When the workshop on How to Grow Microgreens was announced, I knew I would be attending, even though I wasn’t quite sure what were these ‘magically nutritious substances’. To my utter delight the experiential the two-hour workshop set me on an exciting adventure into Home-Grown Foods.
My mother always told me that our family ‘did not have green fingers’, so my success with these plants has got me enthusiastic to share about the simplicity of growing these ‘wonder foods’.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are shoots of young salad plants. Once the seed of herb or vegetable germinates and shoots appear, it is considered a sprout. Once the leaves begins to appear, the baby plant is considered a microgreen.
The flavour of microgreens depends on the seeds you plant. Some of the popular microgreens include cilantro, amaranth, mustard, radish, sorrel, cress, spinach, beet and sunflower. Microgreens grows from any herb or vegetable, which ranges from mild to spicy.
Why Grow Microgreens?
- They are ultra-healthy. Micro greens are healthier compared to their full-grown counterparts. Due to their high antioxidant content, microgreens are a functional food that promotes health or prevents disease. Studies suggest, microgreens may contain high concentrations of nutrients, which reduces the risk of many health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. You see a healthier complexion, increased energy, lower weight, and longer life expectancy.
- They are cost effective and completely fuss-free to grow. Most of us are not getting the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits per day for many reasons, including access, cost, convenience, and taste preference. Microgreens easily grows at home in a small space with little cost.
- Micro greens are the healthiest when consumed quickly, so what better way, than to grow them in your garden. When harvesting these greens before they’re fully-grown and developed, you end up with a health-packed plate of super-healthy greens, which adds antioxidant to your meals.
- They look as good in pots as they do on your plate. Why not get rid of ornamental plants and grow these multipurpose ones instead.
6 Simple Steps To Grow Microgreens
- Scatter seeds over an inch of potting soil (I use coco peat) in a dish or tray, which has a few holes in the bottom. Place in an outer larger container to collect the water that may seep out. Now spray the seeds with a bit of water.
- Cover with a thin layer of coco peat, and spray the soil with water. Cover lightly and keep in a dark place.
- Continue to spray the coco peat with water daily.
- After two days, small shoots appear—that is a sign to place the dish where it gets light. Do not water them anymore, but put some water in the outer container, which the plant roots will absorb as per its need.
- The microgreens will be ready to harvest in 7 to 14 days depending on the plant.
- Make sure to cut these greens above the soil line and rinse well before using. Compost what is left.
Tips To Incorporate Microgreens Into Your Diet
Microgreens are a hot food trend. To improve health and wellness, sneak microgreens into smoothies, piling them on starters, mixing them into salads, top a pizza or entrée or just eating them as they are. I love the crisp taste and have them first thing in the morning—a while before breakfast.
You can doll them up with dressings such as extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic, and cracked black pepper. Or toss your microgreens in a bit of pesto.
Microgreens are easy to grow and affordable, I assure you that you will reap great dividends—after all, Health is Wealth.
By Marita Nazareth