Did you know as plant matures, it loses some of its antioxidants and the concentration of nutrients grows smaller, So, MICROGREENS are one such vegetable that contain high amount of nutrients and can be consumed at very younger stages. Micro greens are rich in nutrients. They often contain larger amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than their more mature counterpart.
- Micro greens are the early shoots of salad vegetables. They are greens that are harvested very early on, right as the cotyledon leaves develop.
- While their nutrient contents vary slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium and copper.
- Micro greens are also a great source of beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants. In addition to their nutritional value, they can add flavor, texture, and color to salads and sandwiches.
- They are suitable for eating raw, which means that they retain their vitamin and mineral content.
- When the cotyledon leaves — the embryonic leaves — have fully developed, and the first true leaves have emerged, the plant becomes a micro green.
Despite their small size, they pack a nutritional punch, often containing higher nutrient levels than more mature vegetable greens. This makes them a good addition to any diet.
Why grow your own micro greens?
There are so many reasons to grow micro greens at home, but the primary reasons are:
- Easy to grow in a limited amount of space
- Quick turnaround– even if a crop is unsuccessful, little time and resource will have been lost, and starting over is straight forward
- An inexpensive way to have a continuous supply of fresh, high-density nutrient greens at home
- A great introduction to gardening for beginners
- No climate restrictions, due to a controlled, indoor environment
- Incredibly healthy, living food to supplement a healthy diet.
What can be grown as a micro green?
Commonly grown micro greens include salad greens, leafy vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, and even some root vegetables. People can grow micro greens from any herb or vegetable. The flavor will depend on the plant.
- Dill- mildly dilly flavor
- Kale- sweet, somewhat broccoli-like flavor
- Parsley- refreshing, light taste
- Pea- pea shoots offer sweet, crunchy, delicate pea flavor
- Arugula-Spicy, peppery and sharp flavor
- Basil- light, mild basil flavor
- Pak Choi- sweet, earthy, tender spinach-like taste
- Cabbage (red cabbage or green)- mild cabbage flavor
- Cauliflower- slightly peppery, mild taste
- Fenugreek- slightly spicy, bitter, and rich taste
- Lettuce- mild, rich, sweet taste
- Parsley- fresh, mild juicy parsley flavor
- Radish- spicy, delicate peppery taste
- Spinach- like a toned-down spinach
- Amaranth-Beet-like, earthy flavor
- Celery- unmistakably celery-like flavor
- Mint- sweet, unmistakably minty taste
- Oregano- pungent, intense flavor
- Sage- mild, earthy sagey taste
- Thyme- earthy, herbaceous taste
How to Grow Your Own?
Micro greens are easy and convenient to grow, as they don’t require much equipment or time. They can be grown year-round, both indoors or outdoors.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Good-quality seeds.
- A good growing medium, such as a container filled with potting soil or homemade compost. Alternatively, you can use a single-use growing mat specifically designed for growing micro greens.
- Proper lighting — either sunlight or ultraviolet lighting, ideally for 12–16 hours per day.
- Fill your container with soil, making sure you don’t over-compress it, and water lightly.
- Sprinkle the seed of your choice on top of the soil as evenly as possible.
- Lightly mist your seeds with water and cover your container with a plastic lid.
- Check on your tray daily and mist water as needed to keep the seeds moist.
- A couple of days after the seeds have germinated; you may remove the plastic lid to expose them to light.
- Water once a day while your micro greens grow and gain color.
- After 7–10 days, your micro greens should be ready to harvest.
Health benefits of Micro greens :
Micro greens might offer several benefits as an addition to the diet.
1) Rich in nutrients
Many fresh plant products provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
These nutrients can help with:
- preventing a range of diseases
- managing weight
- boosting both mental and physical health and well-being
Micro greens can offer all of these benefits and possibly more.
2) Antioxidant content:
Micro greens have a high antioxidant content, which means that they may help prevent a range of diseases.
Micro greens from the Brassica family, which include broccoli, contain high levels of vitamin E, a phenol antioxidant. Micro greens of lettuce, appear to be high in vitamin A, or carotenoid antioxidants.
Micro greens are like baby plants.
You harvest them just one to two weeks after they’ve germinated (started to grow out of their seeds).
Most micro greens are between one and three inches tall when they’re harvested. They’re small, but micro greens are packed with a high concentration of nutrients and some varieties also offer an intense flavor. They’re also a lot more tender.
Microgreens, nutrients, antioxidant, salad greens, cotyledon leaves, growing media, carotenoids, gardening, leafy vegetables.
Write up by:
Kavita B M