Tuesday 10 December 2019

Why Microgreens are the nutrient powerhouses? Benefits and How to Grow?


I recently shared about microgreens (the power house of nutrients as they are best known as in recent times) on my Instagram handle and the number of queries I got about them has made me put together this post for all of you, which has all that you wish to know about them. Many of you know last year has been critical to me in terms of health, fitness and nutrition and though I have always been an fitness enthusiast and healthy food advocate, post my endometriosis surgery last July(a condition which has no permanent cure and its medication leads to terrible weight gain), I have been more watchful towards ensuring that only the best healthy nutritious food comes on my plate and that nothing disturbs my morning walks, yoga and meditation regimes. In my search for the best, I came across the microgreens last year on the recommendation of Luke Coutinho and since then sprinkling them on our food is a norm in my family.

What are microgreens?

In simple terms you can understand micro-greens as juvenile-age plants and herbs of unlimited variety that are typically between 2-4 weeks old (vegetable greens, harvested after the Cotyledon leaves have developed). In terms of age, microgreens are older than sprouts but younger than shoots. These plants had developed its first pair of leaves when they are harvested.

You can’t miss them for their nutritional benefits, freshness and aroma and they are undoubtedly a chef’s delight.

I love them as they can be grown by us at our home in our balcony or a window sill in a tray or a small container. The joy of growing them with your little one, caring for them and then reaping the benefits as you pluck a few each day and garnish your food cannot be described in words. 

Microgreens in my eyes are the most versatile health-full ingredient that you can use to garnish your normal food, in soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and more directly without cooking or heating.

Benefits of microgreens

Microgreens are also incredibly nutritious and healthy, especially from a nutrient density perspective.

Researchers with the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the United States Department have established that microgreens contain four to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts which is unbelievably impressive.

While their nutrient contents vary slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper.They are a great source of beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants too.Not only that, they are an excellent solution to battle hidden hungers, adding them to your diet is a great power-up, not to mention the precious green it adds to the ambience. They may be micro but their impact certainly is micro. 

In our metro life, at least there is something which is unadulterated and pure grown by us at home.

How to use microgreens?

When you wish to use the live microgreens from the trays it is recommended to use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the plant at the base, just above the roots, while holding a small bunch with your fingertips. To make sure you get the most flavor and the best texture, use the microgreens immediately after cutting.

Which are the best microgreens ?

Without a doubt, it is Broccoli which is a favourite of microgreen growers. It contains 550 per cent of the daily cumulative nutrients of Vitamin A, B, C and K as well as iron, magnesium and phosphorus. 

Only second is Basil, another good example of microgreens that are anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature. 

Kale, radish, sunflower shoots, pea shoots and wheatgrass are also worth growing microgreens.

Also, salad greens, leafy vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers can be grown as microgreens, though some varieties are better suited than others. Beginners may start by growing one type of seed, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, chia, sunflower or buckwheat and then gradually add variety to their kitty.

How to grow microgreens at home?

  1. Find a window sill or a location in your house where you get plenty of sunlight.
  2. Thoroughly scan the seed packet(bought from a trustable organic source) to see if there are any special instructions.
  3. Pick a shallow tray or container and line it with about an inch of organic soil mix, smooth it out.
  4. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil and press gently into the soil.
  5. Next, cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and spray the surface with filtered water.
  6. Place in sunlight and spray water a couple of times a day to keep the soil moist. 
  7. In 2-4 weeks, you will witness one of thethe cutest marvels of nature,the tiny microgreens, smiling innocently to you.
  8. Consume them refresh within 3-4 days and discard the waste in any plant of your garden, in some kinds of plants they even regrow.
 It is important to note that microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight. In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. Light needs may also be satisfied with a grow light.

What to remember while growing microgreens?

Microgreens are generally considered safe to eat. When growing them at home, pay special attention to the quality of the seeds and growing mediums used which should be free from any contamination of harmful bacteria.

I researched a lot to ascertain that microgreens are not fads and when I was convinced they are worthy of being consumed seven days a week, I have adapted them as a must food habit. Hopefully, this article would have apprised you of all you wished to know about microgreens.

In Delhi, I also like the microgreens supplied by Gingko Greens if you will like to try them first before trying your hands at growing them :)

Truly Yours Roma

If you like what I write, you can grab the copies of my four published books here: The Fragrance of True LoveDestiny's Favorite ChildDare to Defy The Destiny and Empowered Women Empower Women

No comments:

Post a Comment