Friday, 13 March 2020

What are Microgreens ?

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs, they are miniature and range in size from 1" to 1 ½" long. The vegetable greens are harvested just after the first leaves appear from a germinating seed. 

 Photo by Russ Ward on Unsplash

What are benefits of consuming microgreens ?

It is thought that microgreens contain up to five times more vitamins and minerals than the fully grown plant. They are very healthy and good for your diet as they are packed with nutrients such vitamins, C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene and also rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper.

How can you eat microgreens ?

Microgreens are best eaten raw, as they lose their nutrients if you cook them.  They are great eaten in salads, sandwiches, added to smoothies and commonly used as garnishes to increase the nutrient value of the dish as well to enhance the look, add texture and complete the dish.

Where can you get microgreens ?

Microgreens can be purchased from many online stores and from certain supermarkets and wholefoods stores. If you find it hard to source ready grown microgreens you can easily grow your own. You can purchase a variety of seeds from any online retailer such as Garden Seeds Market or at any garden centre. Once planted they only take 2-3 weeks before you can harvest your crop. If you grow them in rotation, you will always have a constant batch ready for use.


Photos from Garden Seeds Market

What's the difference between sprouts and microgreens ?

Sprouts and micro greens are not the same. Sprouts are seeds that are grown in water.  The germination process takes 2-3 days to form sprouts and then they are ready to be eaten. Microgreens are grown in soil or grown using a hydroponic method by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. You can grow microgreens from any regular herb or vegetable seeds such as radish, onion, basil, cress, kale, pea shoots, kohlabri, dill and coriander seeds. The seeds usually take 2-3 weeks to produce shoots and leaves. As soon as the new leaves form, they are ready to be picked and eaten.


How can grow your own microgreens ?
  1. Get a shallow tray and fill with a layer of potting compost.
  2. Scatter the seeds over the potting compost and cover the seeds with another thin layer of potting compost.
  3. Lightly spray the compost with some water and place the tray on a window ledge.
  4. Spray the tray daily just keeping the compost damp but not too wet. You should see the microgreens sprouting through the soil within 2-3 weeks. They are ready for picking once tiny leaves form.
Picture by A Kuotsova -Pixabay
How to store microgreens ?

Wash the harvested microgreens so that any dirt or soil is cleaned off. Pat them dry then wrap then in kitchen paper and store in a container in the fridge. They usually stay fresh up to a week if kept in this way.

It has become very fashionable in the culinary world to see dishes garnished with microgreens. They not only increase the nutritional value of the dish but they are a great garnishing ingredient too to enrich the look of the dish.

Do you use microgreens ? Which herbs and greens are your favourite? Do share in the comments.

**Post In collaboration with Garden Seeds Market

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Choosing The Perfect Tea For Every Mood




Choosing The Perfect Tea For Every Mood

The peaceful and calming effects of tea are well known. What makes drinking tea even better is that it offers lots of health benefits to your body, which makes it feel great. Tea boosts your brain and attentiveness and provides you with the much-required energy in accordance with the mood that you have. There is a common fact that rooibos tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea, among others, contain loads of health benefits.

Did you know that tea can also affect your mood?

Teas are full of essential oils, minerals, antioxidants, and these have a direct result on your mood in an excellent way. Therefore, drinking teas help with several mood swings and mood problems. Did you know that there is a type of tea for each mood and drinking a particular type of tea can change your mood completely? Read on to know more about different types of tea for different moods.

Stress & anxiety

Camomile tea is well known to reduce stress and anxiety, consequently promoting calmness. It has positive effects because it increases the flow of blood to the brain and works against the effect of cortisol (the stress hormone). Interestingly, chamomile tea also has other health-related benefits as it helps in acne and eczema skincare.
Ashwagandha and green tea are also excellent for improving mood. Consumption of green tea increases serotonin and dopamine, which has been associated with lessening depression symptoms. If you feel like you have a multitude of things on your shoulders, just drink a cup of chamomile, ashwagandha, or green tea. It will make you feel much calmer and relaxed. The citrus and the lemon taste will help to keep your mind and body tranquil.

Feeling sad

Sadness is a strong emotion, a feeling that is not enjoyed; however, it is an unavoidable part of our lives. If you are feeling sad, mint tea is very beneficial in comforting you during your down moments. The menthol contained in mint tea has calming properties.

Sleepy

Lavender tea is the most excellent tea to stimulate sleep. It helps to slow down the circulation of blood, as a result slowing down your heart rate and slowing the activity of the nervous system too. Lavender is part of the mint family and helps to encourage relaxation and ease of mind, which allows you to have a sound and uninterrupted peaceful sleep.

Are you having trouble getting up in the morning?

For the majority of the people, it is always complicated when it comes to getting out of bed, Chai or Black tea helps to awaken you, and probably that is why it is the most common morning tea consumed by everybody all over the globe. This tea has natural stimulants in it, such as caffeine, which is relatively a wake up call. It also contains very healthy minerals which help to arouse your mind making it be more alert.


Brain Function

Oolong tea combines both the qualities of green and dark teas, giving it quite a lot of remarkable health benefits. Its benefits on brain function are amazing since the caffeine increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine: two brain messengers which are known to benefit brain function, mood, and attention.

Other benefits of Oolong tea are helping to boost metabolism and reducing stress, and this helps you to feel great every day. It contains theanine, an amino acid that is responsible for the relaxing effect of this tea. Theanine helps to boost attention as well and relieve anxiety. It increases attention and alertness in the first 1 to 2 hours after taking it.

Restlessness

Tart cherry tea is very effective in fighting restlessness. It usually slows down the flow of blood, just like lavender tea. By this, you feel calm and relaxed.

Feeling Energized

Ginger tea is packed with mood-boosting benefits, which cause a lot of improvement in the energy levels, and it gives a feeling of warmness as well as comfort. Ginger tea helps your body to absorb nutrients and also improve your circulation. This tea is a wonderful drink to give your body a boost ahead of taking any exercise.


Angry

Mood swings might, at times, make you feel upset and angry, making you develop temporary hate towards each and everything. Lemon or orange tea helps to increase your mood while at the same time, reduce your anger. Apart from the taste, the smell itself will calm you down. This tea is highly packed with vitamin C and is a wonderful antioxidant. In addition, its citrus aroma makes you feel refreshed after having a bad day.


Emotional wellness

Peppermint tea gives you emotional wellness and helps to keep you cool. When you feel like you are broken or emotionally down, just drink peppermint tea, it will definitely make you feel better.

Happy and positive

The Indian masala chai helps to cheer you up right away and gives you a happy and a positive feeling. It works wonders and especially if you have various serious office work to be done. This tea contains spice like clove, cardamom, and ginger, among others, that helps in promoting positivity as well as generating serotonin. Peppermint tea also helps to increase your mood; it brings about loads of happiness and positivity to your day. Taking these teas is much healthier than having a bag of chocolate.



Exhausted

If you're feeling exhausted and worn out, don't look any further, go for green tea. This is because Green tea has L-theanine, which increases the alpha brain waves. This is similar to what takes place when you are thinking. Drinking a cup of green tea on a daily basis does wonders; it helps to cleanse your body and is amazing for your mind as well. If you had a long day, drinking this tea will make you feel much refreshed and calm.


Depression

Depression is the most common mental illness in this day and age. This is because of the lifestyle that many people are living in. Lemongrass tea contains essential oils that have the same mode of action as that of antidepressants. It is packed with additional anxiety-reducing properties.

Fatigue

In case you have a problem with concentration and daydreaming, or you have a busy long day at work, black tea offers the most excellent results. Having a few sips of a warm and blended black tea makes you become rejuvenated, ready for the day as well as having a clear mental alertness

Nervous or scared

If you have a big test or interview, and you are feeling more anxious, consuming cherry tea will help you to calm your nerves.The minerals contained in this tea helps in satisfying your body and preparing you for anything that is ahead of you.


There are different types of tea to suit every mood. Why not start experimenting with brewing and trying these various teas to understand how they can help to overcome your mood and rejuvenate you. A cup of tea can have a positive effect on your state of mind so why not take up drinking tea to manage your moods.

Do you drink tea to help with your mood? I would love to know any tips you have, do share in the comments below.

Post in collaboration with Tea & Coffee.com
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