Can You Eat Microgreens Raw?

Yes, the stems and leaves of microgreens can be eaten raw and are food safe. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and buy them from a reputable source.

There are regulations and rules put in place nationwide to protect buyers from falling ill due to bacteria such as E.coli. Since microgreens have higher amounts of nutrients in comparison to adult plants, it is best to consume small amounts moderately.

Microgreens are food safe and can be eaten raw. There are regulations and rules put in place nationwide to protect buyers from falling ill due to bacteria such as E.coli.

Consumers can prevent illnesses by washing their microgreens before eating. If you are growing your microgreens, be sure to not use pesticides.

What are the health benefits of microgreens?

Per WebMD, researchers find that microgreens such as radish, cilantro, and red cabbage consist of up to 40 times the amount of vital nutrients than their mature plant.  For example, cilantro microgreens have three times more the amount of beta-carotene than mature cilantro.

While vitamins C, K, and E were higher in garnet amaranth, red cabbage, and green daikon radish microgreens. Cilantro microgreens were rich in both beta-carotene and lutein.

Even though the nutritional value varies from plant to plant, some of the most nutritious microgreens include:

  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Sunflower
  • Mustard
  • Basil

There are a few types of microgreens that can help those suffering from chronic illnesses such as heart or kidney disease and can aid in digestion, an improvement in eyesight, and more.

Kidney disease

As per the National Kidney Foundation, those who suffer from kidney disease usually reduce their intake of high-potassium foods, including vegetables. The issue is that reducing high-potassium vegetables lessens the number of vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants you ingest.

The article, “Microgreens Production with Low Potassium Content for Patients with Impaired Kidney Function”, shows that microgreens can reduce potassium intake in patients with kidney disease who eat mostly vegetarian food.

Eyesight

According to the study, “The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health”, a diet high in carotenoids can provide several benefits for several diseases including eye disorders. Similarly, moderate lutein consumption can reduce the symptoms of several chronic diseases.

Microgreens contain lutein, which help improve and prevent age-related diseases leading to blindness and vision impairment.

Are microgreens the same as sprouts?

No, microgreens and sprouts are different, though both are found in salads, sandwiches, and even soups. Sprouts and microgreens come from the same seed but are at different stages of growth.

Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s growth process and are usually grown without a medium such as soil. Instead, they are grown in a sprouting vessel such as a tray, bag, or jar. Once the seeds germinate, you can eat them shortly after.

Microgreens are the second stage of a seed’s life. When both their roots and first original leaves  (otherwise known as cotyledon) start forming, they are ready to harvest. They come in various flavors, colors, and textures and range in height from 2-3”.

What is edible on a microgreen?

The stems and leaves of microgreens are edible and often mimic the taste of the parent plant.

If buying from a store, you will notice that microgreens are usually sold rootless, unlike sprouts. If growing on your own, make sure to eat your microgreens shortly after cutting them. They start to lose their nutritional value once you harvest them.

What are some ways you can eat microgreens?

Microgreens are commonly seen in salads and as a garnish. As an entree, you can find them in sandwiches and stir-fries. You can also juice microgreens, add them to soups, and top off a drink with them.

Other restaurants choose to add their microgreens on top of pizzas, fold them into an omelet, or stuff them into taco shells.

How do you clean microgreens?

Before eating microgreens raw, make sure to wash them before eating. Microgreens are fragile, so take care when handling them.

One of the easiest ways to clean microgreens is to use a salad spinner. Wash the microgreens in cold water using a salad spinner and spin dry. If there is excess water, just dab them until dry with a paper towel.

Are microgreens healthier than their full-grown counterpoints?

In a study done in the “Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentration of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens,” the authors test the levels of different amounts of vitamins and carotenoids in both mature and microgreen leaves.

The study involves 25 various microgreens including red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radishes. While different types of microgreens provide varying levels of vitamins and carotenoids, the study determines that the microgreens’ cotyledon leaves contain higher nutritional densities than their mature counterparts.

Can you grow your own microgreens?

Yes, microgreens are very easy to grow at home. There are two popular methods for growing microgreens that use either soil or a hydroponic system.

You can grow microgreens indoors or outdoors easily and with minimal effort. The other benefit of growing microgreens is that they take up little space.

Microgreens can grow pretty much in any type of container, but the container should provide ample air and moisture without providing too much or too little of either.

If you start growing your own microgreen garden, you may find it helpful to have the following supplies on hand:

  • Soil mix
  • pH test strips
  • Spray bottle
  • Growing trays
  • Lemon juice

What is hydroponic?

Hydroponic is a form of growing plants without soil. Instead of dirt, the microgreens grow directly in water that is rich in nutrients. The main point of using a hydroponic system is to give the plant’s root direct access to water that is rich in nutrients. You also want to make sure that your microgreens have plenty of access to oxygen. These nutrients are artifically added to the water.

Supportive material such as rock wool, peat moss, and clay pellets hold the root system up.