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What is a Microgreen

You might be wondering what a Microgreen is. If so, here is an answer. Microgreens are young, tender, edible crops that are harvested as seedlings. These tiny plants are grown to the first true leaf stage. However, microgreens are not, and shouldn’t be confused with “Sprouts”. Sprouts are germinated seeds lacking true leaves.

Microgreens are the beginnings of plant growth which includes the ‘shoots’ stage from 7 to 14 days, and then the ‘microgreens’ stage of the first leafy part from 14 to 21 days. Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1–3 inches (2.5–7.5 cm) tall.

What makes Microgreens so exciting is that they contain higher amounts of phytonutrients and minerals and lower nitrate than their mature plant counterparts. Also, the vitamin content in Microgreens is several times higher that what is found in fully grown plants. Without getting to techy, what this means is that due to the metabolic activity at this early stage, we can increase the amount of our nutrient intake more than we would from mature grown plants.

As an example, everybody loves Broccoli, right? Well, I do and I can get the same amount of nutrients from an ounce of Broccoli Microgreens than if I ate 20 ounces of full-grown broccoli heads. Big difference. Think of the possibilities. The same of amount of nutrients with 1/20th of the bulk. And that doesn’t even take in to affect the health benefits that are available in Microgreens.

The variety of Microgreens choices is as varied as the number of vegetable plants out there. All plants go through the microgreen stage to get to be a mature plant. They have an aromatic flavor and come in a variety of colors and textures

Some of the more popular Microgreens come from the following families of plants:

  • Brassicaceae family: Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, radish and arugula
  • Asteraceae family: Lettuce, endive, chicory and radicchio
  • Apiaceae family: Dill, carrot, fennel and celery
  • Amaryllidaceae family: Garlic, onion, leek
  • Amaranthaceae family: Amaranth, quinoa swiss chard, beet and spinach
  • Cucurbitaceae family: Melon, cucumber and squash

Additionally, some cereals such as the following are considered favorites:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Barley.

A few legumes are also considered to be favorites among some people:

  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Lentils

Just like the many choices for Microgreens, the flavors also vary with those choices. Some are more neutral in flavor to a more spicy flavor. Some may even be sour or bitter tasting. For the most part almost all flavors are considered to be strong and concentrated.

So to round up my story, Microgreens are wonderful tiny plants packed with a ton of flavor, large amounts of nutrients, and tremendous health benefits.

Happy Growing!

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