Microgreens have typically been used as a garnish in fine dining restaurants, but they’re gaining popularity on their own, with health-conscious consumers eager to try different varieties of appetizers, salads and more. Microgreens are a recent development in the history of growing produce, starting in California during the 1990s. They’re fast-growing, with an average of 10 to 14 days from seeding to harvest. They may seem like sprouts but differ in a few ways. Microgreens are seedlings of vegetables or herbs that can be eaten after germinating. They’re about 1 to 3 inches tall and cut before their true leaves develop. Sprout seeds are grown in a hot, humid environment conducive to bacteria, but microgreens are grown in soil or a growing medium.
10 Best Microgreens to Grow in Containers
Microgreens have a broad taste palate, from peppery arugula to potent mustard. In this article, you’ll learn the 10 best microgreens you can grow in containers.
Arugula microgreens are peppery, making them great for salads, eggs, and sandwiches. They also grow quickly, germinating within two days and ready to harvest in as little as 10 days. Plus, arugula microgreens contain eight times the calcium, five times the vitamins, and four times the iron of iceberg lettuce.
Beets are some of the best microgreens you can grow. They take longer to develop than other microgreens, but their mild earthy flavor makes them well worth the wait. Beet microgreens are vivid red, making them a perfect way to add color to a salad. Before planting, soak the seeds for about eight hours in cold water and then sow them in a thick layer.
Broccoli microgreens are one of the most nutritious options of microgreens, with one study suggesting they can decrease malnutrition, ease digestion and lower your risk of heart disease. They’re also one of the fastest-growing varieties, as they’ll be ready to harvest in as little as six days. Unlike most other microgreens, the best time to harvest broccoli microgreens is before their first true leaves form.
Collard microgreens have a strong flavor, sometimes even more intense than the fully grown vegetable. They grow quickly and will be ready for harvest in only 10 days. Use these thick microgreens as a flavorful addition to salads and sandwiches.
In microgreen form, kale tastes more like romaine or leaf lettuce than when it’s fully grown. Kale microgreens contain four times the nutrients of adult kale, so it’s extra healthy too. Additionally, they store easily, lasting about a week in the refrigerator if kept dry.
Pea microgreens are great to grow in containers because they regrow after harvest. This means you won’t need to keep replanting every couple of weeks. Unfortunately, pea microgreens have a notoriously short shelf life, meaning you’ll have to use them quickly. That shouldn’t be a problem because pea microgreens are as tasty as mature peas but may have a more beany taste. They’re high in antioxidants and carotene and can help diabetic patients control their blood sugar levels.
Like broccoli, radishes are one of the fastest- growing microgreens, ready to harvest in as little as six days. They taste great, too, with the same crisp spicy flavor that mature radishes are famous for. Opal and green daikon varieties have high concentrations of vitamin E, which can slow cell damage and prevent clots from forming in heart arteries.
8. Red Cabbage
Their purple coloring makes red cabbage microgreens look as good as they taste. Even though they likely won’t remind you of their fully-grown counterpart, cabbage microgreens have just as many health benefits. They have a milder cabbage taste with notes of sweetness. Whether you’re using them for garnish or as part of a salad mix, red cabbage is one of the best microgreens you can grow.
Sunflower microgreens are a great snack and can be eaten raw while maintaining their high nutrient content. They are rich in protein and vitamin B and add a slightly sweet, nutty taste to any dish. A crunchy texture means they can be a great salad base. Use seeds from the black oil variety for the strongest flavor.
Wheatgrass is the microgreen version of the wheat crop that you’re used to see growing on farms. And like peas, the shoots will continue growing after harvest, so you can keep growing without replanting. Remember that the nutrient content of your second batch will be less than your first. This superfood is most used in juice and smoothies. The plant has exploded in popularity as one of the best microgreens to grow for healthy consumers, with over 100 nutrients. It’s been popularized as a superfood and can be used in various dishes, typically blended before use. Wheatgrass tastes excellent in sauces and soups as well. Try it with gazpacho.
All these microgreens are not only healthy, but they’re easy to grow as well. If you’re looking for an indoor farm solution to grow your own microgreens on a commercial scale, Pure Greens has what you’re looking for. We manufacture and modify shipping containers specifically for vertical farms. We would love to discuss your indoor farming needs today.
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