Have you heard of microgreens? Surely they sound familiar to you and perhaps you have even tried them, especially if you are lovers of haute cuisine restaurants. These small vegetables are widely used to decorate dishes and give them more flavor. But what exactly are they? How are they used?
In this article we will answer these two questions about microgreens, talking about the importance they have today. Besides, We will comment on some differences they have with the buds. If you want to know more about these little vegetables, I recommend that you keep reading.
What are microgreens?
We’ll start by explaining what exactly microgreens are, also known as microgreens, microgreens, microgreens, micrograsses, or microplants. These are green vegetables that are harvested just after the cotyledon of the leaves has developed. What is this? Well, the cotyledons are the first leaves of the plant and are part of the seed germ. Knowing this, it is important that we do not confuse these microgreens with sprouts or sprouts. Basically they are somewhat larger than the shoots, but they do not reach the dimensions of a lettuce leaf.
Typically, the people who buy or grow these microplants They focus mainly on nutrition and gastronomy. They can be used both as an ingredient in a dish and as a visual and flavor component. It is therefore not surprising that we find microgreens in high-end restaurants, but they can also be cared for at home. It is quite common for haute cuisine chefs to use microgreens of different colors to decorate the dish, or to combine different flavors such as sweet and spicy.
It should be noted that microgreens are smaller than the so-called baby greens, also known as babiverdes or bebiverdes. These are usually spinach, kale or kale, arugula or arugula, or radicchio. Besides, are harvested later than the shootsso they end up having an intermediate size.
Today, luxury grocery stores They consider microgreens to be a special genus of vegetables. They are ideal for decorating different dishes, soups, salads and sandwiches, and also give them a touch of flavor. You want to try them, right?
What seeds are good for microgreens?
To produce edible young vegetables, such as microgreens, different types of vegetables and herbs are used. In general, The seeds that are most used to grow microgreens are the following:
To ensure that our microgreen cultivation is successful, it is essential that we purchase special seeds to germinate. This way we can be sure that they have not received any type of treatment that could weaken and even inhibit their germination. Of course, the most advisable thing is that we choose some seeds to germinate that are ecological, free of pesticides, manipulations and any other contaminating substance.
Including the leaves and the stem, the size that microgreens usually reach ranges from 2,5 to 7,6 centimeters. When cutting them, it is usually done just above the ground line. When harvested, they should already have fully developed cotyledon leaves, and perhaps even some fairly tiny true leaves. Usually, Most microgreens can be harvested within ten to fourteen days of planting. The shoots, on the other hand, are usually harvested after about seven days, nothing more.
Another aspect that differentiates microgreens from sprouts and sprouts is the way they are grown. The latter usually grow in water and have to be stored in jars or bags in the fridge for a few days. Instead, microgreens grow in soil and are usually harvested when they are going to be consumed.
How are microgreens used?
The origin of microgreens is in California, United States. There, the chefs wanted to innovate their dishes, incorporating flavor, color and texture. They did it thanks to these little vegetables. Such was the success of this brilliant idea that microgreens ended up spreading throughout the world at an impressive speed. They are currently used as garnishes, toppings and flavorings for salads. They are an ingredient par excellence in many of the most sophisticated dishes and their value is very high both in stores and supermarkets.
Since these vegetables are harvested at a very immature stage, It is very common to sow these seeds in high density in order to maximize yield.Notably, it also allows seedlings to grow straight and tall, maintaining a tender, almost entirely white stem with well-developed, shiny leaves.
While it is true that a wide variety of different plant species are grown as microgreens, some of them are produced expressly for their healthy compounds and properties. In this way they have found a niche within the healthy diet industry and have become very popular with individuals and farmers.
Of all the microgreens that are grown for their healthy properties, the best known is surely wheatgrass. This has been cultivated for many years as a highly recommended supplement to take care of our health. Other species, such as the varieties of flax, broccoli, red brassica and chia, also have very healthy compounds that are of special interest. Also noteworthy are the red and purple varieties of dark radish microgreens, the young leaves of which are very shiny. These contain fairly high levels of antioxidants, which helps fight cancer. Not bad at all, right?
As you can see, microgreens, apart from being really spectacular in dishes, also add flavor to food and contain very beneficial properties for our health. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are highly coveted vegetables, especially in haute cuisine. And you, do you like them? You can leave us your experiences and opinions in the comments.