Have you ever wondered what those alluring,miniature vegetables as toppings on your salads and pizzas are called and how they contribute to the nutritive value of your meal?
Allow me to further enlighten you on this topic.
Microgreens are tiny vegetables that are used as both visual and flavour components to enhance the beauty, freshness and taste of the dishes with their delicate and distinctive flavours. They range in size from 1″-3″ beyond which they are no longer classified as microgreens. Arugula,basil,beets, kale and cilantro are a few examples which are used as prime ingredients in fine dining restaurants and have been an essential part of the chef’s menu from as early as the 1980’s.
A nutritional study done in 2012 by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University Of Maryland showed that microgreens contain a higher nutritional value and increased levels of vitamins and carotenoids when compared to matured vegetables and leaves. The key nutrients in microgreens include ascorbic acid (vitamin C) , tocopherols(vitamin E), phylloquinone(vitamin E) and beta carotene(vitamin A precursor) wherein young radish has vitamin C, red cabbage leaves have vitamin C and K and cilantro has lutein and beta carotene.
Microgreens that can be grown:
- Mustard cress
- Radish greens
- Beet greens
Growing microgreens :
Growing microgreens is an uncomplicated process. One can grow them outdoors, on a garden bed or indoors as well. The process is as follows:
Uses of microgreens:
- They can be used as garnishing agents for pizzas,pastas , tarts and salads.
- They can be blended to make dips, sauces and dressings.
- Microgreens such as peppery mustard cress and arugula go well with bakes and salads while young radish goes well with fish and vegetables.
- Broccoli has a spicy flavour and amaranth has a mild flavour that enhances the taste of salads.
- Mustard sauce can be ousted by microgreens as it is healthier and doesn’t include mono sodium glutamate.
Don’t get fooled by their size as these microgreens are power packed and rich in antioxidants preventing degenerative diseases and are completely organic. They grow without the usage of herbicides or pesticides and have an extraordinary ability to enhance any dish.
so, put on your gloves and take out some time to grow these nutrient dense seedlings and gain some incredible health benefits!