‘Little greens’ as they are informally known, sit stylishly on our meals or dressed in vinaigrette as a salad. But they aren’t there just for the ‘cute element,’ as microgreens are rich in flavour, fibre and nutrition.
What are they?
Other than the obvious fact that they are very small in size, microgreens are essentially seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs, that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables. Their intense aromatic flavour and varied colours and textures give any dish that necessary pop.
They are delicious but vary in taste depending on the variety and can range from neutral to spicy, slightly sour or even bitter.
Today there are more than 25 varieties of them available – basil, beets, kale, arugula, cilantro, carrot, garlic and many more.
Why are they good for you?
These pretty little things are loaded with nutrients such as vitamins C, E, and K, lutein, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, antioxidants, 40-fold than the mature leaves of the same plants.
• They are good for heart diseases, as they can greatly reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
• The high amounts of polyphenols in them is linked to the lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Microgreens reduce the type of stress that can prevent sugar from properly entering cells, thus lowering the risk of diabetes.
• High antioxidants and polyphenols in them help fight against certain cancers.
The benefits are quite appealing; however, microgreens are typically hard to find and expensive. Luckily, they are easy to grow at home, convenient to grow and can be grown year-round.
How can you grow them at home?
What you’ll need:
A container filled with potting soil or compost
Proper lighting – sunlight or UV lights – ideally for 12-16 hours every day
Fill the container with soil. Do not over-press, and lightly water.
Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil.
Spray some water on the seeds and cover the container with a plastic lid.
Spray water on the seeds daily to keep it moist.
After the seeds germinate, remove the plastic lid to expose them to sunlight.
Don’t forget to water them daily.
About 7-10 days later, they will be ready to harvest.
And that’s it, add it to your smoothies, juices, salads and sandwiches, to take it up a notch.
Easy to grow at home, loaded with health benefits, plus flavourful – these plants are really adorable!
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