3 Ways to Work Mega-Nutritious Microgreens into Your DietPosted: September 14, 2015
By Jessica DeCostole, RDN
First came the popular trend of baby spinach and kale, and now the world is turning its attention to even younger seeds called microgreens—the first shoots of leafy plants that are less than 14 days old. You may have spotted them at your local farmers market or caught a celebrity chef garnishing a meal with them on the Food Network.
These tiny plants are packed with BIG nutrition. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that microgreens from 25 nutritious vegetables (such as cilantro, celery, red cabbage, green basil and arugula) contained higher concentrations of disease-fighting Vitamins E and K and carotenoids than fully mature varieties.
So how do these infant greens develop become so nutrient-dense in such a short period of time? Microgreens are planted in soil and absorb its minerals as they grow which increases their nutritional content (unlike sprouts, for example, which are grown only using water). Here are three easy ways to start working these tiny but mighty greens into your diet. They’ll not only add flavor to your meals, but tons of vitamins too!
Play with garnishes
These greens look beautiful atop a caprese salad of mozzarella and tomatoes, or served with a piece of chicken or fish. It just adds a touch of color as well as a very strong and concentrated taste of the original vegetable. And as the fall approaches, don’t forget to add microgreens to complete a creamy soup like butternut squash.
Make a windowsill garden
While microgreens are starting to be sold in large supermarkets, you may still need to head to your local farmers market to get them—or you can grow your own! Check out this six step how-to guide. Since microgreens are cut as soon as the seeds sprout, you will see the fruits or ‘greens’ of your labor quickly and be able to enjoy what you grow.
Switch up your lunch
While it would be hard to make a whole salad base with microgreens, you can easily mix some in with your baby spinach or romaine lettuce base to add unexpected flavors to your lunch. The tiny leaves and stems also make a great extra topping on all types of sandwiches and add a nice crunch.