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Microgreens – What’s the big deal about these small veggies?

Submitted to The Union
Each month, Harvest of the Month provides tastings of locally grown produce to 7,100 students in Nevada County schools! In September, local students will be tasting pea shoots (a type of microgreens) from Father Daughter Farm.
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BriarPatch Food Co-op is a proud sponsor of Sierra Harvest’s youth program, Harvest of the Month.

Each month, Harvest of the Month provides tastings of locally grown produce to 7,100 students in Nevada County schools! In September, local students will be tasting pea shoots (a type of microgreens) from Father Daughter Farm.

Father Daughter Farm was started a few years ago in Grass Valley by a family that decided to grow microgreens at home to spend more time with their daughter.

Microgreens are fairly easy to grow and the time from seed to sprout to microgreen isn’t that long so crop after crop can be harvested in the same time as growing the full-size version. You can grow them on your kitchen counter, using dried snow peas or sugar snap peas. They’re cool because each one of these tiny sprouts packs a huge amount of nutrition. Think about it, each one has the power and the energy to grow into a full-size beet or carrot or celery… or, in this case, pea plant.

Restaurant chefs love to work with microgreens to give their dishes a visual and flavor POP. Pea shoots are highly favored for their crisp, tender and bright, sweet flavor. They taste kind of like peas, but more grassy.

Try our easy, tasty and nutritious ideas below that the whole family will love.

What are they made of?

So, pea shoots are not only fun to eat and taste great, they also pack plenty of good-for-you stuff like fiber, protein, vitamins A, C and K (which is great for building and maintaining strong bones) and iron, folate and calcium.

So, What Do I Do with Pea Shoots?

Pea Shoots were traditionally consumed in Asia and didn’t become widely adopted into American cuisine until recently. They’re delicate and crisp, perfect to eat raw or after very little cooking, like steaming, stir-frying or sautéing.

TOSS into salads with a light dressing that won’t weigh them down.

TOP pizza with raw sprouts right before you eat.

MIX with mashed potatoes and fry up some fritters.

ADD to a savory pancake batter and make green veggie cakes.

Will your favorite sandwich or pasta be even better with pea shoots? Give it a try!

Once you get them home, we recommend using them the first day since they are best when fresh. They’ll last up to a week when you store them in an open plastic bag, unwashed and wrapped in a paper towel (let them “breathe”).

Fun Pea Shoot Facts to Impress Your Friends and Family

Pea shoots are much easier to get onto your fork than peas!

Wanna grow your own pea shoots?

Lean how, by visiting https://www.superfoodevolution.com/pea-shoots.html

Besan Cheela with Pea Shoots

4-6 Servings

Besan cheela are a healthy and savory Indian pancake made with nutty, protein-rich chickpea flour (besan), onions, tomatoes, and fragrant herbs and spices. Pea shoots add a delicious vibrance. Enjoy them with a bowl of dal or rolled up with a little ghee.

1 cup chickpea flour

¼ cup onion, finely chopped

¼ cup tomato, finely chopped

½ cup pea shoots, chopped

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

½ -2/3 tsp jalapeño, minced (optional)

¼ tsp fresh oregano, minced

½ tsp ginger, minced

¼ tsp ground cumin

2-3 pinches ground turmeric

¼ tsp red chili powder

½ – 2/3 cup water


Canola oil, for cooking

Place chickpea flour in a mixing bowl and add onions, tomatoes, pea shoots, cilantro, jalapeño, oregano, ginger, ground spices and salt.

Add ½ cup water to start and whisk to mix. If batter looks thick, add 1-3 Tbsp more water. Mix batter to a smooth flowing consistency, breaking up lumps if any.

Heat frying pan or skillet on low-medium heat. Spread a bit of oil on pan and let it become medium-hot.

Pour one ladle of batter onto the pan and begin to spread it out, gently, with the back of the ladle. You want to make sure the cheela don’t break. Cook until the batter begins to look cooked.

Drizzle ½ – 1 tsp on cheela at the edges and continue to cook until the base gets light-golden. Flip, and cook on the other side until you see golden spots.

Remove from pan and serve immediately, as cheela are best when hot or warm.

Source: BriarPatch Food Co-Op

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