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If you like munching on seedlings, consider directing your palate toward micro-greens and add a healthy design element inside your home.
These tiny vegetables burst with rich, leafy flavours ranging from spicy to sweet, and their nutritional power exceeds that of the adult plants.
Use them as garnish, sprinkle them onto salads and soups, add them to sandwiches or blend them into smoothies. A handful goes a long way.
“There are more and more health-conscious people who have already learned there are great nutritional advantages to micro-greens,” said Dan Fosso, who operates his own micro-greens company.
Besides, they simply taste good, he said, and are increasingly being plated up by chefs at five star hotel restaurants.
A research team tested 25 commercially available micro-green varieties to evaluate their nutritional content. They reported in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that they were surprised at results indicating the micro-greens contained four to 40 times more vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts.
Micro-greens are the culinary cousins of seed sprouts and baby greens, but differ from both.
Sprouts are the youngest of the seedling family, and the entire plant can be eaten, including shoots and roots, according to horticulturists. Popular seeds include sunflowers, lentils, peas, mustards and alfalfa.
The most popular micro-green flavours come from peas, carrots, broccoli, arugula, beets and mustards.
Micro-greens are an easy-to-grow, four-season indoor crop. They require just a few gardening tools - sanitised trays, seed, a shallow growing media, heat mats if air-conditioning is flowing inside and, lastly, sunny windows, no problem in Bahrain!
It usually takes eight to 14 days for seedlings to be table-ready after germination.
Some species, however, grow more quickly than others. Herbs such as parsley, sage, mustard, dill, basil and cilantro can take around three weeks.
And, they’re a great environmentally-friendly talking point at dinner parties. Through things such as growing our own micro-greens indoors or outdoors, we can mimic the actions of our ancestors who would have readily identified and eaten these greens as a part of their daily diets.
Make growing micro-greens your new summer hobby!