Recently I been introduced to the nutritional value of sprouts and micro-greens when I did a vegan culinary try-out for a potential job. I had the opportunity to meet an amazing entrepreneur and pioneer in growing sprouts in Europe Angelica Furstler .
With Angelika I learned that beansprouts and micro-greens “hold the most nutrient-rich values and are the least expensive super-foods in the world. They are a true brain-food , “legal doping” for sports people, effective rejuvenation for body and mind and are an intelligent investment into your health and total well-being” .
Sprouts are the stage of the plant between germination and micro-greens.
Micro-greens are: ” any green vegetable or herb that has edible leaves and is harvested at the coteleydon growth stage — the stage when the first set of true leaves sprout. Its the stage after the sprouting when the first two visible leaves appear and it is harvested at the 2-4 first leaves.
Bean sprouts and micro-greens are the KEY for a truly holistic nutrition for everyone no matter your dietary restrictions of preferences.
A plant is loaded with essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, etc.) at the sprout and micro-green stage and will use most of the nutrients and energy to grow. In other words, we can benefit at the highest level when eating plants in these first two stages of development.
I quickly decided to take this new knowledge seriously and scheduled personalized training with Angelika on how to grow sprouts on the yacht and she also guided me throughout the entire purchasing process. I always had a green thumb and I really thought everyone in the yacht could benefit from the delicious nutritional value of fresh living foods and I could grow it my self in a very small space at any destination we visited.
The guest I normally cook for reach out to me for my specialty in dietary restrictions and looking for healthier ways of eating or loose weight with a diet that supports their active life. It was natural for me to include sprouts and micro-greens in my menus and dishes, green juices, sauces, soups, salads, side dishes… They are always fresh, delicious and beautiful. They are also an amazing garnish for any dish and make any plate look gorgeous… but they are much more that a garnish they are a complete super-food and as Angelika says: “They have magical supernatural powers”.
When the yacht arrived in St Maarten. My order of seeds and trays was waiting for me at the marina. I started growing sprouts hydroponically immediately; seeing results right away was so rewarding and exiting and last but not least: No mess. Because they require only minimal sunlight and space to grow, I could grow them in my galley, allowing me to control the seeds I grow, the amount of water, amount of crops and I have easy and immediate access to them and I can incorporate them more readily into my guests daily diet, increasing their vegetable consumption.
Then I saw an ad on a local Facebook group from Shannon Bates an ex yacht chef that has her own business in the island growing and selling micro-greens in the island. She provides yacht chefs with super fresh, organic and hand picked micro-greens that are beautiful, full of flavor and packed with nutrients.
“The nutritional profile of each micro-green depends greatly on the type of micro-green you are eating. Leafy greens are a good source of beta-carotene as well as iron and calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and chard are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin”.
The organic micro-greens that Shannon Bates provides are not exposed to as many pollutants as commercially grown varieties. Because she has greater control over their growing conditions, such as exposure to pesticides and the type and quality of soil used, therefore you will have fewer added environmental toxins in your food. Shannon Bates grows micro-greens that
I can not grow on the yacht because they need soil to grow and soil can get quite messy on a yacht. These fabulous micro-greens are: Amaranth (My favorite because of the color), basil, radish, arugula, cilantro, parsley, dill ….lemon bomb (another winner because of the intense lemony flavor like lemongrass). They are all flavoring and “delish” and once I have used them before I can not have the same results with out them.
Below please see some of the photos I had the chance to take during a recent charter where the guest opted for a healthy vegetarian/ pescatarian diet.
I’m looking forward to introduce sprouts and micro-greens more and more to my creations and encourage everyone to benefit from all their nutritional value!!!!