If you are as busy as I am these weeks before Christmas, well, then you will appreciate my blog post that gets to the point. Microgreens are not a trend that will pass, if you are smart, they will be a part of your weekly diet. There, I said it. I feel these little nutrient-dense fuel packed veggies are something we all should be eating!
They are not that hard to grow. I use coir to grow mine in, but you can use a variety of mediums + some people don’t grow them in anything but a particular grow mat that is not recyclable. I prefer to use Coir/CocoTek, but it can be a bit expensive however when you grow your microgreens on it and add it to your soil it serves two purposes. We know coir is good for soil retention in your gardens, so what an excellent addition to soil building for your outdoor growing area. You help your soil outside become more efficient during the growing season + get your nutrient dense “green-vitamins”/ microgreens all winter long. It is a win-win situation! (read more here how to grow microgreens)
I prefer “green-vitamins” those that you eat rather than take in pill forms. These mighty little “green-vitamins” provide a great way for us to stay healthy. I do have cole crops to harvest over the winter, but they get a bit scarce as we enter the second half of winter.
I don’t purchase microgreen mixes from different companies or buy kits, etc. I just put some coir in a small tray ( about 8 x 8 + 2.5 inches tall) that, I purchased for about 3.00 dollars. Buy a quality sprayer ( one that has a hold option, so you don’t have to keep pumping) to mist your microgreens as they grow. I also use a small watering bottle when they become a bit dense;it seems to keep them healthy. If you grow your seedlings put them under your grow lights. Some people germinate them in the dark. I found they work just fine with light since most seed ( not all) needs light to grow. If you don’t grow your garden seedlings put them near a “bright” sunny window. How simple is that?
I no longer purchase a lot of green drinks/expensive vitamins; I grow my vitamins! There are many types of microgreens you can grow, but that is your personal preference. I have tried a variety, but some of them were a bit too expensive for the seeds. It came down to, for me, growing those that were most beneficial to my health. I settled on growing only red cabbage + broccoli. They are quick to germinate + the seed is not as expensive as other microgreens. It is about how much time you have, space + amount of microgreens you would like to grow. The key is to experiment + try some in your recipes for that is the only way to figure out your needs.
They take just a little over a week to be ready to add to your daily meals. I have been experimenting with them in our weekly menu. You can’t cook with them ( so they say-LOL-I have no doubt someone one will try) but they are great to replace lettuce, or add to many of your weekly dishes.
I am in the process of working them into our diet. I had a bit of a struggle this past month since I tried them in larger trays. The black growing trays did not work as well for me ( 11 x 22), I found they dried out a bit more. Well, if you skip a misting when they are larger it does stunt them, and they do not grow as well. That is why I put them in smaller trays ( no larger than 8 x 8 + 2.5 deep) + they are growing great. I also watched a video where they told you to sow the seed a bit more loosely across the soil. Well, I found they were not as abundant. I sow seed VERY densely in a small 8 x 8 container + use scissors to cut the microgreens. I usually put the tray on the counter where I prepare meals. I am still in the “discovery stage” of using them in our diet. I feel it is a matter of experimenting and adding them to your weekly dishes.
When I was biking this summer along the river, I found if I ate a cup full before a bike ride, I had more energy. Well, I don’t know if the microgreens were what gave me the extra energy but they sure convinced me to add them to my diet! I affectionately call them my “green-vitamins” and I sure hope you find a bit of space to give them a try this winter. I decided this year, to grow them year round! The science is behind them now since they “Have Up to 40 Times More Vital Nutrients Than Mature Plants.” I have to admit that they will never replace all of their grown-up veggies in my Urban Potager, but they sure pack a punch of nutrient-dense “green-vitamins!” They are not a fad!
Let me know how it goes if you decide to grow them or have any tips or advice for others from your growing experience, please share!
Tiny Microgreens Packed With Nutrients
Aug. 31, 2012 — They may be tiny, but a new study shows trendy microgreens punch well above their weight when it comes to nutrition.
Researchers found microgreens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts.
Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in recent years as garnishes with chefs.
Although nutritional claims about microgreens abound on the Internet, this study is the first scientific evaluation of their nutritional content. Researchers say they were astonished by the results.
“The microgreens were four- to 40-fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts,” says researcher Qin Wang, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. “When we first got the results we had to rush to double and triple check them.”