The last time you visited the restaurant and your salad has tiny plants on the top , made you wonder what this is?
After taking a small bite, did you feel that you tasted the vegetable or the grain? If yes, you had yourselves a serving of microgreens. Haven’t heard ?
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are vegetable greens which are bigger than sprouts but tiny than baby plants.
Their tiny size can noway be compared to the amazing nutritional benefits they have to offer. Would you believe that they offer more nine times higher nutrients than mature vegetable greens? That’s indeed true. So the next time your given a choice for microgreens or vegetable greens make sure you choose microgreens. But if you can have them both together that’s even better. Microgreens are great addition to any diet.
They are about 1-3 inches tall, but rich in nutrients, aromatic and available in variety of colours and textures.
You needn’t confuse them with sprouts. Sprouts do not have leaves whereas microgreens do. 2-7 days is the grow cycle for sprouts whereas it’s 7-21 days post germination the microgreens are harvested. This is after their first leaves appear.
Microgreens are rich in potassium,zinc, iron , magnesium and copper. They’re also a great source of antioxidants.
They could also help in reducing risk to a number of diseases if included in diets.
- Heart diseases – Microgreens contain polyphenols a type of antioxidant that helps reduce risk of heart disease. Studies also prove that they help in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol.
- Diabetes – Microgreens help in reducing stress which help in preventing sugar from entering cells . This is in particular study pertaining to fenugreek microgreens.
- Types of cancer – microgreens which contains certain type of polyphenols also help in reducing cancer risks.
- Alzheimer’s disease – Foods rich in antioxidants which are forms of polyphenols helps in reducing risk to Alzheimer’s disease.
Incorporating into diets
Microgreens can be incorporated into diets by a number of ways. Most common would be to include them with salads to give the crunch and texture. They could also be added to sandwiches, pizza toppings and soups.
They could also be included to juices and smoothies. Wheatgrass is one such example.
Microgreens and sustainability
Crops grown to maturity on large farms use pesticides and chemicals because they need to stay fresh to be transported to long distances. Compared to these crop grown to maturity, microgreens are more sustainable. That degree of sustainability would increase if you use organic seeds to grow them.
Microgreens are not an expensive way of lifestyle or something that needs to be consumed at high end restaurants. People often resort that crops that feed us like rice and corn need to be cultivated rather than microgreens that only is for high end lifestyle. The answer is a simple no. My response for that would be below.
Food production on our planet is happening in abundance. But the problem we face is it’s not at the right place. We seem to lose more of it while harvesting, transporting and processing.
One such industry that brings in a lot of waste would be the food industry as per what I had mentioned above. We do not need more staples we need to make food available from what exists.
They’re space saving compared to their conventionally grown peers which are raised to maturity. Microgreens can be grown indoors or in controlled environments where in the mature crops cannot be grown.
They enable you to increase the amount of space that you put into food production.
Most often when you pick up a salad outside all the ingredients like the vegetables,greens are sourced from long distances. They’re bulkier, heavier and could also lose nutrients on their way to the destination. However, microgreens on the other hand can be just transported as seeds to a local farm and cultivated. They can be consumed fresh immediately after harvest compared to matured grown crops that are transported from long distances. In this way, microgreens help in sustainability.
Mature grown crops are sometimes grown with pesticides, chemicals and there are also those which are grown from GMO . These types grow to give yeh perfect yield but only with the use of specific chemicals or fertilisers that were produced by the companies which created the genetically modified seeds in the first place. Imagine the amount of harm they do to the soil.
You don’t use more of peat containing compost that is non-renewable while cultivating microgreens. They can also be grown hydroponically. So, microgreens don’t harm the soil.
Usage of water is very minimal when it comes to microgreens. On fields or farms you end up watering larger areas where water is lost due to evaporation. Water used to nutrient ratio for the microgreens is very much high.
So if you’re wondering to grow your own produce I’d suggest you start with microgreens.
Why growing microgreens at home is easy ?
They don’t require much of equipment or dependent on time. They can be grown indoors or outdoors. This makes it very easy and convenient.
What do you need to grow microgreens?
- High-quality seeds.
- Growing medium. This could be a container with soil or growing mats specifically designed for growing microgreens.
- Good lighting that could be sunlight or 12-16 hours of UV light.
How to grow?
- Fill your container with soil and lightly water it.
- Evenly sprinkle seeds on top.
- Mist the seeds not generously watering them. Cover with lid.
- Keep a check on them daily and mist the seeds. The seeds need to be moist.
- After they germinate in a couple of days, remove the lids and expose to light.
Given that they’re easy to grow at home, stating convenience and the ease, they’re an especially cost-effective way to boost nutrient intake without having to purchase large quantities of vegetables.
I’d started including microgreens into my diet thanks to Indian Organiko from Chennai. I enjoyed varieties of microgreens that were freshly harvested and made me indulge in nutrient rich food.
‘This post is part of #CauseAChatter with Blogchatter’.