What do amaranth, arugula, beets, basil, cabbage, celery, chard, chervil, cilantro, cress, fennel, kale, mustard, parsley, radish, and sorrel all have in common? They are all microgreens! While microgreens themselves are quite common, many people do not actually understand what the term means.
A Brief Introduction to Microgreens:
- In basic terms, a microgreen is simply a seedling that is harvested before it develops into a larger plant. Generally, its central stem gets cut right above the soil line during the harvesting process. However, some microgreens are sold while they are still growing or while rooted in soil so that the buyer can cut the microgreen themselves.
- Microgreen growing requires seeds to be planted and grown in soil or a soil substitute like peat moss or another fibrous materials. Some micro greens are sold while still growing, rooted in soil or other growing medium, so that they can be cut by the end user.
- Microgreen growing originated in the United States in about the mid 1990s, beginning in Southern California.
- While microgreen growing has the end result of creating tiny little plants, some research shows that these little guys are packed with tons of nutritional benefits such as highly elevated vitamin levels. Adding microgreens into your diet can help to increase your healthy eating. Try using microgreens with kids; they are often a hit because they are small, tasty and colorful.
- There are many uses for microgreens. Not only are many microgreens delicious, but they make for an excellent decorative garnish on any entree you serve. Chefs everywhere often use multigreens to add some color and flavor to a dish, and you can do the same. Try adding some sprigs of parsley to plates at your next family dinner. It’s funny how something so small can make a dish look so much more elegant!
- A common misconception in the public regarding microgreens is that they are sprouts. This is not the case at all. Microgreens consist of both stems and leaves.
- Not just anyone can grow microgreens. Microgreen growing requires an extensive knowledge of how to work with the plants and ensure that they are harvested at the right time and in the right way.
Microgreens can be found in a variety of locations across the United States. Local farmer’s markets often have an abundance of fresh microgreens for sale, as well as upscale grocery stores or any specialty produce stores. Be sure to check your area for local microgreen sellers and don’t be afraid to experiment with new kinds of microgreens!
Have you had any experiences using microgreens? Let us know in the comments below!