You may have read about the amazing benefits of microgreens. These tiny, immature plants pack a powerful, nutritious punch.
There are a lot of varieties of microgreens, so it’s easy to become confused and overwhelmed with what to do with these tasty little guys.
Microgreens can be used in salads, shakes, and cold and warm dishes, and enjoyed by themselves. They can bring a surprising amount of flavor, texture, and colour to dishes
My goal is that by the time you are finished reading this article, you will not only know what microgreens are but also the tastiest ways to use them in your everyday meals.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1” to 3” tall.
They are considered baby plants, falling somewhere between a sprout (smaller than a microgreen, and has no leaves) and a baby green (larger than a microgreen).
Varieties of Microgreens
Just how many types of microgreens are there, you ask? Well here is a long list of them:
And there are probably more!
The most popular micros are radish, pea, and sunflower, and one growing in popularity is broccoli.
I personally love pea shoots, they are good on everything!
The Amazing Benefits Of Microgreens
Microgreens are jam-packed with nutrients. For a little plant, boy are they nutritious!
Their nutrient contents differ slightly from one micro to another, but they are typically rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Microgreens are also a great source of antioxidants.
Since their nutrient contents are concentrated in their small stature, they often contain higher vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels than their full-grown counterparts.
In fact, vitamin and mineral levels measured in microgreens were up to 40X higher than those recorded in the mature leaves.
Can you believe it!? That’s crazy!
Microgreens are also a rich source of polyphenols which are natural compounds found in plant-based foods.
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that help ward off free radicals and increase protection against certain conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Polyphenols also play a role in healthy digestion.
However, it is important to note that not all micros are created equal. The amount of nutrients varies depending on the type of microgreen.
Eating a good amount of vegetables (not just microgreens) is linked to lowering the risk of many diseases.
This is most likely because of the high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds they contain.
Microgreens contain similar and more often than not, more of these nutrients than mature greens.
Therefore, they may help reduce the risk of the following diseases:
- Heart Disease: Microgreens are a rich source of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes: Antioxidants may help reduce the type of stress that can prevent sugar from properly entering cells.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Antioxidant-rich foods, including those containing high amounts of polyphenols, may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Certain Cancers: Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in polyphenols, may lower the risk of various types of cancer.
Delicious Recipes With Microgreens
There are many delicious ways to consume microgreens. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to be in the kitchen any more than you have to!
An easy way to incorporate microgreens into almost any meal is to throw a handful of them on top of whatever it is you’re eating. Seriously. Anything. They add a flavourful crunch that helps elevate any meal or snack.
For those who like to cook and actually enjoy the kitchen environment, listed below are a few recipes to help get your creative juices flowing. Or if your creative juice is dried up like mine is at the end of the day, simply follow these recipes for a scrumptious, nutritious meal.
Since I am no wizard in the kitchen, I have linked these recipes to their more talented creators.
- 2 slices multigrain or gluten-free bread, toasted
- 1 ripe organic avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
- 1/4 lemon, cut into 2 wedges
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Asian micro-mix salad or other micro greens
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- Divide avocado slices evenly and place on top of toast slices. Using a butter knife, carefully smash avocado slices. Squeeze lemon slices over avocado, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with micro greens, drizzle with sesame, then complete with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
- 1 Small White Onion chopped
- 2 Cups Zucchini about one med. zucchini, chopped
- 2-3 Large Stalks Celery chopped
- Olive Oil for sautéing
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 Cups Water
- 1/4 Tsp Coriander
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 4 Cups Cooked Pasta
- 1/4 cup almonds – 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 a tray of Daikon Radishes (1-2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Start by prepping the vegetables – chop the onion, zucchini, and celery.
- Bring a pot to medium heat with a little olive oil. Add chopped vegetables and sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Add in vegetable stock, water, coriander, and salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Then make the pesto– add all pesto ingredients into a food processor and process until everything is smooth. Or, for a chunkier pesto, process for less time. Add pesto to soup and stir well.
- Finally, add in cooked pasta – I used Farfalle/bow-tie pasta. If pasta isn’t your jam, feel free to add to add 2-3 cups cooked rice or any other grain, like millet or quinoa.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh herbs (if desired).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
- Place almonds on a cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
- In a food processor, combine toasted almonds, garlic, basil, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Process until a coarse paste is formed.
- 1 pkg microgreens
- 6 radishes, halved or sliced
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/8 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- coarse sea salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- Place the microgreens and radishes into a serving bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- At the last moment before serving, dress the salad lightly with dressing, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!
Swap the lime juice with any of your favorite fresh citrus flavors to make a tasty vinaigrette!
- ½ cup Bulgur
- ½ cup Water
- 1 whole Seed Quilt of Microgreens of your choice
- 1 bunch Cilantro (chopped)
- 1 bunch Parsley (chopped)
- 1 bunch Mint (chopped)
- 4 stalks Green Onion (chopped)
- 1-2 cups Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1-2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Follow directions to cook the bulgur (about 30 minutes).
- While the bulgur is cooking, take your lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk together well to make a dressing.
- Once the bulgur is done, set aside to cool down.
- Take the rest of your ingredients and chop to your liking. Most Tabouli are cut finely as that is the traditional way to cut it for this salad, but I chose to keep it larger in size.
- Once all is cut and ready to go, place it all in the large bowl and mix together well. You can eat it right away or place in the fridge to cool before serving. Enjoy this meal as a side salad with dinner or on its own for lunch! 🙂
- 3 cups Microgreens
- 1 cup Strawberry, sliced
- ¼ cup Candied Walnuts, chopped
- 6 strawberries
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- dash of sea salt
- dash of black pepper
- Blend; strawberries, balsamic vinegar, raw honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Toss the microgreens with strawberries and dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Microgreens are an amazingly easy way to add more nutrition to essentially every meal and snack you make if you so desire.
Simply toss them into a salad, into your blender when making a smoothie, on top of your main course, in a sandwich, or on your morning eggs, the possibilities are endless!
Feeling ambitious? Try one of the tasty recipes above and let me know how it goes!
Please leave any microgreen-related comments or questions down below. Thank you!