Microgreens may not be a term that you are used to hearing, and you’re certainly not alone. However, you’ll certainly get a chuckle when you learn that microgreens are actually just plants. They are little plants that are intentionally grown to be harvested this way, as opposed to full-grown plants ready maximizing their age. What makes these incredible little beings so important is significantly more elaborate than that.
What Are Microgreens?
To explain it a little more thoroughly, microgreens aren’t technically the actual sprouts of their full-grown counterparts that you pick too soon. They are bred to be a smaller form of each, and are harvested when they are approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Microgreens do have a similar flavor, sometimes milder, and they look just like the larger version, only much more compact.
They Aren’t Sprouts
The term, “Microgreens” is used for almost all green vegetables or herbs that have edible leaves and that are, of course, harvested at a youthful stage. Some of the most popular varieties include arugula, beet greens, kale, onions, radish greens, watercress, bok choy, chard and herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley and chives. If you were to be technical, as briefly mentioned previously, microgreens are not sprouts because sprouts are grown using nothing but water. Microgreens are grown in soil, and they absorb minerals from it as well which heightens their nutritional content. In addition, microgreens are further developed.
As for the health benefits, they depend on the health benefits of the type of plant that it originally comes from. In other words, kale microgreens have similar nutritional value as kale. Leafy greens are known for being an excellent source of beta-carotene, iron and calcium, so the microgreens offer the same benefits. Since you can easily grow these little plants in your home, on a window sill or patio, you also don’t have the dose of pesticides and chemicals that would almost definitely come from store-purchased varieties. Additionally, you get access to them whenever you need, and since they taste better when eaten the same day that they were snipped, your recipes and taste buds will reap this benefit the most.
With that said, it is highly recommended to grow your own microgreens as opposed to purchasing them. You will also save an abundance of money by doing so as microgreens can be fairly pricey. So, it’s time to start planting. All you need is a box, high quality soil, seeds and some sunlight. The best part is that you don’t even have to have a garden, a lot of space or a green thumb! Even those who have the least experience in gardening can grown flawless and delicious microgreens.