Microgreens, Mushrooms and Pickled Veggies

What’s Cooking in My Kitchen? 

I’m starting a new series this year called “What’s Cooking in My Kitchen?”. Every month I’ll cover new, interesting, and important foods/supplements/items that I think FUELIN athletes should be considering (or avoiding). 

We’ve all seen the lists that come out this time of year involving the “new” trends in nutrition and the “it” foods supposedly curing/helping a range of dietary and performance issues. Instead of making unattainable diet resolutions that have a long list of excluded items, I believe that adding new or forgotten foods is a more enjoyable and sustainable path towards better health. Here are the four things I think you should be bringing home in 2023:


Microgreens look like little sprouts and are a type of vegetable. There are actually around 60 different varieties. Specifically, they’re seedlings harvested in the primary stage of the vegetable’s growth—and can come from plants like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and others. The best part? Microgreens can be up to 40 times more potent in phytochemical than their mature counterparts. [1] One of my favorite microgreens is Broccoli Sprouts. Broccoli sprouts are immature broccoli, rich in various nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and sulforaphane. Broccoli sprouts belong to the cruciferous vegetable family, which has been studied extensively for their powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Cruciferous vegetables also decrease inflammation markers in humans, one of the leading causes of accelerated ageing [2] To reap the benefits of broccoli sprouts, eat up to ½ cup of broccoli sprouts daily.

How I add them to my meals
Blend them into smoothies, add them to sandwiches, mix them into salads, seasoning soups, mixing into stir-fry’s and grinding them in the food processor then folding into savoury pancakes or oatmeal. 

Functional Mushrooms

One of the things you’ll always find in my kitchen are mushroom powders. In fact, I could write an entire article just on the benefits and uses of mushroom powders. While some might consider them a bit hippy-dippy – there’s no denying their powerful health and medicinal benefits. Mushrooms are a special food group – fungi. Mushrooms, along with yeasts and moulds, occupy a very different position in the food chain. Whereas plants are producers at the start of the chain, mushrooms are decomposers at the very end. This position gives them some of their most unique characteristic benefits. In addition to being loaded with B Vitamins, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, and Potassium, mushrooms also help with immune support, gut health, sleep, hormone regulation, and cellular damage and energy production. 

How I add them to throughout my day
Turkey Tail powder for immune support or Lions Mane for focus is added to my morning coffee, Cordyceps in a bike bottle or blended into my recovery shake, Reishi powder in the evening turmeric latte for relaxation. You can also rehydrate dried mushrooms and add them into soups, meatballs, sauces or stir-fry’s. 

Pickled Veggies

I love pickled… well just about anything. Kimchi, kraut, dill pickles, pickled beets; I love it all. Pickled, or fermented foods are an excellent source of probiotics and studies have highlighted that through the fermentation process they can “provide many health benefits such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-atherosclerotic activity” [3] Fermented veggies are easier to digest, add incredible flavor to dishes, and are rich in nutrients. 

How I add them to my meals:
I’ll add kimchi to scrambled eggs and avocado toast, tacos with pickled beets and shrimp, salad with tuna and kraut, add a few forkfuls to lettuce wraps or burritos, fish cakes with fermented veggies mixed in; the possibilities really are endless. 

Upcycled & Sustainable Foods

Do your part- food waste is a big problem all over the world. Upcycled products prevent food waste by creating new, high quality products out of surplus food. Coffee, almond milk, industrial meat and salmon are on the top of the list for generating waste during production and distribution. One upcycled food is cascara, a fruit pulp byproduct of coffee, that can be repurposed and enjoyed as a hot beverage similar to herbal tea. Expect more and more products on shelves; from upcycled chips to chocolate bars and flour mixes. 

Since we are always telling you to consume more protein (often in the form of Omega-3 rich seafood) its only responsible to encourage purchasing sustainable options. 

How to start consuming upcycled products and buying sustainable seafood:

Here are 2 helpful websites- 




[1] Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens- Zhenlei Xiao, Gene E. Lester, Yaguang Luo, and Qin Wang
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2012 60 (31), 7644-7651
DOI: 10.1021/jf300459b
[2] Navarro SL, Schwarz Y, Song X, Wang CY, Chen C, Trudo SP, Kristal AR, Kratz M, Eaton DL, Lampe JW. Cruciferous vegetables have variable effects on biomarkers of systemic inflammation in a randomized controlled trial in healthy young adults. J Nutr. 2014 Nov;144(11):1850-7. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.197434. Epub 2014 Aug 27. PMID: 25165394; PMCID: PMC4195422.

[3] Şanlier N, Gökcen BB, Sezgin AC. Health benefits of fermented foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(3):506-527. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1383355. Epub 2017 Oct 20. PMID: 28945458.

May 6, 2024
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