Micro Greens May Be Small but They Are Packed with Nutritional Value
Micro greens are younger versions of herbs, vegetables and other plants. There are a number of micro green varieties and they are all very tasty. New research shows they may be more than that. It seems they are also packed with nutrition.
According to National Public Radioandnbsp;(NPR), all of the micro green varieties come with more healthy compounds, pound per pound than their grown up counterparts. The research was done at the United States Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland. Plant Physiologist, Gene Lester, looked at the the baby vegetables and discovered the had more vitamins C and E and beta carotene. They had as much as six times the amount of these nutrients than the older versions. He looked at 25 different micro green varieties. While the amounts of vitamins differed from one kind of true leaf microgeen to another, they all were packed with nutrition and flavor. He told NPR that when he saw his results, he was, “totally knocked over.”
Lester went on to day that these results, “give us a new insight into plants, because these are little tiny seeds barely exposed to much light at all,” Lester says. “And yet those compounds are there ready to go.” He published what he found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Other research backs Lester up. Research into the tiny plants was also conducted at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center at Texas Aandamp;M University. Professor of Horticulture, Bhimu Patil said his research shows the same things as Lester’s. He said, “his is a very good start, but there can be a lot of variation in nutrients depending on where you grow it, when you harvest, and the soil medium” He added that he thought more research needs to be done to replicate the findings and learn more about why this is the case.
There is a tendency to confuse micro greens with sprouts but they are very different. A sprout is a germinated seed. It only takes about 48 hours for them to be grown. They need no sunlight or soil, both of which are needed by micro greens. The real difference is that while sprouts are more vulnerable to being contaminated by bacteria. A number of recent outbreaks of food borne illnesses have been laid at the feet of the sprout.
Micro greens first appeared in San Francisco around 1980 when chefs at prestigious restaurants began using organic micro greens to add flavor, flash and color to their dishes. Their popularity grew and they were named “micro green” in 1998. Soon they began to move easy and more and more people across the country fell in love with the speciality produce. Now they can be found all over the United States and even in some other countries.
The early micro green varieties were limited to beets, kale, basil, cilantro, arugula and Rainbow Mix. The number of micro green varieties has since increased and you can find a full 25 kinds.
People no longer have to eat out to enjoy true leaf microgreens. They can buy them and take them home add them to their own cooking.
There are some recommendations that chefs give about how to buy and store micro greens:
- There is a quality scale for micro greens. It goes from 1, which is the worst, to 5, which is the best. People are advised to purchase only micro greens with a rating of 3 or higher.
- Micro greens should be kept at 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Micro greens should be used within a day or two of buying them. These are not meant to be bought and stored for long periods of time.andnbsp;he shelf life for a micro green is shorter than the adult version.
Micro greens come with a lot of different flavors. They can be spicy, tangy, sweet or bitter. It is a good idea to try them before adding them to a recipe. The micro green version of basil does not taste exactly like the adult version. They can add fun, color and a burst of flavor to any dish.
It has been said that kids prefer more color so if your child is not eating their vegetables, maybe you should try these.