Microgreens: A Fast and Nutritious Food
You’ve decided on delicious greens to keep up your nutrition, you need vitamins, and plenty of them. You’ll be happy to know there is a concentrated nutrion-packed food that takes not weeks, not months, but just days to grow.
What Are Microgreens?
Sometimes called “confetti greens,” microgreens are seedlings that have their first set of true leaves. They take about 14 days to grow to maximum size, but can be eaten before that. Microgreens pack a lot of nutrition into a tiny amount of plant.
How Nutritious Are Microgreens?
Researchers analyzed 14-day-old microgreens for vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene. They used 25 varieties of microgreens for their study. Their results showed that microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than mature leaves of the same plants. One interesting finding was that certain plants had more of certain vitamins. Daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E, while red cabbage contained the most vitamin C.
How Do You Grow Microgreens?
If you’ve ever planted a flat of seedlings, you can grow microgreens. All you need is soil and sunlight and 7 days of growing time. Most microgreens can be grown in partial shade, but they need some sunlight and warmth to sprout. Simply dampen the soil, sprinkle the seeds out so they aren’t bunched up, cover them lightly with soil, keep watered and wait. Most seeds sprout in three to four days, and the first leaves appear within seven days. If you have the time, 14 days is maximal before harvest. They are usually cut off with scissors when they are about two inches tall.
Microgreens can also be grown under artificial lights indoors. One five-shelf growing stand with rotated crops will keep your family well-supplied with this nutritious vegetable. A neat thing for you to know when planning for the future.
What is the Difference Between Microgreens and Sprouts?
Microgreens have more nutrition than sprouts because they are drawing nutrition from the soil. Also, there is less chance of contamination with microgreens, since they are not in an enclosed environment. In short, microgreens are healthier than sprouts, but if you want something quick, sprouts are a good idea. Plus, sprouts can be grown from beans and other grains as well as from greens.
What Seeds Can Be Used for Microgreens?
Any plant with edible greens is good for growing microgreens, even squash. Some popular green are dark, leafy greens such as collards, mustard and kale; mesclun mix and lettuces; cole crops like broccoli and cabbage; peas and radishes. Herb microgreens are excellent for seasoning.
Is There a Market for Microgreens?
We all need fast ways to make money, and microgreens are a great way to do that. High-end restaurants pay from $30 to $50 a pound for certain microgreens. If you’re in a stable location close to a metropolitan area, and have the space and resources, growing microgreens is a quick and easy way to earn funds. Check out the restaurants in your area, take them a sample, and ask them what they would like you to grow.
Microgreens are best washed well and eaten fresh, because they carry the same danger of contamination as sprouts when stored. They are great for stir-fries and can be sprinkled on any food to add nutrition and taste. Try growing some today, get your system down, so when you plan for the future, you’ll be ready to rock your microgreen health.