If you are not as familiar with the uses for microgreens, you can be forgiven. The use of true leaves microgreens has not been around for all that long. These delicious young plants add flavor and color to any dish. This can be helpful for parents of young children, who can be known for being picky when it comes to eating. Research has shown that children like to have a lot of variety during mealtime. It has been found that they like to have at least six different colors on their plates and at least seven different food components. By comparison, adults only look for three of each.
Chefs in the San Francisco area started using true leaves microgreens in their dishes in the 1980s. In the 1990s, they started to gain in popularity and by 1998, they were starting to move east. Today, they are popular all over the United States and in some other countries.
When you think about microgreens, it is important to know what they are exactly. Microgreens and sprouts are not at all the same thing, though many people get them confused. Sprouts are not planted in soil, they are germinated in water. It takes between four and six days for the seeds to be used. Both the seed and the seedling are part of the sprouts that are eaten. Like true leaves microgreens, there are several kinds of sprouts. You can get lentil, alfalfa, sunflower, chick pea and broccoli spouts, among other times.
By contrast, the true leaf microgreen is planted in soil. The time it takes from planting until it is harvested is typically between one and two weeks. As soon as the first leaves pop out of the plant, it is harvested. The leaves and the stems are eaten and used, not the seed itself. People who harvest the true leaves microgreens cut them at the soil level to get as much of the plant as they can. Microgreens come in a number of varieties such as arugula, kale, watercress, onions, beet greens, bok choy, basil, cilantro, parsley and chives, among others. It is worth noting that the microgreen version of these plants can taste different from the more mature versions so it is important to taste them before using them in a recipe. Microgreen basil is quite different from traditional basil. It can still work in a a number of the same dishes but you may need more (or less) of it.
Another important feature of true leaves microgreens is the quality. These plants are rated on a scale that runs from one to five. One is the lowest quality of microgreen and those that are rated five are the best. When shopping for microgreens, you should only get those that have a rating of four or five. You should not plan to store them for a long time. When you buy your true leaf microgreens, it is important to use them within a few days of bringing them home. While you do have them, you should store them at about 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit (that is 4 degrees Celsius).
True leaves microgreens come with a variety of different flavors ranging from spicy to sweet, bitter to peppery. That means that they can add something special to just about any dish. If you and your family have a dish that you make all of the time, you can change it up by using the microgreen version of the plant. For instance, Italian dishes that you make such as eggplant parmesan and pizza can be switched up when you use microgreen basil.
Other dishes that can be changed up to make more interesting include: salmon burgers taste great when you add radish and spring onion microgreens, clove and basil microgreens add an explosion of flavor to strawberry and chocolate tarts, arugula microgreens add a peppery touch to any sandwich but are truly spectacular on roast beef subs or sandwiches and just about any egg dish is improved by the addition of your favorite microgreens. There are few dishes that are not improved by using these delightful plants and herbs.
If you are looking to change up your meals, microgreens can be just the thing you need.