they are small, green and healthy. but what exactly is behind this new food trend?
definition of microgreens
microgreens are edible, leafy vegetables that are harvested at the seedling stage. the edible parts are the cotyledons (cotyledons) and the upper stem (the upper hypocotyl). the root (the lower hypocotyl) and the seed coat are not consumed, clearly distinguishing microgreens from shoots.
depending on the plant species and individual preferences, microgreens are harvested after the cotyledons (cotyledons) unfold or when the first true leaf appears. however, in any case, with the exception of vegetables that germinate underground (hypogeous), such as peas, the cotyledons are still plump and green, which distinguishes microgreens from the so-called baby leaf lettuces.
it happens that microgreens are mistakenly called cress. however, this can lead to misunderstandings, as garden cress (lepidium sativum) or pepperwort (lepidium latifolium) are also colloquially referred to as cress.
which microgreens are there?
almost any vegetable edible in its raw state can also be grown as microgreens. peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family are not suitable because the green parts of the plant contain the toxic solanine. bean seedlings should not be eaten raw, as they contain phasin, which is only destroyed by heating.
in addition, pretty much any vegetable or culinary herb can be grown as a microgreen. species that germinate quickly and evenly are particularly suitable. these include all cabbage plants and close relatives such as mustard and radish. popular microgreens include beet, chard, sunflowers, buckwheat, peas, amaranth, chicory, alfalfa and carrots. however, culinary herbs or grains such as corn and wheat can also be cultivated as microgreens.
how healthy are microgreens?
microgreens are among the healthiest foods. no matter which microgreens variety you choose, they all have higher levels of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals compared to their adult counterparts. all the nutrients that were previously locked in the sprout are awakened by the sprouting process and made available to our bodies to synthesize. by the way, microgreens do not fill you up, as they contain very few calories.
microgreens are not meant to replace full-grown vegetables, but they are a sustainable and delicious way to increase the nutritional value of any dish. just top your dish with your favorite microgreen and you'll get a vital dose of vitamins and minerals.
how long do microgreens last?
once harvested, microgreens only last a few days in the refrigerator and need to be consumed quickly. therefore, marketing microgreens that have already been cut also leads to a high level of food waste.
there is a very simple solution to this problem: market microgreens alive and grow them yourself, just as we already know from the little cress boxes. if the substrate remains moist throughout, microgreens will keep for at least another two weeks. however, at least the greens will last that long, because they simply go with every meal and are still very healthy.
where can i buy microgreens?
microgreens are a new trend that is only slowly gaining notoriety in germany beyond the top gastronomy. in very well-stocked supermarkets, you can also buy arugula or radish microgreens in addition to the well-known garden cress. if you want a wider selection of options, you’ll have to grow them yourself. good thing there is a super simple solution for this...
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