Microgreens are seedlings with high concentrations of essential nutrients like vitamin K, beta carotene, and vitamin C. These superfoods are much more nutritious than mature plants. If you are new to microgreens, you may wonder how you should incorporate them into your diet. Can you cook microgreens, or should they only be used in salads?
Can Microgreens Be Cooked?
Microgreens are immature vegetables and can be cooked just like their mature counterparts. Microgreens can be cooked in a variety of ways. Cooking microgreens will cause some nutrient loss. How long microgreens are cooked, the type of microgreens cooked, and the amount of heat used during the cooking process can affect how many nutrients are lost. Unlike mature vegetables that can lose around half of their nutrients during the cooking process, microgreens maintain approximately 75 percent of their nutrients, making them a great choice for those looking to maximize their nutrition.
What Are the Best Methods for Cooking Microgreens?
The best methods for cooking microgreens are stir-frying, boiling (using the broth), and baking. To help ensure you maintain the maximum nutrients, add your microgreens to your dish during the last few minutes of your cook time or add them as a delicious garnish that will add color and texture to your dishes.
When it comes to cooking microgreens, the amount of time the microgreens are cooked, the temperature at which they are cooked, and if water is used, can impact the nutritional value of your microgreens. If possible, cook at a lower temperature when sautéing or baking. If you will be stir-frying your microgreens at high temps, add them at the very end. Finally, if you will be boiling your microgreens, use the water in the dish.
Why Are Microgreens Considered Superfoods?
Because microgreens are immature plants, they contain large amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients needed for growth. Research shows that microgreens may contain up to 20 times the amount of nutrients that mature plants have. These nutrient-dense superfoods provide your body with essential nutrients that your body needs to maintain health and enhance your immune system.
What Are the Top Rated Microgreens
- Alfalfa – Alfalfa microgreens provide a delicious crunch to your sandwiches and salads.
- Amaranth – Amaranth microgreens are bright red and boost the nutrition of any dish, including salads, sandwiches, and side dishes.
- Arugula – Arugula microgreens add sharp spice to salads.
- Beetroot – Beetroot microgreens are often used in salads to create a slightly earthy flavor.
- Broccoli – Broccoli microgreens are nutritious superfoods that can be used in salads, cooked dishes, soups, and stir-fries.
- Buckwheat – Buckwheat microgreens are the perfect addition to salads, bread, and smoothies.
- Clover – Clover microgreens add a flavorful crunch to salads, smoothies, and side dishes.
- Collard – Collard microgreens provide the same flavor as mature collard greens and are great for garnishes as well as salads.
- Cress – Cress is a great microgreen to add a peppery zest to butter or mayonnaise.
- Kale – Kale microgreens are the perfect addition to smoothies and can be used in salads, cooked dishes, or used as a garnish.
- Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi microgreens provide a deliciously mild, cabbage flavor that can be used in slaw, salads, or sandwiches.
- Mustard – Mustard microgreens add a bit of zest to your salads and stir-fries.
- Pea Shoots – Pea shoot microgreens provide a crisp, sweet crunch for your salads and cooked dishes.
- Radish – Radish microgreens add color and zest to soups, stocks, and salads.
- Swiss Chard – Swiss Chard microgreens give your pizzas and salads a spinach flavor.
How to Incorporate Microgreens into Your Diet
Microgreens can be eaten raw or added to your cooked dishes to up the flavor and add interest. Microgreens add color, flavor, and texture to your plate. Microgreens can be added to salads, used as a garnish, or included in your pasta, pizza, or side dishes. Microgreens can also be used in smoothies for a nutritious on-the-go meal.
- Pasta – Do you love fresh pesto on pasta? If so, why not make a delicious and nutritious pesto from microgreens? To create a delicious pesto, place 2 cups of microgreens in a food processor along with garlic lemon juice, and pine nuts. Pulse to blend ingredients then add parmesan cheese to your microgreen mixture. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture as you pulse the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. Add to pasta and toss.
- Pizza – Microgreens are the perfect topping for your pizza. Top your favorite pizza dough with Alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, and fresh mozzarella. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and the cheese has melted. Top with arugula microgreens.
- Salad – Microgreens are delicious raw. Their delicate flavor and crispness add some pizzazz to your salads. Combine salad greens with pea shoots, broccoli, and kale microgreens. Add fresh sprigs of herbs, blue cheese crumbles, and halved strawberries. Top with a strawberry vinaigrette for a delicious, hearty salad.
- Sandwich – Microgreens are delicious on sandwiches. They add texture, taste, and dimension to any sandwich. Take your favorite bread, a bit of Dijon mustard, sliced apples, brie, ham, and arugula, or your other favorite microgreens to create an out-of-this-world grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
- Smoothie – Smoothies are the perfect on-the-go snack or meal. When made with a variety of microgreens, a smoothie can provide you with maximum nutrition. To make a delicious smoothie, combine yogurt, orange juice, a banana, microgreens, and an apple and blend until smooth.
- Soup – You can take your soup to the next level by incorporating microgreens into your favorite soup recipe. Cook your favorite vegetable soup or broccoli soup. Once the soup is done, stir in two cups of microgreens.
- Tower – Take dinner to the next level with a crab tower. Grab a serving dish and a round mold. Place a layer of microgreens in the bottom of your mold. Then layer diced tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers, diced mangoes, diced red onions, diced avocadoes, and cooked crab, pressing firmly between layers. Remove mold and drizzle with a ginger-lime vinaigrette before serving.
Microgreens are chockful of nutrients and can withstand a variety of cooking methods including baking, broiling, sautéing, and stir-frying. Incorporating microgreens into your daily diet will help increase your nutrition to boost your immunity and protect against viral and bacterial illnesses.