Microgreens are juvenile-age plants of unlimited variety that are typically between 2-4 weeks old. Microgreens provide powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors to restaurant plates all across the country. They are still considered trendy and rather new in most parts of the country, despite their well accepted use in kitchens. The unique flavors allow chefs to innovate and experiment in ways that traditional adult herbs and greens cannot. The microgreens are considered delicate and often are served or plated raw, although thicker microgreens can hold up in soups and other cooked formats such as stir frys.
In terms of age, microgreens are older than sprouts but younger than ‘petite’ or ‘baby’ greens. Traditionally, the plant has just developed its first pair of leaves when it is harvested. While cut microgreens are almost always just used for garnish, live microgreens provide chefs with stronger flavors due to the increased fresh factor. Cut microgreens have incredibly short shelf-lives, sometimes just one or two days. A live microgreen can last for up to 3 weeks if taken care of properly.
Microgreens are also incredibly nutritious and healthy, especially from a nutrient density perspective. While we won’t hang on any claims ourselves, there are various studies suggesting that they are packed with nutrients. You can read about these claims here from the University of Maryland.
Note: They are NOT sprouts and are not grown like sprouts, so they do not share the same food safety concerns. The microgreens do not sit submerged in water like sprouts. Often, microgreens are referred to as sprouts in kitchens, however they are distinctly different products, specifically in how they are cultivated and grown.
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