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Best Way To Grow Microgreens: Fresh Food For ThoughtBy admin
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
If you are one of those people who are loathe to pay huge prices for tiny edible leaves at fancy restaurants, you might wonder if they are in fact hugely expensive and difficult to grow – given their outrageous prices.
In fact, microgreens (as they are called) are incredibly easy to cultivate, and you could have some on your plate in as little as 10 days from sowing the seeds. Plus you don’t even need to step outside into your garden to complete this little experiment.
Growing microgreens was often one of the first gardening experiences that we would have as children. Usually alfalfa or sunflower seeds would be sprinkled on wet kitchen towel with soil and we would patiently wait for the seeds to shoot – which indeed they would, despite little soil or food.
Apart from the water of course. But these edible morsels were delicious and helped us to understand how seeds grow.
Now we can grow all kinds of edible shoots and leaves including radish, various herbs, peas, beans, rocket and beetroot seeds. In fact, these microgreens are often not really the vegetable or herb themselves, but the green shoots that come from the seeds in the early days.
The flavours are very different to the usual final product, and sometimes quite firey; they certainly add a punch to your salad. Plus they are considered to be very nutritious – a superfood in fact.
How To Grow Microgreens: Step-By-Step Process
The process of growing microgreens is relatively simple; in fact it is so simple it is truly childsplay. The best thing is that the entire process can take place indoors where the results will be easy to use every day as a garnish on your plate:
● Choose a shallow tray. The trays that your vegetables come in from the supermarket, are perfect and it is a great way to recycle and reuse them. They also usually have drainage holes in the bottom, which is useful.
● Line the bottom of your tray in kitchen paper that has been folded to fit snugly.
● It can make sense to soak the seeds overnight to help them to germinate more quickly. This is especially true for larger seeds, pulses and peas.
● You can add around 1.5cm of clean compost and sow the seeds thickly over top with a merest layer of compost over this. You can use basic vegetable compost, but the more nutrients you add to this the more your greens will retain. A seaweed nutrient mix is a great idea or an organic seed raising mix.
● Place the tray inside a larger tray or box and add water to the bottom so that it is absorbed through the drainage holes and into the paper.Top this up regularly to prevent it from drying out, but do not overwater as the seeds will drown.
● You can create a more humid environment to encourage germination by covering the tray with polythene bags, or even just a lid of some kind. Make sure there are holes for airflow.
● In a few days you will start to see the seeds beginning to germinate, and after around 10 days, you can start to harvest them. These can be harvested by snipping with scissors just above the soil line. In many cases, the leaves will continue to grow, giving you another harvest.
● Repeat the process until you have all the microgreens you can stand…
The Magic Of Microgreens: 7 Brilliant Benefits
● They are incredibly quick to grow, with the first harvest coming after just ten days depending on the seed chosen.
● They have a high yield to space ratio as you can scatter the seeds closely, and they still have plenty of room to develop.
● These organic microgreens are cheap to produce compared to buying them at the supermarket. Supermarket salad leaves are often washed in chemicals to keep them fresh.
● Great if you don’t have a garden and want to get some green into your sandwiches or salads.
● They can be grown year round – all they need is a good amount of light.
● Microgreens contain high quantities of nutrients and are packed full of colour, texture and enzymes to give your health a boost.
● They can be harvested right before eating, and therefore maintain their nutrients. Many seeds can actually reproduce, and will give harvest after harvest for many weeks on end.
Medley Of Microgreens: A Short Summary
You can sprout almost any type of seed, but not all will taste great. Here is a list of some of the best tasting and most nutritious microgreens that you can choose from. Some will grow more quickly than others, but all will add colour and variety to your salads and cold dishes:
Arugula – perhaps the popular microgreen of all, this has a peppery flavour and is great added to salad mixes.
Basil – more difficult to grow, this has the classic basil flavour, but with softer and sweeter taste.
Beets – with pretty pink stems, these green leaves look lovely in any salad and they have a sweet flavour.
Celery – this tiny seed grows a tiny leaf which takes forever to emerge, but the flavour is worth the wait.
Chia – popular due to its superfood statius, these seeds can be sprouted too and give the same nutritional boost.
Coriander – one of the easiest to grow, this gives tiny leaves with the same distinctive taste.
Kale – yet another hugely popular green leaf, but perfect as a minigreen. Pop into smoothies if you don’t want to eat it.
Mizuna – this is a classic salad ingredient and as a microgreen it offers milder taste.
Mustard greens – perfect for a fiery, peppery taste. Tasty in beef sandwiches as an alternative to horseradish.
Pea shoots – a tall shoot that can be added to salads or stirred through your cooked peas for added texture.
Kohlrabi – these have a wonderful purple stem and look great in any salad or as a garnish.
Sunflower – A large leaf (for a microgreen) but just as delicious as the seed itself.
Radish – a classic peppery flavour which is perfect tossed into a salad.
Rocket – this can be bought everywhere now. But you can grow your own easily and get the same peppery flavour.
No matter what seed you decide to experiment with, you can have a great variety of microgreens growing right in your kitchen ready for those extra touches and salads to accompany your meals. Not to mention the added boost to your health from all those nutrients.
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