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A Guide To Microgreens

A Guide To Microgreens

 

What are Microgreens? 

Microgreens are tiny superfoods, you may have seen them garnished on your salad, topped off on pasta or mixed in with your morning smoothie.  

Microgreens are the seedlings of vegetables, leafy greens and herbs. They only grow to about 1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 cms) in height and are ready to be harvested within 7-10 days. Microgreens have a strong, intense flavour which is packed with more vitamins and minerals than their mature counterparts. 

Microgreens may look the same, each one has a unique aromatic flavour.


Why are they small?

They are the seedling of edible vegetables and herbs. The plant hasn’t fully matured yet and you are eating the seedlings in their younger stage.


How will it fill me up? 

Microgreens are not intended as a full meal. They are often garnished with meals, mixed together in salads, topped off on a beverage.  


How do they pack so much nutrition? 

The nutrients are more compacted and concentrated in the microgreen, bringing complex and intense flavours to your mouth. Microgreens are loaded with nutrients, such vitamins, C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene, x40 more than the mature leaves of the same plants. 


How can they be consumed? 

You have probably encountered microgreens in cafes,  fancy restaurants or even a juice shop. Mix in some microgreens on your next avocado toast, tos on soup, curry, pizza, omelette, stir fry, pasta or a sandwich.  Mix in with a smoothie or garnish your next cocktail. 


What do they taste like? 

Microgreens are delicious and taste just like their mature plant counterpart. Eating a radish microgreen will taste just as spicy as a fully matured Radish! 


Difference between Sprouts and Microgreens? 

  1. Sprouts are simply germinated seeds. Microgreens go through a different planting and growth process that allows them to boast fully developed stems and leaves, making them significantly different in composition from sprouts.
  2. Sprouts Are Grown In Water (or a substrate). Microgreens in Soil, Peat Moss, Bamboo, hemp, felt
  3. Sprouts Take Much Less Time To Grow.  Microgreens Take Longer.
  4. Sprouts Do Not Have The Same Nutritional Value. Microgreens Are Healthy.
  5. Microgreens and Sprouts Taste Very Different.

Other names for microgreens: 

  • Vegetable Confetti
  • Superfood
  • Baby vegetables 
  • Super vegetables

What are the healthiest Microgreens? 

All microgreens are healthy, however some deliver different concentrations of essential nutrients to your body. Radish greens for example contain vitamins A, B,C, E, and K, along with iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. 

The infamous superfood- kale greens provide an abundance of vitamin C! 


How do Microgreens grow? 

Microgreens start like any other plant. Seeds are planted into soil or a specialized grow mat, and they usually begin to germinate after 1-2 days. From this point, you will start to see some tiny sprouts appear after 3-5 days. These small shoots can be eaten as is, but it’s best to wait a little longer for the full flavour and nutrients to develop. The first pair of leaves that begin to unfold are called the cotyledons, and they signal when your greens are ready for harvest. When this leaf pair has opened fully and are deep green (or in some cases-red or purple) in colour, it’s time to harvest your greens!


How do Microgreens grow so quickly?

Microgreens are so quick to harvest because they are one of the earliest stages in a plant’s life cycle. The first pair of leaves usually signals the start of the growth cycle in a mature plant, but when it comes to microgreens this is prime time to harvest! 


Do Microgreens grow after cutting them?

Unfortunately, no. In some cases plants can be harvested in a certain way so that they might produce another crop of greens, however it’s a labour intensive process and not always successful. 


How many meals can I make from one Micropod? 

Depending on how you eat your microgreens each micropod will be one meal. However if you are only garnishing your dish with the microgreens each micropod harvest can be used 2-3 times. 

What are the different types of microgreens? 

Since microgreens are just the early stage of plant growth, almost any herb or vegetable variety can produce microgreens! However, some are much easier to cultivate (and tastier) than others. Some commonly grown microgreens are: 

  • Radish 
  • Mustard 
  • Broccoli 
  • Kale 
  • Arugula
  • Basil 
  • Pea 
  • Sunflower 
  • Cabbage 
  • Mizuna
  • Cress

How long can I keep Microgreens after harvesting? 

Microgreens can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks depending on the container they are kept in and the temperature inside the fridge. When possible, try to keep microgreens in a vented container to prevent condensation from building up. Don’t have one of those? Add a paper towel to the bottom of the container to absorb some excess moisture and keep your greens fresh for longer. 


Are Microgreens grown indoors or outdoors? 

Microgreens and sprouts grow well in temperatures between 18 and 24C, so they tend to grow best in indoor environments. A kitchen counter with access to light is generally a perfect location! 

Microgreens contain 4-40x’s more nutrients compared to a fully grown crop. They are a space efficient, high yielding, extremely nutritious way to get growing your own food. 

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