Microgreens are vegetable seedlings harvested early in their growth cycle as the leaves begin the form. The cotyledon leaves that emerge immediately after germination are fully developed, and usually one pair of true leaves has begun to emerge at the time of harvest.
Microgreens are germinated (sprouted) in soil or some soil-like or soil-less medium. They can be grown outdoors and in green houses using natural light or indoors using grow lights. Fast growing cycles leave no time for insects or pests.
To harvest, microgreens are cut just above the growing medium. Their stems and leaves are consumed and contribute to their nutrition and flavor. They vary in size, but are usually about a few inches tall, depending on the type of vegetable.
At their young age, microgreens are full of nutrients from the seeds from which they sprout and absorb more from their growing medium and/or nutrient solutions used for watering. They are more nutrient dense than their mature counterparts, sometimes delivering between 4-40 times more vitamins or carotenoids than in their fully grown sisters.
Microgreens have a short shelf life of only 2 weeks after harvest, when refrigerated. Local producers like Growing Puerto Rico harvest and distribute frequently for optimal freshness. For best results, refrigerate them at all times at 38-40F degrees with as little moisture as possible. Bags with gas-permeable membranes or sealed containers can be used.
Fresh microgreens are delicious served in salads, sandwiches, dips, soups, stir-fries, garnish, and more. They’re a great addition to lettuce on a salad but can also be used a substitute for lettuce for unique texture and a lot of flavor. Add microgreens to omelettes or any vegetable dish for extra zing.
They can be frozen to extend shelf life, however it is not recommended as it will degrade the vitality, texture, color, and nutrients.
Leftover microgreens can be dehydrated and chopped as a shelf stable option for extra flavor and nutrients for dips, rubs, and garnish.
Add microgreens to any entree for a nutritious flavor boost!