A lot of trends in fashion and food are born in California. Microgreens are no exception. They first starting making waves in high-end San Francisco Bay Area restaurants in the 1980s. Since then, their popularity has grown and you can find them all over the United States and the world.
Before you start using them, it is important to know what they are. Microgreens, also called micro greens, are very small, immature, and young versions of common vegetables, plants, and herbs that are a part of many cuisines and cultures. They are generally harvested between one and three weeks after the seeds are germinated. They are most often between one and three inches tall. They have two parts; the stem and the true leaves.
There are at least 50 different varieties of microgreens. These include arugula, Pak Choi, kale, broccoli, basil, mustard, Swiss chard, and more. You can also get microgreen versions fo carrots, beets, and radishes.
It is important not to confuse organic micro greens with spouts. The two could not be more different. To make sprouts develop, seeds are germinated in water. The main part of the sprout is the seed. In mico greens, the seed is allowed to germinate like other plants but in a medium other than soil. You eat the true leaves microgreens as well as the stem.
Microgreens pack a lot of flavor. Many people look at their small size and think that there cannot be a lot of flavor in them but that is not at all true. Remember, good things come in small packages and one way to add a burst of flavor to any dish is to add some of these, They come in a number of flavors ranging from bitter to sweet, too hot. It is also important to understand that the microgreen version of a plant may taste a lot different than the full grown version. For instance, microgreen basil is not at all the same as full-grown basil. This also means it is important to taste them before adding them to your favorite dishes.
It makes a lot more sense to buy them than grow them yourself. There are so many varieties of these yummy plants that is is more cost-effective and saves more time to get them at the store vs. growing them. When you are at the store, remember there is a rating system for them. This goes from one (bad) to five (great). Most of the time, stores will not carry them if the level is under three. The higher the number, the better quality the microgreen.
These are best when they are stored between 4 degrees Celsius or 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be consumed pretty quickly after they are brought home. These are not good after a period of storage. That just means you should not buy them until you are ready to cook with them.
You can use microgreens in a large number of ways. They are great toppings for pizza and burgers. They add a lot to dips or sandwiches. You can use them in egg, chicken or tuna salad. They add a burst of flavor and color to hummus, soups, sauces, and casserole dishes. You are limited only by your imagination.