Americans will be able to grow their own khai-nam at home and get all the protein-packed goodness it offers. Americans will be able to grow their own khai-nam at home and get all the protein-packed goodness it offers. Americans will be able to grow their own khai-nam at home and get all the protein-packed goodness it offers. (Photo: Green Onyx)

Grow one of the world's tiniest plants on your kitchen counter

Once only available in remote areas, this vitamin-packed superfood is coming to America.

You own the best juicer in town, and your friends say you're a vegetable expert. Kale, wheat grass juice and the latest in vegan food are on your shopping list, no doubt. So do we have good news for you: The next big thing in vegetable technology is coming soon to a countertop near you.

We're all familiar with pod coffee machines that dot offices and homes across America. But instead of coffee, imagine if those pods were packed with an edible plant that has more protein than soy.

GreenOnyx is a new food machine from Israel that manufactures tiny, vitamin-packed plants called khai-nam that you eat or drink. GreenOnyx is based on hydroponics, which is a method of growing food without soil. Since khai-nam grows in nature without soil, this was an obvious choice for the GreenOnyx inventors who are hip to the protein and antioxidants produced in this popular Asian food source.

Khai-nam is as common in Asia as peanut butter is to Americans, but it hasn’t caught on in the United States because it’s hard to grow – and keep fresh. In countries like Thailand, where it’s tropical and hot and wet, the tiny plant (also known as water eggs) is just scooped off ponds and eaten.

The husband-and-wife team behind GreenOnyx wanted to create a way for Americans to grow this superfood. The couple invented two machines: one for commercial use, and one for everyday people.

Who can say no to that? The healthiest, freshest food grown at home with zero food miles?

Company spokeswoman Fiona Choppe said the commercial product – still in development – will be sold to juice companies in the United States, and is scheduled to be ready in one year. The home device will debut shortly afterward, she said.

Kelly Vaghenas, a health food blogger in Montclair, New Jersey, works as a professional dancer. “As a world traveler who loves eating healthy food from around the planet, I like the idea of growing food at home,” Vaghenas said.

“I am a member of my local CSA, where I get fresh, organic produce on a weekly basis – but I must drive to the pickup site to receive my share, and the season is short, only June through November," she said. “Growing khai-nam in my kitchen, I could save time and a car ride, and get all the nutritional benefits of a new superfood, even in the winter months, when the supply of my other favorite green veggies drops off. The reasons to harness this technology are all there."

The new Green Onyx machine allows you to grow nutritious khai-nam right in your home.The new Green Onyx machine allows you to grow nutritious khai-nam right in your home. (Photo: Green Onyx)

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