This isn't something you would commonly hear me say, "Eat Less Vegetables."
What I referring to is the recent research on microgreens. They are so packed with nutrition and goodness, that you can eat a smaller quantity, and still get great nutritional value. Another great thing is that you can hide microgreens easily in other recipes. They are so tiny and delicate, they blend right in.
That's why I was so excited when I saw this research article referenced on GeenMedInfo's website. I have posted a portion of their article below.
Microgreens: More Nutrition Packed in Baby Lettuce
Some aficionados have claimed superfood status for these tiny edible greens produced from vegetable, herb or other plants. New science says microgreens aren't just cuter lettuces – they may be more nutritious.
Researchers from the University of Maryland and the USDA conducted the first analysis of the nutrient levels in microgreens. They concluded that in general these babies have more vitamins and other nutrients than their fully mature counterparts.
In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry scientists analyzed the amount of vitamin C, carotenoids (antioxidants important for vitamin A formation), phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and tocopherols (vitamin E) in 25 different varieties of microgreens.
Of the 25 microgreens tested, red cabbage sported the highest concentrations of vitamin C, while cilantro excelled in carotenoids. Garnet amaranth had the highest levels of vitamin K1 and green daikon radish ranked tops in vitamin E.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are the stems and leaves of a seedling. They usually range in size from one to three inches long. Their flavor can be surprisingly intense for their small size but is generally not as strong as the full grown green or vegetable version. Microgreens are generally harvested between seven and 14 days of germination although some take four to six weeks to develop.
Are microgreens the same as sprouts?
Although they are often confused, microgreens are not the same as sprouts. In addition to the stem, sprouts also include the seed and root in their edible parts. Instead of leaves, sprouts have just the immature leaf buds.
Another important distinction between the two is how they are produced. Sprouts are germinated seeds grown entirely in water under dark conditions while microgreens are planted in soil and exposed to air and light.
The dark, warm, wet conditions required for sprouts make them vulnerable to the rapid growth of dangerous bacteria. That's why they are a frequent culprit in outbreaks of food poisoning. Microgreens don't carry the same risks.
Some microgreens are sold still growing in their soil and you can cut them just before serving. You can also grow microgreens in your own kitchen all year long. Check out this video to learn how.
Have you tried microgreens? Do you grow your own microgreens or sprouts? Leave a comment and let me know.