Microgreens: Great benefits in small sprouts

Isn't it wonderful to enjoy the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables grown by our own hands? Sadly, from fall to early spring, we don't have the chance to do so. Or do we? Luckily, there is a very simple solution to fulfill this desire and its name is microgreens.

This method of growing edible plants is becoming more and more popular every year. A huge number of crops are grown as microgreens: broccoli, basil, arugula, beets, watercress, peas, sunflowers, lentils, wheat, etc. The only crops that are not used for this purpose are nightshades - tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes, since the leaves of these plants contain natural poisons - alkaloids.
However, if it is very difficult or even impossible to grow these plants as adult plants indoors, then growing them in the form of microgreens is very simple.

The benefits of microgreens for humans

There are several reasons why microgreen cultivation has become so popular. Firstly, it is incredibly easy to obtain a crop (we will discuss the growing method later on). Secondly, microgreens are highly beneficial and even more so than an adult plant of the same crop. It's surprising that young plants contain several times more important substances than their more mature counterparts.
The fact is that very young plants concentrate a lot of nutrients (minerals, organic acids, vitamins, biologically active compounds) needed by the plant during this period for active growth and cell division. The plant "takes care" of its future, and people can use these nutrients to their advantage.
According to numerous scientific studies, young shoots are rich in vegetable protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, carotenoid pigments, mineral compounds (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, iodine, sulfur), and essential oils, which are very important for the healthy functioning of the human body.

How to grow microgreens

Growing microgreens is one of the easiest ways to cultivate plants. All you need are containers (preferably black ones), growing medium (typically coconut fiber mats, but you can also use absorbent cotton, paper, or special containers with a double bottom), seeds, and water. That is all!
Both an experienced grower and a complete beginner can handle this task. And you can also involve your children in the cultivation of microgreens. Thus they will not only be engaged in a fun activity, but at the same time you will nurture in your children a love of nature and vegetables. After all, it is so nice to eat something that you have grown with your own hands from a seed!

So, after you've purchased everything you need, here's what to do next:
  • Place the material on which you will grow the microgreens in a container and soak it thoroughly in water. There should be plenty of water.
  • After the material is completely saturated with moisture, the excess water should be drained so that the seeds will not float, they will have enough air and won’t rot.
  • Next, spread the seeds evenly over the entire surface of the container and spray them with water from a sprayer.
  • Place another container on top of the seeds: either with other microgreens or empty. The dark container will mimic the soil - the natural environment for the seeds to germinate.
  • Place the containers with the future microgreens in a dark and warm place.
  • Within 1 to 3 days, depending on the type of crop, the seeds will start to germinate. The container used to cover the seeds will also prevent the fast-growing sprouts from becoming too tall, resulting in uniform microgreens. Also, don't be alarmed if the first few days the sprouts appear yellowish, as this is due to the absence of sunlight.
  • After all the seeds have sprouted, put the container in a bright place. A warm windowsill is best so that the microgreens get enough natural light.
  • After 5 to 10 days, depending on the crop, you can harvest and eat.
Note: Microgreens require 6 to 10 hours of light per day. If your sunny day is shorter than necessary, you can supplement the light with regular lamps (for example, table lamps). But never put your microgreens in bright sunlight and do not use special phytolamps, as this can cause disease and even death to your crops.

How to consume microgreens

The ways of consuming microgreens are almost limitless. But it is best to eat them fresh, because in this form they are the most beneficial.
You can use them both as a decoration of your dishes and as a flavoring. But it is recommended that you taste the microgreens before adding them to your dishes, as some of the plants may have a very different taste compared to their adult counterparts. For example, broccoli microgreens have a bitter taste, and watercress resembles mustard.
And we do not recommend subjecting microgreens to heat treatment, as this will kill all the beneficial properties of the plant, and it may also lose its flavor properties.

Growing microgreens doesn't require many years of experience as an agronomist or any special equipment, as it is a very simple and accessible way of cultivation. Even a child can handle it. That’s why we encourage you to try growing microgreens on your windowsill, as they will not only add a touch of green to your home decor but also provide a source of vitamins, which are especially important during the dormant period.