There are several reasons why you should consider growing microgreens. First off, microgreens can be grown from the comfort of your home without having to make a hefty investment. To add, some of these so-called “micro” sprouts and shoots offer enormous nutritional value.
Thanks to the unique flavors that these lively little sprouts provide, microgreen can be used in a broad range of culinary delights, including soups, salads, sandwiches, drinks, and garnishes. In addition, their vibrant colors tend to add a great deal of visual appeal to any dish.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can earn a solid income by growing and selling microgreens to local grocers and restaurants. With that being said, this article attempts to shed light on some of the most popular microgreens that you can grow today, so you may want to stick around.
If we have to choose only one microgreen to crown as the most popular microgreen, it’ll have to be radishes. Radishes can germinate very quickly in both warm and cool conditions. To be more specific, you can expect them to germinate within 1-2 days and to be harvested in 5-10 days.
It’s ideal to harvest radishes during their cotyledon stage, which is a stage where the first pair of true leaves start to protrude. We don’t recommend waiting too long after that stage to begin your harvesting, as radishes are likely to become a little woody by then, so harvest them early.
Radish microgreens are great for garnishing salads with a spicy flavor and a little bit of color. As far as how these microgreens feel in the mouth, we can say that they’re pretty tender and crispy. You can grow radishes in soil, but it’s better to grow them hydroponically without pre-soaking.
Beetroot, simply known as beets, is another highly-popular microgreen that requires 3-4 days to germinate and have a blackout period of 6-8 days. Beetroot is to be harvested within 10-12 days from sowing. As far as its preferred growing medium, beetroot thrives the most in soil.
Before sowing the beetroot seeds, you need to pre-soak them for 8-12 hours in cold water. Also, beetroot seeds should be sown thick. Beetroots are similar to full-grown beets when it comes to flavor. If we were to describe the flavor of beetroots, we’d say that it has a bit of a musty flavor.
The earthy flavor that beetroots offer originates from a compound by the name of geosmin. This compound is the reason why the air smells the way it does after it rains, which is sort of a musty, earthy smell. Geosmin is also present in the tissues of catfish and carp, explaining their flavor.
It’s a fact that all microgreens are packed with nutrients, especially vitamins, and pea shoots are some of the richest microgreens in vitamins. Pea shoots are filled with beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. It’s worth noting that our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Pea shoots require soaking in cold water for 12-24 hours. Keep in mind that peas absorb a lot of water, so you’ll have to keep providing them with water as you’re soaking them. Additionally, you have to keep misting them until they start sprouting. Upon sprouting, pee shoots can be planted.
Once you plant the peas in soil, all light should be blocked out for 3-5 days. You’ll also still need to mist them a couple of terms per day. It’s vital to keep an eye on the soil, as it needs to remain damp but not soggy. You should expect to harvest the pea shoots after 8-12 days from sowing.
The flavor of sunflower shoots is a combination of lemony and nutty, which is quite unique. Their overall taste is very green, though. Sunflower shoots are some of the most popular microgreens in salads, wraps, and even sandwiches. It’s also better to eat sunflower shoots raw.
Similarly to peas, sunflower seeds require 12-24 hours of pre-soaking in order to maximize their germination rate. By pre-soaking them adequately, you increase your chances of success as far as growing them as a microgreen. These shoots are rich in vitamin E, zinc, and folate.
Sunflower shoots are to be harvested after 10-12 days from sowing. The cool thing about these shoots is that they can be kept in a fridge for up to 2 weeks after they’ve been cut. In addition to the above-mentioned nutrients, sunflower shoots also offer vitamins A, B complex, and D.
Alfalfa microgreens are one of those microgreens that thrive better hydroponically and need no pre-soaking. Per each 10×20-inch tray, you’ll want to use about 1 ounce of seeds. They tend to be great additions to salads and sandwiches, as they have a mild crunch and flavor.
Alfalfa microgreens begin their germination within 1-2 days of sowing them. These microgreens are to be harvested after 8-12 days of their sowing. How do you know if it’s ready or not? Ready alfalfa microgreens tend to have deep green leaves and often look similar to cress.
When trying to grow alfalfa microgreens, you’ll want to use a blackout dome for 3-5 days first. At day 3 and 4, you’ll need to flip the lid onto the crop in order to boost the plant’s strength. When it comes to their nutritional value, alfalfa microgreens offer vitamins K and C, as well as folate.
When in microgreen form, wheatgrass looks a lot like the grass covering your lawn. It’s basically the immature form of wheat. Even though it doesn’t have a pleasant taste, wheatgrass offers an immense deal of nutritional value, as it’s packed with various vitamins and minerals.
If we were to describe the taste of wheatgrass, we’d have to say that it’s pungent and bitter, but there are people that say that it tastes like regular grass, which we can’t really confirm since we haven’t eaten grass before. It’s worth noting that wheatgrass is free of gluten in its early stages.
Wheatgrass is a detoxifying microgreen, which makes it an easy microgreen to grow. It requires 6-10 days in order to reach its harvest stage. Once it’s ready for harvest, you just clip it and use it in smoothies or juices. If you have more than you can use, you can simply store it in the fridge.
Collard is an immensely popular microgreen that thrives hydroponically and that doesn’t require pre-soaking. Per each 10×20-inch tray, you’ll need about 1 ounce of seeds. Collards often grow pretty slowly, so you should expect them to be ready within 10-12 days of sowing them.
As far as how these microgreens look, they have a murky green color and they tend to be more intense in flavor than their full-grown counterparts, unlike other microgreens that tend to be very mild in flavor compared to their full-grown counterparts such as kale and alfalfa.
Probably the only difference between microgreen collards and full-grown collards lies in the way they look, as microgreen collards don’t have the cabbage-like texture of fully-grown collards. To use microgreen collards correctly, simply treat them as a garnish or as an addition to salads.
Due to the fact that they’re as large as peas, buckwheat seeds require pre-soaking in cold water for about 12-24 hours. After you’re done soaking them, you’re going to want to give them a good rinse before you plant them. Per each 10×20-inch tray, you’ll need about 12 ounces of seeds.
Buckwheat microgreens are some of the quickest to grow, as it only takes them 1-2 days to start germinating. You should expect to harvest your buckwheat microgreens within 6-12 days. As far as which medium these microgreens prefer for growth, you’ll need to stick with soil.
Buckwheat microgreens have a pale green color and a very tangy flavor. You don’t have to add them to anything, you can simply snack on them by themselves. They’re perfect for people who are gluten-free. Buckwheat microgreens are being studied for their anti-inflammatory benefits.
This is yet another microgreen that likes to be grown hydroponically. The steps for growing kale are pretty much similar to the steps for growing alfalfa. The germination of kale microgreens will take place after 2-3 days from planting and you should expect to harvest them after 8-12 days.
Fully-grown kale isn’t the most appealing thing to eat, which is why we highly recommend taking advantage of kale in its microgreen form as it doesn’t boast the taste or texture of its fully-grown counterparts. Kale microgreens tend to taste like red leaf lettuce or like mild romaine.
Kale is rich in an antioxidant by the name of lutein. Lutein has the ability to protect your skin and eyes. In addition, it features zeaxanthin which, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, can help decrease the chances of macular degeneration. Highly recommended!
There’s an astounding range of microgreens out there, but we feel that the aforementioned ones are simply the most popular. What did you think of our list? Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions with regard to today’s topic.