Introduction to Microgreens
Have you ever wondered what is the cute little green thing is on your food at high-end restaurants? Well, they are microgreens. If you know what microgreens are then you will be happy to learn different salads you can make with them in this article and if you don't know what microgreens are then you will be happier because we intend to tell you all there is you should know about it and benefit from it.
Microgreens are also known as micro herbs or "vegetable confetti". They are packed with flavours and add colour to any dish they are added to. These microgreens are seedlings of vegetables and herbs and have become very popular lately but have been around since the 8s. To be precise microgreens are the first leaves that show on a plant, they are one to two inches in length hence are called microgreens.
These microgreens have high nutrient levels than vegetables and even though they are not usually eaten in large quantities they are high in vitamins and minerals. Plants like radish, cabbage, mustard, parsley, beet leaves, celery, or cilantro are some of the most common microgreens that are used in various dishes to enhance their flavour and nutrient.
People who are health conscious have lately gained interest in including microgreens in their diets due to their various health benefits.
Reasons for Including Microgreens in Your Diet
If you are still wondering why to start eating microgreens then here are some benefits you can reap from them.
- The little green leaves are tasty. Each microgreen has a distinct flavour to it not to mention the colour it adds to your dish and makes it look more tempting. The taste of microgreens depends on the type of leaf you are eating, they might have a sweet, bitter, and sour taste to them therefore you can try different ones and decide which one you like the best.
- They are full of nutrients as they are packed with potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper. They are also a good source of antioxidants and since they are the very first leaves of the plant the nutrients in them are concentrated and will give you more benefits than the actual plant. According to some researches, it was seen that microgreens have nine times more nutrition than mature greens.
- They can be grown right in your kitchen or the backyard. You can involve your kids in this fun activity and teach them the art of growing these healthy little greens
- Microgreens are known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Plant-based food is said to be the best food for a healthy heart and microgreens greatly affects blood pressure. They are high in fiber and vitamin K which lowers blood pressure.
- People are looking to eat things that can help boost their immune system and eating microgreens does just that. Vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties and their microgreens have a concentrated amount of the same which helps in boosting your immune system immensely.
- If you have been lately forgetting things and are worried about it then you should start eating microgreens. They are antioxidant-rich food and have a good amount of polyphenols which lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
- Spending too much time watching Netflix and worried about your eyesight. Microgreens can help you with it. Microgreens have lutein which is a phytochemical that affects your vision and keeps it strong.
8 Best Microgreen Salads You Can Make at Home
Now, that you know the benefits of microgreens, here are the 8 best salads you can make at home and enjoy them. These salads are easy to make and are packed with the goodness of microgreens and high in flavour.
Mango & Strawberry Salad with Broccoli Microgreens
Summertime brings mangoes as well as the calories it brings with it. Now, you can enjoy Mangoes and Strawberries together added with some Broccoli microgreens, and have a healthy snack when you need. Just add some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to this salad and serve as a light lunch.
- 4 strawberries (cut into halves)
- 1 fresh mango (cut into quarters, discard seed)
- Cup of Fresh Broccoli microgreens
- 3 green olives (whole or halved) Dressing
- 1 tbsp cherry wine
- 1 tsp lemon brine
- Dash of celery salt
- Take a serving plate and put broccoli microgreens, strawberry, mango, and olives in it.
- Take a small bowl and mix the ingredients for the dressing .
- Pour the dressing mix onto the plate with fruits and microgreens and serve immediately.
5 Minute Pea Pesto
This is an excellent pesto made with fresh pea shoots and peas. You can serve it with pasta, chicken, or salmon and enhance the flavour of your dish. It is easy to make and one of the most liked recipes by Vegans.
- 1 cup peas
- 2 cups fresh pea shoots
- 2 small cloves garlic, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- Take peas, peas shoots, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and pulse a few times in a food processor.
- While running it in the processor slowly add olive oil and blend it till it turns into a smooth paste.
- Pour it in a serving bowl to serve or place it in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also freeze it and use it later.
Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad
This salad has sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, microgreens, red onions, feta cheese, and tons of flavour in it. It is a yummy treat on a hot summer day, try it at home and enjoy it with your family.
- 3 different colored heirloom tomatoes, cut into assorted slices and wedges
- ¼ cup red onion,
- sliced ½ cup corn, frozen or fresh.
- 1 cup microgreens
- ½ cup feta cheese, cut in small cubes
- 2 Tablespoons Melia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
- ½ teaSpoon Fleur de Sel Sea Salt
- Take a serving plate and put cut tomatoes, corn, slices of red onions, and the cubed feta cheese on it.
- Add micro greens and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over it.
- Add Fleur de Sel sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Cucumber, Broccoli and Radish Sprouts Salad
If you are health conscious then you will love this cucumber, broccoli, and radish sprouts salad. This is a super healthy mix that makes a great side dish with any meal you serve.
- 150 g radish
- 150 g broccoli sprouts
- 1 whole cucumber
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 spoonful yogurt
- 1/2 iceberg lettuce
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 pinch sugar (optional)
- Shred the lettuce into strips.
- Peel the cucumber and cut it lengthwise in four parts then across in smaller pieces.
- Take a large bowl and mix mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Add lettuce and cucumber to it with sprouts and mix them well, serve.
Microgreens Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Another very easy and refreshing salad you can try is the Microgreens Salad with Lime Vinaigrette. Serve it alone or as a side dish with your meat and enjoy.
- 1 pkg microgreens
- 6 radishes halved or sliced
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/8 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- coarse sea salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- Take a serving bowl and put in the microgreens with radish and keep it in the refrigerator.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients, cover them and keep them in the refrigerator.
- Before serving the salad add them together, dress it with a light dressing, sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve in style.
Healthy Potato Salad
Potatoes are the king of vegetables and are loved by almost everyone. This delicious healthy potato salad with eggs is a great way to devour them in without worrying about too many calories.
- 4 medium-sized potatoes ~550 grams
- 1 medium-sized onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 handfuls rocket leaves
- 3 cups spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp dried herbs oregano
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Microgreens or herbs for garnish
- Cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker.
- Peel them and dice into 1" size and add 1 to 2 pinches of salt, keep it aside.
- Slice onions and separate them into segments. Put them in vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and keep it for 15 minutes while the potatoes are boiling.
- Wash and dry the rocket leaves and spinach leaves.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and fry chopped garlic for not more than 30 seconds.
- Add in chopped spinach and stir fry on high heat for another 30 seconds.
- Add the stir fry with the potatoes and let it cool for 10 minutes then put in the rocket leaves.
- Take the onions out of the vinegar, squeeze them and add them to the potatoes.
- Add mustard, chili flakes, dried herbs, and black pepper and mix well.
- Add 1tsp of vinegar to it and serve.
Sprouted Fenugreek/ Methi Seed Salad
Fenugreek is known for its many health benefits. They have a distinct taste and give you an intense flavour. The sprouted Fenugreek seed salad is a good way to start your day and stay energized.
- 1 cup Methi Seeds Sprouted
- 1/4 cup Mung Beans Sprouted Green
- 1 cucumber Medium-sized peeled and diced
- 1 Onion Small, finely chopped
- 2 - 3 tbsps carrot Finely diced
- 1 Lemon
- 1 tsp Black pepper ground
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Mint leaves few
- Few coriander leaves
- Start by adding all the ingredients to a bowl.
- Squeeze lemon, add salt, black pepper, and toss it well.
- Take it out on a plate and garnish it with mint and coriander leaves, you can add some peanuts if you like and serve it with your food.
Microgreen Radish Pesto Encrusted Chicken Breast
MicroGreen Radish Pesto Encrusted Chicken Breast salad is a treat for people who are on a calorie check.
- 2 cups radish microgreens (approximately half a box)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (unshelled)
- 4 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or legs
- Add radish, extra virgin olive oil, and cheese in a blender run it.
- Put in garlic and sunflower seeds and pulse it, don't over blend it.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Coat the baking sheet with olive oil and put the chicken on it.
- Coat the chicken with pesto and make for about 8 minutes, remove from the oven.
- Turn the chicken and coat it again with pesto, bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove and serve.
Growing Microgreens at Home
You can either buy microgreens from the store or grow them in your home. Most people like to grow them from scratch since it is easy and fun to grow them. They can be harvested in about two weeks. It is an inexpensive way to stay fit and can be grown without climate restrictions.
If you are wondering which microgreens to start growing with then you can try salad greens, leafy vegetables, and herbs. Most people start with broccoli, cabbage, sunflower, mustard, chia, or buckwheat.
You can find the seeds to grow microgreens at home online or from local shops as well. If you want to try growing some at home then read on.
You will need
- Seeds of your choice
- Pots, foil trays or recycled takeaway containers
- Compost or coir
- Hand trowel
- Spray bottle
- Clean the pot or container you wish to use.
- Add in compost or coir till it is three-quarters full.
- Sprinkle the seeds evenly on the surface.
- Sprinkle some compost or coir on top of it to cover the seeds.
- Water the seeds from a spray bottle but don't overdo it.
- Place the container in a warm and bright room or on a windowsill.
- Check it every day and water it if they look dry.
- If the seedlings are leaning towards the light, turn the container so you can get straight greens.
- Your microgreens can be harvested when they are about 3 to 6 cm tall.
- Just snip the seedlings above the soil with your fingers or use scissors.
Storing Your Microgreens
One of the best and simplest ways to store microgreen is to put them between damp pieces of paper towels or seal them in a plastic bag or container as maintaining moisture is a key part of keeping microgreens fresh and crunchy. You can keep your microgreens in the refrigerator until you need them. That way they won’t start to dry out or wilt before you get to serve them.