A plant-based life includes consuming greens with vital vitamins and minerals. Fresh greens from the garden contain the highest levels of vitamins and minerals. They are also most flavorful when eaten fresh. Potent greens such as kale and spinach are often highlighted, however, valuable greens also come in small beautiful packages in the form of herbs and microgreens as shown in USDA studies: Specialty Greens Pack A Nutritious Punch and Herbs Can Spice Up Your Antioxidant Protection.
To brighten the long winter and support my plant based life, I am preparing my little indoor garden of herbs and microgreens, saving the herbs from my garden that I use most often. My favorites are peppermint, cilantro and basil.
Peppermint, cilantro and basil thrive best indoors when their roots can stretch down in a tall container. My vintage blue quart canning jars are perfect for them. I have gently separated a section of peppermint and cilantro from my outdoor planter, carefully retaining the roots. Using Black Gold Organic Potting Soil (good soil adds to their flavor and nutrition profile), I have added soil around the long roots until the jar is nearly full. Remember to leave the top space for watering.
The basil I’ve chosen did not come from my garden. I am rooting several stems of beautiful basil purchased at the market. Rooting basil is accomplished by adding the stems to a jar of water and allowing it to soak up the sun in your windowsill. Replace the water every other day with fresh water. After several weeks, the basil will develop delicate roots. Gently plant in a tall jar just as you planted the peppermint. Water your herbs just enough to soak the soil. You do not want the water to accumulate in the bottom of the jar as the water will sour and ruin your herbs. Pour out any water that has accumulated in the bottom of the jar while holding the herb in place and preventing soil from washing away.
I’m also planting microgreens in my indoor garden. Microgreens are easy to grow and the seeds can be purchased HERE. Microgreens can be planted in smaller jars as they do not require much soil to grow. I am using small jam jars. Add soil to your jar, then a layer of seeds. Top with a small amount of soil leaving space at the top to water. The microgreens will push the soil up as they sprout, so the extra space on top will keep the soil in the jar as greens grow. Place your garden in a sunny area of your home and enjoy it through the winter.
One of my favorite recipes using the herbs and microgreens is the Plant-Based Spring Rolls or a simple veggie wrap with mustard and balsamic dressing.