OUR TIPMicrogreens are young, just-sprouted mini plants that can be grown from many different plants. They have anywhere from 4 to 40 times more nutrients than the full-grown vegetables.
So small, yet so big in nutritional value, taste and colour. Today we’re talking about microgreens.
What are Microgreens?Microgreens are the young, just-sprouted (but not sprouts!) mini plants that can be grown from a variety of vegetables, herbs and wild plants. They are harvested anywhere from 7 to 20 days after sowing, just after they have developed their two cotyledons, otherwise known as their “true leaves”. They are not sprouts nor are they a new variety of mini leafy greens cultivated in the fields, but rather products of a different method of gardening that's characterised by an early and easy harvest of miniature young plants. They are simply the young versions of typical herbs and vegetables.
Microgreens have been popular for some time in fine dining where chefs use them to infuse new colours, texture and flavour in various dishes. But microgreens are becoming more appreciated by the average consumer for their intense flavours and high content of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, all beneficial for nutritional well-being. A recent scientific study from the University of Maryland showed that microgreens have anywhere from 4 to 40 times more nutrients than the full-grown vegetables. In addition, the nutrient components in microgreens can be helpful in improving digestive activity and keeping the body free from disease. Because of the myriad of health benefits, microgreens are often included when talking about superfoods and functional foods.
Why are Microgreens good for you?
Popular Varieties of MicrogreensOne thing that makes microgreens particularly interesting from a culinary and nutritional point of view is the wide range of shapes, colours (green, yellow, red, purple), textures (soft, crispy, smooth) and flavours (sweet, neutral, acidic, spicy) they offer.
The species most commonly used in microgreen cultivation come from a variety of botanical families.
- Brassicaceae: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale, savoy cabbage, broccoli rabe, watercress, mizuna, radish, arugula, mustard and tatsoi
- Asteraceae: lettuce, endive, escarole, chicory, radicchio
- Apiaceae: dill, carrot, fennel, celery
- Amaryllidaceae: garlic, onion, leek
- Amaranthaceae: amaranth, chard, beet root, spinach
- Cucurbitaceae: melon, cucumber, squash
- Grains: oats, wheat, durum wheat, corn, barley, rice, quinoa
- Legumes: chickpea, alfalfa, beans, green beans, fava bean, lentils, peas, clover
- Flowers: sunflower
- Fibrous species: flax
- Herbs: basil, chives, coriander and cumin