Microgreens are amazing tender versions of their adult self. They make vibrantly hued garnishes to salads, sandwiches and soups. Whether they're spinach, pea, beet or purple mustard, they take only about 14 days to grow and are nutritionally superior to their mature versions. These greens are about three inches in length and come in a rainbow of colors. They are essentially the shoots of vegetables like arugula, swiss chard, and beetroot. (Basil and arugula happen to be my favorite combo) Microgreens should not be confused with sprouts. Sprouts are germinated in water (usually 48 hours) just long enough to grow roots and stems with underdeveloped leaves. Microgreens on the other hand, require sunlight and soil for at least 7 days before they can be harvested.
As I mentioned earlier, microgreens are nutritionally dense and contain higher concentrations of phytonutrients than the mature greens. In these tiny leaves you can find high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene. I like to think of it as nature’s shot of vitamins. They are not meant to replace the mature lettuce of a salad - but rather give you an extra dose of phytonutrients. As with any food that is grown, the variations in nutrition depend on where you grow it, where you harvest it and the soil medium. But generally speaking the microgreens with more intense color have higher amounts of phytonutrients (up to 40 times more).
How do they taste? They can vary from slightly bitter to sweet, crunchy and earthy. Microgreens come in different colors and like most spices and herbs, a little goes a long way. Due to their high water content, cooking is not recommending. Enjoy them raw!
Uses For Microgreens:
Top them in sandwiches
Top off your salad
Top off your soups
TIME FOR A SHOT OF PHYTONUTRIENTS
Cucumber Boats Topped with Almond Cheese Spread and Microgreens
Author: Margot Witteveen, MS, RDN, LD
Recipe Type: Snack, Side
Prep time: 5 minutes, 1 minute for assembly
A crunchy, earthy, snack made with farm fresh cucumbers, microgreens and almond cheese spread. Vegan and gluten free.
1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise, four slices
2 tbsp of almond cheese (i.e. Kite Hill or your own nut cheese)
Sprinkling of microgreens
Smear almond cheese on cucumbers
Sprinkle with microgreens
Sprinkle hemp seeds (optional)
Drizzle of honey (optional)
Serve and Enjoy!
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