Rich in flavor, microgreens are packed with high concentrations of nutrients and antioxidants. You can easily grow these young sprouts at home to get the benefits of fresh greens any time of year!
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are basically the seedlings or sprouts of common edible vegetables and herbs. They are the first green sprouts that appear a few days after planting.
The Health Benefits of Microgreens
So why should you try growing microgreens at home? Here’s why these sprouts are making a splash in the health world:
1. They’re the easiest way to get access to fresh greens.
We all know that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for us. The trouble is that fresh produce can quickly go bad and isn’t always accessible for everyone.
Microgreens bring fresh nutrients straight to your home, so you always have a supply of freshly-grown greens at hand.
2. Microgreens are full of highly concentrated nutrients.
Have trouble getting your 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies in every day? Microgreens can help!
Freshly sprouted greens contain much higher concentrations of micronutrients and bioactive compounds that are beneficial to your health. In fact, microgreens can be up to 40 times more nutrient dense than their mature counterparts! (source)
3. Antioxidant Powerhouse
Antioxidants help the body fight free radical damage at a cellular level – which over time helps fight cellular aging and degeneration, protecting against chronic diseases and conditions.
Microgreens contain high levels of antioxidants, with each variety producing a different range of a variety of antioxidants. That’s why consuming a few different kinds of microgreens can have even more long-term health benefits! (source)
The Easiest Microgreens to Grow at Home
These microgreens are easy to grow and produce consistent results, even for beginners:
- Radish greens. Radish sprouts are super fast-growing and packed with nutrients.
- Red cabbage greens. These microgreens are famous for their high vitamin C content.
- Spinach greens. These have a mild flavor that pairs well with many foods – one of the easiest, nutrient-rich greens to add to your meals!
- Mustard greens. Colorful and spicy, mustard greens add interest and flavor to any dish.
- Basil greens. With their distinctly rich flavor and aroma, basil greens work well in tomato-based dishes.
9 Steps to Growing Microgreens Indoors
- Choose your greens and get your seeds. I recommend choosing 2-3 different types so you get a variety of nutrients from your greens.
- In a shallow tray with about two inches of soil, plant your seeds. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and cover them with a light layer of dirt. (For small seeds, plant about 10 seeds per square inch, or 5 per square inch for larger seeds.)
- Use a spray bottle to lightly mist the soil after planting.
- Place your trays near a window that gets 4+ hours of sunlight each day, preferable a western or southern facing window. Make sure the room stays above 60 degrees F – drafty rooms aren’t good for growing microgreens.
- Mist the soil daily with water.
- In 3-5 days, you should notice seedlings popping up out of the dirt. Once sprouted, it’s critical for the seedlings to get plenty of light. If sprouts are thin and pale, move plants to an area with more sunlight.
- Continue to lightly mist the soil daily, but be careful not to get the leaves too wet.
- Once your microgreens are 1-2 inches high, they’re ready to harvest and eat. (After planting, it takes about 7-14 days total before greens are ready to eat.)
- Simply snip your greens just above the soil and gently wash with water. Then add to sandwiches, salads, soups, or as a garnish to your favorite meal!
How long will microgreens stay fresh?
You can store microgreens in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, but the fresher the better!
How much light do microgreens need?
Once they’ve sprouted, microgreens need about four hours of sunlight per day. In the winter when the sun is at its weakest, they may need closer to 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. If you notice your greens are thin and pale, they probably need more light.
Have you tried growing microgreens at home?
Share your tips and questions in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your experience with growing microgreens.