Pick-your-own Kitchen Windowsill Salad

One of the surprises in this week’s box is the Living Salads Organic Oriental Mix – otherwise known as my kitchen windowsill salad.

Just Add Water

Growing in a plastic tray filled with compost are four-week old leaves of pak choi, tatsoi mustard and rocket. All I have to do is lightly water it and it could live up to 10 days – although I’m sure I will use it all before then.

Pak choi and tatsoi are Asian greens, which belong to the brassica family, and rocket is thought to originate from southern Europe.

Each has a slight mustard or peppery taste and adds a nice zing to an average plate of pasta or stir fry, and can make most sandwiches much more exciting on the taste buds. You can pretty much throw these leaves into any meal.

A Fresher, Healthier Salad

One thing to remember with all salad, fruit and veg is that from the moment they are picked they start to loose nutrients. Nutritionally, this tray of growing salad is a better option than buying a bag of salad leaves that were picked some time ago and suffocated in a plastic bag.

Salad Nutrients

Salad leaves like these are a great source of vitamin A and folate (also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid). They also contain vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. You can find more on baby salad nutrients here.

Vitamins A, C and E, and zinc are powerful antioxidants, which the body uses to keep its cells healthy by protecting against free radicals*. So these salad leaves not only taste good, they are good news all round.

Grow Your Own

Pick-your-own salad has obvious benefits. This is the freshest way to get your salad leaves, they are bursting with nutrients and they are available right there, on your kitchen windowsill, whenever you want to use them.

But then I start to think . . . why not try growing your own? It doesn’t look like it should be that difficult. I’ve already got the tray – I can reuse the one my Living Salads salad came in – I just need some compost and seeds.

I did an internet search for salad seeds and found an interesting sounding oriental mix on the Suttons Seeds website. For £2.10 (today’s price) you get an average of 850 seeds in the Leaf Salad Spicy Oriental Mix Speedy Seeds packet. The mix contains Mizuna Kyoto, Indian Red Mustard, Yukina Savoy, Sky Rocket, and Golden Streaks Mustard.

Ready in Just 3 Weeks

From sowing, so the website says, the leaves should be ready to eat in just three weeks, and each sowing can give you up to three crops. Hmmm . . . I wonder how many sowings the 850 seeds give you and, although the website says to ‘grow them in the garden or in containers on the patio’, I wonder if you can grow them indoors. It’s definitely worth trying at some point.

* Particles and substances such as air pollution, smoke, alcohol, UV light, pesticides and medications, which can damage the cells and are often quoted in association with disease.

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