What Are Microgreens, Exactly? What Makes Them So Special?

What Are Microgreens, Exactly? What Makes Them So Special?

The answer to the first question of “What are microgreens?” is simpler than you might think. Microgreens are regular varieties of vegetables harvested in the early stage of growth. They are harvested at the beginning of their life (typically seven to twenty-one days after germination) when they are about one to three inches tall. These powerful plants can come from multiple different families of vegetables, including the Brassicaceae, Asteraceae, Apiaceae, Amaranthaceae, and Cucurbitaceae families. Some microgreens can even come from grains or grass. 

You may be familiar with sprouts, and microgreens could be considered to be something similar. However, they are different from sprouts because they utilize different growing mediums. Sprouts typically grow in a moist environment without soil. Microgreens require soil or another similar growing medium. Sprouts are associated with a higher risk of foodborne illness where microgreens are not. 

So what's special about microgreens? Well, they come with a variety of health benefits and are easy to add to one’s diet. Plus, microgreens are typically stronger, flavor-wise, than the fully grown plant. The nutrition content reflects this flavor density, as well, because they contain higher concentrations of nutrients (up to 40 percent more!). They typically also contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than the fully mature plant. In fact, it has actually been found that one ounce of a broccoli, kale, or cabbage microgreen has the same amount of sulforaphane as 1.5 pounds of raw broccoli. Sulforaphane may have anticancer and antidiabetic properties and may support heart health by reducing inflammation.

Microgreens also contain a wider variety of antioxidants than mature vegetables. Antioxidants are powerful plant compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful compounds, are known to prevent inflammation in the body, and can lower the risk of certain types of cancers. Polyphenols, a specific type of antioxidants, can lower the risk of developing heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes

How to Eat Microgreens (or Drink them!)

Here are just some ideas:

  • Use as a garnish for homemade pizza.
  • Blend up in a smoothie.
  • Add some color to an omelet by sprinkling microgreens on top.
  • Use them as an alternative to lettuce in a burger or taco.
  • Use microgreens as a garnish for soup.
  • Blend them up in a green juice.
  • Add some to a salad for extra punches of flavor and nutrition.
  • Put microgreens in a pesto.
  • Sprinkle them in a pasta dish for some extra nutrients.
  • Decorate your sushi by sprinkling some on top.
  • Put them in your favorite sandwich to add a little nutritious crunch. 


Try One of Our Signature Microgreen Blends

Mixes to consider include our delicious and nutritious:

Try one or more of our suggested ways to eat microgreens or to enjoy them in a glass—and feel free to come up with your own creative ideas!

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