Microgreens with Macro Benefits
The term microgreen is the universal name for almost any green vegetable or herb that produces edible leaves and can be harvested at the cotyledon (first leaves) stage of growth. These greens can be found in a variety of colors, textures, and flavors which can be a healthy addition to many dishes. These microgreens are cheap to produce and take away the risk of most food-borne illnesses.
The nutrient content of microgreens is high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which is similar to their mature counterparts except more concentrated. The ease of growing these greens provides increased access to adequate nutrition along with a diversified diet.
Microgreens are considered a ‘functional food’ meaning they possess particular health-promoting or disease-preventing properties additional to their normal values. Plants like mustard, spinach, arugula, kale, beetroot, lettuce, cilantro, cabbage, radish and broccoli have a compound that has these unique properties. Consuming a variety of quality vegetables can be difficult during an average week, but adding microgreens to dishes can supplement many of your nutritional needs.
The greens take minimal resources to cultivate which makes it an ideal source of homegrown nutrients. Produce nutrition is limited by the quality of the soil it was grown in, how it was harvested and its treatment post-harvest. When you look at the methods of growing vegetables on a commercial scale there is an increasing disconnect between soil health and nutrient-dense crops.
The reason why microgreens are so nutrient-dense starts with soil they are grown in; these greens are typically grown in a highly biodiverse growing medium. Plants thrive in soil that has a healthy balance consisting of minerals, organic matter, water and air. The plants are not the only thing benefiting from healthy soil, taking time to put your hands in soil, spread the seed and watch your plants grow cannot be overlooked. Being a part of the life cycle of a plant reconnects us to our food and the process’ involved in your well being.
By growing your own microgreens you are bringing a small piece of the garden into your home, allowing control over your nutritional independence. All it takes is seeds, soil, and a container to start your own microgreens at home. From the seeds you choose to the soil they grow in, the outcomes of these plants are completely in your control.
The uses are endless with these powerful greens, they can be a good addition to a salad, blended in a smoothie, toppings to a sandwich, etc. Microgreens are versatile and flavorful which can compliment any dish. Cutting your own greens for homemade meals can be a fun way to make nutrition fun and attainable.