Dish

Six things about microgreens

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Not to be confused
Microgreens are a variety of vegetable harvested for their visual and flavour appeal in dishes. Micro varieties aren’t as big as “baby greens” and get harvested later than “sprouts,” producing a flavour profile that ranges from sweet to spicy.

Small but mighty
Including the stem and leaves, microgreens can range in size from one to three inches. The greens have an average crop time of 10 to 14 days from planting to harvest, depending on the variety.

Relatively modern
Microgreens are increasingly common among fine-dining establishments, but they weren’t noted in recipes until the ’80s in San Francisco.

Loosely defined
Sprouts and microgreens can be confused, and while there are no legal definitions for baby greens or microgreens, there are for sprouts. Sprouts are defined as germinated seeds and in most cases consumed as an entire plant, which means the roots, seed and shoot. Microgreen is widely considered a marketing term.

Maintenance is key
Soil or alternatives like peat moss are idea for growing microgreens, which also require high light levels—preferably natural. Unlike sprouts, microgreens are planted with low-seed density and are ready to harvest one the leaves have fully expanded. Harvesting generally involves using scissors to cut the stem just above the soil surface, leaving the root behind. Microgreens must be grown properly in order to avoid the development of harmful pathogens.

Vitamin-packed veggies
Key nutrients in microgreens include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta-carotene (vitamin A precursor), phylloquinone (vitamin K) and tocopherols (vitamin E). V

 

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