Don’t confuse microgreens with sprouts – microgreens are the young vegetable greens that haven’t developed any mature leaves. Microgreens about approximately 1 to 3 inches in height & although they’re packed with nutrients, mostly they’re used as a garnish. Growing microgreens is so easy.
They vary in color depending on the vegetable – red cabbage as you can see in the pic above & below is a beautiful purple color; mixed salad greens are a vibrant green & then there’s purple kohlrabi on the right that’s a mixture of purple & dark green. There are many varieties to choose from including corn – that tastes a little like popcorn, beet, basil, leek, etc.
Microgreens are very fast growing & need just the basics to grow – light, water & soil. Really they don’t even need soil – they’ll grow on a special porous pad. These usually come with the kits. I’ve had great success with the kits but they’re big & they smell funky. The easiest, most fuss-free method is to simply fill a little pot (with a drainage hole partially plugged) with potting soil & sprinkle some seeds over the soil then very lightly cover them with a little more soil, water them & place them on a windowsill. They don’t need direct sunlight, just light. They will face & bend into the light so I turn them once or twice a day. The sprouts above are about 5 days old. Those same sprouts are now about 3 inches tall – at day 12 – & ready to be harvested (not pictured).
The mixed salad greens certainly are the fastest growing – they’re the ones in the center. Microgreens taste the same as the vegetable they’re from. So a radish microgreen will taste like radish. Lettuce greens will taste like lettuce & so on.
Although microgreens are a treasure trove of nutrients, you would have to eat a lot to reap any major benefits. What they are very useful for is a pretty garnish. That is how most chefs utilize them: try them on eggs, hors d’oeuvres, in salads, a garnish on salads (below), on smoked salmon bagels, even on a chili, tacos – use your imagination.
Because they’re easy to grow & they grow fast, they’re a great idea for kids to sow. They will peek through the soil in 2 to 3 days – making them perfect for impatient people, both young & old. Present company included.
There are many places to buy the kits of just the seeds online. I buy mine from here. Their seeds grow well & they’re reasonable priced. Just lightly water them each day – use a mister bottle until the shoots come through then water them at the base once you’ve got some growth. It’s important to teach children about growing food & microgreens are the perfect place to start. Cheers, Lovoni