Q - What is the difference between Microgreens, Sprouts & Baby Salad Greens?
A - They are different stages of a plant's growth:
Sprouts – Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s development and are generally grown without a growing medium (soil), but are sprouted and rinsed in a sprouting tray, jar or bag. They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate and are delicious and crunchy.
Micro Greens – Micro greens are typically grown is soil or other growing medium and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. Micro greens are harvested at this stage before the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge. Plants in the micro green stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and have had the opportunity to absorb trace elements and micro nutrients from the soil.
Baby Salad Greens – Baby greens are allowed to grow for a week or two beyond the micro green stage when the true leaves have emerged. Baby greens are harvested while they are still juvenile plants. The flavors are much closer to their full adult stage, and they have had ample opportunity to absorb more micro nutrients from the soil.
Sprouts and Microgreens, aren't they the same thing?
Sprouts are germinated seeds that are produced entirely in a contained water environment with low light conditions. Their growth doesn't involve any soil, planting, or sunlight. Unfortunately, the dark moist environments are a potential breeding ground for bacterial, thus leading to highly publicized out breaks of bacterial contamination of packaged sprouts.
Microgreens are planted in soil in an environment with ample light, low humidity and good air circulation. After about 7-14 days, the young plants are harvested not unlike any other crop, and the residual roots and soil are composted for another planting. These growing conditions are far less conducive to bacterial growth.
Microgreens are considered “superfoods” or “functional foods” – foods containing health promoting or disease preventing properties beyond normal nutritional values, and ounce for ounce provide more nutrients than any other natural food known. These super-food seedlings are naturally high in quality protein, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and anti-oxidants, and have few calories and no cholesterol. Microgreens are virtually free of fat and cholesterol, are low in carbohydrates and sodium, contain only 8-38 calories per cup and depending on the variety, are packed with Vitamin’s A, C, E, and K. What’s even more exciting is that early research is suggesting that microgreens can have up to 40 times the nutrients of their mature “big vegetable” counterparts.
Reasons to Grow Microgreens Healthy- Microgreens are extremely dense in vital enzymes, minerals, vitamins and chlorophyll. Many constituent parts of the microgreens have been proven to have amazing health benefits.
Delicious- Enjoy a dazzling array of new flavors. Plants are at their absolute peak of flavor intensity at the microgreens stage of life.
Different- Your friends and family will be amazed at this new and exciting way to eat. Microgreeens are perfect as a complete salad, additions to traditional salad, on sandwiches, in soups, as garnishes and much more.
Fun-Microgreens can be grown hydroponically with virtually no mess. It is perfect for countertop gardening. Our kits take the guesswork out of growing. Experiment with growing all types of microgreens for an exciting and challenging new hobby.