Grow Microgreens at Home in 7 days!
Microgreens-the homegrown superfood! With 15 to 40 times more nutrients than fully grown plants, no wonder everyone seems to be talking about the nutritious microgreens. The wholesome-healthy diet obsession of mine has officially graduated to the next level.
Following regular FB live broadcasts by my nutrition expert Dr. Luke Coutinho on various aspects of health and good food, I was introduced to these superfood greens a couple of months back. It was only then that I started noticing them in plastic packets at the superstores like Nature’s basket, Le Marche and Food Hall. I suddenly found these tiny beauties peeping out of a sandwich and sitting pretty on salads at Delhi Heights and Big Fat Sandwich.
The taste was so distinct, you could clearly tell apart from each flavor. The tang of mustard, the sweetness of beetroot, the wasabi crispness of radish, I could taste it all.
This was followed by an intense 2-day googling on ‘ what are microgreens’. It is true that when something is of interest, one goes beyond means to garner all possible information on it.
WHAT ARE MICROGREENS?
Let me keep it simple. These basically are immature greens of numerous vegetables. They are, however, harvested when young, mostly within 5 to 7 days of sowing depending on the variety. The most important point is to harvest them when 2” tall and/or before the 2nd set of leaves appear.
Some of the popular microgreens grown and consumed are:
- Red Cabbage
- Lettuce green
- Cherry tomatoes
The list is endless.
NUTRITION FACTS ABOUT MICROGREENS
To say these tiny, tender leaves are loaded with nutrients would be an understatement.
Fact 1: Microgreens are abundant in Vit C that protects the body from harmful radicals.
According a 2012 study, a microgreen sample with the lowest levels of vitamin C contained a mammoth 20 milligrams of vitamin C/100 grams. Twice the amount of Vit C in tomatoes!
Fact 2: Microgreens are full of Vit K. Most noteworthy is the fact that Vit K helps in normal blood clotting as also preventing excessive bruising. If you want strong and healthy bones then you should be having Amaranth microgreens also called the Red Garnet microgreens.
Red cabbage microgreens have a 6-fold higher vitamin C concentration than mature red cabbage and 69 times the vitamin K
Fact 3: They are full of vitamin E. If healthy hair and skin are what you wish for then Daikon radish microgreens are the answer for you. Just a small amount covers our daily requirement of this vitamin.
There is 40 times more vitamin E in red cabbage microgreens
Fact 4: The immature leaves are a storehouse of nutrition.The Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science reported in 2010 that young lettuce seedlings, harvested 7 days after germination, had the highest antioxidant capacity and concentrations of health-promoting phenolic compounds as compared to fully grown leaves.
Fact 5: Beta-Carotene in carrot microgreens help reduce chances of cancer and eye diseases.
12 milligrams per 100 grams compared with 8 milligrams in cooked carrots!
HOW TO EAT MICROGREENS
You could include them in soups, in salads and sandwiches. Most of all simply eat them raw as is, after a thorough cleaning. The taste of the vegetables is highly enhanced in the tiny beautiful leaves and stems.
WHY SHOULD THE NUTRITIOUS MICROGREENS BE HOMEGROWN?
If you genuinely like gardening and looking after plants, then these baby greens are probably best grown at home. Some reasons why:
- You harvest the crop a minute before consuming it. It cannot get fresher than this.
- You can harvest as much as you want per meal, keeping the nutrients intact. The longer you keep them in the refrigerator, however, secure in a plastic box or the zip pouch, the lesser would be its nutrition value with time.
- Turns out much cheaper than the stores.
- The plastic containers and store packaging may or may not let them breathe well and result in wilting.
Keeping in mind that what Myasthenia Gravis weakness can be like, it has to be countered with wholesome food, primarily raw and fresh: I tried my hand at growing microgreens last week. As always, with no patience in hand, I looked around for small containers at home that could be used for the purpose and avoid me a trip to the local market.
HOW TO AND WHAT TO GROW?
Aluminum packs from the last party came handy. With no vegetable seeds at home, I decided to begin with what I could find in the kitchen. Flax seeds, chia seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
What came to the breakfast table this morning were these gorgeous, delicate immature greens that we had with our bowl of sprouts. A good way to begin the day. I could thus not stop from sharing it here. Growing the ‘Vegetable Confetti’ by your windowsill or on the balcony would be a fantastic way to begin winters.
Microgreens: The homegrown superfood!