Concentrated nutrients, served in top restaurants and kind of cute.
Edible microgreens are featured at many serious restaurants. They are a popular item at our farmers’ market – sold still growing in soil in flats. They are edible, nutrient rich baby plants that grow to between one and three inches tall. They are also known as micro herbs and vegetable confetti. I keep them growing at home for a few days until I use them. You can also grow your own microgreens and harvest them 7-28 days after germination, before the first leaves have arrived.
Microgreens are said to be packed with antioxidants, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, carotenoids and vitamins in concentrations as much as 7 to 40 times those of grown up vegetables, greens and herbs. Nutrient values vary among microgreens, but you will want to eat a selection to blend the benefits.
Types of microgreens from Healthline.
- Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, radish and arugula
- Lettuce, endive, chicory and radicchio
- Dill, carrot, fennel and celery
- Garlic, onion, leek
- Amaranth, quinoa swiss chard, beet and spinach
- Melon, cucumber and squash
This USDA Study of the nutritional value of Microgreens. 2014 reports on the nutritional values of 25 microgreens.
The easiest way to add microgreens to your diet is to throw them into your salads and sandwiches and garnish your dishes like master chefs do. Throw in a handful with your scrambled eggs in the morning. Add some to your soups.
Here are some microgreen salad recipes.
For the Salad
1 cup of mixed microgreens
1 blood orange, peeled and cubed
½ avocado, peeled and cubed
½ cup of shredded carrot and/or daikon radish
¼ chopped walnuts
For the Dressing
1 TBS cold pressed olive oil
1TBS lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
a dash of salt and pepper
- If your microgreens have some soil on them, give them a light wash and air dry them in a colander. (They are fragile so handle with care)
- Place them in a bowl and add remaining salad ingredients.
- Stir up your vinaigrette in a little jar and pour on top of the salad.
- 4 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups microgreens (1/4 pound)
- Stir together curry powder and water in a small bowl to make a paste. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in oil and let stand, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
- Pour curry oil through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a small cup, discarding any solids.
- Whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, then add curry oil, whisking until combined.
- Divide greens among plates (with pork and potatoes, if serving) and drizzle with some dressing.
- In place of the microgreens, you can use any tender or crisp types of lettuce, preferably small.
•Curry oil can be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered.
•Vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
DIY? This Basic Salad Micro Mix is a flavorful and colorful combination of microgreens that grow well together and can be harvested at 10 days. Contains: Broccoli, Kale, Kohlrabi, Arugula, Red Acre Cabbage & Cauliflower. This microgreens mix is a sample mix of different types of seeds that makes a great base for any microgreens salad, sandwich, etc. The greens have similar germination and harvest times. The mix does contain arugula which gives it a mild kick. Keep dark for 4 days or so before exposing to light. The basic microgreens salad mix has a great flavor and a nice mix of colors. Basic Salad Mix Microgreens Seeds Non-GMO Micro Green Seed Blend. $17.99
Organic Soil for Indoor/Outdoor Plants expands to fit 3″ and 4″ pots – 12 Pack. $12.97
Because microgreens grow in soil, even in organic soil, I have read that we should not eat the roots. Instead, harvest microgreens by cutting the plant above the soil line when they are approximately 1.5-2.5” tall. Use clean scissors to cut them.
Note: Nightshade plants such as tomatoes, tomatoes and eggplants are poisonous as microgreens.