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MicroGreens: The Millennial Food!


Microgreens are young edible seedlings of vegetables, herbs and plants rich in flavour and nutrition. Recently, microgreens from vegetables and other edible plants have received wide attention due to their dense source of nutrition.

Microgreens were the culinary greens used in restaurants during mid-90s in California, USA.

                        Buy Microgreen seeds @ Cultigen Organics
Microgreens consists of a central stem, two cotyledon leaves and typically the first true leaves which are not more than 4-14 days old depending on the species.
Microgreens have gained increasing popularity as food ingredients in recent years because of their high nutritional value and diverse sensorial characteristics.
Microgreens have got attention due to it's nutritional properties, research has been carried out continuously to find nutritional importance, improving shelf life and Innovative grow approaches of microgreens here is a research article link of ongoing research on microgreens: https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060826
Sprouts v/s Microgreens?
  • Sprouts are germinated seeds, grows without any nutrient media in water.
  • Microgreens are longer than sprouts, result of cotyledon growth includes true leaves.

Sprouts vs. Microgreens-Cultigen Organics

Why microgreens?
Microgreens are richer sources of various micronutrient especially vitamins and minerals. Some of the lipophilic vitamins are much higher in microgreens than mature parts. Like vitamin E content of microgreens are forty times higher than the mature parts. Anti nutritional factors like nitrates and nitrite contents are low in microgreens. In addition to this microgreens are dense source of various bioactive compounds. Microgreens are practically chemical free produce!.
Moreover, they are usually consumed raw, hence there is no loss or degradation of thermolabile micronutrients through food processing.
An article published by Access science in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains the nutritional effects (health benefits), chemical composition, growing conditions, and shelf life of microgreens clickhere to read.
Do you need special seeds for microgreens?
No, special seeds are not required for microgreens.
Microgreens can be produced from any non-treated seeds, Non-GMO seeds.
Radish microgreens seeds-Cultigen Organics
How to grow microgreens?
Microgreens are very easy to grow. You can grow microgreens in containers with soil or paper or any other media which contains nutrients in it.
If you are growing microgreens in a container make sure it is 5cm deep.
Growing microgreens in soil/media: Microgreens are produced in basket or pot containing soil or growing media like., coir, wood fiber, bark, paper fiber, peat moss, perlite, rock wool, coco peat, vermiculite, vermi compost, sphagnum peat etc.,
The media used to grow microgreens should be free from roots of weeds or other crops which will help them grow without any competition. Make sure the soil/media never loses moist. 
No need to fertilize microgreens because they will be harvested within 7-14 days after germination. Watering is the most important part while growing microgreens.
                                                                       Source: Sakina dhilawala
Due to very short pre-harvest period chemical treatments of seeds should be avoided.
  • Fill the pot with soil/growing media.
  • Choose your seeds.
  • Moisten the medium using water sprayer/sprinkler.
  • Sow approx. 8-10 seeds per square inch evenly.
  • Optimum spacing should be maintained.
  • Spray the seeds with water.
  • Cover the seeds very lightly with the growing media.
  • Cover the pot with a lid.
  • Let the seeds germinate for 2-3 days.
  • Maintain the humidity
  • Uncover the lid when the seeds are germinated.
  • Give your microgreens a good spray of water.
  • Expose it to light.
  • Favorable temperature is 26°C.
  • Microgreens are usually harvested at 7-14 days after germination.Buy microgreens seeds @ cultigen organics

Post-harvest operation:

After harvesting, rapid senescence makes it very short shelf life. To increase the shelf life microgreens are thoroughly pre cooled.

Harvested microgreens-Cultigen Organics

Uses:

Microgreens are used in salads, sandwich and soups. It can also be used for stuffing parantha and other Indian foods.

Use of microgreens in salads-Cultigen Organics

Why depend on others? When you can eat your home grown microgreens.

Commonly used microgreens:

 Family Name
Brassicaceae Cauliflower, Radish, Knol khol, Cabbage, Mustard, Broccoli, Wasabi, Pak choi, Turnip
Fabaceae Lentil, Pea, Bengal gram, Black gram, Alfalfa, Fenugreek
Amaranthaceae Amaranthus
Poaceae Maize, Wheat
Chenopodiaceae Swiss chard, Beet root, Spinach, Quinoa
Apiaceae Carrot, Coriander, Celery, Parsley
Lamiaceae Basil
Polygonaceae Buck wheat
Linaceae Flaxseed
Asteraceae Sunflower, Lettuce
Alliaceae Onion, Garlic
                                                                                                             

Health benefits of microgreens:

  • Alfalfa microgreens These reduces risk of breast cancer, Minimize menopause symptoms and excessive menstruation, Prevents osteoporosis, Lower blood glucose levels, Treat diabetes, Combat cholesterol. Alfalfa microgreens contains Vit-K, Vit-C, Vit-E, Beta carotene, Lutein, Antioxidants and other anti aging agents.
  • Basil microgreens: These  have Anti-inflammatory effects, regulate body functions, anti-aging and prevent cancers.Basil microgreens contains high polyphenols, vitamins (A,C,K), various minerals,
  • Cabbage microgreens: These  reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, lower cholesterol level and prevent cancers. Cabbage microgreens contains Vitamin C, A, E, beta-carotene, potassium and more.
  • Carrot microgreens: These helps keep skin, lung and oral cavity cancers at bay. Carrot microgreens contains rich source of anti oxidants, carotene and vitamin A.
  • Cauliflower microgreens: These reduce risk of cancers and heart-related diseases. Cauliflower microgreens contains Vitamin C, A, E, beta-carotene, potassium and more.
  • Cilantro/coriander microgreens: These  promotes health for bone, vision, nervous system, and more. Cilantro microgreens contains Vitamin A, C, K, Calcium, iron, phosphorus and more.
  • Clover microgreens: These has anti-inflammatory effect, regulate body functions, anti-aging, prevent cancers. Clover microgreens are packed with calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.
  • Cress microgreens:  These promotes eye health, prevent cancers, good for teeth, maintaining heart health. Cress microgreens contains Vitamin A, C, K, isothiocyanates, Glucotropaeolin and more.
  • Fenugreek microgreens: These promotes diabetes control, heart health, improve digestion, prevent cancers. Fenugreek microgreens contains Vitamin C, protein, fibers, antioxidant, potassium, iron and more.
  • Khol rabi microgreens: These promotes blood clotting, skin health, eye health and more. Khol rabi microgreens contains Vitamin K, C, beta-carotene, lutein, violaxanthin.
  • Mizuna microgreens: These are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, folate, and iron. It also contains powerful glucosinolates antioxidants linked to decreased cancer risk. Mizuna microgreens contains Vitamin A, C, K.
  • Onion microgreens: These helps increase the enzymatic activity throughout the body, prevent anemia, lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, as well as with weight loss. Onion  microgreens contains Vitamins, A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and amino acids.
  • Pak choi microgreens: These reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, lower cholesterol level and prevent cancers. Pakchoi microgreens contains Vitamin C, A, E, beta-carotene, potassium and more.
  • Pumpkin microgreens: These improves Eye health, prevent cancers, repairs blood cells.Pumpkin microgreens contains Vitamin A, C, E,  beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A — an important antioxidant.
  • Pea microgreens: These boost immune system, eye health, control blood sugar, anti-cancer effect. Pea microgreens are high in Vitamin A, C, protein, folate, fiber, some minerals, and more.
  • Purslane microgreens : These plays role in vision healthy mucus membranes and to protect from lung and oral cavity cancer. Purslane microgreens contains vitamin C and B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pyridoxine. It provides highest dietary minerals.
  • Radish microgreens: These promotes eye health, reduce risk of heart-related diseases, prevent some cancers, and more. Radish microgreens are high in Vitamin C, A, K, E, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, violaxanthin.
  • Spinach microgreens: These promotes eye health, prevent some cancers, and more.Spinach microgreens are high in Vitamin C, A, K, E, beta-carotene,
  • Sunflower microgreens: These lowers blood cholesterol, teeth and bone health, regulate hormones, heart health.Sunflower microgreens contains protein, calcium and iron, 8 essential amino acids, Vitamin A/C/K/D, Vitamin B complex, folic acid, and various trace minerals..
  • Swiss chard microgreens: These benefits heart health, may decrease insulin resistance and lowers blood sugar. Swiss chard microgreens are incredibly rich in vitamins K, A, and C. They are also full of protein, dietary fibre, and antioxidants.
  • Turnip microgreens: These reduces risk of heart-related diseases, Diabetes, prevent some cancers, and helps in Fertility, pregnancy. Turnip microgreens can help maintain healthy skin and hair, because of their high vitamin A content. 
  • Wheat microgreens: These prevent cancers, lowers blood cholesterol, improve digestion, anti-aging, detoxify liver. Wheat microgreens contains Vitamin A, C, B complex, essential amino acids, and various minerals.                                                                                                                     *Source: ICAR-IVRI

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