Microgreens (A must for urban gardeners!)

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Hii Fellow Wrigglers,

Welcome to this week's newsletter where we will be exploring Microgreens; understanding what they are, how they're good for you and why you should grow them!

ps: A slight change from talking about plants pests. We'll get back to them next week haha!

What are Microgreens

Microgreens are vegetable greens that are harvested just after their first set of true leaves has developed. They are normally used as a nutritional supplement, a visual enhancement, or a flavour and texture enhancement.

Green Pea Microgreens

Microgreens have been showing up on chef menus in the early 1980s in San Francisco. The trend grew in Southern California in the 1990s and is now being grown in most areas of the United States with an increasing number of varieties being produced.

Even though many of those who has just started learning about Microgreens would assume that they are used in salads, they are almost never used that way in fine-dining restaurants! Yeap, madness ><!

Why Microgreens

Microgreens have been gaining popularity as a food ingredient in recent years due to their high nutritional content and diverse sensorial characteristics.

Although normally confused with sprouts, Microgreens does carry the same risk of food poisoning as their sprouty counterparts. This is mainly due to the conditions of which they are grown:

  1. Microgreens are grown in soil with ample sunlight and air to breathe.

  2. Sprouts are produced entirely in water, in a dim and warm environment; an excellent condition for dangerous pathogenic bacteria to proliferate

Mung Bean Sprouts Mason Jar

Therefore explaining why sprouts have a high risk of causing food poisoning. In 2011, thousands of people got sick from consuming organic sprouts in Europe. This easily translates to "Microgreens 1, Sprouts 0" on our Microgreen scorecard (Promise we're not biased!)

Furthermore, a nutritional study has been conducted with promising results showing that Microgreens may indeed have particularly high nutritional value compared to mature vegetables. See below for potential health benefits of Microgreens:

  1. Heart disease: Microgreens are a rich source of polyphenols, a class of anti-oxidants linked to a lower risk of heart disease

  2. Alzheimer's disease: Antioxidant-rich foods, including those containing high amounts of polyphenols, may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

  3. Diabetes: Antioxidants may help reduce the type of stress that can prevent sugar from properly entering the cells; increasing sugar uptake by 25 - 44%

Can we update the scorecard to say "Microgreens 2, Sprouts 0"? We'll let you guys decide!

Benefits of growing your own Microgreens

Unfortunately, life is not a bed of roses even for the fabulous Microgreen. One major limitation of Microgreens is the rapid quality deterioration that occurs soon after harvest. Once harvested, they should be consumed almost immediately else they would start to dehydrate, wilt, decay and rapidly lose certain nutrients.

Fortunately, this can be easily resolved if you grow your own Microgreens, tada! A fresh source of baby vegetables with high nutritional content whenever you feel like munching, it's as good as it gets.

To make it better, Microgreens are super easy to grow and they can be harvested simply after 10 - 14 days of sowing!

  1. Add a think layer of soil in a container

  2. Moisten the layer of soil with a spray mist (it should resemble the texture of a wrung out sponge

  3. Sprinkle the Microgreen seeds across the soil

  4. Wait patiently, keep the soil moist and ensure that they have exposure to ample sunlight

And wala, there you have it - Microgreens for the taking. Check out our Brocolli Sprout just after 5 days of sowing the seeds:

Wriggley's Brocolli Sprout!

Surely its "Microgreens 3, Sprouts 0" in our books now? Do let us know if you have any further comments to add or if there is anything that we missed out.

We would love to hear from you and expand our knowledge with the wriggley community!

Until next time,

Stay Wriggley!

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