Try cultivating these affordable, fast-growing, delicious and versatile superfoods indoors this winter.
Microgreens are exceptionally easy to grow yourself.
Even the most novice gardener can keep a tray of microgreens alive because they only require about two weeks to reach maturity. Fortunately for us, microgreens can be grown indoors and year-round, which makes them a particularly appetizing option during winter months when backyard gardens are buried under snow and local greens can be hard to find.
How to Grow Microgreens Year-Round & Indoors
1. Although specialty microgreen seed mixes are available, you don’t need to spend the extra money. Instead, use seeds for regular vegetables, herbs or grains that have a reputation for making delicious microgreens. Examples include broccoli, amaranth, radish, beet and mustard.
2. After you have your seeds, choose a sunny spot, such as in a windowsill, and set out a shallow tray (1-inch-deep is sufficient).
3. Spread a thin layer of organic potting soil in the tray.
4. Scatter your selected seeds, and then add another thin layer of soil to cover them.
5. Using a bottle with a misting feature, mist the soil daily to keep seeds continuously moist.
6. Continue misting daily for 1 to 2 weeks. When microgreens have reached 2 to 3 inches in height, cut them just above the soil line. Rinse thoroughly before eating.
7. Repeat the process. To have a steady supply of fresh microgreens, consider starting a new tray each weekend and rotating them out.
6 Ways to Get More Microgreens into Your Diet
Because microgreens are so delicate, they’re not recommended for cooking and should instead be eaten raw after a very light rinse. Try them like this:
• On soups and stews
• In salads, smoothies and juices
• In sandwiches, wraps, tacos and burgers
• Inside an omelet or quiche filling
• As a garnish for any main course
• On flatbreads or pizzas, after cooking is complete
Shrimp and Microgreen Wraps
Here, microgreens replace lettuce in these nontraditional Asian spring rolls.
8 rice paper wrappers*
1 large bowl of very warm water
1/4 cup red pickled ginger, julienne*
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup cilantro microgreens or coarsely chopped tender young cilantro
1/4 cup mint leaves (optional)
2 1/2 cups mixed mild microgreens: tat-soi, mizuna, beets, and chard
Nuoc Cham (recipe follows)
1. Immerse one wrapper in the water for 20 seconds or until it becomes limp, then carefully transfer it to a plate. Soak another wrapper while you fill the first one.
2. Layer some of each ingredient through the greens down the center of the wrapper.
3. Fold one corner up over the greens, fold in the two adjacent corners, and roll up the wrapper, enclosing the filling. Repeat with the remaining wrappers. Serve with a bowl of Nuoc Cham for dipping.
Use fish sauce for a Vietnamese flavor; however, the soy sauce alternative is equally delicious.
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil*
1 tablespoon fish sauce* or 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce