Vegetable Spotlight on
Frequently called "vegetable confetti," microgreens are young, tender greens that are used to enhance the color, texture, or flavor of salads, or to garnish a wide variety of main dishes.
Harvested with the stem, cotyledons (seed leaves), and sometimes the first true leaves attached, they are among a variety of novel salad greens available on the market that are typically distinguished categorically by their size and age.
While they’ve been available for quite some time in health food stores and some specialty farmers markets, microgreens have recently become more widely available in large supermarkets. Their increasing popularity is due partly to their ability to pack a lot of flavor in a small amount, as well as their flexibility in being included in a dish. Mix them to create a small, flavorful and delicately textured salad, or use only one or two greens to give a plate a final touch.
Microgreens, in addition to their strong flavors, are also lauded for their health benefits, which can vary depending on the type of microgreen.
Microgreens are most commonly harvested from leafy greens such as kale, arugula, beet greens, onions, radish greens, watercress, chard and bok choy and herbs such as cilantro, basil, chervil, parsley and chives. The taste of microgreens depends on the original vegetable. Microgreens have a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. This means that cilantro microgreens will still taste of cilantro but in a stronger, more vegetal and condensed format. The health benefits of microgreens are similar to those of sprouts; however, the specific nutritional profile for each microgreen depends on the type of plant it comes from originally.
Greens Versus Sprouts
Microgreens differ from sprouts because sprouts are grown only using water, whereas microgreens are grown with soil. Microgreens absorb minerals from the soil as they grow, increasing their nutritional content. Because microgreens undergo more photosynthesis than sprouts, they develop more nutrients. Microgreens are further developed than sprouts and have a slightly higher fiber content.
Nutrients and Health Benefits
The nutritional profile of each microgreen depends greatly on the type of microgreen you are eating. Leafy greens are a good source of beta-carotene as well as iron and calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and chard are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin.
Storage & Eating Ideas
Microgreen will keep for a week or more in a loosely closed plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Microgreens are too tender to cook, but that doesn't limit the ways they can be eaten! Include in vegetable salads, tortillas, pitas, burritos, sandwiches, on burgers, bagels, toast or pizza (add after cooking pizza), garnish eggs of any kind: scrambled, omelet, quiche, deviled, even fried.