Born and raised in British Columbia I have always had a passion for gardening, food, animals and the beautiful outdoors. Raised on an 180-acre Agricultural farm was the beginning of why I am here today growing Microgreens in my micro-mini farm.
Getting my hands back in the dirt is what gets me up in the morning. Some have a Cuppa Joe and others… well, just need Mother Nature’s fine soil.
The Microgreen passion grew when I was introduced to them in July 2016. I can’t stop educating myself on the mini greens and so intrigued by how much nutrition is packed into such tiny plants. I have read and researched day after day and invite you to try my Tiny plants that I have grown with both love and integrity in only 360 square feet of awesomeness… aka “The Micro-Can”.
My recent addition is Lettuce leaves and I’m now growing a specialized lettuce in combination with the pea shoots and Sunflowers to make a lovely Salad Mix that I call Leaves & Shoots Salad Mix.
Microgreen is a marketing term used to describe tiny, tender, edible greens that germinate in soil or a soil substitute from the seed of vegetables and herbs. Smaller than “baby greens” and harvested later than “sprouts”, microgreens can provide a variety of leaf flavours, such as sweet & spicy. They are also known for their various colors and textures. A microgreen has a single central stem, which has been cut just above the soil during harvesting. Microgreen
Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in recent years as garnishes with chefs.
Although nutritional claims about microgreens abound on the Internet, this study is the first scientific evaluation of their nutritional content. Researchers say they were astonished by the results.
“The microgreens were four- to 40-fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts,” says researcher Qin Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. “When we first got the results we had to rush to double and triple check them.”
For example, red cabbage microgreens had 40 times more Vitamin E and six times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage. Cilantro microgreens had three times more beta-carotene than mature cilantro.
Researchers evaluated levels of four groups of vital nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene, in 25 different commercially grown microgreens.
The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E levels were highest among red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish microgreens.
Cilantro microgreens were richest in terms of lutein and beta-carotene.
“All of these nutrients are extremely important for skin, eyes, and fighting cancer and have all sorts of benefits associated with them,” says researcher Gene Lester, Ph.D., of the USDA.
Lester said he was surprised to find microgreens were superior in nutritional value than the mature plants.
“To find that the levels were not only detectable but in some cases 4-6 times more concentrated than in the leaves of a mature plant, I find that quite astonishing.”
Experts say the flavor of microgreens is also more intense, so a little goes a long way to enhance a meal.
Until recently, commercially grown microgreens have only been available to chefs, who use them as flavor accents and garnishes for soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Today, they are available at most farmers markets and upscale grocery stores.
They generally cost more than mature greens, but registered dietitian Roberta Duyff says that shouldn’t discourage people from eating them.
When choosing a micro green, researchers say to look for the most intensely colored ones, which will be the most nutritious.
“It’s really kind of an artistic thing currently, but it’s nice to know that not only do microgreens look pretty and have a strong flavor, but they also have an incredible punch of nutrition,” says researcher Gene Lester, Ph.D., of the USDA.
1. Salads: use them in lieu of your usual lettuce to enhance your salads
2. To top pizzas: pile a small handful on top of your freshly baked pizza to add a crisp topping
3. Soups: stir them in at the last minute or use as a garnish
4. Sandwiches: Layer a few microgreens instead of lettuce
5. Smoothies: add a handful into your smoothie to increase the nutritional value
6. Top your Italian meal with fresh Basil microgreens to add a robust flavor
Microgreens don't only add color to your dishes as a garnish, but they're also great in juices, smoothies, and salads. Add some wheatgrass or broccoli shoots to your morning smoothie to start your day well.