Greens and nuts have been my biggest protein source since I became a vegan 16 years ago. I have always consumed greens in large quantities, especially the last 7-8 years when I went to an 80% raw-vegan diet.
Greens are one of the three groups of foods that I eat: fruits, greens, nut & seeds. Usually your weekly share of greens, which takes up all of your containers, I consume in only 3-4 days. All by myself.
Greens are crucial in balancing my diet. I hope the Happy Box helps share the health they bring.
~ Milan Pajev, Happy Box Founder
There are many ways of preparing greens. Milan prefers blending, but there are as many books out there about how to eat your greens as there are varieties! One favorite is Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. Please check out the Recommended Resources page for other books and DVDs available for checkout from the Happy Box health library.
Lettuces and sunflower greens have very gentle fibers. Add them to any salad for a burst of nutrition.
The upper part of mature greens like kale, mizuna, mustard, arugula, tat soi, and broccoli greens are nice and crunchy raw.
The healthiest ice cream you can make is from frozen bananas and some greens blended in a powerful blender to an ice-creamy consistence. Enjoy on a hot day!
Although many people are unfamiliar with wheat grass and sunflower greens, we do believe they are an important part of a healthy diet. We use to grow them for more than 8 years and provided them as optional to all services. Now they are much more popular than before and there are many companies offering growing kits and instructions how you can do it in your own kitchen. We personally tried a kit from www.wheatgrasskits.com and were very satisfied with the quality of seed, growing supplies and very easy to follow instructions! This company offers many other seeds and grains and instructions and supplies to grow other micro-greens as well.
We choose not to grow them commercially this year for several reasons! Like all micro-greens they are very delicate, develop quickly and unlike other vegetables they require daily, sometimes hourly attention to detail. It is also difficult for us to pack them, because many of our customers did not know much about them and preferred not to receive them. If you are interested, we encourage you to learn how to grow them yourself. It is very easy and fun for the whole family. It is also a great way to learn how plants grow and gain true experience of how important nutrition is for the vigor and health of plants eventually corresponding to our health consuming them. You can do it in your kitchen as recommended in the wheat grass kits, or you can do it outdoors on your soil as we use to do it for years. Happy growing!
Wheat grass makes us strong
Grasses pick up trace minerals that are present in the soil and makes them available in a form that animals and humans can absorb. Wheat grass is one of the best sources of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.
Although eating it straight is not what nature intended for us - we don't have the chewing ability or time to break down the strong cuticle of the leaves and extract the juice - we can enjoy the health benefits of wheat grass by breaking down the cuticle through other means.
Juicing wheat grass
The best way to break down wheat grass is with a slow-motion juicer that limits oxidization and separates almost all the juice from the fibers. Excellent one that we have and recommend is the Omega Juicer. It is affordable, very easy to clean and very universal- juices successfully almost everything else as well.
Wheat grass smoothies
Milan recommends blending wheat grass into smoothies with water and other sweet fruits, or making liquid salads. You can watch Sergei's green smoothie video here.
Although making smoothies does oxidize and deactivate some vitamins during blending, you can easily consume larger quantities of grass, so in the end, you can get even more health benefits from making smoothies than juicing.
If you have small blender you need to pre-cut your wheatgrass before you start blending to cut down the pressure on your blender. It's also helpful to use more juicy fruits to blend the grass into small particles without burning up the blender.
If you don't like the fibers, you can also strain them with cheesecloth or sprouting bag.
You get good deal on wheat grass if you grow it yourself.
If you research wheatgrass on the internet, you'll find that it usually goes for between $18-$12 per pound - and it's probably shipped from California, or it is grown under artificial lights. It is more economical in the summer to grow wheatgrass in cool- air-conditioned room under artificial light rather than cooling a greenhouse and many commercial growers are doing it. We use to grow it directly in organic soil enriched with natural nutrients and minerals under real sunlight. The only problem was we couldn’t control the heat in the summer, so we were simply not growing it in July and August.
That's how you can do it, like we use to:
We were more successful of growing wheatgrass and sunflower greens directly on the soil- outside during the spring and fall and inside of greenhouses during winter. Either way, they were growing on natural light, covered only with transparent cloth to protect them from birds and insects. Growing directly on the soil is much cheaper, less waste- full and requires less watering and care since the roots of the greens can grow much dipper in the soil to take nutrients and water. There are several books dedicated to growing micro-greens and wheatgrass, I’ll just mention few basic principles, so you can avoid potential problems.
Sunflower greens are nutritious
Sunflower micro-greens are the ones so widely used in health resorts like the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, the Creative Health Institute in Michigan, the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona, etc.
Nutrition experts are familiar with sunflower greens' ability to convert nutrient-rich seeds into delicious sprouts. We nourish our organic sunflower seeds with pure ocean water (for example, from Ocean Grown, Inc.), which includes all of the trace minerals necessary for human health. Check out www.sea-solution.com or www.remineralize.org about the interdependence between re-mineralizing the soil, climate change, and human health.
Sunflower greens are fresh, tasty, and versatile
Although the nutritional benefits of sunflower greens are widely known, fresh greens can be hard to find because their shelf life is so short. At the Happy Box, we are able to deliver sunflower greens within hours of harvest - year round! You can use sunflower greens in fresh salads, blended dressings, or just eat them by themselves. They are also great in banana smoothies.
We're also able to grow sunflower greens at a reasonable price of about $6/pound. Compare that with $16 or more at Wild Oats Natural Market in Cincinnati. At the Happy Box, we believe that health should be affordable for everyone. This year we will concentrate our energy on growing the other- morethan 40 kinds of vegetables that we normally grow and we will leave the growing of the micro-greens to you! If we are lucky to have more talented and motivated helpers, we may star growing them and making them available to you again maybe next year!