The growing project included in December's Veggie Buds Club box is "Grow Micro Basil", and let me tell you, this one is fun (and yummy!). Veggie Buds Club members receive a seed packet of organic basil seeds, grow tray, and organic grow pad (seeds and pad are from Sprout People, a great company based in the US that has been providing 100% GMO-free organic seeds for over 20 years). Instructions are also included, but we wanted to elaborate on how to grow Micro Basil at home in more detail and provide some kid-friendly ways to incorporate these tasty sprouts into everyday meals. First we'll outline our basic instructions, keep scrolling for day-by-day photos and recipe inspiration!
How to Grow Micro Basil
Here is more in-depth information about growing Micro Basil from Sprout People:
*You are working with mucilaginous seeds. Every seed will take up water from the thoroughly moistened medium and will surround itself with a gel sack. That sack has all the water the seed needs to germinate. You won't need to water again until germination begins.
Once germination takes place - keep the medium moist by watering gently or misting with a spray bottle every day or three. The deal with watering is that the deeper your medium, the less you need to water, and the plants won't require a lot of water until they get growing big - at which point you may need to drench the medium every day.
Note: These amazing little plants have a unique root structure. They may show microscopic roots starting a couple days after they germinate. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before watering - when the plants are at their driest. These root hairs impress many people as mold - but they are not. When you water your crop the root hairs collapse back against the tap root. Viola! No root hairs!
Growing Micro Basil in Pictures
These are photos from our Micro Basil growing experience! My 4 year old had a great time with this growing project and thought the Micro Basil was super yummy. She enjoyed watering it with the spray bottle and smelling and patting the Micro Basil as it grew. It took us exactly 14 days to grow Micro Basil in Minnesota in November.
You Grew Micro Basil- Now What?
Micro Basil is a delicious garnish on many dishes such as pasta, tomato salad, pizza, and salads. Here at Veggie Buds Club we focus on kid-friendly meals, below are some ways that myself and the kids (ages 4 and 2) enjoyed our Micro Basil!
Enjoy this delicious recipe that was included in Veggie Buds Club's "Kids Love Broccoli" box this month! Here are some great photos from our members that have been shared with us, keep to Broccoli Nugget love comin'!
Heather is a mom of two boys, ages 4 and 2, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather_kidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
-4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 medium head of broccoli)
-1 cup cooked quinoa or 1 1/4 cups cooked brown or white rice, cooled
-1 large egg
-1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a 24-cup mini muffin tin with oil or spray with non-stick spray. Using a silicone muffin tin is recommended, but if you don’t have one, make sure to grease your metal pan very well to avoid sticking.
2. Place broccoli florets in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, stopping a few times to scrape down the bowl and pulse again.
3. Add quinoa (or rice), egg, cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Continue to pulse until all of the ingredients are combined and uniform in size (this will only take a few pulses if you are using quinoa but will take 8 to 10 pulses if you are using rice).
4. Scoop about a tablespoon of the broccoli mixture into each muffin cup then push down the top with the back of the spoon to pack the mixture down. Sprinkle the tops of each ‘nugget’ with a little extra cheese, if desired.
5. Bake until lightly brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Allow nuggets to cool completely. If using a metal pan, you may need to loosen the edges of the nuggets with a butter knife to help remove them from the pan. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.
We created this fun FREE printable for you to do at home with your kids! Memory is a classic game that's appropriate for a wide-range of ages. Use fewer matching cards for younger kids and increase the amount of matching cards for your older children. Why not make veggies the star by playing a "Veggie Memory Game"?!
Make this activity more robust by first reading a book featuring veggies, here are some of our suggestions:
"Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert
"Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert
"We're Going to the Farmers' Market" by Stefan Page
Veggie Memory Game Printable
Simply print both sheets out at home, cut out the cards (bonus if you can laminate them), and play!