Microgreens are trending in the food and wellness communities. People who are focused on wellness through nutrition are adding them to wraps, sandwiches, salads and even smoothies. I was curious to find out more.
What are microgreens? When vegetable and herb seedlings begin to grow, they are considered to be sprouts. Once the sprouts begin to grow leaves, they are regarded as microgreens.
Sprouts and microgreens are not the same thing. Sprouts are harvested before they have leaves and microgreens after they have leaves. They are usually between four and six centimeters tall when harvested. They will reach this height between fifteen and thirty days after sowing. (It says so on the seed packet)
Many types of vegetables and herbs are grown as microgreens. Beets, radishes, broccoli, cilantro, cabbage and coriander are only a few examples.
According to Medical News Today, microgreens are rich in antioxidants and contain a higher amount of many nutrients when compared with fully grown vegetables and herbs. They are considered to be a functional food. That is food that promotes health and prevents disease.
Many people are not getting the recommended daily amount of vegetables and fruit. Convenience, availability and cost are some of the reasons for this. Microgreens can provide a lot of the nutrients that we need, and best of all, is easy to grow at home. Or so they say.
So, we decided to grow our own microgreens. You need a planting tray, coco peat, vermiculite and seeds.
Coco peat (coconut fiber) is a substitute for peat. It is free of bacteria and is sustainably produced, without the environmental damage caused by peat mining. We used part of a coco peat brick, which had to be soaked.
Vermiculite is a mineral that retains moisture and nutrients necessary for seeds to germinate and it promotes faster growth. We mixed that with the soaked coco peat. We lined the growing tray with a piece of a carton box, but newspaper will also do the job. Ensure that the peat/vermiculite mixture is wet all the way through.
The next step is to spread the seeds over the peat/vermiculite mix. We used all the seeds. Lastly we sprinkled a thin layer of peat/vermiculite over the seeds and positioned the tray in a sunny spot in the house.
We got everything we needed from our local nursery. Our packet of seeds contained coriander, red beets, cabbage, radish and pepper cress. Yummy!
Now all we have to do is wait. I will let you know if it really is this easy.