While some microgreens lose their flavor, texture, and nutritional value when cooked, most microgreens can be successfully stir fried. With the right microgreens and the right stir fry setup, microgreens can be a delicious addition to stir fry!
While you might lose some vitamin C when you cook your microgreens, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
How does stir frying microgreens impact their nutritional value?
The three big nutrient factors when it comes to cooking microgreens are (1) Vitamins, (2) Antioxidants, and (3) Cooking methods.
What happens to vitamins when microgreens are cooked?
Microgreens are super-concentrated in vitamins, even more so than their fully mature counterparts. Some of the super-concentrated vitamins contained in microgreens are vitamin C, K, and E. The vitamins’ effectiveness when cooked is all about solubility.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that it is easily deactivated or lost in the cooking process. If you eat microgreens because you need a boost in your vitamin C intake, avoid cooking your microgreens (or any other vegetables high in vitamin C).
On the other hand, vitamins K and E are fat-soluble, which means that they are largely unaffected by cooking. If you need a boost in your vitamin K or E intake, stir frying microgreens is a great way to incorporate those vitamins.
What happens to antioxidants when microgreens are cooked?
Microgreens also have higher concentrations of antioxidants like lutein and beta-carotene. According to Healthline, vegetables’ antioxidant levels can actually benefit from being cooked, especially lutein and beta-carotene. Wok on!
How does stir frying compare with other cooking methods?
In terms of nutrient retention, the least effective method of cooking is boiling. According to Healthline, boiling can cause a loss of up to sixty percent of water-soluble vitamins.
The good news? The most effective methods for locking in nutrients are steaming, roasting, and, yes, stir frying!
How does stir frying microgreens impact their flavor?
What happens to microgreens’ flavor when cooked?
For the most part, cooking a vegetable intensifies the flavors already present in the vegetable. For example, raw carrots are sweet but cooked carrots are even sweeter.
Since microgreens already have a potent flavor with their concentrated nutrients packed into a smaller space, this effect is intensified once microgreens are cooked. The result is a dramatic increase in flavor (as long as the microgreens are not overcooked).
Expect your microgreens to intensify in flavor once you start the stir frying process.
How do I pair microgreens with other flavors?
The taste of microgreens depends largely on the plant. Microgreens can be sweet, nutty, peppery, earthy, or bitter. Here are some tips for incorporating microgreens to achieve different flavors.
If you need something sweet, try basil, cabbage, lemongrass, lettuce, mint, mustard, pea shoots, tarragon, turnips, or wheatgrass. Sweet stir fry ingredients are complemented well with savory ingredients like chicken or beef.
For a nutty taste or peppery kick, go for arugula, cauliflower, radishes, sunflowers, or thyme. These flavors with a bite go well with something sweet like carrots or corn.
If you are looking for an earthy flavor, try beets, carrots, clover, dandelion, kale, oregano, or sage. These earthy flavors go well with citrus flavors like orange, lemon, and lime.
For bitterness, go for broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Bitter stir fry ingredients are best complemented by potent ingredients like fresh ginger, spicy sriracha, and raw honey.
How does stir frying microgreens impact their appearance?
The visual appearance of microgreens is a major factor for some consumers. In fact, microgreens started as a garnish to accent small plates at fine dining restaurants in California.
Whether you are cooking for yourself or for guests, be aware that microgreens do tend to wilt slightly once cooked. For a garnish to your stir fry, consider adding more fresh microgreens or other accent ingredients such as green onions, peanuts, lemon, or cashews.
Make sure that whatever garnish you use accents the colors and flavors present in your microgreens stir fry.
What makes a good microgreens stir fry?
There are a number of components that embody a good stir fry.
The first component is to follow the steps of effective stir frying. This technique will ensure that everything is cooked at the correct temperature and in the right order.
The second component is the ingredients themselves. The fresher, the better! Any good chef will tell you that fresher ingredients are essential to creating masterful work in the kitchen.
What steps do I need to follow to stir fry microgreens?
Follow these simple steps to make sure your microgreens stir fry becomes a delicious meal that you can serve to family and friends!
- First, you must have a hot wok – this can require up to ten minutes on the burner at the highest heat setting.
- If you are using meat in your stir fry, make sure that the meat is not cold. Let it sit at room temperature for fifteen minutes before searing it. Once the meat is cooked, remove the meat and add the more substantial vegetables (onions and mushrooms).
- Lastly, add leafy veggies (hint: microgreens!) to the wok at the very end. This will help them maintain their texture and color. Once everything is cooked, add the meat back into the wok and mix together then serve.
How can I make sure my microgreens are fresh?
The best way to ensure the freshest microgreens is to grow your own! According to a study at Harvard University, growing your own microgreens gives you the opportunity to decide the fertilizers and pesticides (if any) used in your stir fry ingredients.
Additionally, many grocery stores stock produce that is picked early to prevent decomposition before purchase. Alternatively, do-it-yourself microgreens are harvested at peak ripeness for optimal nutrition and flavor.
There are other benefits to growing your own microgreens. For one, growing your own microgreens can save a lot of green ($$$). Microgreens can be expensive in grocery stores but seeds allow you to grow your own microgreens on that windowsill in your studio apartment.
Additionally, Healthline reports that indoor plants may help reduce stress levels, increase attention span, boost productivity, and improve overall mental health and well-being. Plants can also reduce recovery time from an illness and act as an air purifier (phytoremediation).
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.