Benefits of Microgreens  

Microgreens are an incredible superfood. Microgreens are grown very easily and simply in your own home and do not require a lot of space. The setup required to grow microgreens is quite straightforward. Once you are established, it is probably the most efficient superfood to produce yourself.

Image of Microgreens with the blog title "Benefits of Microgreens and Ways to Enjoy Them"

Their accessibility is the beginning of the “super” quality of microgreens. Next comes the wondrous world of their vast nutritional content. Beyond the high antioxidant content found in microgreens, they also contain significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C—more than even the mature versions of the plant.

In an article from NPR, author Eliza Barclay shared a study conducted by Gene Lester, the National Program Leader of Nutrition and Food Safety/Quality for the USDA that focused on the amount of nutrients in microgreens. The study included 25 varieties of microgreens, and they tested for four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals. Their findings showed “leaves from almost all of the microgreens [tested] had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant.” Some variation was found from species to species, just as is also found in mature species.

Uses for Microgreens

Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens adds a variety of flavor and texture to many dishes. In cooked dishes, they provide a distinct, refreshing flavor and texture. In salads or cool dishes, they add tasty complimentary flavors. Microgreens contribute the most to a dish when they are added at the end to preserve their flavor and crunchy texture.

Looking to make your dish stand out with flavors reminiscent of traditional Italian recipes? A bitter, slightly-spicy microgreen such as radish or mustard is the best choice. Want something herbaceous? Add basil, fennel, or cilantro microgreens. Craving a refreshing flavor? Peas, celery, cabbage, or parsley are the ones to select. Your dish requires something with a sweeter, rounded flavor? Beets, arugula, or sunflower are the top choices.

Some  specific dishes that benefit from microgreens are cheese or charcuterie boards, pasta (mixed in after removing from the heat to keep the microgreens fresh), tomato toast, tacos, on top of curry, or with eggs in the morning…sometimes cutting microgreens down smaller… sometimes leaving them whole.

Microgreens are sometimes confused with sprouts, but the distinguishers between the two are that microgreens are grown in a solid medium (soil or soil-free mediums) and take somewhere between 7 and 14 days to be ready, whereas sprouts are simply sprouted in water and typically take just two or three days. Microgreens are higher in fiber, more nutritious, and safer in general than sprouts, as sprouts sometimes develop harmful bacteria in their humid environment.

Hopefully, you now feel more acquainted with microgreens. Their benefits and simplicity are the biggest takeaway. Try adding them to your favorite dish—whether that be pizza, Tom Kha, nachos, hummus, or sushi.

Ready to learn how to grow your own microgreens? Check out our Grow Microgreens Anywhere Micro Course, which teaches you everything you need to grow microgreens right at home!

Brandon Beins
Culinary Educator and Human, Plant, & Soil Health Advocate

“My food journey began in high school when culinary classes brought me into the world of creating food. I continued on to culinary school before completing a two year apprenticeship with a local sushi chef. This apprenticeship was where I learned to care for ingredients and how to prepare them in a way that shows them respect. The most memorable meals are simple meals made from ingredients that have been nourished lovingly and prepared the same way. I believe high quality food can be prepared by anyone.”