Ever gone to a restaurant and wondered what those tiny decorative greens are? They are MicroGreens!
What are Microgreens?
“Edible greens grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs. They’re smaller than baby greens and bigger than sprouts. Microgreens germinate in soil or soil substitute, require sunlight for growth and are harvested when they’re seven to 14 days old and one to three inches tall. Their flavor is much more intense than that of mature greens. Microgreens are just miniature plants of greens, herbs or other vegetables. Like sprouts, they are a concentrated nutrient source and packed with beneficial enzymes because of their rapid growth”
How nutritious are Microgreens?
“At equal weights, almost all of the tiny greens contained about five times more nutrients than found in the mature leaves of the same plants. The investigators measured essential vitamins and carotenoids, including vitamins C, E (tocopherols), K and beta-carotene in 25 commercially grown varieties of microgreens, including red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radishes.
They found that the nutrient content varied widely. For example, total vitamin C content ranged from 20 to 147 mg per 100 grams of seed leaves, (cotyledons). Amounts of the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and violaxanthin (an orange coloredpigment) ranged from about 0.6 mg to 12.1 mg per 100 grams of fresh weight of the cotyledons. (The authors noted that for comparison purposes, the weight of an apple is 100 to 150 grams.) They also reported that red cabbage microgreens were highest in vitamin C, and green daikon radish microgreens contained the most vitamin E. However, nutrient content can vary widely depending on where the greens are grown, when they’re harvested and the kind of soil used”
How easy is it to grow Microgreens?
Microgreens are super easy to grow heres a step by step process from “Wellness Mama”
“Find a south-facing window with plenty of sunlight or install an inexpensive growlight. I’ve found that a growlight mounted under kitchen cabinets works perfectly for growing greens on the counter if you have the space to do it. In warmer months, these can also be easily grown outside.
Place an inch of organic potting soil in the bottom of a shallow tray or planter and smooth out to be as even as possible. Alternately, clear an area of your garden for growing microgreens.
Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil evenly. You will spread more seeds than you would if just planting the seeds to grow to full size, since they will only get 1-2 inches tall and you want to harvest as many as possible from each tray. TIP: Soaking the seeds overnight will speed sprouting time, but make it more difficult to scatter them.
Cover the seeds with a think layer of soil and spray the surface with clean, filtered water. I use an upcycled glass vinegar bottle with a misting spray top.
Place on the warming mat, if using and under the grow light or near the window.
Mist the seeds a couple of times a day to keep the soil evenly moist while waiting for the seeds to germinate.
Greens are usually ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of seed used.
To grow another crop, either remove the roots and replant or dump the entire tray in the compost and fill with more soil to replant. If you dump in the compost, some straggler seeds usually volunteer and make a crop of their own a few weeks later.
To use: Cut microgreens right above soil level with kitchen shears. Rinse with filtered water and add to salads or to garnish almost any dish”
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