Something’s Sprouting!

For the past three years or so, I have not been able to get enough of super-fresh sprouts and micro greens from the Santa Cruz River Farmers Market.  It’s hit-or-miss, as the timing of the farmers market is not always convenient for me, so I don’t go that often, and the vendor who was selling them had disappeared for a while.  I was buying my sprouts from Diana Elbirt of Arizona Sprouthouse.  I’m not sure if she’s still growing her delicious sprouts and micro greens in Tucson, but part of the appeal was that she brought them to the market still in their soil, and trimmed them fresh for each customer.

Why am I so obsessed with these particular sprouts and micro greens?  First of all, they are ridiculously fresh… I mean ridiculously!  I have tried settling for second-best a few times, meaning grocery store options, and have been terribly disappointed.  The fresh option from the farmers market are so delicious, complex in flavor and crisp that I always start eating them straight out of the bag on the way home.

I was pleasantly surprised when I stopped by the market this week.  From what I can tell, someone has taken over Diana’s business, or is selling a similar variety of sprouts and greens.  I will investigate further and find out for sure, but judging by my taste buds, the product is just as fresh and delicious as I remember.  The pricing and sizing is a bit different, as the large bag of micro greens was $15 instead of $8, and was the size of a produce bag instead of a quart-sized bag.  I might be sharing some bags of micro greens with lucky friends or co-workers in the next few days!

Micro Greens 

The micro greens variety includes beet, pea shoots, sunflower and buckwheat.  The sprouts include raddish, mung bean, lentil, alfalfa and what appear to be garbanzo beans.  How to use these delicious fresh greens and sprouts, besides straight out of the bag?  I use them to top just about everything!  I love the contrast of a hot dish with the crispiness of the greens and sprouts.  A great example would be a vegan mac and cheese dish I made, topped with handful of greens and a sprinkling of the crunchy sprouts.

I love starting off the day with them too.  Pictured below is a toasted bagel topped with avocado slices, greens and sprouts.  I’ve been known to top pizza with greens and sprouts, toast with almond butter, and greens and sprouts on top of any kind of stir-fry.  Experiment!  Play!

For those who are eating a vegan diet, or just looking to add a healthy punch to their diet, the greens and sprouts together make a complete protein and have a full amino acid profile.

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