6 Tasty Types of Microgreens You Should Know!

what are the different types of microgreens

If you’re on the hunt for a burst of flavor and nutrition in a tiny package, microgreens are your go-to greens. These miniature plants pack a punch in taste and health benefits, making them a must-try for food lovers and health enthusiasts alike.

Microgreens, the seedlings of vegetables and herbs harvested just after the first leaves develop, pack a punch of flavor and nutrients. These little wonders are like the toddlers of the plant world—small but brimming with personality. Sprinkle them on salads, sandwiches, or even in smoothies for a fresh twist.

Easily grown indoors, microgreens are perfect for urban gardeners and apartment dwellers, reaching the harvest-ready stage in just 1 to 3 weeks. Their quick growth and versatility have led to a surge in popularity, and once you try them, it’s clear why.

1. Radish Microgreens: Spicy Crunch

Radish Microgreens

Radish microgreens are the little dynamos of the microgreen world. Just like their full-grown selves, they pack a spicy punch that can wake up your taste buds. Their crisp texture adds a satisfying crunch to sandwiches and salads that’s delightful. And let’s not forget that vivid red hue—they’re like confetti for your plate!

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These spicy sprouts are loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, along with essential amino acids and calcium. They’re also one of the fastest-growing microgreens out there. In my experience, they’re ready to harvest in just about five days, which is almost instant gratification in the plant world.

2. Sunflower Microgreens: Nutty Delight

Sunflower Microgreens

Sunflower microgreens are the unsung heroes of the microgreen family. With their tender, succulent leaves and a nutty flavor that’s both distinct and subtle, they’re a crowd-pleaser. They’re like the crunchy, buttery croutons that you can’t stop snacking on—except they’re good for you!

These little greens are not just tasty; they’re also rich in protein, making them a fantastic addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. They contain high levels of iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, plus they’re a source of healthy fats. I’ve tossed them into wraps and smoothies for an extra nutritional punch, and they never disappoint.

3. Pea Shoots: Sweet & Tender

Pea Shoots

Pea shoots are the microgreens that will make you forget that you’re eating your greens. They’re sweet, they’re tender, and they taste like spring in a tiny, leafy package. Throw them into a stir-fry, and they’ll add a lovely sweetness that complements the savory flavors.

These little shoots are bursting with vitamins A, C, and E, and they’re a great source of folic acid and fiber. They also contain phytochemicals that can boost your immune system. I’ve used them as a base for salads and found they pair beautifully with a simple vinaigrette.

4. Arugula Microgreens: Peppery Punch

Arugula Microgreens

Arugula microgreens are for those who like a little bite in their greens. They bring a peppery punch that’s similar to their mature form but with a more delicate texture. They’re perfect for adding a zesty kick to pizzas and pasta without overpowering the dish.

These peppery leaves are high in calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. I’ve sprinkled them on top of a goat cheese tart, and the combination was to die for. The peppery flavor of the microgreens cut through the richness of the cheese most delightfully.

5. Basil Microgreens: Aromatic Bliss

Basil Microgreens

Basil microgreens are like a little sniff of summer any time of the year. Their aromatic, slightly sweet flavor makes them a fantastic addition to Italian dishes, salads, or any dish that could use a touch of freshness. They’re the herbaceous whisper in a sea of greens that says, “Hey, something special is going on here.”

In addition to their delightful flavor, basil microgreens are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, and they contain powerful antioxidants like flavonoids. I love to scatter them over a freshly baked pizza or mix them into a homemade pesto for an extra burst of flavor.

6. Beet Microgreens: Colorful Zest

Beet Microgreens

Beet microgreens are the showstoppers of the microgreen world. Their vibrant red and green leaves bring a pop of color to any dish, and their earthy, slightly sweet flavor is truly unique. They’re like the secret ingredient that adds a touch of gourmet to even the simplest of dishes.

These colorful greens are not just pretty to look at; they’re also rich in iron, potassium, and magnesium. They’ve got betalains too, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve used them to garnish a bowl of hummus, and it turned every dip into a mini celebration.

Health Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens are nutritional powerhouses. They contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than their mature counterparts. It’s like comparing a concentrated juice shot to a full glass of juice; you get more of the good stuff in a smaller package. Studies have shown that these tiny greens can contain up to 40 times more nutrients, which is incredible when you think about it.

Adding microgreens to your diet is an easy way to boost your intake of essential nutrients like Vitamin C, E, and K, as well as beta-carotene. They’re also packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant linked to a lower risk of heart disease. On top of all that, they can help jazz up your meals with their intense flavors and textures, making healthy eating far from boring.

In the video, Permacrafters explains –

  1. Toxin Removal and Nutrient Maximization: Sprouting seeds helps remove toxins, such as lectins, and maximizes their nutritional value by kickstarting metabolic activity.
  2. Nutritional Superiority of Sprouts: Sprouts offer the highest nutritional value among land-based fruits and vegetables, providing more vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, proteins, and essential fatty acids than their fully grown counterparts.
  3. Enzyme-Rich Foods: Sprouts are rich in enzymes that pre-digest complex nutritional structures, making them easily digestible and assimilated by the body.
  4. Comparison of Sprouted vs. Unsprouted Seeds: Sprouted lentils and mung beans show significantly higher concentrations of vitamins C and K compared to their unsprouted counterparts.
  5. Importance of Raw Consumption: Cooking sprouts can lead to nutrient loss, emphasizing the importance of consuming them raw to retain their nutritional benefits.
  6. Sprouts as Complete Protein Sources: Consuming a variety of sprouted leafy greens, grains, and nuts provides complete proteins, containing all eight essential amino acids.
  7. Mineral Absorption during Sprouting: Sprouts absorb minerals and trace elements like iodine, zinc, selenium, chromium, cobalt, and silicon from rinsing water, contributing to their nutritional content.
  8. Microgreens and Chlorophyll: Microgreens, grown in sunlight, contain chlorophyll and potentially more nutrients than sprouts. Light, harvesting time, and soil richness affect their nutritional potency.
  9. Research Findings on Microgreens: A 2012 study compared 25 microgreens to their mature counterparts, revealing significantly higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids in microgreens, particularly red cabbage.
  10. Sulforaphane in Broccoli Sprouts: Broccoli sprouts, rich in sulforaphane, have demonstrated anti-cancer properties and potential benefits for autism and schizophrenia. Consuming 100-140 grams of broccoli sprouts daily may be beneficial.


Growing Microgreens at Home

Growing microgreens at home is as easy as pie (and they’re healthier too!). All you need is a shallow tray, some potting mix, and your chosen seeds. With a little water and some sunshine, you’re on your way to growing your edible mini garden. I’ve got trays on my windowsill that make me feel like a green-thumbed giant every time I peek at my miniature crops.

You can start harvesting your microgreens in just a couple of weeks, cutting them right above the soil line. The best part? You don’t need a green thumb or acres of garden space. Even those who claim they could kill a cactus find success with microgreens. Plus, there’s something incredibly satisfying about eating food you’ve grown yourself.

Harvesting and Storing Tips

When it comes to harvesting microgreens, timing is everything. You want to snip them right after the first true leaves appear. Use a sharp pair of scissors and cut above the soil line—this helps prevent soil contamination. Remember, they’re delicate, so handle them with care.

To store them, gently lay your microgreens on a paper towel, roll them up, and place them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh for about a week if you keep them cool and dry. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them, as moisture can speed up spoilage. Trust me, there’s nothing sadder than a soggy microgreen.

So there you have it, a little green thumb guide to the tasty world of microgreens. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious foodie, these tiny greens are sure to add some color, flavor, and nutrients to your meals. Give them a try and watch your dishes transform with every vibrant, flavorful sprinkle!

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