There are so many awesome superfoods out there. And you always feel great, too, when you opt for a healthy superfood rather than something processed and loaded with junk. From quinoa to chia seeds, there’s no shortage of extremely healthy grains, berries and seeds you can pick up at your local health food store.
About that health food store — It’s expensive, isn’t it? Many people, in fact, state that this is the reason why they don’t eat as healthy as they should do. Even if it means doing their bodies a huge favor, if the money isn’t there, it isn’t there. This is especially true when it comes to feeding a family. You have to buy smart.
The good news is you can still buy smart without having to compromise the health of your family.
You’d probably be surprised at how much money you can save by learning to grow a few superfoods in your own backyard, or even on your windowsill in some cases.
Don’t believe it’s possible? Oh, but it is! Read on and I’ll show you how.
1. Goji Berries
Goji berries are very tolerant; you can grow them in zones 3 to 10. They like moist, mulched soil. Use wood chips and rotten hay for mulch — no more than four inches.
If you’re planting your goji berries in pots, be sure to place them outside during the warm months of the year.
They take a while to bear (2-3 years) but believe me, it’s worth it!
Health benefits of goji berries include the ability to prevent cancer, fight signs of aging, boost weight loss and improve cholesterol levels. Watch the video below to learn more about how to grow these nutritious beauties!
2. Chia Seeds
This is one of my personal favorites. I love to put chia seeds in water and drink it. They actually go down a lot smoother than you’d expect. The drink has an almost gel-like consistency. You can also let them soak in nut milks and add pure, raw honey for an extremely healthy treat.
There are a few methods to growing chia seeds. One is called the sprinkle method, and all you’ll need for it are seeds (1 tablespoon = 2 cups of sprouts), a terra cotta dish, a glass baking dish with a lid (think greenhouse) and a spray bottle filled with filtered water.
As per instructions from Preparedness Mama, sprinkle your chia seeds into the terra cotta dish, then place the dish in your glass baking dish.
Next, add a quarter inch of filtered water to the bottom of the “greenhouse” so the terra cotta gets soaked. Spritz the seeds lightly and then cover the dish to keep the moisture inside.
Place the entire thing in a dark place, and voila! In about 4 to 6 days, you’ll have sprouts.
Here’s a fan favorite. If you ever get bored of eating rice, try quinoa. It will add a whole new flavor and texture to foods you thought you’d grown tired of. You can use it in place of rice or pasta, or try sprinkling it on your salads.
Quinoa will take about 100 days to mature. It does very well in areas with cool nights.
This video has you covered on all the basics of quinoa growing.
One of the awesome things about kale is that you have so many varieties to choose from. Do you want something dense and crinkly? Dinosaur kale is what you’re looking for. Prefer something flat? Go for the Red Russian!
Equally awesome is how easy kale is to grow on your own. If you’re planting it during the cold seasons, kale likes plenty of sunshine. If you’re planting in the warm seasons, put the kale in partial shade.
You don’t need a large amount of garden space to grow sprouts. You don’t even need a lot of counter space to grow them. All you need is a jar.
They don’t need any soil or sun, and they’re incredibly healthy for you. The following video from Christine Salus will clue you in.
6. Sweet Potatoes
These bad boys are the most nutritious of all vegetables according to Food Reference. And they’re made even better by the fact that you can grow them in a container.
They mature in 90 to 170 days and like to be planted in full sun 3 to 4 weeks after the year’s last frost. Rob Bob’s Backyard Farming has this video showing you how to grow sweet potato slips.
Oh, oregano. It’s one of my favorite herbs to put on garlic bread or just about any type of sandwich you can think of. (Okay, not peanut butter and jelly, but you know the sort of sandwiches I’m talking about.) And, of course, many people appreciate a spaghetti sauce with a good dose of oregano in it. Many people love the smell of it, as well. And oregano has so many health benefits! It can, for example, aid in treating respiratory tract disorders, GI disorders, menstrual cramps and urinary tract infections.
Oregano is a perennial herb that grows under the same conditions as thyme. About.com recommends that you use 6″ pots and leave them in areas of your home that get plenty of sunlight.
Pinching the leaves regularly encourages the plant to grow bushier and have a larger harvest. But chances are you’ll wind up with more oregano than you really know what to do with, as the yield is typically quite high.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers grow in just about every zone. They are very hardy, tolerant plants that contain a ton of magnesium, copper and vitamins.
When it’s time to harvest the seeds, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you’ll want to keep an eye out for ripeness by making sure the back of the flower head has turned yellow and the bracts have begun to dry. This will occur about 30 to 45 days after bloom.
To harvest the seeds, cut the head off the plant and remove the seeds with your fingers.
Listen to David Wolfe talk about the power of superfoods!
[h/t: Tree Hugger]