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Introducing Papa Dean’s Microgreens

If you have been in the gym lately, you may have noticed the fridge has a lot more "green" in it lately. Cilantro, parsley, basil and thyme have been popular herbs, and from time to time you will find some beautiful romaine lettuce and some wonderful mixed greens consisting of pak choi, collards and mustard greens. These are all grown on site and harvested by Coach Nancy and I. You won't find fresher anywhere!

Last year was the biggest garden we have had in a while, and we plan on expanding it again this year into a small market garden. One of the downsides of living here in New Hampshire (and there aren't many) is the short growing season. While you can get amazing fresh produce in the summer, in the winter that's not so easy, and most of the produce at the local grocer has been "grown and flown" as it were, coming from a long ways away. We really wanted to keep growing all year round, which is why I built our "basement garden". By growing hydroponically we are able to avoid pesticides and avoid soil born disease. It's a fun way to grow, and the veggies are delicious.

Since May I have been working on a project that's come to be known as "Papa Dean's Microgreens" (Papa D is what my grandkids call me). I have absolutely fallen in love with growing these little bundles of nutrition. They are fun to grow, and they are SOOOO good. 

Since Microgreens aren't as well known or popular in this part of the country, I thought I'd share a little bit about them and why you should add them to your diet. 

What Exactly is a Microgreen, Anyway?

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that have been harvested before they mature. In our garden, depending on the type, we typically harvest between 9 and 16 after planting. 

At harvest the plant is typically between 2-4 inches tall, with a rich flavor and potentially more concentrated nutrient profile. All the vitamins and minerals are packed in there, just like you would find in a more mature plant.

Microgreens are not to be confused with a sprout. Microgreens are harvested after the Cotyledon stage, when the first true leaves emerge. The stems and leaves are edible, like a baby green, but in a much smaller size.

My favorite microgreens come from the Brassicaceae family, such as Broccoli, Red Russian Kale, Purple Triton Radish, and Red Acre Cabbage. Mustard has a mild flavor you won't want to miss. Sunflower and Green Pea grow larger stems and are absolutely delicious. 

Delicious AND Nutritious

There have been many studies on the nutritional benefits of microgreens. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 

Some studies have even found their nutrient content is concentrated, which means they often contain higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels than mature greens (1, 2).

We've talked about the health benefits of eating vegetables many times around here. They can reduce the risk of Heart Disease, Alzheimer's, Diabetes and even certain cancers.

You KNOW these things, and yet you probably still don't eat the recommended amount daily. 

My dirty little secret? I didn't either, at least not before Microgreens came into my life.

I can honestly say I do not remember one day in the last 5 or 6 months I haven't eaten microgreens. Nancy and I start almost every dinner with a salad built on a foundation of our favorites. You will never go back to iceberg lettuce once you have tasted a Microgreen Salad Mix made up of Purple Triton Radish, Mustard, and Broccoli, with maybe a few sunflower micros to add an amazing crunch.

And salads aren't the only thing you can do with them. On top of your sandwich, in your favorite wrap, or even in your protein shake or smoothie. Most people know microgreens as a garnish, and you can use them for that too!

Try Them Today!

Right now we are growing the following microgreens:

  • Broccoli
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Purple Triton Radish
  • Mustard
  • Sunflower
  • Green Pea
  • Buckwheat

We also have two mixes, the Sunny Sampler, which consists of Sunflower, Broccoli, Radish and Kale, and the Spicy Mix, which is made up of Broccoli, Kale, and Radish. Both are absolutely delicious with your favorite salad dressing.

We are currently packaging in 2 oz. and 4 oz. containers, as well as larger 12 oz. bags. The price is the same across the board, at $1.00 per oz. 

We would love for you to try some of Papa Dean's Microgreens out for yourself and let us know what you think. We think you'll love them!

Make It Happen!

Papa D 🙂

Please Read: Updated Gym Action Plan 3/15/2020

Coach Nancy and I have been closely monitoring the news feeds and staying abreast of the latest recommendations and protocols. We are taking it one week (and really one day) at a time as far as the current training schedule goes, Yesterday we highlighted what we are doing in the gym to keep you safe, and this is a further update.

We have thought long and hard about how to maintain best practices while still providing service to you. For now we are staying open, but with some significant changes as follows:

9:00am Ladies, 4:00pm and 6:00pm training will be held outside. Early morning classes are invited to train in the afternoons without notifying us. I (Coach Dean) will be co-coaching with Coach Nancy when needed (such as a large class size) to keep you safe and training appropriately. We are well equipped to modify training for all levels and abilities. 

5:00am and 6:15 will continue to train indoors, but all windows and doors will be open. If you are uncomfortable being inside, come in the afternoon.

Important Notes:

1) Dress According to conditions. You might have to mess up that beautiful "do" and wear a hat and gloves. Layer clothing.

2) Parking. There is overflow parking across the street, to the RIGHT of the driveway in the grass. Please do not park to the left in the field. To the right is family property, to the left is not. Play nice.

3) Communicate with us. Please let Nancy know you are coming to an afternoon class if that is not your norm. She is extremely busy attending to many challenges, so a little help is appreciated.

4) This is the plan for the upcoming week only. We will monitor the situation and further alter from there. We may end up taking recovery week early.

More Thoughts:

The plan is to get you a complete two-week training schedule out by the end of the day tomorrow that you can do at home if you desire. Now is NOT the time to stop self-care. Exercise, eat well, get sleep, relax.

I am not averse to saying that Cr8 Fitness is better prepared to handle this than 99% of the fitness facilities out there (or more). 🙂 We have the facility, skills, and property to comply with recommendations from the government for best practices and social distancing when necessary. Even with that being said, we are counting on you, the Cr8 Fitness Family, to help us weather this storm. Businesses like ours aren't the ones that are going to be getting assistance - we are on our own. I am not too proud to say we need your continued support and patronage to get through this intact, and I thank-you for choosing to train with us and be part of the family.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Coach Dean for Coach Nancy