adults) excited about being able to do one, but not confident in how to put the pieces together from seed to fork.

Everyone knows that it is important to:

  • Eat healthy
  • Teach children/people how to find good, affordable food
  • Practice what you learn (hopefully daily!)
  • Create good habits early (or start right away when you want a change)
  • Cook at home & from scratch more often
  • Build social skills & relationships by spending time together
  • Be in touch with nature
  • Become more mindful/aware/appreciative of the simple things in life

So, Sandra of Nutrition Bites has put together a kit that will teach a person of any age or stage to grow food indoors or out, exploring the nature & ecosystem that exists.  That food then becomes an ingredient in a recipe they prepare.  The recipe teaches food skills and creates self-confidence in the kitchen.   The culinary creation is eaten to nourish our bodies and support our health.  The social skills of having something to do and talk about daily as well as cooking together as a family or team.

The process can include everyone in any setting (family, classroom, daycare, etc) with an entire journey filled with activities along the way:

  • Planting the seeds
  • Watering/tending to the garden
  • Daily observations with drawing, picture taking, measurements
  • Conversations about food, farming, nutrition, growth
  • Connections about plants & humans, food & health,
  • Ingredients in a recipe
  • Cooking with whole foods & from scratch
  • Taste Testing
  • Trying new foods & recipes
  • Sharing food with others in the community
  • And more…

The kit simply teaches anyone how to Grow. Cook. Eat.

The creator hopes that Growing Up Healthy is the “seed” of so much more….