Seedling Spotlight - Arugula

“Rocket” as it’s also known, has been cultivated in Europe since the Roman Empire.  In Italy, raw arugula is often added to pizza at the end of or just after baking.  It can also be found coarsely chopped in pasta, sauces or cooked dishes.

You’ll often find arugula added to mesclun mixes, where it adds a delicious kick! You’ll find that young, paler leaves have a milder flavor and are better suited to salads and pesto, whereas older leaves have that peppery flavor and are great for pizzas and soup.

Vegan Arugula Pizza

Arugula is fast growing and will be ready to harvest in about four weeks, or as little as two as a micro green after the first set of true leaves have appeared. You’ll be able to grow arugula indoors with the Tower Garden LED Grow Lights or outdoors providing you protect it from a frost.

It will likely be located in the middle of your Tower.  Ensure large crops like tomatoes, squash, eggplant, melon and kale are not planted above your arugula.

Arugula in the Tower Garden

Pests that Eat Arugula

  • Flea beetles. Flea beetles will eat the newly sprouting arugula plants before they ever have a chance to grow. If these pests are a problem in your area, wait a few weeks to plant your seeds or cover the seedlings with plant fabric.
  • Cabbage worms. These pests attack lettuces and cruciferous vegetables, but you can manually remove them when you see them.
  • Aphids. You may see aphids underneath the leaves.  Providing you catch them early enough, they are relatively easy to treat. Check out our post here on aphids and ways to treat them.

Diseases that Harm Arugula

  • Leaf spot. This bacterial infestation manifests itself as small brown spots on leaves and usually takes root when water is allowed to sit on leaves.
  • Downy mildew. Spores travel through the air and alight on less healthy plants, forming brown spots on top and gray fuzzy areas under leaves. Prevent problems by keeping leaves dry with adequate airflow.
  • White rust. This fungus impacts cruciferous vegetables including arugula; you’ll see it show up as white spots underneath the leaves. You can apply a fungicide to eliminate the problem in future crops.

There have been many studies done on arugula and it’s health benefits.  They found

Arugula

Arugula packs a lot of nutrition. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, two cups of arugula weighing about 40 g contains approximately 10 calories

Consuming 2 cups of arugula will provide:

  • 1g of protein
  • 0.3g of fat
  • 20 percent of vitamin A
  • over 50 percent of vitamin K
  • 8 percent of vitamin C, folate, and calcium needs for the day

Arugula ranks among the top 20 foods in regards to Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI score). The ANDI score measures vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content in relation to caloric content.

Now that sounds like a pretty good reason to pile some on your plate!

Vegan Arugula Avocado Pesto Pasta

Fuel up with a delicious, plant-powered pasta in under 20 minutes with this vegan arugula avocado pesto pasta filled with healthy fats and fiber from Lively Table! (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free option)

INGREDIENTS

1 small ripe avocado
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp walnuts
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2 cups baby arugula leaves, divided
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Water
8 oz whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta, any shape

Arugula Avocado Pesto Pasta

Check out the full instructions here.

Cranberry Avocado Salad

Try this cranberry avocado salad with arugula from Paleo Leap.  Crunchy slivered almonds, sweet-tart cranberries, and creamy avocado all over a big pile of greens and sprinkled with vinaigrette: is your mouth starting to water yet? This salad has plenty of flavor and texture contrasts to keep it interesting, not to mention a healthy dose of the good fats from avocado slices and olive oil.

INGREDIENTS

12 oz. baby mixed greens, spinach, and/or arugula
2 medium avocados, sliced
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup roasted almonds

For the dressing

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
½ tsp. paprika
2 tsp. dried mustard
1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup raw honey (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Visit Paleo Leap for full instructions.

Cranberry Avocado and Arugula Salad

To start experiencing all the benefits Arugula has to offer. Order your Arugula seedlings today!

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