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Good things do come in small packages and in fresh food the adage is especially true.
Prana Greens micro greens are simply greens, lettuces, and herbs that are harvested when they are young.
While they may be young, the petite plants have an intense flavour and high nutritional value while their dainty and colourful leaves add texture, body, and pockets of flavour to complement many dishes.
Locally produced and organically grown Prana Greens are now available exclusively to Nosh Food Market stores in Matakana, Auckland and Hamilton.
“Micro greens are known to be more flavoursome and tenderer than mature greens,” says Nosh director Clinton Beuvink. “And the intense flavour means less is required.”
Mayatiita and Locana Southerwood established Prana Greens eight years ago. The business originally produced wheatgrass and then sprouts and that side of the business was sold in 2008. The Southerwoods then began growing micro greens, baby greens and sunflower greens.
Mayatiita has been involved in organic horticulture for 20 years and has Bachelor of Horticulture degree. Locana has a Diploma of Homeopathy and has been involved in natural health for 13 years.
Micro greens, says Locana, are generally acknowledged to contain higher levels of concentrated active compounds than those in mature plants or seeds.
“They are known as having high ‘health-support' value in terms of health-promoting or disease-preventing properties additional to their normal nutritional values,” she says.
“Because Prana Greens micro greens are still living, these properties are further enhanced, especially enzyme activity.”
Prana Greens are purchased in the punnet and are living until cut for use. They can be used in salads, pasta, sandwiches, in stir-fry dishes and soup, or eaten on their own for a healthy nibble during the day.
Varieties available at Nosh include rocket, mizuna, coriander, red basil, green basil, red cabbage, kale, mustard seed, dill and radish. Mizuna are Japanese ‘water greens’ with a mild peppery flavour while kale is a type of cabbage that doesn’t form a head.
“We really love the purple basil - dark purple seedlings with sweet basil aroma and amazing flavour,” Clinton says.
The tiny, delicate plants are usually eaten within eight to 14 days of planting. Only the stem and baby leaves are consumed.
Prana Greens are available at Nosh Food Market for RRP$6.99. Purchase three punnets and receive a tailor-made wooden storage tray.
Note – looking after Prana Greens at home
Micro greens can grow indoors on your bench or windowsill, outside, in full sun or shade, and they will also keep in the fridge. The soil should be kept moist but not wet. It is best to water them by sitting them in a shallow tray of water for a few minutes and then draining away excess water.
Cut as required, rinse before use.