Microgreens: what are they?
Microgreens can be considered “toddler plants.” These microgreens are not sprouts, of which they are commonly confused. Microgreens have leaves and a longer growing period than sprouts do, taking about 7–21 days to grow. Only the stems and leaves of microgreens are able to be eaten. These little green super plants can be grown in a variety of different types, flavors, and colors. But the flavor profile of most of these microgreens is concentrated and strong—making them a great addition to any dish.
Health benefits of microgreens
Microgreens are packed full of nutrients. Depending on the variety, they can contain potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. These little plants have been found to contain more vitamins at a younger stage than at their larger, leafier maturity. Although they may be small, the nutrients in microgreens are linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease. Not only do they offer preventative properties but also a great source of antioxidants.
ABC’s of microgreens
There are many different microgreens out there, but here are some of the easiest ones to get you started:
Green leaves with light purple stems. Nutty, peppery, pungent taste and high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, phenols, potassium, and calcium.
Green leaves with a slightly sweet and zesty taste. Anti-inflammatory properties regulate body functions, anti-aging, and cancer prevention.
One of the easiest microgreens to grow, with bright green leaves and a green stem.
Sweet, nut-like taste, improves digestion, promotes heart health, and regulates major body functions.
Vibrant green leaves and pinkish white stems. Mild taste, zesty, good for eyes, skin, and bone health, and helps prevent blood clotting.
How to grow these magical greens:
- Once you purchase seeds, make sure you read the instructions to ensure you are caring for them properly.
- Cover the bottom of your container with an inch or two of moistened potting soil or mix. Flatten the soil with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, but make sure not to over-compress the soil.
- Sprinkle your seeds evenly on top of the soil, pressing each seed gently into the soil using your finger.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and dampen the surface with water from your spray bottle. If you would like to skip covering the seeds with soil, you can also cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted.
- It will take 1–3 days for seeds to sprout. Use the spray bottle to mist seeds twice a day—try to keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Once seeds have sprouted, remove the cover (if you used one) and continue to mist once or twice a day.
- Don’t worry if you lack a green thumb, microgreens are easy to grow at home! Here are some recipes to incorporate your microgreens into your next meal.
Have fun growing your own microgreens and exploring new recipes!