What Are Microgreens?

By Angela Tague in Healthy Feeling

Imagine digging a fork into a bowl of tender green shoots, raising it to your lips, and tasting a veggie-loaded garden salad. Hints of onions, carrots, radishes, peas, basil, broccoli, and cauliflower mingle in your mouth. It's not some culinary magic trick. Let me introduce you to microgreens.

What Are Microgreens?

A few summers ago, one of the vendors at my local farmer's market talked me into trying a container of tiny plant cuttings that looked like clover. After one delicious bite, I was sold.

National Public Radio digs into this fresh eating trend. According to NPR, microgreens are vegetable and herb seedlings grown in soil and harvested at fourteen or fewer days. The tender plants are four to six times more nutrient dense than the full-grown vegetables and have robust flavors.

It's important to note that microgreens aren't the same as sprouts. (Sprouts are grown in water.)

Microgreens salad

Enjoying the Flavorful Greens

Despite looking like a delicate plate garnish, microgreens add a bold flavor and dose of vitamins to entrees and side dishes. Of course, I like to just eat them in a big bowl with homemade salad dressing when I don't have time to slice and dice a variety of fresh veggies.

You can also use microgreens to quickly enhance the flavor of many of your everyday dishes. Tuck the greens inside a cheese omelet or add them to a sandwich in lieu of lettuce. Microgreens also wilt down in soup broth and enhance your favorite meatloaf recipe. Just mix them in!

Add one of these microgreens recipes to your menu this week:

  • Steak Salad with Microgreens: This hearty entree from Food 52 features a homemade mustard vinaigrette dressing and quick-pickled onions.
  • Quinoa Salad with Spring Radishes and Greens: This protein-packed winter salad from Kitchn works as a simple vegetarian main dish or side salad.
  • Microgreens with Curry Vinaigrette: Love homemade Indian food but not the prep? Give this spicy, simple dressing from Epicurious a try over a plate of microgreens.
  • Green Goddess Revitalization Bowl with Herbed Buckwheat, Avocado, and Microgreens: Add this nourishing salad from Blissful Basil to your Sunday meal prep to later enjoy for quick weekday lunches.

So, what are microgreens? Fast food for health-minded folks! In my opinion, they'll soon rise to the fame of kale and quinoa. As a bonus, microgreens are simple to grow at home in an indoor container garden, so why not get started this weekend?

Be sure to tag us in your healthy foodie adventures on Twitter. We love to see what you're cooking up in the kitchen and growing in your garden.

Image source: Angela Tague | Flickr

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Adding a new vegetable to your meal rotation is always a good thing! Microgreens are nutrient-dense, simple to cook with, and easy to grow in an indoor container garden. Grab the kids and show them the magic of turning seeds into something delicious!