On the recent season of MasterChef Australia, everyone was into micro-greens. “My dish is missing something – I know – MICROGREENS” and “30 seocnds left I have to run to the garden for MICROGREENS”
Okay so what is all the deal about then? I decided to find out.
One of the big benefits when it comes to growing your own greens is that you can pick and eat them right away and we’ve discussed this previously around growing salad bowls – my new favourite thing. This preserves the most nutrients, no matter when you harvest your greens but apparently this is particularly beneficial when it comes to microgreens.
When you get into growing your own greens in salad bowls, harvesting microgreens is another option. They make a great addition to all your salads. But what exactly are microgreens?
What Are Microgreens
Green leafy plants are considered microgreens in the stage between sprout and seedling. They are usually harvested after they’ve had their first few regular leaves. If you’ve watched a plant grow from seed you notice that a sprout appears first, then the plant develops its first two leaves. Those first leaves look different from the regular leaves of the plan. After that the next three to five leaves pop out that look like those of the grown plant. It is during this stage when the first few leaves appear that microgreens are harvested.
You can use a variety of different plants to grow micro greens including lettuce, kale, arugula, chard, watercress, beet and radish greens, parsley, chives, basil, and cilantro.
How You Can Benefit From Microgreens
Microgreens are nutritional powerhouses that are full of vitamins. The exact nutrition will depend on the types of greens you consume. To get the most out of your microgreens, mix and match the plants you use. Nutrients include beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and lutein.
Since microgreens are grown in soil as opposed to sprouts which are usually grown in water, they are able to absorb a lot more minerals and nutrients from the soil they are grown in. A good, rich potting soil will result in the healthiest greens.
How To Grow Microgreens
Growing your very own microgreens is surprisingly simple. Since the plants are small, they don’t require a lot of light, making it the perfect superfood to grow on your kitchen counter. You’re also harvesting the plants when they are still small and don’t have long roots, so it doesn’t take a lot of soil to grow them either.
Get a shallow container and fill it with quality organic potting soil. Sprinkle in the seeds for your favorite greens and herbs and lightly cover them with soil. Carefully mist or lightly water them, so the seeds don’t get washed away.
Keep them well watered and in a fairly warm place, and after a few days you will start to see little sprouts appear. Keep growing them until they are large enough to harvest. Reseed and repeat.