Growing microgreens is a quick and easy way to add nutrient-rich ingredients to your diet year-round. Often confused with sprouts, microgreens are vegetables and herbs grown from seed and harvested by cutting at the bottom of the stem at the seedling stage.
Sprouts are not grown in soil, like microgreens, and they are consumed by eating the entire plant, including the root. Another way to differentiate microgreens from sprouts is the leaves that emerge, which are edible, like baby greens. The leaves come in a variety of shapes and colors, which make garnishing a dish with microgreens pleasing to the eye.
These young vegetable greens are aromatic and full of flavor. Some common microgreens include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, sunflower, lettuce, carrot, onion, beet and chives. Not as common, but still enjoyed as microgreens, are wheat, oats, rice and beans. The flavors are strong and vary from mild to bitter and some can even be spicy.
The convenience of growing your own microgreens is appealing, whether you are a seasoned gardener or just wish to have fresh ingredients on hand to enhance a dish. Gardeners can use microgreens in many ways: They can be added to top a salad, pasta, pizza or included in a sandwich, wrap or soup. You can also blend them to make juice or a smoothie. For those with children or grandchildren in the home, growing microgreens is a fun way to educate them on how to sustainably grow nutritious food.
A Need-to-Know Basis
Growing Up: At-home growing kits are available online from a variety of retailers. The kits often include a planting container of some kind, soil and seeds. You can also grow microgreens in a windowsill planter that gets plenty of sun or a greenhouse space. Keep them watered with a spray bottle, and be sure to mist the plants lightly at least every other day. You’ll want to keep the soil moist but not wet to avoid mold issues.