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  • MICROGREENS EDUCATION AND FUN

    Microgreens (micro greens) are a tiny form of young edible greens produced from vegetable, herb or other plants. They range in size from 1″ to 1 ½” long, including the stem and leaves. It has two fully developed cotyledon leaves and usually one pair very small, partially developed true leaves. Microgreens have surprisingly intense flavors.

     

    Microgreens are used as a fresh flavor ingredient primarily in restaurants serving upscale cuisine. These restaurants place a strong emphasis on both the creative presentation and flavor of their dishes. Microgreens’ delicate, fresh appearance adds beauty and dimension combined with a range of distinct flavor elements.

    Our Microgreens for Your Health

    Researchers have found that some microgreens like radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts.

     

    Even scientific research has shown that these seedling when consumed are just a few inches tall and are packed with antioxidants and other healthy nutrients.

     

    According to studies, many microgreens are abundant in vitamin C, loaded with beta-carotene, which helps in reducing the risk of cancer and eye diseases. These tiny, edible greens also make for a good source of vitamin E and K.

     

    They should not be mistaken for sprouts. But they are young seedlings of vegetables and herbs, which include tiny greens which are harvested in less than 20 days, after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in the recent years.

    Nutrition Fact 1: Microgreens Provide More Nutrition Than Mature Leaves

    A 2010 study published in the Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science reported that young lettuce seedlings, harvested 7 days after germination, had the highest antioxidant capacity as well as the highest concentrations of health-promoting phenolic compounds, compared with their more mature counterparts.
     

    A few years later, a team of scientists from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture analyzed the nutrient composition of 25 commercially available microgreen varieties. They discovered that in general microgreen cotyledon leaves had considerably higher nutritional densities than their mature counterparts (cotyledon leaves refer to the embryonic first leaves of a seedling). This large-scale microgreen study was published in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

    Nutrition Fact 2: Vitamin C is Abundant in Microgreen

    Young edible seedlings are a superb source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals. The 2012 study on microgreens reported that even the microgreen sample that had the lowest levels of vitamin C contained a whopping 20 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams – that's almost twice the amount of vitamin C found in tomatoes! Red cabbage microgreens had the highest levels of vitamin C among the tested varieties, with a 100-gram portion providing 147 milligrams – or 245% of the daily value – of this vital nutrient. For comparison, an equal-sized serving of mature raw red cabbage contains 57 milligrams of vitamin C according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Nutrition Fact 3: Many Microgreens Are Loaded With Beta-Caroten

    Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are thought to reduce the risk of disease, particularly certain types of cancer and eye disease. Carrots are famous for being rich in beta-carotene, but turns out that many microgreens are also a good source of this important nutrient. In fact, some microgreens appear to contain even more beta-carotene than carrots: 12 milligrams per 100 grams compared with 8 milligrams in boiled carrots, according to the 2012 study. The researchers who analyzed the beta-carotene content of microgreens found that these super-nutritious greens also provide other carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

    Nutrition Fact 4: Microgreens Are a Good Source of Vitamin E

    Back in 1967, a team of scientists from Yale University showed that young pea seedlings grown in light contain significant levels of tocopherol (vitamin E). Similarly, the researchers responsible for the 2012 microgreen study found substantial amounts of tocopherols in the tested greens. The amount of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol combined ranged from 7.9 to 126.8 milligrams per 100 grams, with green daikon radish microgreens scoring the highest value in this analysis. For adults, the recommended daily allowance for vitamin E is 15 milligrams of alpha-tocopherol, meaning that eating just a small amount of daikon radish microgreens would cover your daily requirement for this important antioxidant vitamin.

    Nutrition Fact 5: Greens – Even if Small in Size – Contain Vitamin K

    The Yale study on pea microgreens – or young pea seedlings as they were called back then – also discovered that the seedlings started to produce large amounts of vitamin K when they were exposed to light. But that's hardly big news. Vitamin K functions as an electron acceptor when chlorophyll – abundant in all green plants including microgreens – absorbs sunlight to produce carbohydrates and oxygen during photosynthesis. Vitamin K also offers health benefits for humans by promoting normal blood clotting and preventing excessive bruising. Vitamin K also plays an important role in maintaining strong and healthy bones.

    The 2012 microgreen study analyzed the levels of phylloquinone (the type of vitamin K produced by plants) in different micro-sized greens, and found the highest levels of vitamin K in amaranth microgreens (Red Garnet variety). The researchers observed marked differences in vitamin K concentration between different microgreens, with the values ranging from 0.6 to 4.1 micrograms per gram.

  • Microgreen Recipes Packed With Macro Flavor

    Sure, microgreen desserts may be hard to turn up, but the appeal of eats doesn’t end with sweets. Nope, this roundup of gorgeous recipes showcases the appeal of surprisingly flavor-packed microgreens. Not to be confused with sprouts, these tiny leaves simply come about from a super young harvest of a wide variety of veggies and herbs. It couldn’t be easier to start cooking with these tasty, nutrient-dense greens! Click Here for over 1,235 Microgreens Recipes you can make with our Microgreens!

    A handful of spring onion and radish microgreens top outstanding, hand-chopped salmon burgers that simply burst with herbal flavor. (via Wild Greens and Sardines)

    I get on a kick with something and then… I never let it go. That’s these. I found the microgreens and I’m now obsessed. Any microgreens will do – they add a lovely little burst of color and some texture to the pizza – and I like that I replaced my usual go-to arugula with them. (via Jessica at How Sweet Eats)

    I’ve often grown sprouts in a jar during the winter months which is a great source of greens, but to be honest, I much prefer biting into a tender microgreen. Microgreens are very popular with chefs because they’re so tasty and elegant. You can get creative with your microgreens to make delicious salads. I recommend sticking to a light vinaigrette, so you can taste the delicate shoots and not overpower them. (via Aube at PBS Food)

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    Kelsey Lynne Brown

    Henry James Draper

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