New to the world of microgreens and have questions? Read this post to learn how to store microgreens, how much microgreens to eat per day, and more!
Hi there – I’m Chantal. I’m a mom of two and a certified personal trainer + nutrition coach.
Welcome to Ironwild Fitness!
I recently stumbled across the world of microgreens both in the gardening world and in the nutrition world. It seems like they have been all of the rage lately.
But honestly, I overlooked them because I’m just a busy mom with enough to think about already.
I thought to myself, “I’m already trying to eat my veggies (and grow them, too), but now I’m supposed to add microgreens to the list?”
But then I went to my doctor and had some tests done. I found out that my liver is not operating optimally and it’s causing a hormonal imbalance known as estrogen dominance.
Come to find out, broccoli sprouts are one of the top foods that can help detox the body and flush out excess estrogen. That lead me into the world of microgreens.
(I would later also find out that sprouts are not the same thing as microgreens. More on that later.)
So, of course, I went into a nutritional-deep dive to learn more about them!
I’ve done my research and I’m ready to share it.
If you haven’t heard of microgreens before now, this is the post for you.
In This Post: How to Store Microgreens & Other FAQ
I am big into writing (and passionate about nutrition), so I like to give my readers a quick overview of what’s included in each post. Here’s what you’ll find in this post about storing microgreens:
- What are microgreens?
- Microgreens flavor & nutrients
- Types of microgreens
- Recommended serving size (How much microgreens to eat per day)
- How to store microgreens for the best flavor and freshness
Let’s get to it!
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the young and tender seedlings of various vegetables and herbs.
They are typically harvested when the first true leaves have developed, which is usually about 7-21 days after germination, depending on the plant variety.
Microgreens are distinct from sprouts and baby greens, as they are grown in soil and allowed to develop their first set of true leaves before harvesting. They are cut right above the soil line at harvest.
(You don’t eat the roots. When you are eating microgreens, you are eating “baby” plants. I don’t know why I was confused about this but I totally was.)
These tiny, vibrant greens are not only visually appealing but also packed with a surprising amount of nutrients.
Related Reading: 10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Beet Powder
Microgreens Flavor & Nutrients
Two of the distinguishing features of microgreens are their intense flavor and vibrant colors. These miniature greens offer a concentrated burst of taste, ranging from mild and nutty to spicy or tangy, depending on the plant species.
The wide array of colors, such as vibrant reds, deep purples, and lush greens, adds visual appeal to dishes, making them a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts alike. (They are really popular at the fancy winery restaurants where I live.)
Don’t let their small size fool you—microgreens are nutritional powerhouses. Many of them have been found to contain higher nutrient concentrations compared to their fully-grown counterparts.
(Up to 40x higher!)
While the nutrient content varies among different types of microgreens, they generally provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium.
Additionally, microgreens are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which have been associated with numerous health benefits.
Lastly, microgreens of cruciferous vegetables do in fact help with liver function and estrogen removal due to their high sulforaphane levels. Since this is what my doctor was focused on having me increase, I’m happy that I stumbled across these babies! 😉
Types of Microgreens
The world of microgreens offers an exciting array of flavors and textures. There are almost endless varieties of microgreens.
However, some popular microgreen varieties include broccoli, kale, radish, sunflower, pea shoots, cilantro, basil, and amaranth.
Each variety has its own unique taste profile, nutritional composition, and culinary applications. Experimenting with different microgreens allows you to explore a diverse range of flavors and reap the benefits of various nutrients.
Microgreens are versatile and can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. They are commonly used as a fresh garnish, adding a burst of flavor and a pop of color to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and soups.
Microgreens also make a delightful addition to omelets, stir-fries, and even as a topping for pizza. Their delicate texture and vibrant appearance make them an appealing ingredient in raw or lightly cooked preparations.
Personally, I would try microgreens in my smoothies or on sandwiches!
How Much Microgreens To Eat Per Day?
As I mentioned, microgreens, are gaining popularity as a nutrient-dense addition to our diets.
While incorporating microgreens into your meals is a great way to enhance nutrition, it’s important to understand how much is ideal to consume on a daily basis.
Recommended Serving Size
Since microgreens are highly concentrated in nutrients, a little goes a long way. While there is no strict rule on how much to eat, a general guideline is to aim for 1-2 ounces (28-56 grams) of microgreens per day.
This amount can provide a significant nutritional boost without overwhelming your palate or diet.
If you’re unsure or have specific dietary requirements, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance.
Trust me, depending on the type that you choose, you probably won’t find yourself wanting much more than that. (Lol) That’s because some microgreens have a bitter flavor. So play around with it and find which ones you like before thinking you can stomach a pound of them per day. 🙂
To maximize the benefits of microgreens, it’s advisable to consume a diverse range of microgreen varieties. Each type offers a unique set of nutrients, flavors, and textures.
By incorporating a variety of microgreens into your meals, you can ensure a broader spectrum of health-promoting compounds in your diet.
Experiment with different types such as broccoli, radish, sunflower, pea shoots, and cilantro, among others, to explore their distinctive characteristics.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find a good variety of microgreens at your local grocery store, the farmer’s market is the first place I would look!
Wondering how to eat microgreens?
Including Microgreens in Your Meals
There are several ways to incorporate microgreens into your daily meals. They can be added as a topping to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and soups, providing a burst of freshness and color.
Microgreens might also make a delightful addition to omelets, smoothies, stir-fries, and even as a garnish for main dishes. Remember to use them as a finishing touch or a flavor accent to preserve their delicate texture and flavor.
Microgreens are a powerhouse of nutrients that can enhance the nutritional value and taste of your meals. While there is no fixed rule on how much to consume, incorporating 1-2 ounces of microgreens into your daily diet is a reasonable goal.
By embracing a variety of microgreen types, you can enjoy their distinct flavors and take advantage of a broad range of health-promoting compounds.
Remember, these tiny greens are a complement to a well-balanced diet, so get creative with them as you explore the immense potential of microgreens in your culinary adventures.
So, next time you’re planning your meals or shopping for groceries online, consider adding a touch of freshness and nutrition with these mighty miniature greens.
Your taste buds and your body will thank you!
Now – let’s get to how to store microgreens for the best flavor and freshness.
How to Store Microgreens for Best Flavor
Let’s explore the art of storing microgreens. Below are some practical tips to keep these delightful greens fresh and crisp for as long as possible.
1. Harvesting at the Right Time
The first step to ensuring optimal storage is harvesting microgreens at the right time. It’s crucial to wait until the microgreens have reached their ideal growth stage before cutting them.
Typically, this is when they have developed their first true leaves and are about 1-2 inches tall. Harvesting at this stage ensures maximum flavor and nutrient content.
You Might Also Like: 21 Best Macro Friendly Snacks (Delicious High-Protein Choices)
2. Gentle Handling and Cleaning
Aside from proper storage, you should know some microgreen handling tips as well. Microgreens are delicate and require gentle handling to avoid bruising or damaging their tender leaves.
When harvesting, use a sharp pair of scissors or a clean, serrated knife to make a clean cut just above the soil surface. Avoid pulling or tugging on the greens, as this can cause damage.
Once harvested, gently remove any visible dirt or debris by rinsing the microgreens with cold water.
Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or use a salad spinner on a gentle setting to remove excess moisture. Excessive moisture can lead to wilting and spoilage, so don’t skip this step for optimal freshness.
3. Storage Containers and Refrigeration
To store microgreens, choose the right containers that allow air circulation while keeping them protected. Opt for shallow, airtight containers or food-grade storage bags with perforations or ventilation holes.
Line the containers with a slightly damp paper towel or place a piece of dampened kitchen towel at the bottom to maintain humidity.
Transfer the microgreens to the containers, arranging them in a single layer to prevent crushing or overcrowding. Gently press down on the greens to minimize air gaps.
Seal the containers or bags, making sure they are airtight, and place them in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer. The ideal temperature for storing microgreens is around 35 to 40°F (1-4°C).
*I personally find that the best way to store fresh produce and other perishables is in a glass container rather than any other airtight container, but I have yet to try it with microgreens. Use your better judgment!
4. Check and Replace Damp Paper Towels
Microgreens are delicate and can wilt quickly if they become too dry or too moist. To maintain the right level of humidity, periodically check the damp paper towel in the storage container.
If it has dried out, spray it lightly with water or replace it with a fresh, damp paper towel. Avoid oversaturating the towel, as excess moisture can lead to mold growth.
5. Consume Fresh (Don’t Be Too Late!)
Microgreens are best enjoyed fresh, as their flavors and textures are most vibrant soon after harvesting. However, they can retain their quality for several days when stored properly.
Aim to consume microgreens within 3-5 days of harvesting, but always rely on visual and olfactory cues to assess their freshness. If they develop a slimy texture, discoloration, or an unpleasant odor, it’s a sign that they have spoiled and should be discarded.
Storing microgreens properly is essential to maintain their freshness, flavor, and nutritional value. By following these simple steps, you can extend the shelf life of your microgreens and ensure they stay crisp and vibrant for longer.
Now you know how to store microgreens and much more!
I hope this post inspires you to go try something new and helped you learn a little something. Maybe you’ll even want to try to grow your own microgreens someday. 🙂
Before you go, here are some other posts you might like:
- Printable Macro Food List (Free Download!)
- Easy Kale Salad With Balsamic Dressing
- Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffin Cups with Turkey Sausage
Thanks for reading,