Micro greens are one of the most popular elements of the new healthy and clean eating movement. Although they have been around since the 1980s, there are more micro green varieties available now than ever before and they are being more widely used. Adding micro greens to salads and petite micro greens to smoothies, pizzas, and many other foods are a great way to get extra nutrition into your diet as well as variety on your plate. Here’s everything you need to know about micro green varieties and uses for micro greens.
What Are They?
A true leaf micro green is not sprout, although it is sometimes mistaken for one. A micro green is essentially a small seedling and can come from any sort of edible vegetable, herb or even flower. Micro greens are harvested once the first true leaves have appeared and include both the stem and the leaves of the plant. The nutritional benefits of micro greens comes from their small size: about one to one and a half inches long. Essentially, micro greens contain all the health benefits of the full-size plant in seedling form. This makes them an easy way to add nutrition to your meals without having to eat enormous quantities. They also pack a flavor punch unmatched by any full-grown vegetables or herbs.
What Are Some Micro Green Varieties?
There are at least 100 common garden flowers that are edible and palatable, and many types of vegetable and herb micro green varieties available. Here are just a few of them and why they’re good for you:
- Amaranth This micro green comes from a plant cultivated by the Aztecs and even used as a type of grain in India. It’s easy to digest, comes in a variety of colors from pink to dark red, and has a light and sweet taste. Amaranth is very high in complete proteins and amino acids and also contains vitamin A, C, and E and many types of essential minerals.
- Buckwheat Buckwheat is packed with nutrition. It is been a staple food in Asia for many centuries and is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is high in fiber, helps to slow the rate of glucose absorption, and is high in many forms of essential minerals and amino acids.
- Cress One of the most popular micro green varieties is the cress, from a seed discovered in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. Cress has a peppery taste reminiscent of mustard. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E.
- Peas Peas have a lot of nutrition and contain many antioxidants. They are also high in quality protein. The pea micro green is slightly sweet with a mild bitter aftertaste. They give an earthy crunch when added to a salad or other dish. They also contain plenty of omega-3, micronutrients, protein, and fiber.
How Should I Store Micro greens?
The best way to store micro greens is at 39°F in the refrigerator. Some micro green varieties do better when they are stored in their own juices, and it’s always best to eat micro greens as quickly as possible after purchasing them. Bear in mind that some micro green varieties will be sensitive to low temperatures and should never be kept where the temperature could drop below freezing. Always keep your micro greens in a closed container.
There are many reasons to consider adding micro greens to your diet. There plenty of uses for micro greens and they can be added to almost any dish you can imagine. The different varieties of micro greens are truly a specialty produce that can add enormous nutrition and variety to your diet.