As we become increasingly aware of the nutritional value of everything green along with the thrill of eating anything that may resemble one millionth of other foods, micro greens continue to prove popular among the beautiful people of our society. With the trend beginning in sunny California in the mid 90’s and swiftly spreading across continents, micro greens are now high on the list of top chef’s must-haves with famous chefs like Heston Blumenthal using them to add flavour, texture and a fresh new look to their dishes. From basil lemon to basil Thai there is a vast amount of micro greens perfect to garnish any soup with dill and chives complimenting most fish dishes. This however has caused the price of micro greens to become considerably high so why not grow these trendy seedlings at home and enhance your diet at quarter the price.
Although easy to grow at home, at any time of the year and with a very short cultivation period, micro greens should be handled with care. Maintaining a good standard of hygiene from the beginning is vital as the young seedlings are harvested quickly. Thanks to their youth they don’t need a lot of room and can be planted approximately a quarter of an inch apart. They can be planted either in an outdoor flowerbed or a container and will sprout in the garden or on a sunny sill. If using a pot, make sure it is at least two inches deep and filled with a good quality, organic potting mix. Scatter the seeds and cover gently with soil and water. Avoid the soil drying out and remove any outdoor weeds that may bully your new babies. Around ten days after planting, micro greens should be ready for harvesting but be careful not to mistake seed leaves for true leaves, snipping the latter just above soil level. Fresh seeds can then be scattered and covered gently with soil, leaving the old roots as a good source of organic matter for the next generation.
The purity of these miniscule greens means they generally offer a higher vitamin and nutrient concentrate than more mature greens. Alfalfa, also known as ‘father of all foods’ contains antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and minerals with the nano alfalfa leaves traditionally used by Chinese physicians to treat digestive tract disorders. Kale’s popularity as one of the healthiest vegetables can be founded by its cholesterol lowering benefits and nutritional properties being linked to lowering five different types of cancer. Kale can also play a vital part in detoxification when eaten regularly and is a great choice of micro greens to be grown at home. Similarly, rocket has also been suggested as a cancer preventative and with its nutritional properties of vitamins B and K, folic acid, iron, calcium and magnesium, it can be hugely beneficial to pregnant women and the elderly. Its strong flavour, along with any other micro greens to hand will compliment any salad or wrap so enjoy the taste as well as the benefits of your new nano friends.