Are Microgreens Good For You?
Microgreens are like a mix between sprouts and baby greens. They're small, tasty, and really good for you. Let's learn how to grow them and use them in your meals.
Microgreens became popular in California restaurants in the 1980s and have stayed popular since then. These tiny greens, also called micro herbs or vegetable confetti, add flavor and color to dishes.
Even though they're tiny, microgreens are packed with nutrients. They often have more good stuff in them than regular fully grown greens. This makes them a great choice for healthy eating.
This article will talk about why microgreens are good for you and guide you through growing your own.
What Are Microgreens? Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are about 1 to 3 inches tall.
They have strong flavors and lots of nutrients, and they come in different colors and textures.
Microgreens are like baby plants that fall between sprouts and baby greens.
But they're not the same as sprouts, which don't have leaves. Sprouts grow in just a few days, while microgreens are usually ready to harvest 7 to 21 days after they start growing. That's when their first real leaves show up.
Microgreens are more like baby greens because you can eat their stems and leaves. But they're much smaller than baby greens, and you can even buy them before they're fully grown.
This means you can buy the whole plant and cut it at home when you want to eat it. It stays fresh until you're ready to enjoy it.
Microgreens are easy to grow. You can do it outside, in a greenhouse, or even on your windowsill.
To sum it up, microgreens are young vegetable greens that are between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables. They taste strong, look nice, and come in different colors and textures.
Different Types of Microgreens
You can grow microgreens from lots of different seeds.
The most popular ones are from these plant families:
- Brassicaceae family: Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, radish, and arugula
- Asteraceae family: Lettuce, endive, chicory, and radicchio
- Apiaceae family: Dill, carrot, fennel, and celery
- Amaryllidaceae family: Garlic, onion, leek
- Amaranthaceae family: Amaranth, quinoa, Swiss chard, beet, and spinach
- Cucurbitaceae family: Melon, cucumber, and squash
Sometimes, grains like rice, oats, wheat, corn, and barley, and legumes like chickpeas, beans, and lentils, are also turned into microgreens.
Microgreens taste different depending on what seeds you use. They can be neutral, spicy, a bit sour, or a little bitter. But generally, they have a strong and intense flavor.
To sum up, microgreens come from many kinds of seeds. They taste different depending on the seeds you use.
Microgreens Are Full of Good Stuff Microgreens are really nutritious.
While the exact nutrients can be a bit different for each kind, most types have good things like potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. They also have plant compounds that are good for you, like antioxidants.
The best part is that microgreens have a lot of nutrients in a small package. They often have more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than the same amount of fully grown greens.
Some research even shows that microgreens can have up to nine times more nutrients than regular greens. They also have more kinds of antioxidants.
In one study, researchers checked the vitamins and antioxidants in 25 different microgreens you can buy. They compared them to regular leaves listed in the USDA National Nutrient Database.
Microgreens had way more vitamins and antioxidants, sometimes even 40 times more than the mature leaves.
But, not all studies show the same thing.
For example, one study looked at the nutrients in sprouts, microgreens, and fully grown amaranth crops. They found that the grown-up amaranth often had just as many nutrients as the microgreens.
So, even though microgreens usually have more nutrients than bigger plants, it can be different depending on the type of plant.