Microgreens What They Are and How to Use Them

Hibiscus sugar flowers

Are you thinking of a way to spice up a dish?

A quick and easy way that takes advantage of cost while allowing for a smart amount of flavor?

Are you into soups or garnishes?

Then this article is for you.

Microgreens have been around since the late 1980’s, but slowly grew to prominence in California. There initially were five varieties, but soon the number swelled to around a dozen as more restaurants began taking advantage of microgreens. Specifically, when they were added to dishes like soups, salads, and steaks.

Microgreens have benefits that other garnishes do not. They pack a flavorful punch, much more than their slightly larger brethren. They are easy to use due to their size and add variety to numerous dishes. But what are microgreens and why are they so nutritious? That’s what this article is all about.

There are statistics about microgreens that are worth noting before starting the meat and potatoes of this article. They are:

  • Microgreens have been around for 20-30 years.
  • For best results, microgreens should be stored at an optimal temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Microgreens are generally rated on a scale ranged from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). A marketability threshold is 3 and up (on the visual quality scale). A rating of less than three designates an unmarketable product.
  • There are perhaps 100 types of common garden flowers that are both edible and palatable.
  • When it comes to food presentation or plating, children prefer six food colors and seven different food components while adults prefer three colors and three food components.

Microgreens, as described, are miniature versions of certain herbs. Some varieties include cilantro, basil, and arugula. These were three of the first five that started to grow in northern California in the late 1980’s. They were initially included in just a few restaurants, particularly around the San Francisco area. But their popularity grew.

Microgreens pack a whopping punch of flavor for their size. Because they are miniature, they are packed with nutrients, which, by percentage, are more than their slightly larger cousins from the same plant. This nutrient package makes them a strong add-on to most dishes, when someone is looking for nutrition.

Both the nutrition and the taste factor led them to being used in restaurants in the 1990’s, a trend that grew over time. Soon, up-scale restaurants, which typically cost $20 per dish, started to use them as garnishes, particularly on soups and salads. They are good on steaks as well.

There are 12 varieties of microgreens, all of which have their own taste profile and their own nutrients. There are some, in certain areas, that are available for purchase in grocery stores. It is also possible to grow them in your backyard, though this is not recommended as microgreens are tricky to deal with.

Microgreens, contrary to popular belief, are not “tiny leaves” Microgreens consist of a stem and leaves and are more nutritious than just “tiny leaves.” This means they are grown and cut off, not just the leaves, but the entire stem. This growth, from the soil and from the sun, is what gives them their flavor and power.

There are types of microgreens that are important to remember. There are true leaf microgreens or the true leaf microgreen. There are true leaves and true leaves microgreens, which are the plural of the aforementioned microgreen. There is the possibility of adding microgreens to salad, as well as soup.

It is possible to think of them as more than garnishes, as garnishes are generally there just to add flavor and different color to the plate. Microgreens also add nutritional value and are fine as a dish on their own or as part of a larger vegetable dish. They are more than a complement. They are a snack on their own.

Organic micro greens can be purchased at a store, depending on the area. Organic micro greens are microgreens that are grown without herbicides or pesticides. Organic micro greens are much more healthy because they are not touched by chemicals. Organic micro greens can added to a dish.

There are many options for adding microgreens to dishes or using them in cooking. It is possible to use them as garnishes.