Recently I was at the farmers market and found a vendor selling microgreens.
What are microgreens?
Fun, colorful, tasty and nutritious, that is what I would say. They are kind of cute too.
No, really they are seedlings so small, and so young, they’re
called microgreens. Generally, they are harvested when they are less than 14 days old.
Microgreens could easily be confused with sprouts, but they’re not the same thing. Sprouts are germinated seeds, they are allowed to grow just long enough (usually 48 hours) to develop roots, a stem and pale, underdeveloped leaves. Microgreens, on the other hand, need soil and sunlight and at least 7 days to grow before you can harvest them. Long enough for them to grow the first pair of true leaves.
Why use them?
They make vibrantly hued garnishes to salads, sandwiches and soups. They also offer a big punch of flavor in a tiny package. I bought the spicy mix from my local vendor. It is a mixture of radish, mustard and I’m not sure what other greens. But I can tell you that they really do spice up my daily lunchtime salad. Its fun conversation too.
What is more whether they’re Purple radish, mustard, fennel or basil, microgreens have been found to pack even more nutrients that their adult versions. (many 4 to 6 times greater than the mature plants. according to the findings, which appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
Nutrition Fact 1: Microgreens Provide More Nutrition Than Mature Leaves
Nutrition Fact 2: Many are loaded with Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
How to Reap the Health Benefits of Microgreens
As usual with produce to get the most health benefits of microgreens, eat them immediately after harvest. Microgreens begin to lose their nutritional value rapidly after harvest. If you have the space and like them consider growing your own microgreens at home.
Another way to boost the nutritional value of recipes made with microgreens, or most any produce, is to use extra-virgin olive oil or another healthy oil. The presence of oil helps improve the bioavailability of the fat-soluble nutrients in microgreens (carotenoids, vitamin E, and vitamin K).
“Microgreens aren’t going to replace a big, leafy salad that has lots of fiber and will give you a good sense of satiety,” says Gene Lester with the USDA, “But if you throw a big bunch of microgreens on anything, that’s a pretty good shot of vitamins.”
Find more tips and links about healthy living at JaquesKitchen