Superfoods are a hot topic in the health world at the moment, not to mention hot on the wallet. Even hemp is regarded as a superfood. Here are seven health foods the Yates garden experts say are easy to grow at home.
Kale is loaded with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Being from the same plant family as broccoli and cauliflower, its claim to fame is to help fight cancer and absorb free radicals.
Kale is grown in sunny or partly shaded vegetable patches that are enriched with an organic fertiliser before planting. You can also grow kale in a pot. Feed your kale regularly with a soluble plant food to help keep it healthy and flourishing.
Once harvested, you can blend in smoothies, bake into chips, put in soups or add to salad greens.
Turmeric has received lots of publicity recently, with claims it could possibly reduce the risk of cancer, has anti-inflammatory properties, benefits cardiovascular health, improves blood sugar levels and may assist in reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Grow it in a warm and partly shaded location. Before planting, enrich the soil with organic matter. Plant turmeric rhizomes (underground stems) around 40 centimetres apart, water well and keep moist.
You can add turmeric to scrambled eggs and frittatas, toss it with roasted vegetables, add it to rice dishes, use it in soups, blend it a smoothie or join the hipsters and make your own turmeric latte.
These are full of protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. They also contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.
Beans are easy to grow. Choose a spot with lots of sun and great drainage, then simply sow the seeds into moist soil. There’s a range of beans to choose from depending on your taste and available growing space.
Green beans make the perfect side dish or pair with garlic and oil, pesto or a soft-boiled egg.
Spinach is low in fat and cholesterol whilst high in zinc, protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Spinach seeds can be sown directly into a vegetable patch or a pot. Keep moist and seedlings will appear within three weeks. Feed your spinach with plant food every one to two weeks, to help promote lots of lush green leaves.Stir-fry spinach with garlic, use it in pasta dishes, soups, salads and smoothies.
Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
They can be started from tubers in potted plants. Plant them into the ground when you have around five months of warm, frost free weather ahead. Apply a soil improver around the root zone every six weeks and keep insect pests at bay.
There are lots of ways to eat sweet potato. Try a spiced sweet potato hummus or a sweet potato pie. You can also create healthy sweet potato chips and pizza topping. For a more classic approach, roast it and sprinkle with cracked pepper.
These tasty berries are high in vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. To grow, blueberries need a sunny spot with well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Blueberries also do really well in pots. Keep the soil moist and regularly feed with a liquid plant food.
They are best enjoyed raw by the handful or bake them into cakes, muffins, pancakes and cheesecake, or add to fresh yoghurt or fruit salad.
These tiny plants have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals, possibly as much as six times the nutrients as the full-grown variety. Microgreens are perfect to grow in pots that sit on your window sill.
Sprinkle seeds over a pot and cover with a thin layer of seed raising mix. Keep the soil moist using a mist spray and position on a warm, well-lit spot indoors.
They are the perfect addition to fish or salmon burgers, egg white omelettes, fajitas and even make the perfect topping on a strawberry chocolate tart.
For more growing advice and fertiliser tips click here.