When we first decided to grow microgreens for our family of four it was honestly hit and miss. We made all the new grower mistakes and a few unique to us! At that time we were heavily involved in several other ventures that encroached on time need to really learn how to grow these nutrient packed greens. So we took a step back and back tabled the project for another time. Since then our business model has changed opening more time to learn – and learn we have! We learned how to grow them but what is more we have learned just how beneficial they are to our overall health and vitality. Over the next few days we are going to share with you just how they have helped our family.
What Are Microgreens?
Since we have begun growing and educating our community about microgreens this is the most occurring question we have received – what are they? Well first let me say they are not sprouts which they are often confused with. Sprouts do not have true leaves whereas microgreens do. Stem and leaves are edible. Microgreens are simply a tiny version of their mature counterpart. Microgreens are harvested anywhere between 7 – 21 days from planting. Most are harvested between 1 – 3 inches. Because they are harvested at such an early stage they are packed full of nutrients that would otherwise be used to grow the plant to maturity. Studies show that microgreens have an increased amount of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and more! The flavor is different depending on the variety. The flavor is usually the same as the larger counterpart however more intense. Generally speaking, just about any green or herb can be eaten as a microgreen. Among the more popular are: kale, radish, arugula, pea, sunflower, dill, basil, onion and more! Microgreens are also grown in some type of soilless growing medium (coconut coir, peat, bamboo mats etc) until they are ready for harvest.
How Have We Benefited?
We have been using microgreens regularly for almost 2 months now. Whatever variety we are growing for our customers is the same we harvest for ourselves for the week. As a wife and mother who is constantly looking to influence her family to intake as many vitamins a minerals through their diet I must say that I have been really impressed with how quickly the family took to adding microgreens to the weekly menu. The amount of microgreens we eat is the equivalent of the medium MICROgreens by BHG subscription – 6 ounces a week. I simply harvest and place them in the fridge. I usually include them in at least one meal a week however the family usually eats off of them throughout the week adding to sandwiches, wraps and sautés. Since we have been using them here are a few of the benefits the family & I have noticed. We will share one benefit a day over the next few days.
- Increased energy – When I say increased I mean it! This is an unexpected benefit as we included these in our diet purely because of their nutrient dense nature. Increase in energy is something we can all use – except maybe the kiddos. I eat microgreens on average 3 – 4 days a week about a half ounce each time. There is a noticeable difference in my energy level on the days I consume them verses the days I do not. This makes sense when you think of the fact that many of the microgreens mature versions are considered super foods! Since I naturally rise earlier than the rest of the family, I’m usually tired and ready to retire by 8:30 p.m. I notice that on my microgreen days, although I am sleepy, my body doesn’t feel exhausted. It seems all those extra nutrients know just what to do! I’ll take that! It is easier to be the farm girl, mama, wifey person I need to be with the additional energy which does not go to waste!
- Feel full longer – A huge complaint we often hear from many who or switching to plant based diets or just including more vegetables in their diet is “I can’t stay full.” On occasion I’ve also been guilty of saying this. There are many reasons this could be the case. However I’ve have noticed this has NOT the case with microgreens. I’ve noticed this to especially be the case when I use these as a side salad. So while microgreens have added to our energy they aren’t a quick burning fuel. Even our youngest who is queen at two things – sleeping & snacking – snacks less on days she eats microgreens! Kid tested… mother approved!
- Improved digestive health – Ok now the subject no one likes to talk about – digestive health. Bloating, flatulence and regularity are real taboo topics for most. Being the nurse that I am, bodily functions are not something I personally shy away from discussing. Having said that, I have noticed decreased bloating when eating microgreens regularly. This is the case specifically when using the radish microgreens. Since we are on the topic of digestive health I thought I would mention that unlike some other raw greens these microgreens haven’t sent me running to the bathroom making taking them a less apprehensive meal addition.
So there you have it – how microgreens have benefited me & the family in just around a 2 month period. As we continue to use them, I’m sure there will be additional benefits! Stay tuned – from our family to yours!