Living Healthy is easy!
Living Healthy is easy–I promise. Living Healthy just requires rethinking and a little planning. We have been raised in and taught to live in a Disease world for so long that we have forgotten how to live Healthy. Disease living has become the new normal. It is as if we are simply a commodity to feed an industry based on Disease. Healthy living is not difficult, it just requires a change of habits—a new way of thinking—a first step.
Lifestyle transitions require small steps. Today is the first small step—growing Microgreens at home.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are a hot item in the culinary world. Whether a condiment to add flavor or to simple add a visual statement to a dish, Microgreens are making their impact in the culinary world. But, you don’t have to visit a 4 or 5 star restaurant to enjoy these little nutrition powerhouses. Microgreens are as they are named: small greens (“seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs”) grown to be harvested prior to the plant is fully developed into the mature greens. Microgreens are harvested anywhere from 1-3 weeks after germination, when only the cotyledon leaves are present, long before the first true leaves have developed. Microgreens include most small plants found in a vegetable or herb garden including: red cabbage, cilantrol, amaranth, radish, beets, kale… These small, young greens are packed full of nutrients and flavor.
Other than great taste, a 2012 study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that Microgreens provide more nutrition than the parent plant. Why? When a young plant first germinates, the young seedling is provided will all the nutrition it needs to survive prior to the development of the plants first true leaves. This nutrition supply is packed into the cotyledons. These are the first leaf-like portions of the plant that push through the soil. Cotyledons may look like leaves, though they are not. These cotyledons provide all the nutrition for the young seedling until the true leaves sprout and provide a long-term energy supply. These same nutrient dense Microgreens, that provides all the nutrients to the young seedling, is passed to us in our diet when we eat them. In fact, micro greens provide 4-6 x the nutrients than that in the parent plant leaves.
Microgreens are an easy means to take a first step into gardening. You don’t have to be a master gardener or have a green thumb to grow Microgreens. The time and effort required is minimal at best. There are even all-in-one kits that supply everything needed to grow Microgreens. For most, it just comes down to taking that first step. I am going to show you how easy this first step to a Healthy lifestyle is:
- I purchased an all-in-one kit from heirloom-organics. Everything is included plus enough seeds to grow Microgreens over, and over, and over again. Separate microgreen seeds are available for purchase without the all-inclusive kit.
- Simply follow the directions included with the kit or instructions included with this blog.
- Place the growth medium mat in the included greenhouse trays. You can use soil in place of the growth mats if desired. I recommend a non-soil seed starting mix like that from Johnny’s seeds.
- Generously sow the variety of seeds included onto your growth mat or soil less growth medium.
- Water using a spray bottle (not included). Most kits will include a nutrient dense kelp mix to provide added nutrients to the regular waterings.
- Place the greenhouse dome tops.
- Place the seeded greenhouse dome on top of your refrigerator for optimal temperature support for germination. If no refrigerator space is available, then use the top of a freezer or the more expensive seedling heat mats that can be purchased at your local outdoor supply store.
- Once the seeds germinate and the first seedlings are seen, remove the greenhouse dome tops and sit the upstart Microgreens next to a window receiving a large amount of light. Windows facing south will provide the best sun exposure.
- Sit back and watch your Microgreens nutrition grow!
Just a few caveats:
- check the growth mats or seed starting mix daily to ensure proper moisture. Keep the growth mediums damp, not drenched. This usually is met with spraying once daily.
- Water demand will increase once the greenhouse dome tops are removed.
When to harvest the Microgreens?
Harvest about 1-3 weeks after the first seedlings are seen. Simply cut the micro greens at the base of the plant, wash the harvested Microgreens with warm water, eat and enjoy good, fresh nutrition.
Microgreens make a fantastic addition to any meal or are a simple, easy snack packed full of nutrition.