Vegucation: Microgreens

Microgreens may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrients. They are harvested when a plant is only 1-3 weeks old. Microgreens can be harvested from almost any herb or vegetable. The most popular ones are sunflower, cilantro, radish, beet, broccoli, arugula, and kale. Sprouts are often confused as a type of  microgreen, but sprouts are grown in water for 2-3 days while microgreens are grown in soil for 1-3 weeks.



Why are they beneficial?

Microgreens can contain up to 10 times the amount of nutrients found in a full grown plant in one serving. Any dish can instantly be made more nutrient dense by adding microgreens. The particular nutrients found in microgreens depend on the plant they come from, but many contain antioxidants and enzymes that are not found in the adult plant. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage, and enzymes help the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

When are they in season?

Microgreens can be found year round since they can be grown indoors. Availability depends on growers in your area.

How long will they keep?

You want to consume your microgreens when they are freshest. This will ensure the highest nutrient content. You can store them between damp paper towels in a resealable bag in the refrigerator for a few days. Keeping them humid and cold will ensure they don’t wilt or dry out.

How can I prepare them?

Microgreens require little to no prep and are ready to throw into recipes. The flavor will depend on the plant the green is coming from, so use accordingly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Replace lettuce in sandwiches.
  • Top off a soup or pasta.
  • Add to a pizza after cooking.
  • Add to your smoothie for a nutrient boost.
  • Mix them in with your salad greens.


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Meet the Author


Rachel Howard

Rachel is studying to become a registered dietician at UTC. She believes eating real food is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and loves to teach others about nutrition. Rachel enjoys planning healthy and tasty meals and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. She likes the challenge of trying to make classic family recipes healthier or learning new cooking techniques.