Microgreens: A powerful punch in a small package

Microgreens: A powerful punch in a small package

Hey sprouts, there’s a new kid in town! Little seedlings less than 14 days old called micro greens; they’re cute little leaves with a huge nutritional punch. Once only used by high-end chefs to garnish a delectable dish, these superstars are becoming mainstream as a way to consume more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients without having to eat boat-loads of produce (sound familiar NutriBullet fans?) But do they live up to the claim?

According to research findings from the USDA and the University of Maryland published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these tiny gems prove themselves.

Researchers looked at 25 varieties of microgreens including daikon radish, cilantro, basil, arugula, spinach, beet, and pea. Leaves from almost all microgreens contained 4-6 times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same type.

‘But I already eat sprouts!’ you say…

Microgreens differ from sprouts in that sprouts are germinated seeds that have soaked in water for about two days until tiny sprouts begin to grow (no new elements introduced). Microgreens, on the other hand, require soil and sunlight (additional sources of energy and nutrients) as well as a few more days in order to maximize the living enzymes and beneficial properties that are then passed on to you.

While microgreens will probably not replace their adult counterparts, these babies are a great vitamin boost to your meal or NutriBlast!

Check back in next week for more edible trends on living foods including sprouting, soaking, fermenting, and dehydrating.

Reference articles:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/08/29/160274163/introducing-microgreens-younger-and-maybe-more-nutritious-vegetables

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829131634.htm

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf300459b

Registered Dietitian


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