What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tender, edible seedlings of vegetables and herbs grown to the “cotyledon” (seed leaf) stage of development. Microgreens are typically harvested just as the first “True Leaves” start to appear. In comparison to their mature plant counterparts, microgreens provide many times more vitamins and carotenoids with some varieties reaching 40 times the nutrient density their mature counterparts. Our microgreens are grown in a bio-inert material using pure water and OMRI certified nutrients. The edible parts of microgreens are the tender stem and the leaves…. Unlike sprouts the root is not consumed. When harvested, the stem and leaves hold nearly all the nutrients….. and like sprouts, microgreens are valued for their high nutritional value. Microgreens provide strong flavors, bright colors and interesting textures to salads or entrees, with the advantage of dramatically increasing the nutritional content.
Nine Reasons to Eat Microgreens
1. Microgreens are a true Superfood! - Microgreens have been shown to contain much more nutrition than their mature plant counterparts. When a seed germinates it has a storehouse of nutrients that are delivered directly to the growing microgreen. If a plant grows into the “True Leaf” stage, this nutrition is used to create leaves and blossoms. Since Microgreens are harvested before forming true leaves all this nutrition is present in the plant!
2. Fresh & Easy - Our Microgreens live in a bio-inert substrate of Coco Coir. They are delivered to the end user in this substrate and continue to grow until they are used. These living microgreens are harvested as needed which means two things: The harvested microgreens are super fresh and the remaining plants continue to be nutritionally intact.
3. Fast & Nutritious - Harvesting microgreens takes about the same effort as retrieving salad mix from a container. Since you are harvesting just before eating you get much more nutrition! Fresh is BEST!
4. Flavorful & Delicious - Microgreens pack a flavor kick that enhances any recipe they are added to. As with most fresh vegetables, microgreens are super delicious!
5. Attractive addition to any recipe - Since the 1980’s chefs have been adding microgreens or “vegetable confetti” to their creations to enhance the visual appeal. With what is now known about the nutritional advantages, the visual appeal is the bonus!
6. Low in Calories/Fat - Microgreens are extremely low in calories and fat as is the case with many vegetables but nutritionally superior.
7. Toxin Free Food - Many commercial vegetables (and even some other microgreens) are grown with little regard to the health impacts. Commercial plants are often started in nursery flats made from plastics containing BPA and other nasty substances. Chemical fertilizers are employed along with pesticides. Our microgreens are grown using organic seed, pure quadruple filtered water, and OMRI certified nutrients in a bio-inert organic coco coir growing medium in Food Safe NSF certified trays. We adhere to Organic growing methods because we know the importance of healthy food.
8. Detoxification - Microgreens, like sprouts are known to help detoxify the body.
9. Immune System fortification - The abundance of nutrients contained in microgreens helps bolster the immune system and ramp up the body’s immune response.
Nutrition and Microgreens
Microgreens are not just an attractive garnish used in high end restaurants. They actually deliver a surprisingly high content of vitamins, minerals and other health improving compounds. Below are abstracts for several peer reviewed studies that report the facts about Microgreen Nutrition compared to their mature green plant counterparts (links provided below):
Comparison between the mineral profile and nitrate content of microgreens and mature lettuces - Edgar Pinto, Agostinho Almeida, Ana A.Aguiar, Isabel Ferreira - Reported in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis - Volume 37, February 2015, Pages 38-43
Abstract: Microgreens are a new class of edible vegetables harvested when seed-leaves have fully expanded and before true leaves have emerged. They are gaining increasing popularity as new culinary ingredients. However, no scientific data comparing the mineral content of microgreens and mature plants are available. Thus, the goal of this work was to perform a comparison between mineral profile and NO3– content of microgreens and mature lettuces. Results showed that microgreens possess a higher content of most minerals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Se and Mo) and a lower NO3– content than mature lettuces. Therefore, microgreens can be considered as a good source of minerals in the human diet, and their consumption could be an important strategy to meet children's minerals dietary requirements without exposing them to harmful NO3–.
Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens - Zhenlei Xiao†, Gene E. Lester*‡, Yaguang Luo‡, and Qin Wang*†
† Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, United States
‡ Food Quality Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, United States - J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (31), pp 7644–7651
Publication Date (Web): July 18, 2012
Abstract: Microgreens (seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs) have gained popularity as a new culinary trend over the past few years. Although small in size, microgreens can provide surprisingly intense flavors, vivid colors, and crisp textures and can be served as an edible garnish or a new salad ingredient. However, no scientific data are currently available on the nutritional content of microgreens. The present study was conducted to determine the concentrations of ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols in 25 commercially available microgreens. Results showed that different microgreens provided extremely varying amounts of vitamins and carotenoids. Total ascorbic acid contents ranged from 20.4 to147.0 mg per 100 g fresh weight (FW), while β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin concentrations ranged from 0.6 to 12.1, 1.3 to 10.1, and 0.9 to 7.7 mg/100 g FW, respectively. Phylloquinone level varied from 0.6 to 4.1 μg/g FW; meanwhile, α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol ranged from 4.9 to 87.4 and 3.0 to 39.4 mg/100 g FW, respectively. Among the 25 microgreens assayed, red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols, respectively. In comparison with nutritional concentrations in mature leaves (USDA National Nutrient Database), the microgreen cotyledon leaves possessed higher nutritional densities. The phytonutrient data may provide a scientific basis for evaluating nutritional values of microgreens and contribute to food composition database. These data also may be used as a reference for health agencies’ recommendations and consumers’ choices of fresh vegetables.
Broccoli Microgreens: A Mineral-Rich Crop That Can Diversify Food Systems - Carolyn F. Weber - Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, USA
Article Link: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2017.00007/full
A research study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that "Among the 25 microgreens assayed, red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols, respectively. In comparison with nutritional concentrations in mature leaves (USDA National Nutrient Database), the microgreen cotyledon leaves possessed higher nutritional densities
Article Link: http://www.sunshinecovefarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2012-Xiao-Assessment-of-Vitamin-and-Carotenoid-Concentrations-of-Emerging-Food-Products-Edible-Microgreens.pdf
Numerous studies have all concluded that Microgreens are superior to their mature counterparts. A websearch will provide many peer reviewed and well documented studies to further public awareness of this important food source.
Nutrient Rich Greens was started from our interest in sourcing healthy, nutritious, organic foods. Much of the food that is available to consumers comes from factory farms. These large corporate farms are focused on products that can withstand the rigours of packaging/transportation and are relatively cheap to produce. The downside to this is the heavy reliance on chemical fertilizers, GMO seeds, and other artificial inputs. They produce products that can survive extensive handling/transportation and also have a nice appearance when they finally make it to the supermarket shelf. Flavor and nutrition don’t enter into the equation.
At NRG, our focus is exactly the opposite. We are 100% chemical free, use organic/non-GMO seeds, and serve a local marketplace…. Not one hundreds if not thousands of miles away. We want access to great food year round and are certain many of our neighbors feel the same way...