The Basics of Microgreens

The Basics of MicrogreensHow do you like your vegetables and herbs? When you go to a farmer’s market or grocery, you can’t miss the fresh produce section filled with large vegetables and herbs. For some reason, you end up believing bigger is better. But that’s always the case. Take, for example, microgreens.

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are the mini versions of some of the healthiest types of vegetables and herbs in the world such as arugula, lettuce, onions, and bok choy. The biggest difference is when these leaves are harvested: microgreens go through the sprouting stage, but they are not allowed to become a seedling. They are already harvested the moment the first two real leaves begin to appear.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Microgreens?

Although much attention is still given to their larger counterparts, microgreens are starting to gain popularity because of their long list of benefits:

  • They have intense flavors. This means you don’t need to have a lot of cilantro in your dish to taste or enhance its flavor.
  • They can be added to almost any type of dish or drink. Although microgreens are often treated as garnishes for salads, they can also be used for soups, smoothies, and main dishes.
  • They have an excellent nutritional value. Just because they’re harvested young doesn’t mean they have less nutrition. They are high in antioxidants and several kinds of vitamins, including vitamins K and C. In fact, some studies show they are better than the regular veggies and herbs in terms of nutrition.

What Do You Need to Grow Microgreens?

Unlike sprouts, microgreens need soil. However, compared to regular vegetables, these can be grown indoors. Today beginners can take advantage of starting kits, which may already include the seeds and the soil. Otherwise, you can buy the seeds first and then just use regular potting soil as long as it doesn’t contain any chemical such as fertilizers. You also need a seedling tray and a light source, which may be natural or artificial. An artificial source like indoor grow light kits from greenstategardener.com is necessary if you don’t have convenient access to sunlight.

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The health benefits and flavors of microgreens prove one thing: many great things come from small packages. Grow them and make your home-cooked meals truly delicious and nutritious.