What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tiny edible plants, usually vegetable garden plants, that are grown in quantity and harvested while they are still juvenile plants. They are grown in a medium like soil or a hydroponic grow pad and are usually grown and harvested at about 10 days, which is usually 7 or 8 days past the sprout stage. They are used in salads, sandwiches, slaws, soups and garnishes.
MicroGreens vs. Sprouts
Microgreens differ from sprouts because sprouts are grown only using water, whereas microgreens are grown with soil. Microgreens absorb minerals from the soil as they grow, increasing their nutritional content.
Because microgreens undergo more photosynthesis than sprouts, they develop more nutrients. Microgreens are further developed than sprouts and have a slightly higher fiber content.
Types of Microgreens
Microgreens are most commonly harvested from leafy greens such as kale, arugula, beet greens, onions, radish greens, watercress, chard and bok-choy and herbs such as cilantro, basil, chervil, parsley and chives. The taste of microgreens depends on the original vegetable. Microgreens have a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. This means that cilantro microgreens will still taste of cilantro but in a stronger, more vegetal and condensed format. The health benefits of microgreens are similar to those of sprouts; however, the specific nutritional profile for each microgreen depends on the type of plant it comes from originally.
Nutrients & Benefits
The nutritional profile of each microgreen depends greatly on the type of microgreen you are eating. Leafy greens are a good source of beta-carotene as well as iron and calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and chard are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin.
Top 5 Benefits of Eating Microgreens
- 1. Microgreens are filled with antioxidants that are useful to the body
- 2. Powerful source of Vitamin C
- 3. The leaves are more nutritious than their mature versions
- 4. Microgreens have a huge amount of Vitamin K in them
- 5. Beta-carotene is also found in certain microgreens in higher quantities
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