Your first crop of microgreens is now ready for harvesting after you have planted your seeds and cared for them for a few days or weeks. Any time you enjoy knowing you’re feeding yourself with the food you helped grow, it’s an exciting time.
Once you’ve harvested all of those adorable sprouts, you’ll want to make the best use of them. So how should these seedlings be prepared (or not prepared)? No matter what kind of greens they are, should you simply toss them in a salad? Or are some of them better suited to certain preparation techniques? Fear not, we’ve got you this far and we aren’t about to leave you hanging. Continue reading for five methods for getting your lovely microgreens from harvest to plate.
5 Ways to Eat Microgreens
When consumed raw, all microgreens perform best. By avoiding the stovetop, you can keep the delicate flavor profile you expect from each of these tiny powerhouses while also keeping the food fresh and crisp. You have quite a few reasons to choose raw food over cooked food when it comes to microgreens when you consider all the nutrients that are automatically lost during cooking. The sunflower shoot is one vegetable that thrives when eaten raw. This lemony little green makes the ideal vibrant salad ingredient. Here is a delicious recipe to try that combines the mildness of sunflower shoots with some of its more zippy relatives.
Sunflower Sprout Salad
For the salad
1 ½ C sunflower sprouts
1 C arugula
2 carrots, shaved or chopped into very small bite-sized pieces
3 radishes sliced thin
1 small-medium cucumber seeded and sliced
For the Dressing
2 T fresh lemon juice
½ – 1 tsp agave (to taste)
½ tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ C olive oil
- Combine all veggies.
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.
- Toss it all together!
Sandwiches and Wraps
Of course, anything portable is another raw option. Tortilla, pita, gluten-free, whatever your preference, microgreens are a fabulous way to add a punch of flavor and pack in the nutrition on any sandwich or wrap. Due to their addition of a spicy component to the dish, radish greens are particularly intriguing for this. I prefer a wrap over other sandwich styles because it offers containment without using too much bread. Here’s one of my favorite wrap recipes
Hummus Wrap With Radish Shoots
One tortilla, any kind you fancy
1 ½ – 2 T hummus
½ C spring mix
1 carrot, shaved
Healthy handful of radish sprouts
Feta cheese crumbles
- Apply hummus to tortilla.
- In a bowl, combine the vegetables; place on tortilla.
- When wrapping, sprinkle some crumbled feta on top.
Cooking With Microgreens
Some of these greens cook up exceptionally well. Others can withstand a little heat, while some must be added right before serving (radish sprouts are a good example). Microgreens can be a perfect addition to stir fry dishes like this one from Genius Kitchen. If you’re not a vegetarian, they also work well in other dishes, such as this pasta recipe with fresh spring vegetables and pancetta.
Pasta With (pancetta), Veggies, and Pea Shoots
½ pound pasta of your choice, cooked (bite sized pastas are better than noodles for this recipe)
1 4-oz package of pancetta
1 C fresh peas
3 C pea shoots
3 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Over medium heat, preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
- About 3–4 minutes should be spent cooking the pancetta.
- Peas are then added and heated through for an additional two to three minutes.
- Prior to tossing everything with pasta, add the pea shoots and cook for one more minute.
- Add some freshly grated parmesan for garnish.
While it can be argued that any microgreen would be suitable for juicing or smoothies, I urge you to experiment and report your findings (for example, why not add some spicily flavored radish greens to a citrus-based juice?). Wheatgrass is the undisputed champion in the world of juices (hell, why not?).
People who juice for the purpose of achieving optimal health have long used wheatgrass. For many, adding this to a mixture of other things helps cut the very green flavor and gives a seriously dense nutrient boost at the same time. Wheatgrass juice can also be consumed on its own, but for a refreshing beverage, it is recommended that you mix one part juice with three parts water. However, wheatgrass can easily be added to any recipe for a smoothie or juice. Here is a straightforward, versatile smoothie recipe that you’ll adore.
Basic Fruit Smoothie With Wheatgrass Juice
1 oz wheatgrass juice
1 C frozen fruit (mango, berries, whatever you fancy)
1 C water
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender.
- To adjust consistency, add more water if necessary.
Basically, this recipe serves as an introduction to the world of smoothies. Share your top picks with us.
Yes, there are a few ways to bake with microgreens. What’s the harm in using sunflower sprouts instead of spinach in your quiche or spanakopita? They’ll add a level of flavor that spinach just can’t match, and they’ll also look stunning. Another option is to add a few radish sprouts to a summer berry pie, if you’re feeling particularly daring. This unusually subtle spice undertone will balance the berries’ sweetness.
When to Harvest Microgreens?
You can start sampling microgreens once their tiny leaves appear (which may take as little as 3 days for some varieties). Every day after they sprout, it’s fun to take a pinch to see when your personal flavor peak is because the flavor and texture of microgreens will change over time.
Microgreens should ideally be harvested as needed, ideally just before consumption. The best way to ensure superior flavor and nutrition is in this way. Return your tray to the windowsill after harvesting a portion of the crop, and it will continue to grow there until you need it again.
Additionally, although it’s not absolutely necessary, you might notice that your microgreens are a little bit crisper and sweeter in the morning. This is because they spend the night replacing their lost moisture and turning the starch from the previous day into sugar.
Can Microgreens Be Frozen?
If you’ve grown too many microgreens to consume during harvest, freezing them is a good way to preserve the nutrients. However, it will completely ruin their texture, so it’s only a smart move if you’re planning to use them in a smoothie.
Check out our separate blogs on these subjects if you’re interested in learning more about microgreens, their benefits, how to grow them, or the various varieties. Check out our beginner-friendly Microgreens kits below if you’re overly eager to begin growing your own microgreens, though.
Although there are certain ways that each microgreen shines, there is no wrong way to eat them. Comment below with your favorite recipes if you have one; we’d love to hear how you use yours!