Microgreens are essentially the young edible versions of various vegetables and herbs. They are nutrient-dense packages of goodness, loaded with enzymes, vitamin content, and minerals. To top it off, they are full of antioxidants to protect cells against free radicals. Indeed, we can easily call them SUPER FOOD!
Microgreens Compare to Sprouts?
Sprouts and microgreens are often grouped into the same category. There are significant differences between the two, from where the seed is planted, to what parts of the plant are eaten.
Surely, there are health and flavor benefits in both. Sprouts are ready to harvest within a week of germination. They germinate in water and need to be rinsed out a couple of times each day. In the case of sprouts, seeds are eaten along with the seedling plant. Microgreens require longer grow times, and more leaf development. Leaves and stem are the only part eaten, while seeds and roots are not. They are cut off at the soil level after the husk have shed, harvested once the roots are established and the cotyledons open.
Health Benefits of Microgreens
Various studies have shown that microgreens are full of a variety of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene at levels that are twenty to thirty times higher than adult plants of the same type, by weight. Minerals and vitamins fuel our cells, give us energy and help with our brain function. Sadly, most of the foods sold in supermarkets are ultra-processed and lack the micronutrients that our brain and body need to be healthy and fully functional.
Cooking will unavoidably degrade some healthy nutrients, as the water-soluble vitamins and enzymes. That’s why I always advice to not cook your microgreens, and vegetables in general.
They are not just beneficial for us, convenient and rather easy to grow. They are absolutely packed with flavor, that makes very hard to explain why not to eat them and integrate them in our dietary and cooking routine. Delicate and tender to eat, have a fresh robust yet graceful appearance with a variety of colors, leaf shapes and textures.
Each variety will grab you with their sweet, spicy, and tangy flavor. The enzymes present in them help digest easily the other food combined with. Their high antioxidant content puts microgreens in a class where they are considered food that promotes health and prevents disease.
How to Use Microgreens
There are so many ways to eat microgreens, and each one has its unique traits and benefits. An easy switch is to use them to replace lettuce, or just add them into your mixed salad directly. Once you get started with a small microgreens farm, it makes sense to start including them as much as possible into your diet.
I have made several pestos and hummus with different variety of microgreens, with incredible results. Omelettes, sandwiches, and soup are some idea and possible way to use them; or simply use them as garnish for any dish, amazing your guests, as notorious chefs already do.
Shakes and smoothies are an other way to enjoy them, adding fiber and nutrients, even protein in the case of sunflower microgreens. Once again, be creative, experiment, and have fun with it. The nutritional benefits of microgreens are even more significant when various greens are mixed in the same meal.
Microgreens are flavorful and can easily be incorporated into your diet in so many ways. Because they’re generally very nutritious, may even reduce your risk of suffering from certain pathology. Given the fact that they’re easy to grow at home, they’re an extraordinary cost-effective way to boost nutrient intake without having to purchase expensive supplements or large quantities of vegetables.
If you wish to learn more about “how to grow microgreen” yourself, you may have just found your next healthy tasty hobby.