There is a wide range of microgreen varieties available, including popular options like pea shoots, sunflower, radish, broccoli, arugula, and kale. Each microgreen type offers distinct flavors, colors, and nutritional profiles, allowing for diverse culinary applications and creative dish compositions.
What You'll Learn
Common Types of Microgreens
Adding a burst of flavor and nutrition to your meals has never been easier with the variety of common microgreens around! These young vegetable greens are harvested just after sprouting, usually when they reach 1-3 inches in height. They can be grown from almost any type of vegetable seed, including herbs and some grains.
The most popular types of microgreens include pea shoots, sunflower, radish, broccoli, arugula, and kale. Each type has its own unique flavor and texture profile. Pea shoots are sweet and delicate with a mild flavor, while sunflower has a nutty taste with crunchy texture. Radish is known for its sharp tanginess, while broccoli gives off an earthy flavor. Arugula has a peppery punch that adds zest to salads and sandwiches, while kale is subtly bitter yet full-bodied.
In addition to their flavorful taste profiles, microgreens also offer many nutritional benefits due to their nutrient-rich soil composition. They contain higher levels of vitamins C & E as well as beta-carotene than their mature counterparts. In fact:
- Vitamin C content is 4-6 times greater in microgreens than in mature vegetables.
- Vitamin E content is 7-40 times greater in microgreens than in mature vegetables.
- Beta-carotene concentrations can be up to 9 times higher in some varieties compared to mature vegetables.
Microgreens offer not only intense flavors but also excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal culinary ingredient for adding pizzazz and nutrition to dishes!
How to Grow Microgreens
Grow your own nutrient-rich microgreens in just a few weeks and enjoy the flavorful benefits they provide! Growing microgreens indoors is a great way to get fresh, nutritious produce without needing a large outdoor space. With the right equipment and supplies, you can create an indoor microgreen farm with ease.
The first step in growing your own microgreens is to select the type of seeds you want to grow. Choose from various leafy greens like arugula, kale, broccoli, pea shoots, radish, and sunflower. You can also find other varieties that aren’t commonly found in stores.
After selecting your seeds, prepare soil mixtures specifically designed for growing microgreens or use potting soil mixed with compost or vermiculite. Make sure that the mix is rich in nutrients so that your plants will be healthy and strong.
You will need containers for planting your seeds such as trays or plastic flat boxes with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill each container about one third full of the soil mixture and spread the seeds over it thinly but evenly. Cover them lightly with some more of the soil mixture before lightly misting them with water from a spray bottle until they are damp but not soggy.
Place them in an area where they will receive indirect light during germination. After two to three weeks, you should begin seeing sprouts coming up from beneath the soil’s surface!
Once seedlings have emerged, move them into direct sunlight if possible or use artificial lighting such as LED grow lights at least 12 hours per day for best results. Water regularly using either a top drip system or by hand-watering depending on how many plants you are growing – make sure not to overwater though!
Harvest your freshly grown microgreens when their leaves reach 2-3 inches tall – this typically happens within 3-4 weeks after planting – then enjoy their sweet flavor!
How to Use Microgreens in Cooking
Cooking with microgreens is an easy way to add a punch of flavor and nutrition to your meals! For example, adding a handful of pea shoots to a salad can instantly transform it from ordinary to extraordinary.
There are many types of microgreens available, including:
- Pea Shoots
Each type brings its own unique flavor combinations and textures that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Some ideas for using microgreens in the kitchen include adding them to sandwiches or wraps, blending them into smoothies or juices, topping pizzas or tacos with them, stirring them into soups or stews, sautéing them as a side dish, or garnishing desserts and salads with them. The possibilities are endless!
When it comes to pairing flavors of different types of microgreens together, think about what flavors would complement each other. For instance, try combining peppery arugula with sweet sunflower sprouts for a flavorful salad mix; pair broccoli sprouts with radishes for crunchy texture on top of tacos; use pea shoots as a bright addition to top off pizza; blend kale into green smoothies for added nutrition; or sprinkle arugula over roasted vegetables for an extra boost of color and flavor.
With so many delicious options available, you’ll never run out of new ways to enjoy these tiny greens!
Tips for Storing Microgreens
Now that you know how to use microgreens in your cooking, let’s talk about how to store them properly. To ensure that you get the most out of your microgreens, it’s important to store them correctly. Here are some tips and tricks for storing microgreens.
First and foremost, it’s important to keep microgreens cool. They should be stored at temperatures between 32-36°F (0-2°C). This will help them stay fresh and crisp for longer periods of time.
It’s also a good idea to avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources. This can cause the greens to wilt or lose their flavor quickly.
When packaging your microgreens, make sure that they are well sealed in airtight containers or bags. This will prevent moisture from getting in and causing mold growth on the leaves.
You can also add a few drops of water into the container if needed. This will help keep the leaves hydrated while still preventing too much moisture from entering.
Additionally, when storing multiple types of greens together, make sure each type has its own container. This will help prevent any cross-contamination of flavors or odors between varieties.
Lastly, be sure not to overcrowd containers with too many greens. This can lead to spoilage or wilting due to lack of airflow around the leaves. A little extra space around each leaf will go a long way towards keeping your microgreens fresh!
With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll have delicious microgreens all year round!