Microgreens: what they are and how to use them

Microgreens give taste, color and texture to dishes

Have you ever heard of microgreens? They surely look familiar to you and you may have even tried them, especially if you are a fan of haute cuisine restaurants. These small vegetables are widely used to decorate dishes and give them more flavor. But, what are they exactly? How are they used?

In this article, we’ll answer both of these questions about microgreens, talking about how important they are today. Besides, We will comment on some differences they have with buds. If you want to know more about these little vegetables, I recommend that you keep reading.


What are microgreens?

Microgreens are widely used in haute cuisine

We’ll start by explaining what exactly microgreens, also known as microgreens, microgreens, microgreens, microherbs, or microplants, are. These are green vegetables that are harvested just after the development of the cotyledon of the leaves. What is that? Well, the cotyledons are the first leaves of the plant and are part of the seed germ. Knowing this, it’s important not to confuse these microgreens with sprouts or sprouts. Basically, they are a little larger than the shoots, but they do not reach the dimensions of a lettuce leaf.

Generally, people who buy or grow these microplants They mainly focus on nutrition and gastronomy. They can be used both as an ingredient in a dish and as a visual and taste element. So it’s no surprise that microgreens can be found in high-end restaurants, but they can also be nurtured 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 like sweet and spicy.

It should be noted that microgreens are smaller than so-called baby greens, also called babiverdes or bebiverdes. These are usually spinach, kale or kale, arugula or arugula or radicchio. Besides, are harvested later than shootsso they end up having an intermediate size.

Today, luxury grocery stores They consider microgreens to be a special kind of vegetable. They are ideal for decorating different dishes, soups, salads and sandwiches, and also giving them a touch of flavor. You want to try them, right?

What seeds are good for microgreens?

To produce young edible vegetables, such as microgreens, different types of vegetables and herbs are used. In fgeneral, The most commonly used seeds for growing microgreens are:

To guarantee the success of our cultivation of microgreens, it is essential that we buy special seeds to germinate. In 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 to choose seeds to germinate that are ecological, free of pesticides, manipulations and any other contaminating substance.

Including the leaves and stem, the size that microgreens typically reach ranges from 2.5 to 7.6 centimeters. When cutting them, this is usually done just above ground level. When harvested, they should already have fully developed cotyledon leaves, and maybe even some fairly tiny true leaves. Usually, Most microgreens can be harvested within ten to fourteen days of planting. Shoots, on the other hand, are usually harvested after about seven days, nothing more.

Another aspect that differentiates microgreens from sprouts and sprouts is how they are grown. These usually grow in water and should be kept in jars or bags in the refrigerator for a few days. In exchange, microgreens grow in the ground and are usually harvested when they are going to be eaten.

How are microgreens used?

Microgreens are not the same as sprouts

The origin of microgreens is in California, USA. There, the chefs wanted to innovate their dishes, incorporating flavor, color and texture. They did it with these little vegetables. The success of this brilliant idea was such that microgreens eventually spread across the world at an impressive speed. They are currently used as toppings, 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 in supermarkets.

Since these vegetables are harvested at a very immature stage, It is very common to sow these seeds at high density in order to maximize the yield. Notably, it also allows seedlings to grow straight and tall, maintaining a tender, almost entirely white stem with well-developed glossy 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 found a niche within the healthy food industry and became very popular with individuals and farmers.

Of all the microgreens that are grown for their healthy properties, surely the best known is wheatgrass. This has been cultivated for many years as a highly recommended supplement to take care of our health. Other species, such as flax, broccoli, red brassica and chia varieties, also have very healthy compounds that are of particular interest. Also note the red and purple varieties of black radish microshoots, whose young leaves are very shiny. These contain fairly high levels of antioxidants, which helps fight cancer. Not bad at all, right?

As you can see, microgreens, in addition to being really spectacular in dishes, also add flavor to food and contain very beneficial properties for our health. It is therefore 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.

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