Microgreens have become a favorite of recent times, they are both healthy and delicious at the same time. Don’t be fooled by how tiny they look, they often have higher nutrient levels than ripe vegetable greens.
Microgreens are young vegetable greens, about 2.5-7.5 cm tall. They are also known as baby plants that fall somewhere between a sprout and a baby sprout. Microgreens are more similar to baby greens in that only the stems and leaves are considered edible. Microgreens are very convenient to grow as they can be grown outdoors, in greenhouses or even in a variety of places such as windowsills. They are also considered in the category of functional food because they provide an extremely easy intake of many nutrients.
What Are the Most Popular Micro Green Species?
Microgreens can be grown from many different types of seeds. Now I list the most popular types for you.
Tupraceae:Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, arugula, and watercress
Daisyaceae:Lettuce and endive
Apiaceae:Dill, carrot, celery and fennel
Daffodils:Leeks, garlic and onions
Spinachaceae:Quinoa, amaranth, chard, beetroot and spinach
Cucurbits:Zucchini, cucumber and melon
Moreover; In addition to grains such as rice, oats, wheat, corn and barley, legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are sometimes turned into microgreens.
So, How Do Microgreens Taste?
I give the answer right away.. The taste of microgreens changes. Yes, you heard it right, they do not have a single aroma. Depending on the variety, they can be spicy or slightly sour, sometimes even slightly sweet. But they generally have a strong flavor and are considered concentrated.
What Features Make Microgreens Valuable?
Let’s not pass without mentioning the features that make microgreens valuable and most importantly, provide great benefits to our health. Here are those features.
1- Contains High Nutritional Value
Microgreens are much more nutritious than mature greens. This is because they manage to collect the important vitamins and minerals found in ripe greens and fit them into smaller sizes. Thanks to these properties, they are also known as concentrates. They’re rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper, although their nutrient content varies slightly. This richness ensures that the need for vitamins and minerals is provided very quickly and easily.
Studies show that when microgreens are compared to more mature greens, the nutrient levels in microgreens are nine times higher! Moreover; They contain more polyphenols and antioxidants. Although the vitamin and antioxidant levels of microgreens vary, the measured levels were 40 times higher than mature greens.
So I mean; Just as you should not neglect vegetables and fruits from your diet, adding some microgreens will allow you to reach the nutrients you need faster.
2- Contains Antioxidant Polyphenols
What we call polyphenols are natural chemicals found in many foods. These natural chemicals have strong antioxidant properties for health. Antioxidants are; It prevents both chronic diseases and free radicals that damage cells.
What Does Research Say About Polyphenols?
According to research, polyphenols; It reduces risks such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease!
Moreover, most vegetables are very rich in polyphenol content. In fact, the microgreen versions of these vegetables have a higher polyphenol content!
3- Protects Heart Health
Heart diseases are among the most common causes of death in the world. The easiest and most effective way to protect heart health is to eat healthy! It is possible to prevent the risk of heart diseases by increasing the consumption of vegetables in your daily diet. When you include microgreens, your rate of minimizing the risk increases.
In addition to an adequate and balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity, consuming microgreens 2-3 days a week keeps your heart strong!
4- Reduces the Risk of Chronic Disease
Increasing the consumption of vegetables prevents chronic diseases as well as reduces the risk of prostate and digestive system cancers! How about enriching and diversifying your vegetable consumption? If your answer is yes! You can get started right away by adding a handful of microgreens to your salads.
5- Supports the Digestive System
Because microgreens contain high prebiotic fiber, they support the development of gut-friendly probiotics. In addition to the digestive system, it is also very useful for improving your overall health.
6- Easy to Produce
Growing microgreens is pretty easy. You don’t need to have a huge garden for these greens, which are a food store, to form!
If you have a window or balcony that gets some sunlight, the most important step is completed. It is sufficient to wait for a small time interval such as 7-21 days for the harvest period. Don’t be afraid when the weather gets cold! It is possible to maintain production throughout the year by acquiring a growth light for yourself during the winter months.
Is It Risky To Consume Microgreens?
It is safe to consume microgreens! Don’t worry, there is no such thing as food poisoning. However, those who want to grow microgreens at home should follow the steps I mentioned carefully.
If you have decided to grow microgreens at home, then two important points are;
1- Get your seed from a reputable company
2- Stay away from growing environments that may be contaminated
How to Add Microgreens to the Diet
There are many different ways to add microgreens to the diet. Here are some of those ways;
1- It can be included in salads and sandwiches.
2- It can be mixed into juice or smoothies.
3-It can be used as a garnish in hot dishes.
Growing Microgreens Step by Step!
Empty spray bottle
Fill your container with soil without compacting it too much and water it lightly.
Sprinkle the seed of your choice as evenly as possible.
Cover your container with a plastic wrap or a transparent bag.
Check your planting pot constantly and keep your seeds moist
Uncover and expose to light a few days after the seeds germinate.
Water once a day when the microgreens begin to grow and turn colour.
Check after 7-10 days the microgreens are in the harvest stage
Always use scissors or a knife to harvest microgreens.
Gather the microgreens in clumps with your hands and cut them off the stem
Harvest as much as you can use!
Wash the microgreens you have collected with very light water before using them.
To summarize, place these wonderful greens in the center of your life and I think you should definitely enjoy growing them at home.