ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Easy-peasy Microgreens. Fun and flavor with minimal fuss.

Updated on June 21, 2014
Big Spinach
Big Spinach | Source
Baby Spinach
Baby Spinach | Source
Mysterious Mesclun
Mysterious Mesclun | Source

What are Micro-greens?

Micro-greens are the latest craze to hit restaurants and grocery stores. They're colorful and flavorful, and small enough that you can add them to pretty much anything, including burders, sandwiches and salads.

Micro-greens are the "baby" version of leafy greens other than spinach.

Spinach is a familiar green with a healthy reputation. Baby Spinach sounds like a cute, nutrient-rich veggie packing same nutritional punch as its big brother without unnecessary toughness.

Baby Carrots evoke a similar consumer reaction. Who needs tough, full-size carrots that require washing and peeling? Baby Carrots are so cute and tasty - perfect for dipping and snacking.

Who wants to eat Baby Radish Leaves, Baby Beet Leaves, Baby Kohlrabi or Baby Arugula? Not me! These greens are so unfamiliar, they may as well be Baby Frankensteins.

The marketing solution is to label all these plants as "Micro-greens", obviating further explanation of their origins.

In their micro phase, they look pretty much the same (small, green, leaf-like), and even wary consumers treat them like a sort of gourmet mystery. 10 years later, Mesclun salad is a Farmers Market favorite. (Mesclun, by the way, is yet another way of avoiding pesky details, but it's French so that's okay. )

Micro-Greens in your Garden

Micro-greens are a great way to build a diverse garden with low start-up costs, continuous harvests and a multitude of flavors.

Setting up a household garden is a great way to save on groceries, but starting a garden from scratch isn't cheap. Outdoor gardens require tools and seeds, plants and fertilizer. Indoor gardens don't require tools, but decorative pots and potting soil soon absorb any perceived savings.

Micro-greens offer an ideal blend of cost and convenience.

  • Seeds are cost-effective. Micro-green seed packets contain 5-6 varieties of seeds. Instead of purchasing six different seed packets at $1.39 apiece ($8.34, and 500 seeds to store), you can buy a single pack of micro-green seeds ($2.39), and use them up over the course of the growing season.
  • Harvests are consistent and guaranteed. Micro-greens are edible almost immediately, and are equally edible through their months of growth. If they're not growing well - eat them. If they're growing great - eat them. If they're growing exactly as they should - eat them. The guys at Sprout-People eat micro-greens as sprouts approximately 5-6 days from planting. From 6-10 days, the plants are micro-greens suitable for side-salads or sandwiches. From 10-20 days, they're petite greens - great for larger salads. And from 21 days onwards, they're perfect for chopping, cooking and blendering in all sorts of culinary creations. At the end of the season, freeze leafy greens for winter meals.
  • Flavors abound. Most grocery stores carry the Mild Microgreen Mix and Spicy Microgreen Mix from Botanical Interests. The Spicy mix contains Sawtooth Mustard - 30%, Peppergrass Cress - 30%, Cabbage Red Acre - 15%, Mustard Red Giant - 15%, Radish China Rose - 10%. The Mild mix contains equal parts Bull’s Blood Beet, Red Acre Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Pak Choi and Lucullus Swiss Chard. Each plant has a different flavor both reminiscent of and distinct from their full-grown counterparts. For near-endless variety, taste each plant as a sprout, microgreen and leafy green. Then start working on the edible roots. If that gets you through the winter, try garnishing salads with next year's bolted flowers.

Make the Most of Your Micro-Greens

A few quick tips will help you make the most of your micro-green harvest.

  • Grow what you'll eat, eat what you grow. If you're not sure how many servings you really want to add to your diet, start small. Remember- if you sprout a large number of seeds, you have to eat a large number of sprouts. If you plant a large number of sprouts, you have to eat a large number of plants. If you let your plants grow full size, you have to eat a large number of beets, cabbage, radishes, mustard greens, kohlrabi and broccoli.
  • Microgreens are tough; throw them outside and let them survive. The most flavorful greens come from hardy plants with sizeable edible roots like beets, radishes and kohlrabi, or inedible roots like brussel sprouts and chard. Plant overflow seedlings outdoors. They'll take care of themselves, and provide food for seasonal harvests. Pay close attention to the survivors, and populate next year's garden with heirloom varieties of the same plants.
  • Greens go with everything. Don't hoard your veggies. Leafy greens evolved with grazing herbivores. The more you pick them, the more they grow. Leave a few leaves at the base of each plant, and you can harvest tender young shoots as "micro-greens" all season long.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Disney 

      3 years ago

      You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful arilstec.

    • profile image

      Sukey 

      3 years ago

      I feel sasftiied after reading that one.

    • toomuchmint profile imageAUTHOR

      toomuchmint 

      6 years ago

      Thanks Fennelseed! While experimenting for this article, I forgot about a couple trays of seeds and they got leggy beyond belief. Sprouts! Yum (from one herb to another -- fennelseed's one of my favorites - ditto!) ;-)

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      6 years ago from Australia

      Excellent information, and so relevant for those with limited space as I imagine micro greens would do well in pots. Very informative and inspiring hub. My votes and best wishes to you toomuchmint!!! (from one herb to another - love your name!!)

    • toomuchmint profile imageAUTHOR

      toomuchmint 

      6 years ago

      You're so right jpcmc! My friends are surprised at the difference between hone grown organic greens and tasteless grocery produce. Nothing compares to what you grow yourself.

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Planting your own greens definitely saves on cost. But more importantly you can be assured of the quality of produce.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)