What are microgreens?

Microgreens are not only super tasty and full of flavour, but they also have incredible health benefits.

Wesley Roos - Founder of Yumm Farm

By WESLEY ROOS

Microgreens have become a massive global trend in recent years and are only gaining in popularity. While these little greens might be micro in size, they are massive in flavour and nutrient value. They also come in a wide variety of shapes and colours.

So what are microgreens?

They are really just the younger versions of the fully grown vegetables, like broccoli, beetroot, carrots, and more. They are typically grown to a height of anywhere between 3-10 cm. 

These microgreens are greens that are grown to the stage between sprouts and baby leaf or seedling stage. While having similar health benefits to sprouts, they should not be confused, as there is typically a significant difference in flavour, size, and sometimes colour. 

And while sprouts usually take around 5-6 days to grow, microgreens take anywhere from 10-18 days depending on the crop and the preference of the grower. Here at Yumm Farms, we like grow our microgreens a little longer to give them a slightly more plump and lush look and feel. 

Another difference that microgreens have from their older, more mature versions, is that they don’t actually bear or produce fruit. As in, it is the cotyledon and sometimes the true leaves as well that are harvested, and not the fruit of the plant.

Microgreen Health Benefits

…microgreens can contain anywhere from 40-400 times more nutrients than their fully grown versions…

Microgreens are absolutely packed with nutrients, there is no doubt about that. And while there are a number of studies that state the differing nutrient values, ranging anywhere from 40-400 times more than their fully grown versions, the studies do all agree that they are far more nutrient dense.

These microgreens contain optimal levels of copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc for human consumption. As well as containing properties such as cancer preventing and fighting, increased cardiovascular health, anti-diabetic properties, reduced symptoms of autism, anti-aging properties, and increased brain function. This is all dependant on the crop type. The highest nutrient levels can be found in broccoli microgreens all because of a little chemical called sulforaphane

How to eat microgreens

warning: the following images may cause hunger.

Microgreens are super easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be used in a variety of dishes, like sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more. Alternatively, you can just juice them to gulp down the highest nutrient value in the shortest space of time. 

We use them in almost everything. From on top of omelettes, to inside a juicy cheese burger, or even juiced up into a smoothie or a pesto sauce. You really can’t go wrong. 

Where to buy microgreens

Because microgreens are still a relatively new product in the agricultural sector there is not a huge availability or selection of them. And while they are more established in countries like the US and Canada, they are still relatively new here in South Africa. 

However, don’t be mistaken, they are gaining popularity at a rapid rate.

While most grocery stores are not stocking these tasty little greens just yet, you can find them at slightly more specialised or premium grocery stores, like Jackson’s Real Food Market in Johannesburg. 

Alternatively, you can order them online right here at Yumm Farm, and we’ll deliver to you. There are also subscription packages available whereby you purchase a subscription to microgreens, and we’ll deliver microgreens to you every week. 

Pay monthly, receive greens weekly.

For the time being, we are only supplying the inner parts of Johannesburg, like Sandton and Rivonia, as well as certain suburbs of Witbank in Mpumalanga. However we are in the process of setting up more farms to cater to the increasing demand in other locations. 

Thats a wrap

Microgreens are packed with flavour, with nutrients, with colour, and they are great for your health. They are easy to add to any diet, and you will be surprised at how much they add to any particular dish. 

While they do require a bit of setup to grow at home, it’s easy enough to get right. 

We hope you learnt something by reading this article, and look forward to producing many more for your reading pleasure. 

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