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Recipes, Edible Garden, Indoor Plants, GROW YOUR OWN, Lifestyle

Seed-to-Plate Microgreens

December 31, 2023

Broccoli microgreens

In the world of home gardening, the charm and rising popularity of microgreens are hard to ignore. But what exactly are these vibrant and flavourful greens that have captured the attention of many home gardeners and chefs?

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are the young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. These tiny powerhouses stand tall at approximately 1-3 inches and are harvested within a week to 10 days after the cotyledon leaves, the embryo within the seed, have developed. Unlike their mature counterparts, they grow just a few inches, offering intense flavours and abundant nutrients.

Sprouts vs. Microgreens

Distinguishing microgreens from sprouts is crucial for harvesting. While sprouts are germinated in water briefly, producing underdeveloped leaves, microgreens are cultivated in soil and sunlight, taking at least a week to produce their nutritious leaves.

Nutritional Benefits

These small wonders pack a punch. Compared to their full-grown vegetables and herbs counterparts, microgreens have a far more intense flavour and carry six times the amount of nutrients. They also carry countless antioxidants, including polyphenols, that have been linked to reducing heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes says Alina Petre from Healthline.

Different types of Microgreens

Countless varieties of Microgreens seeds originate from similar plant families. Among these groups, there are several popular Microgreen varieties:

  • Amaranthaceae family: swiss chard, beet, spinach
  • Amaryllidaceae family: Garlic, leek, onion
  • Apiaceae family: Carrot, celery and fennel, dill
  • Brassicaceae family: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, arugula
How to Grow Microgreens at Home
  • Carefully select seeds from desired Microgreen families for optimal growth. Brands like West Coast Seeds offer a variety of vegetable, herb, and organic seeds.
  • Utilize a sanitized tray with an inch of natural/organic potting soil or mix, gently packed without over-compressing.
  • Place seeds into the soil, cover them lightly and mist the surface. Some prefer covering the containers with a clear lid until seeds sprout.
  • Water seeds daily, keeping the soil moist but not overly wet.
  • Remove the cover once sprouted (usually 3-7 days) and continue misting as needed.
  • When small leaves appear, cut stems near the soil surface.
  • Rinse gently and savour your freshly harvested microgreens.
Microgreen-Inspired Dishes:

Microgreens aren’t just a garnish; they elevate dishes:

  • Pizzas adorned with microgreens bring a burst of freshness.
  • Burgers get a healthy crunch with a sprinkle of these tiny greens.
  • Try a twist on pesto by adding microgreens for added flavour.
  • Elevate a classic grilled cheese with a layer of these vibrant greens.
  • Smoothies and soups get an extra nutrient punch with a dash of microgreens.
  • Seafood dishes like scallops can be beautifully complemented by their fresh taste.
  • Elevate your breakfast with avocado toast topped with a smattering of microgreens.

Microgreens enhance the overall nutrients and flavour profile of your meals and add an aesthetic touch. Incorporating them into your culinary adventures can be a delightful and nutritious experience during the colder Canadian months.