Have you ever been to a fine-dine restaurant where your dish is sparsely decorated with a few green bite-sized shoots on the side? Well, that’s a sign that your bill is going to be heavy and we really hope the meal plus hospitality was worth every penny. But jokes apart, those tiny greens sprinkled like stardust all over your gourmet food are actually your ‘trendy microgreens’.
They definitely make your plate more attractive and help you get that perfect Instagrammable picture. However, the life of microgreens also has a bigger purpose. Other than being visually appealing decorative pieces on our plates, they are also jam packed with healthy nutrients. So, let’s get to the roots of microgreens and understand what they can do for you.
So, How Do You Differentiate Microgreens?
Like the name suggests, microgreens literally translates to ‘tiny veggies’. These are basically newborn versions of some of our favorite vegetables and herbs. Simply put, this means growthwise it is far from being called a sprout or a full-grown plant. But it falls somewhere in between these two growth stages. These pointers would surely help you get a gist of what microgreens are:
- They are young versions of mature plants but you can’t call them sprouts.
- You can use them once the plant seed germinates and grows upto 1-3 inches, the length requirement for each microgreen differs.
- They grow quickly, it would take you roughly 7-10 days to grow them.
- It’s super easy to grow indoors and at times packed with more nutrients than a mature plant.
For instance, WebMD studies inform us that vegetables like red cabbage, cilantro and radish possess 40 times higher levels of essential nutrients than its mature full-grown version. This is practically saying microgreens are like young adolescents who get credit for having ideas and thoughts way ahead of their time.
A big plus point of microgreens is also that you get all the nutritional value but with less volume. You don’t necessarily have to munch down on too many pieces of broccoli when you can have a small portion of broccoli microgreens. Sounds great, right? However, remember that the nutrient levels vary across different types of microgreens.
You also have to keep in mind that just like there are just a handful of people who can truly think ahead of their age, there are just a bunch of veggies that are super nutritious in their microgreen form. Not all vegetables are consumed as microgreens. Which is why, we’ve compiled a list of ones you can consume below along with their health benefits. Read further to learn more.
So, Here Are Some Of The Top Vegetables To Consider Harvesting As Microgreens:
- Red Cabbage – Rich is Vitamin C, E, and K and has higher levels of these nutrients than the average mature red cabbage.
- Pea shoot – No exception to nutrient content like other microgreens, but particularly rich in folate, Vitamin A and C.
- Amaranthus – Grows to become a beautiful reddish purple shoot that’s filled with potassium, copper, zinc, calcium and iron.
- Broccoli – Another nutritional powerhouse that contains high levels of sulforaphane that can improve digestion and fight inflammation.
- Garden Cress – Watercress or Garden Cress are the two kinds of microgreens that have outperformed other vegetables in terms of antioxidants contents.
- Fenugreek – Without doubt a strong nutritional profile like the others on this list but way more bitter too.
- Chickpea – Comparatively pleasant to munch on and essentially rich in amino acids.
- Mustard – By far the easiest microgreen to grow and is best to clear congestion.
- Sunflower seeds – Would serve all your calcium and iron needs and is great for kids.
- Radish – Another Champ of microgreens that has almost all the vitamins you seek in supplements.
- Kale – Great source of Vitamin K that’s essential for curing blood clots and building bones.
- Cilantro – Has just the nutrients that are beneficial for your skin and eyes, easily dressing up a salad.
- Basil – One of the most flavorful microgreen on the list and is linked to a good deal of nutrients.
- Wheatgrass – Once again, super easy to grow and great for clearing out toxins from the body.
If this is your first time trying to grow microgreens by yourself, you could try to start with wheatgrass, sunflower and mustard, since they are comparatively the most easy ones to begin with. Overall, it is super easy to grow microgreens in your home itself. But what’s the catch? Well for one, you won’t have to spend big bucks at a big restaurant. And you could also decorate your salads, sandwiches, juices and meals with some greens that are packed with nutrients from the comfort of your home. If you want to start growing herbs at home, microgreens would be a great boost to your confidence. They grow effortlessly and encourage you to grow more of them often, glance at the steps below to understand how simple it really is.
Steps For Growing Microgreens At Home
- Save a few of the containers and shallow trays you get from ordering take outs, because they are going to be the beds for your microgreens.
- Once you have a tiffin like container, decide on the seed you would like to grow. You can choose one that meets your needs from the list above.
- Layer organic soil in the container and poke holes at the bottom. Also, place another container below the one with poked holes so the water can collect in it.
- Plant your regular seeds in the soil.
- Post that, all you need to do is give this container a little bit of attention (water) from time to time for roughly 7-10 days.
- Cut off the greens when it has taken a good height where you have a tall and straight stem (ideally 1-3 inches) that you can easily cut off with a scissor.
Note: Growth time and length at which you should cut the stem varies depending on the microgreen you’re growing.
Microgreens are popularly used in meals, soups, drinks, sandwiches and more. And having microgreens in your kitchen means you always have easy access to fresh crunchy healthy greens anytime of the day. It’s almost like getting to be the fictional cartoon Popeye who gets his extraordinary strength from his can of spinach. And we think that’s enough reason to start following this eco-friendly trend.