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Microgreens and their nutritional value

Microgreens are young vegetable greens picked just after the first leaves have developed. They are approximately 1–3 inches (2.5–7.5 cm) tall and are known for their aroma, high nutrient level, colourful display and varied tastes.

Often referred to as a baby plant, their stage of growth is between a sprout and a baby green and only their stems and leaves are considered edible. They are used as nutrition supplements, visual enhancers, and flavour and texture enhancers.

They are said to reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Microgreens can add sweetness and spiciness to foods and often have more nutritional value than that of more mature vegetable greens despite their size; most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper.

Reports suggest that these greens are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; in some cases, even 40 times higher than mature crops.

One can easily integrate microgreens into a diet by using them in a variety of meals such as sandwiches, salads, wraps, blending into smoothies and/or even use as garnishes on pizzas, soups, omelettes, curries, and other warm dishes. They can be grown indoors, outdoors, year-round and do not require much time or tools.

Even though the process is easy and convenient, good quality seeds, a good growing medium for planting such as pots, good quality soils and proper lighting are still necessary if you intend to try it yourself.

Some tips include:

  • Fill your container with soil, making sure you do not over-compress it, and water lightly.
  • Sprinkle the seed of your choice on top of the soil as evenly as possible.
  • Lightly mist your seeds with water and cover your container with a plastic lid.
  • Check on your tray daily and mist water as needed to keep the seeds moist.
  • A couple of days after the seeds have germinated, you may remove the plastic lid to expose them to light.
  • Water once a day while your microgreens grow and gain colour.
  • After 7–10 days, your microgreens should be ready to harvest.