Don't come after me yet ya'll!
I know this topic will likely ruffle some feathers, since the sprout is well loved by many people, who have relied on its health benefits and ease of growing, as an inexpensive health food option.
But there's a few reasons to throw out your puny sprouts, in exchange for the mighty microgreen and to make it your new favorite superfood.
Curious as to why? Stick around, and I'll tell you!
"They're like sprouts, but bigger." I'm guilty you guys! I have often described microgreens' appearance this way myself, when describing micros to prospective customers, but I'll admit, it's a bad habit I should scrap. It's a common misconception that microgreens are the same thing as sprouts, and the terms are even used interchangeably.
Microgreens are a newer gardening trend than sprouts, so using sprouts to describe them has been easier than not, to give curious minds a good idea of what microgreens are. Sprouts have been highly praised by the health community for decades now, and everyone knows what a sprout is, but there's a new sheriff in town, so move outta the way sprout, and make way for the mighty microgreen!
There are notable differences between the mighty microgreen and the "baby" sprout, which is harvested and eaten in the germination stage of growth.
We could describe the microgreen as the "big kid" of the growth cycle, as opposed to the baby sprout, since it's harvested in the seedling stage, and that would be a great physical description of the microgreen.
At the end of this blog post, we will see why the microgreen has undoubtedly earned the title "mighty", especially when it comes to comparing it to the sprout.
In this blog post, we'll go over the major differences between the baby sprout and the mighty, big kid microgreen, and the 3 top reasons why you should make the switch. Then we'll decide together which rightfully wins this showdown.
There are 6 stages of the plant growth cycle:
- Germination (sprout)
The sprout is harvested during the germination or sprout stage, when the plant has just started to peek its sleepy head out of its seed. To get the seed to the germination stage, it needs only moisture, darkness and a few days' time. To sprout, the seed does not need ventilation, light, or extra nutrients to grow, aside from the nutrients already contained inside of the seed.
But because of the dark, moist conditions needed to sprout the seed to germination, unfortunately, the baby sprout is significantly more prone to harmful bacterial growth than the big kid microgreen.
As opposed to the sprout, microgreens require growing medium, in the case of Dani Greens, we use an organic soil. Microgreens need nutrients to grow, which also in the case of Dani Greens, is added to the organic soil we use (Roots Organics). They also need light, proper ventilation, and growth time before they can be harvested in the seedling stage. All of these conditions that the microgreen needs to grow, means that the mighty microgreen is much less prone to harbor harmful bacterias than the sprout.
Dani Greens always recommends that you properly clean your greens before consuming them. Just because microgreens have a much lower risk for bacteria, we still always want to wash them, just like any produce we bring home from the grocery store. My best suggestion for cleaning microgreens is to use a vinegar/ water solution rinse, and then to pat them dry with a paper towel, or to spin them dry with a salad spinner. If you do have a salad spinner, you can wash all of your greens at once, spin them dry, and still store them safely in the refrigerator afterwards for about 2 weeks, depending on the variety. But if you're using the patting method to dry your greens, it can be difficult to get them 100% dry, so you will want to strictly clean the greens that you'll use in that case. Otherwise, the extra moisture that is left on the greens will mean that they will deteriorate much faster, even when stored in the refrigerator.
Dani Greens also treats our microgreens' water with food grade hydrogen peroxide, which is simply hydrogen with an extra oxygen molecule, and is the most safe and natural way to deter pests and bacterial growth. The food grade H202 brings a higher level of aeration to the soil, allowing it to breathe, and therefore, the microgreens are receiving a higher level of aeration, avoiding bacterial growth and pests.
Sprouts can be a good source of added nutrition to your diet, and have been known for their nutritional value. The baby sprout is higher in amino acids, pectins and sugars than the big kid microgreen.
But the mighty microgreen, on the other hand, is packed to the brim with nutrition, contains an astoundingly higher level of antioxidants, has a higher fiber content, contains polyphenols, amino acids, carotenoids, chlorophylls, L-ascorbic acid, organic acids, and are anti-diabetic, and anti-obesity!
In one study,The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland discovered that some varieties of microgreens were 4-40 times more nutrient dense than their full grown vegetable counterpart! Which means that eating only one serving of microgreens can offer up to 40 times as many nutrients as a mature vegetable.
You can see the study here https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jf300459b
The microgreen is not only rightfully deserving of the title "mighty"when it comes to nutritional benefits, but because it's so high in nutrients, the microgreen has even been called a "superfood", that can add immense health benefits to any diet. Only some of the possible health benefits microgreens have to offer are: anti cancer benefits, cancer prevention, cellular health and restoration, a lower risk of heart disease, improved thinking and reasoning, reduced risk of anemia, reduced chronic disease risk, and weight management. Though, that is only a short, compacted list, microgreens offer such a wide variety of possible health benefits to their consumers.
The sprout has lastly, been used as a culinary garnish by chefs, adding extra flavor to a sandwich, soup or salad, but when it comes to their taste profile and plating possibilities, again, microgreens show up in this showdown!
Microgreens are especially popular among upscale restaurants and their chefs because of their bold flavor profiles and vivid colors. They add beautiful flavors and bright, interesting palettes to a wide variety of culinary dishes.
So, what say you? Have you come to a conclusion yet, of which wins the showdown- the sprout or the microgreen?
We learned that the sprout is:
-more dangerous to consume because of a risk of harmful bacteria it can harbor, due to its growing conditions
-is much less nutrient dense than the microgreen
-offers some culinary benefits when it comes to garnishes and flavor profiles, but lacks in comparison to the microgreen
We also learned that the microgreen is:
-much less of a risk to harbor dangerous bacteria, since it requires ventilation, light, nutrients and growth time
-Is up to 4-40 TIMES more nutrient dense than a mature vegetable
-Offers a wide variety of culinary creativity for garnishes, bold flavors and bright, extravagant colors when plating
It's obvious to see, that the mighty microgreen wins this showdown, and that it deserves its own designated space in your refrigerator, along with the title "mighty."
If you've yet to try microgreens, and you'd like to experience for yourself why this super yummy superfood has earned the title "mighty", head to danigreens.com, and choose from 5 different delicious varieties of microgreens: Pea shoots, Sunflower shoots, Radish shoots, Broccoli shoots and the wildly popular Cruchy Micro Mix, which is a mix of pea, sunflower and radish, for front door delivery to Marysville, Yuba City and Sutter.
I promise, you won't be disappointed. 😊
Dani at Dani Greens💚