Green Your Home, Your Family and Your Life!

Green Your Home, Your Family and Your Life!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

F Is For Fenugreek

Fenugreek Leaves is known as Qasuri Methi in u...Fenugreek Leaves is known as Qasuri Methi in urdu, Qasure is a district in Punjab near Lahore. Qasuri Methi is known form its flavor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)January 31 2008 day 112 - Sprouting fenugreek,...January 31 2008 day 112 - Sprouting fenugreek, and reducing insulin (Photo credit: DeathByBokeh)Fenugreek seeds.Fenugreek seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a very versatile, healthful herb, and surely one that should be grown in every kitchen garden.

Traditionally used for weight loss and blood sugar control in the East, fenugreek has gained a lot of attention in the West in recent years by those wishing to use this herb medicinally.

Fenugreek has also traditionally been used for chest complaints, arthritis and to increase milk supply in nursing mothers. 

Fenugreek seeds can be used as a spice, particularly in East Indian dishes. The seeds can also be used as a medicinal tea or sprouted on your countertop and grown a couple days for use as a tasty microgreen.

These microgreens can be eaten as is or cooked with meals as an interesting substitute for cilantro or parsley.The leaves of the fully-grown fenugreek plant can be used in the same way.

Fenugreek is incredibly easy to grow. You can buy seed packets at a nursery and get about 50 seeds for a couple bucks. Better still, head to an Indian or Asian grocery and pick up a sack of 500 or more fenugreek seeds for a couple bucks.

Soak the seeds in water overnight, then plant in pots or plots the next morning. Be sure to add some compost as fenugreek likes a more fertile soil than most herbs.

Within days you should see sprouts peeking their heads up and by month's end you'll be snipping off leaves to add to the evening meal or salad.

If you plan to grow the fenugreek for the seeds, stop clipping off any leaves when seed pods start developing as this is when the leaves start tasting bitter. Harvest the long yellow seed pods in mid-Autumn. After drying the pods out, store in a dry, dark space for use throughout the year.

Fenugreek does not take kindly to transplanting, so while I would recommend moving many herbs from the summer garden to a pot on a windowsill for winter, I would not recommend doing that with fenugreek. If you want to grow it on a windowsill indoors, sprout some fresh seed and plant directly in the pot in which it will grow.

At Rainbow's Acre, we're lucky to have a raised-bed kitchen garden plot right outside the kitchen door. This is where we'll be growing our fenugreek and some other herbs and greens that are best used fresh from the garden.

Are you going to give growing fenugreek a try? 

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