Microgreens, microgreens, greens or leafy greens - young vegetables with wow factor
Microgreens are young, edible seedlings that you can grow and harvest in the comfort of your own home in just a few days. Not only do they taste incredibly delicious, but in their early stages they are also packed with lots of vitamins and minerals. The cultivation is guaranteed to succeed even without a green thumb!
From a Seed develops into a seedlingfrom which a sprout (or also sprout and then continues to grow until so-called microgreens develop. microgreen develops, which you can also call leafy green, green weed, baby green or most commonly known internationally as microgreens microgreens.
Microgreens grow in soil, on mats or fleece and need sufficient daylight for their growth. Some varieties can even do without substrate. After approx. 7-14 days they will grow to a size of 2.5-7.5 cm harvested or cut off, just like you used to do in school with your first packet of cress.
The various microgreens have a variety of interesting flavors, such as mild, refreshing, spicy-hot or sweet. Their taste is much more intense than that of mature vegetables. So you can give your favorite dishes a whole new flavor nuance and a greater variety of colors with the crunchy greens!
Microgreens can be used in a variety of ways: in salads, as decoration on soups, smoothies, on (buttered) bread, in sandwiches, dips & toppings, juiced in a juice shot or even as the icing on the cake in a martini glass 😉
How healthy are microgreens?
Probably no other vegetable is as alive as freshly harvested microgreens... just growing as a greenling on the windowsill, freshly picked they have an extremely high density of nutrients, green chlorophyll and solar energy that you won't find in any other vegetable in the supermarket. Especially chlorophyll is a real immune booster, because the sprouts gain energy from sunlight and convert it into green chlorophyll, which gives you a full charge of energy when eaten fresh.
In America, microgreens are among the new superfoods (and more and more in this country, too), as they have many times more vitamins and good ingredients than their full-grown big vegetable brothers and sisters.
According to a study by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), an organisation of the United States Department of Agriculture, microgreens contain 5 times more nutrients than the leaves of mature vegetables for the same weight. High levels of vitamins such as vitamins C, E and K and carotenoids were found in 25 commercial varieties of microgreens, including red cabbage, coriander, red amaranth and radish (daikon). (Source: https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/what-are-microgreens/)
A red cabbage microgreen, for example, has 260 times as much beta-carotene, 6 times as much vitamin C and 40 times as much vitamin E per gram as the adult red cabbage(source: Journal of Agricultural And Food Chemistry).
What are the microgreens?
The "young green" can be grown from the seeds of a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and other plants. A microgreen has a single stem that is cut off just above the ground when it is harvested. In the process, it can usually already show the first real leaves in addition to the fully developed cotyledons. Most varieties can be harvested approx. 7-12 days after sowing.
The most famous of all microgreens is probably the Cressbut there are so many more varieties you probably haven't heard of (at least in the microgreen cultivation form): Sunflowers, Kale, Mizuna, Buckwheat, Dill, Mung beans, Red clover, Radish, Fenugreek, Chickpeas, Field beans, Inca clover, Red lentils, Mustard, Chive and so many more...
For microgreens beginners and newcomers, we recommend peas, radishes, cabbage varieties (e.g. broccoli, kale, red cabbage, kohlrabi) and radishes. These varieties are very easy to care for, easy to handle and you can do very little wrong. Especially the small microgreens seeds, like the cabbage varieties or radish, are quick and easy to grow. You don't have to soak them - except for the peas - before growing.
And if you want to involve your kids in the wondrous leafy green growth process, we recommend varieties with a mild flavour, such as pea and sunflower. The pea microgreens taste like fresh pea pods and the young sunflower has a delicious nutty flavour. The structure and stature of their stems and leaves is rather strong compared to other varieties, so that small children can easily hold them in their hands without the sunflower microgreens becoming mushy.
What advantages do microgreens offer you?
- 🌱 extremely high nutrient content and bioavailability (= absorption capacity or amount of a nutrient that is actually absorbed by the body).
- 🌱 many active enzymes (up to 100x more than in fresh vegetables, source: Ann Wigmore Institute).
- 🌱 chlorophyll-rich
- 🌱 High in fibre & low in calories
- 🌱 cost-effective
- 🌱 environmentally friendly (year-round cultivation without long transport routes)
- 🌱 Easy to install (at any place, at any time, within a very short time)
- 🌱 Abundance of varieties, shapes & flavours
- 🌱 Awaken your creative spirit when decorating dishes
- Urban Gardening (you don't even need a garden to garden!)
Difference Microgreens & Sprouts
If you want to distinguish sprouts from microgreens very simply, you can think of them as follows: Sprouts are the baby and teenage version of a young plant and microgreens are the adult version.
Sprouts therefore become microgreens, depending on the germination time this takes different amounts of time (see soaking and germination times).
Sprouts are served whole, i.e. they are eaten "skin and hair" (i.e. including the root, seed coat and any small green leaves that have already developed).
Microgreens are usually grown in soil and cut off above ground before harvesting. The stems and leaves then remain for the feast.
The advantage of microgreens over sprouts - apart from their ability to absorb the valuable nutrients of the soil - is that they form chlorophyll through sunlight. In the process, the ingredients of the seeds are enhanced and high-quality protein is formed.
Chlorophyll is responsible for the green colour of the leaves. Its chemical structure is almost identical to haemin, from which haemoglobin (a component of red blood cells) is formed. Chlorophyll therefore has a blood purifying effect, as the "green blood" of plants can be converted into human blood.
With greening, the strength, energy and sunlight-value potentials are increased. This can increase the healing power of plants that are said to have medicinal properties. In plants such as radish, mustard etc., essential oils and bitter substances are formed during growth and thus increase their pharmacological effect.
You can also find out what chlorophyll does in the body in a separate blog article that we have dedicated to the green elixir.
And the best thing about microgreens?
You can grow them quickly, easily and simply - 365 days a year! They grow from your windowsill into your mouth. If you're interested in growing your own vitamins in the future, check out our Microgreen Starter Packs: