We’re starting to hear a lot of chatter about young shoots, or microgreens. We eat them often, but what do we really know about them? This article contains everything you need to know about the tiny edible plants.
1. Microgreens – what are they?
Microgreens are grown from cereal, vegetable and herb seeds.
Often confused with sprouts, microgreens are different. Microgreens contain more fibre and are grown in soil, while sprouts are young plants (in their first stage of life) that are grown in a germinator or glass jar, without soil. The best known sprout is certainly alfalfa.
Microgreens can be enjoyed raw in sandwiches, salads, juice and smoothies, and they are a healthy addition to a variety of cold and warm dishes. They can add a tiny crunch and provide a texture contrast. Spicy or mild, crisp or tender, microgreens are an innovative, tasty extra!
2. The benefits of microgreens
Microgreens are full of benefits. Packed with nutritious elements, they are wonderful for your health and often contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than their mature counterparts.
For instance, did you know that red cabbage shoots contain much more vitamins than mature plants? We’re talking about nearly 69 times more vitamin K, 40 times more vitamin E and 6 times more vitamin C. Coriander shoots contain three times as much beta carotene, or provitamin A, than mature coriander!1
Microgreens provide a concentrated dose of nutrients and beneficial vegetable components, helping to improve digestion and stimulate the immune system.
3. How are they grown?
Microgreens are easy to grow because they don’t require much equipment or time. Most microgreens are ready to eat in a week or two at most. Grown indoors, they can produce year-round if well cared for. It’s easy to keep them on hand!
To grow microgreens, you need three things:
- Good quality and ideally organic sprout seeds
- A good growing medium such as Agromix® Soil Mix for seedlings and sprouts
- 12 to 16 hours of natural or artificial light per day
Growing microgreens – step by step
Growing microgreens is pretty simple. Here’s how to get this superfood at home inexpensively:
- Find one or more large, shallow plastic containers and cut holes in the bottom to provide drainage. Place your containers in a tray.
- Fill your container with Agromix® Soil Mix for seedlings and sprouts that has been moistened. When you press it between your fingers, the water should run off slightly, without getting soggy.
- Sprinkle your seeds on the surface of the potting soil, without leaving any space. Only larger seeds such as sunflowers and corn should be covered with soil mix.
- Spray your soil lightly and cover your containers with a plastic dome to keep moisture and heat.
- Place your containers in the dark for the first 3 to 5 days, continuing to spray them daily.
- When the shoots appear, move your containers to the light and remove the dome. Leave them like that for 5 to 7 more days, at room temperature until maturity. Water them by putting water in the bottom of the tray. The water will be absorbed by the roots by capillary action.
Although many varieties are available, here are our suggestions, which are generally easy to find and grow: sunflower, radish, beetroot, coriander and mustard.
4. How to store your microgreens
- Cut them at the base of the stem and rinse them off. Spread them out so the excess waterevaporates and store them in a bag or sealed container in the refrigerator. They will keep for around 7 days.
- Place the soil container directly in the refrigerator. The shoots will last for 2 to 3 weeks if keptmoist.
Watch the video to learn all about growing microgreens. Delicious and nutritious, you won’t be able to live without them!