Know All About Growing and Eating Microgreens
What are Microgreens
Popular as garnishing in Gourmet Food, Microgreens are essentially the young leaves that grow out from herb seeds, vegetables or flowers and with varying nutrients, they tend to be enriched with potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. Packed with 40 times more nutrition, microgreens are healthier than their fully grown equivalents and come in varieties like Alfalfa, Swiss Chard, Purple Kohlrabi, Kale Micros, Sango Radish, Pink Radish and Nasturtium. Also considered a superfood, Microgreens play a vital role in both sweet and savoury dishes by adding texture, flavour and colour to salads, sandwiches, smoothies and more. Microgreens help in the prevention of a variety of diseases, manage weight and improving overall health and well-being.
Like all other greens or veggies, Microgreens too need requisite moisture to keep them fresh and crunchy and are best kept so by placing them between damp paper towels and then sealing them in a plastic bag or container, refrigerated to last for about a week. Once they’ve been harvested, it is best to keep the microgreens out of direct sunlight, to avoid altering their taste and appearance.
For best results and for health reasons, it is best to wash the microgreens before eating them and handle them gently as they bruise easily. A light rinse in cold water is ideal. It is wise to wait harvesting the microgreens until you need them to retain their freshness and reap them with a sharp pair of scissors or kitchen knife if you’re growing them yourself.
How to Eat Microgreens: Interesting Options to Enjoy Their Fresh Flavours Best
Cucumber, Broccoli and Radish Sprouts Salad
A deliciously refreshing and extremely healthy salad, cucumber, broccoli and radish sprouts salad can be the ideal accompaniment to any BBQ, fish or meat dish, with French fries or serve as a nice side dish to a breakfast omelette.
Ingredients– 150gm of organic radish sprouts, 150gm of organic broccoli sprouts, 1 cucumber, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp organic yogurt, ½ iceberg lettuce, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Method –To begin with, shred the lettuce into your desired size strips, peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise into 4 pieces and then across into smaller bits. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the mayo, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar and then add the lettuce, cucumber and sprouts, mixing all the ingredients well. your salad is ready to be served.
Wheatgrass with Fruit Juice
Extracted from the young plants of wheat berries, wheatgrass is considered one of the best detoxifying greens and is also helpful in the prevention of cancer by blocking the carcinogenic effects in the body, keeping the body alkaline, lower triglycerides and high cholesterol, improve overall health and immunity. Since wheatgrass is typically bitter, it is good to choose fresh and young grass to minimize the bitterness and smell and combine its juice with fruit like an orange, apple, Asian pear, carrot and/or pineapple.
Ingredients –30gm wheatgrass, 1 medium/small apple, 1-2 large oranges.
Method –Wash and cut the fruits to your desired size and also wash the wheatgrass thoroughly. Adding all the ingredients to a blender jar, blend it all and if required add more juice or water. Strain the juice and consume it immediately.
Microgreens & Fruit Salad
A visually appealing salad, made without a heavy dressing, the Microgreens and Fruit Salad offer a healthy dose of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants that’s very colourful and simple to make. A very basic salad, you can customize it to your preference.
Ingredients –2 cups of loosely packed mixed greens, ½ cup of microgreens, 1 cup of fresh pineapple cut into cubes, 10 raspberries cut into halves, 6 roughly chopped prunes and 2 tbsp honey.
Method –Start with layering the salad by placing the mixed greens, to begin with, then follow up by adding the microgreens. Add the next layer of fruits and prunes, now drizzle the honey on the ingredients and mix well. Should you wish to, you can replace the mixed greens with spinach and switch the prunes with dates and raisins as well. You can also add some roasted nuts that include walnuts, almonds or pecans for additional crunchiness and a tsp or two of any citrus zest for freshness. ul>
Pasta with Greens
A dish that can be rustled up in a jiffy and filling at the same, available in a variety of shapes, colors and flavors too, feast on a pasta dish with the greens now that takes just 15-20 minutes of prep time and then another 20 minutes of cooking time.
Ingredients –200gm pasta, 3-4 morel mushrooms (soaked in water), 15-20 french beans cut into 2” pieces, 4-5 asparagus, salt to taste, 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp crushed red chilli, 1 tsp toasted pinenut, a pinch of grated lemon zest, 2 tbsp cream, a bottle of tomato basil sauce, 15-20 basil leaves and 25gm Parmesan cheese.
Method –Begin by heating ample water in a deep nonstick pan and place a silicone colander in it, now put the pasta in the colander, add salt and cook. Drain the morels and slice roughly as well. Next, heat the oil in the pan and keep another sieve over the pasta, putting beans in it and letting them cook with the pasta. Cutting the asparagus into 2” pieces, add it to the beans, cooking it all for a couple of minutes. Now, drain the beans and asparagus and add to the pan with salt, mushrooms, red chilli, pinenuts, lemon zest and cream, mixing all the ingredients well. In another nonstick pan, add the tomato basil sauce, tear the basil leaves and add. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, mixing it well. Now, grate the cheese over the pasta, mixing it well and then transfer the pasta into a serving bowl, topping it with the veggies and serve it hot.
Microgreen, Zucchini and Carrot Cake
Get the best of three in this delicious and healthy masterpiece with bursts of flavor in the Microgreens, Zucchini and Carrot Cake in less than 10 minutes!
Ingredients– A cup of microgreens, 2 zucchini, 2 carrots, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, 2 tbsp flour (preferably chickpea), 1 tbsp garlic powder.
Method –Begin by grating the zucchini and carrots into a large bowl and then add cheese to the mix. Next, cut the microgreens into 2” pieces and add to the bowl. Beat eggs, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste in another bowl and then pour this mix over the veggies, tossing it all together for an even coating. Scoop spoonfuls of the mix onto a lightly greased sheet pan, flattening them into patties and then bake for 10 minutes. The microgreens, zucchini and carrot cake is ready to be served and savoured!
Green Chana Chat
No matter which variety it is, when it comes to Chaat, an Indian street delicacy, everyone’s mouth waters! Here’s a greens chaat, perfect for those looking for a protein-laden snack with easily available ingredients and absolutely healthy to take care of the calorie intake. Have it for lunch, dinner or even a side dish.
Ingredients –A cup of green chickpeas, a medium tomato, 2 tsp chaat masala, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 medium onion, 2 green chillies, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, salt to taste and 1 tbsp sev + some coriander leaves for garnishing.
Method –After washing all the veggies under running water and using a clean chopping board, finely chop all ingredients separately. Now, in a pressure cooker, over medium heat, add the chickpeas with enough water to soak them in and pressure for 2-3 whistles. Once done, and the steam’s released naturally, strain the water and in a non-stick pan, over medium flame, heat the oil. Now, add chopped onions and fry them to translucency, add the tomatoes next with green chillies and the chickpeas, and stir fry for a minute. Season it all with salt. Finally, add the lemon juice and chaat masala to the pan, mixing all ingredients together, cooking for another minute. Garnish the chaat with coriander and sev and serve. ul>
Microgreen Methi Dal
Fenugreek seeds are a natural coolant that isn’t just used for cooking but also used as a laxative or digestive. Used as a microgreen, fresh or dried, a small pinch of it can be applied to curry to make it fragrant and added flavour.
Ingredients –(For cooking) – ½ cup toor dal (soaked for 15 minutes), 1 cup fenugreek microgreens, a chopped tomato, ¼ tsp haldi, ½ tsp cumin, 2-3 green chillies, 2 cups of water. (For seasoning) – 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin, 2 tsp fresh grated garlic, ½ cup chopped onions, ½ cup imli, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ½ cup water, salt to taste.
Method –Begin by pressure cooking the dal with the microgreens, tomato, haldi, cumin, green chillies and water for 5 whistles and then smash the mix to a smooth paste without lumps and set aside. Next, in a pan, heat oil over medium flame and then put the mustard seeds to crackle, lowering the heat, add cumin, garlic, and onions. Now, add a pinch of salt to cook the onions and once they turn soft and translucent, add the imli juice and red chilli powder. Now, stirring the cooked dal, dilute it with water as required and season with salt to taste. Boil the dal and then remove from heat, to be served with Roti or Rice.
Egg White Omelet with Avocado & Microgreens
A tasty and simple breakfast this Egg white Omelet with Avocado and Microgreens is healthy and delicious at the same time!
Ingredients –2 large eggs, 2 tsp milk, 1 avocado, ½ cup crumbled goat cheese, mixed microgreens, salt and pepper to taste.
Method –Whisk the egg whites with 2 tsp of milk and add the mix to a pan with a light coat of cooking spray. Cook them over medium to low heat and add some salt and pepper to taste whilst cooking. Next, flip the eggs over once one side is cooked and when the other side’s done as well, transfer the omelet to a plate with sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese and some fresh mixed microgreens, folded in half.
Roast Chicken Sandwich with Microgreens
Sandwiches are easy and simple to make and can be whipped up quickly, especially when you’re on the move! Here’s a tasty roast chicken sandwich you can make from leftover chicken and microgreens with crispy bread and some sliced mushrooms sautéd in butter sauce.
Ingredients –A sourdough French loaf bread, leftover roasted chicken, 1 tbsp butter, 4 sliced button mushrooms, 3 peeled cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, ½ tsp Italian herbs seasoning, microgreens, honey mustard salad dressing, a slice of cheddar cheese.
Method –Preheat the oven to 350°F and cut your bread loaf into quarters, taking a quarter, slice it into 2, top one side of the bread with the leftover roast chicken pieces. Toast the bread and chicken in the oven for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms in butter on medium heat, adding the garlic, stirring it and adding the seasonings. Once done, take the bread and chicken out of the oven, add the cheese slice on top of the chicken, add the sautéed mushrooms and garlic on top of the slice and finish up with a handful of microgreens, with a drizzle of the honey mustard salad dressing. Your roasted chicken sandwich with microgreens is ready.
Really tasty and super nutritious the Microgreens Smoothie is good to have with Kale or Broccoli rather than with radish or mustard greens which are rather pungent for a smoothing. This smoothie is good for 2-3 servings.
Ingredients –A sliced banana, 4-5 large strawberries, ¾ cups of vanilla greek yogurt, a cup of milk, an ounce of kale or broccoli microgreens, ice (optional).
Method –Combine all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until it is smooth without any lumps. Refrigerate it or add ice and serve cold.
Bonus Tips: Growing Microgreens
Next to sprouts, Microgreens are the quickest to grow in limited time and space. You can grow microgreens from seed to feed stage in just a week to 3 depending on which variety you choose and you can grow them in a tiny area without a hitch as well. Here are few quick tips to help you grow Microgreens the right way!
- Growing – Microgreen quickly from seeds inadequate light with the requisite moisture parameters takes sowing them in medium soil and harvesting them before they acquire their full size. Each seed needs enough space to grow.
- Preparation – requires pre-soaking the larger seeds like wheat, peas, sunflower, beetroot or moong beans in warm water for a few hours or overnight. Small seeds don’t need to follow these steps.
- Container & Seed Mix – If you’re using a tray, lay a moist paper towl at the base to stop the seed mix from falling through and fill the container to about 3/4th of its capacity with moist growing medium (2-3 cm deep). You can use potting soil or homemade compost or a single-use growing mat designed especially for growing microgreens.
- Sowing – Sprinkle the seeds generously over the mix and press them in lightly. For small seeds, you can evenly spread them out in a thin layer of seed raising mix or strained compost (0.5-1/5”) over the top for complete coverage. Mist water lightly with a spray bottle to avoid dislodging the seeds and place a drainage tray in a warm spot. Water them regularly and check the moisture in the soil by touching with your fingers to avoid the seeds drying out. Avoid overwatering as well.
- Harvesting – is usually in 7 to 10 days, depending on the choice of microgreen. Harvesting should be done ideally an inch above the soil and the microgreens should be washed well.
Wash Them with Care
Like every vegetable, microgreens should be washed before eating them. But microgreens can bruise easily, so they need to handle them with care. Just lightly rinse them in cold water. It’s best to wash your microgreens right before you are going to use them.