Microgreens: Benefits And Harms

The very name microgreen speaks for itself: these are seedlings of various plant crops that are up to two weeks old. Everyone knows the beneficial properties of sprouted wheat on the body, and young shoots of other noble crops have exactly the same effect.

There are many types of microgreens and each of them has its own value and incredibly amazing appearance. In addition to the fact that each type of sprout accumulates a concentration of trace elements, proteins, and vitamins. All this is necessary for each of us to maintain a full and vigorous state of the body, preserve youth and protect against environmental factors.

Beetroot microgreens

Beetroot sprouts are good to add to salads and main courses. They have a tonic effect due to their high content of trace elements and a complex of vitamins. They strengthen the immune system and have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.

Microgreens of arugula

Arugula is valued for its unique combination of essential oils, vitamins, carotene, and minerals. Arugula sprouts are a natural source of iodine and vitamin C. It has a rather intense effect on the body’s metabolism, helps to remove cholesterol, and increases hemoglobin levels. Its aromaticity and light nutty-mustard flavor make it popular as a savory side dish for meat and fish dishes and as an addition to salads made from vegetables, fruits, cheese, and seafood.

Radish microgreens

Pleasantly tangy radish leaves are a great savory addition to sandwiches, raw vegetable salads, and meat dishes. They contain a complex of vitamins, minerals, thiamine, riboflavin, and essential oils. They improve digestion and have moderate choleretic and decongestant properties.

Mitsuna microgreens

Mitsuno is a leafy Japanese mustard. Its spicy and peppery sprouts are full of flavor and aroma. They help to regulate water metabolism in the body and cleanse the walls of blood vessels from plaque. Young leaves of Mitsuno can be eaten alone or mixed with leaves of other crops. They will add a pleasant sharpness to sandwiches, and enhance the brightness, aroma, and nutritional value of the salad.

Basil microgreens

Basil sprouts with a pleasant aroma and slightly pungent taste go well with all vegetable, meat, and fish dishes. They are a great addition to soups, cheese, omelets, and especially salads. They contain sugars, carotene, vitamins C, B2, PP, and essential oils. They stimulate digestion.

Mustard microgreens

Mustard sprouts are dominated by ascorbic acid and rutin (vitamins C and P), an excellent remedy that prevents the aging of blood vessel walls. Young leaves are consumed both fresh and boiled. Thanks to their peppery flavor and delicate aroma, they add a slight spiciness to meat and fish dishes, vegetable salads, and snacks. This spicy food supplement stimulates appetite and blood circulation.

Daikon microgreens

Young daikon leaves are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and PP and minerals. Their consumption strengthens the body’s defenses and stimulates the secretion of gastric juice, improving digestion. Fresh is a great addition to vegetable salads and meat dishes, and boiled is used in soups.

Red cabbage microgreens

Red cabbage sprouts are characterized by a high concentration of vitamins, carbohydrates, enzymes, phytoncides, minerals, and other nutrients. They contain twice as much vitamin C and 4 times more carotene than their white cabbage counterparts. Thanks to this, they strengthen the immune system, stimulate digestion and prevent stomach sluggishness, and have a tonic effect. It is good to use fresh, adding to salads and meat dishes.

Watercress microgreens

Watercress is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, carotene, rutin, and trace elements. It has a tonic effect, improves digestion, sleep, and well-being, and lowers blood pressure. Its juicy greens with a pleasant delicate spicy flavor are widely used in cooking. It is added to salads, soups, and sauces, and served with meat and fish dishes, side dishes, and sandwiches.

How to germinate microgreens at home

To germinate seeds, they need to be provided with a special microclimate. Although it sounds fancy, it’s actually not difficult. Either a simple glass jar, saucepan, or baking dish will do, and you need to add a strainer or cheesecloth to the design. Or you can use a special container for germinating microgreens – it already has a twist strainer, which makes it easier to rinse the seeds.

As for the choice of grains and seeds, there should be no green, unripe, specimens among them, they must be whole, without black spots, not infected with fungi and other pests, not moldy, and not overdried. It is better to give preference to grain that has been stored for a year; it will germinate better than two years.

So, your next steps:

In the evening, pour the seeds for germination into a container, add water (approximately by eye, but the seeds should be completely covered with water), and leave them in a dark place overnight. To prevent the microgreen from becoming moldy or spoiled, you can add a teaspoon of citric acid to the water, and soak it in activated silicon or silver water, but this is not necessary.

For the next three days, the seeds should be rinsed with cold running water in the morning and evening, and stored in a dark place. Rinsing the seeds is extremely important, as it is the only natural way to get rid of mold spores and enzyme poisons that are inevitably formed during the process of growing seeds.

The container should be chosen so that on the third day the seedlings have the opportunity to grow in width. If it is a tall jar, then you need to place it horizontally.

On the fourth day, the container with the seedlings should be taken out of a dark place and placed in the sun so that the leaves produce chlorophyll and turn a little green. It is important to understand that sunlight is not necessarily direct sunlight, but simply daylight, including in cloudy weather.

When the microgreen has taken the form of leaves, tops, and sprouts, it is ready for consumption. Sprouts should be stored in the refrigerator, but not for more than a week. It is good to keep the air in the container during this time, and therefore use either the same strainer or a loosely covered lid.

A growing microgreen is not as expensive as it might seem at first glance. A few tablespoons of seeds grow into a large portion of fresh herbs.

Microgreen is served with salads and main courses. It is a wonderful, sometimes very spicy garnish for meat and fish dishes, as an addition to sandwiches and salads made from vegetables, fruits, cheese, and seafood. The sprouts make the dish look great, both in appearance and taste.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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