Keeping microgreens in the fridge is essential to keeping them fresh and prolonging their shelf life. For the best results, keep your microgreens in an airtight container, covered in a damp paper towel, at around 40°F.
The rest of the article will go into detail about why refrigeration is important, and the best ways to prolong the shelf life of microgreens and keep them fresh.
What is the optimal temperature to store microgreens?
Fridge temperature plays a major part in keeping microgreens fresh, flavoursome and is essential to preventing bacterial growth. Leaving microgreens in warm and humid conditions encourages bacterial growth, causing them to decay and spoil. According to one study conducted on a large variety of microgreens, 40°F is the optimal storage temperature.
How long do microgreens keep if refrigerated?
The shelf life can vary depending on the type of microgreen, however most varieties last around 7-12 days if stored in the right conditions. Studies have also shown that some varieties have the potential to last up to 21 days! See below for more tips on how to make the most out of your microgreens and keep them fresh for longer.
When is the best time to consume microgreens?
The best time to consume microgreens is immediately after harvesting as this is when the crop is at its freshest. Microgreens also lose nutritional value over time, so it is best to eat them as soon as possible to get the maximum nutritional benefit! However, so long as microgreens are not spoiled, they can be consumed anytime and are a great healthy and colourful addition to foods.
What causes microgreens to turn bad?
Air circulation and humidity are the two key factors that influence how quickly microgreens turn ‘bad’ and therefore, controlling these factors is the key to fresh and lasting produce. Too much air and your microgreens will dry out, and too much humidity will increase the metabolic rate of the crop, speeding up the spoiling process. Modifying the air circulation and humidity levels is a method used in most areas of agriculture.
Where should microgreens be stored in the fridge?
An important thing to remember is that each compartment in the fridge varies in temperature and therefore, the temperature of refrigerated products will vary depending on where it is placed in the fridge. Placing microgreens in the fridge door compartments will reduce the shelf life as it is the warmest part of the fridge. Whereas, storing your microgreens on the bottom shelf (the coolest part of the fridge) will keep them fresh and optimise their shelf life. It’s easy to underestimate this part of the refrigerating process, but it’s an essential step!
What type of container should microgreens be stored in?
The best way to store microgreens is in an airtight plastic container. Resealable plastic bags are an alternative method, but the former should be used if you have the choice. Refrigerators are great when it comes to keeping crops cool, but this benefit comes with the downside of increased airflow. You want the container to be as airtight as possible to prevent excess air reaching your microgreens and drying them out.
How do I prevent microgreens from drying out in the fridge?
So, other than using the right container, how else can you prevent your microgreens from drying out in the fridge? Placing damp paper towels in the container alongside your microgreens is a key method you can use. Damp paper towels provide additional moisture for the crop to absorb and prevents them from becoming dehydrated.
Can microgreens be frozen?
Although it is possible, freezing microgreens significantly changes their texture, taste and nutrient content. Therefore, it is not recommended to put microgreens in the freezer. Microgreens can become soggy and turn into mush. Storing microgreens in the fridge is the best method to keep them fresh and tasting delicious.
Should I wash my microgreens before refrigerating them?
The best time to wash microgreens is just before you eat them as placing them in water can turn them mushy and not very appealing! However, some people prefer to wash them immediately to remove any unwanted bacteria.
If you decide to do this, ensure you do so in the coldest water possible and be sure to dry them sufficiently before putting them in the fridge.
What happens if I forget to refrigerate my microgreens?
As we have discussed above, microgreens have a short shelf life. Without refrigeration and the correct storage methods, they will only last around 1-2 days before spoiling. If you do not consume them within this time, they will wilt and become inedible. If they reach this stage, they shouldn’t be eaten and discarding them is the way forward. Remember though, microgreens taste their best if eaten immediately, so sprinkle them on a salad or add them to a favourite dish to make the most out of them before they spoil!
Why is the shelf life of microgreens so short?
It is a known fact that respiration rate determines the shelf life of a crop. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, the respiration rate of microgreens increases dramatically once it is harvested. This therefore makes them decay quickly and decreases their shelf life.
How to tell if microgreens have gone off?
If your microgreens turn bad, it will significantly change their texture and taste. As they start to decay, they give off a foul odour which can be very potent. The stems also turn mushy, which can make them visually unappealing! Microgreens shouldn’t be eaten if they reach this stage, so make sure to discard them.
Can I eat microgreens once they have turned bad?
Microgreens can be harmful if eaten after they have turned bad. They contain bacteria which can be detrimental to your health. Once microgreens have started decaying, discard of them via compost methods or other means. Do not feed them to your pets, as they can also become sick from spoiled vegetables.