Have you ever seen a high-quality meal that’s garnished with tiny, plant-like ingredients? Did you ask yourself, “What are those?” I know I have! While investing my time into food and nutrition, I’ve come across these tiny plants, commonly known as microgreens. As you can tell, the name is very fitting.
Microgreens, the seedlings of edible herbs and vegetables, are becoming more and more popular over the years. There are different stages of plant growth, which include petite, ultra, baby and young – microgreens are harvested at the petite stage. Although they’re small, they’re packed full of nutrients such as vitamins C, E, K and beta-carotene – 40-fold greater per ounce than some mature plants. Microgreens shouldn’t replace whole vegetables in your diet because they don’t provide the necessary fiber; but they do fill some nutritional gaps.
Similar to the concentration of nutrients, they’re bursting with intense flavors. It could differ between spicy, slightly sour or bitter depending on the variety of plants. Microgreens also vary in texture, so adding them into a simple dish goes a long way. A purple radish microgreen, for example, is typically harvested around 6 days of development. When eaten it has a crunchy texture and tastes like a radish, but zestier.
Food poisoning is a common concern with microgreens. Sprouts have this reputation due to their growing environment, which requires warmth and humidity – similar to bacteria. We also consume their roots and seeds, putting us at higher risk of contamination. Other microgreens are generally considered safe.
Common ways to incorporate microgreens into your diet include adding them to salads, soups, pizzas, sandwiches, smoothies – you name it.
Breakfast Sandwich with Microgreens
1 everything bagel
½ Tablespoon olive oil
3 slices of deli turkey
½ avocado, mashed
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
¼ cup microgreens (Sprouts, arugula, basil, cilantro, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a frying pan on the stove and turn it onto medium heat.
Add ½ Tablespoon of olive oil in the saucepan. Once heated, add egg and cook until over-easy, about 1-2 minutes each side. Season with salt and pepper.
As the egg is cooking, toast bagel.
Add mashed avocado, sunflower seeds and turkey to half of the bagel
Top with the cooked egg and microgreens