Sprouts and microgreens are SO nutritious because they have, pound for pound, the largest amount of nutrients of any food. They are a virtual explosion of life!! :) As Dr. Michael Greger puts it, “It’s like gardening on steroids!” It really is too. No need to wait for weeks or even months to pick your produce. Within a few days it's ready. Now THAT'S my kind of gardening! :) There really is no excuse for not growing your own. No garden is needed. Only a clean jar, a sprouting tray or sprouting bag. Actually, you can even grow sprouts in a clean almond milk carton, as you can see here :)
Sprouts and microgreens are a tremendous source of antioxidants, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc & some sprouts are also good sources of protein. They are delicious cooked and raw and can turn a salad into a nutritious meal.
An abundance of clover
Sprouts.....microgreens....What's the difference?
Put very simply:
You eat the whole sprout, but if the microgreens are grown on soil, then you cut them at soil level.
Sprouts grow a little shoot and microgreens grow roots and proper leaves.
Sprouts don't need light to grow, if fact they do better if kept in the dark.
Microgreens do need light after a few days, in order to produce chlorophyll.
Sprouts grow quickly; anything from 2 days to 5.
Microgreens (depending on which ones you're growing) take longer, anything from 6 to 14 days.
Some seeds, such as lentils, mung beans, peas and chickpeas can be grown and eaten both as sprouts and microgreens. If you let a soaked lentil sprout, it will grow a little shoot. It will be a 'sprout' and you can then eat the whole thing, lentil and shoot.
If however, you place this soaked and sprouted lentil on some soil, it will grow roots and after a few days produce proper leaves (lovely wispy ones!) It will then be a 'microgreen'. You harvest these little greens by cutting them close to the soil, therefore not eating the legume, seed or root.
Green lentil sprouts
Green lentil microgreens
You can grow sprouts and microgreens in and on more or less anything: Soil-less trays, such as hydroponic trays, stainless steel mesh sprouters, terracotta trays, fabric bags, recycled cartons and more!
If the seeds are grown in a jar and grow leaves, then technically they're still sprouts and you eat the whole thing. I consider them as 'microgreen-sprouts' though, since they have produced true leaves. That's not a proper term, it's just my take on these magical little nutrition bombs.
Click below for more info on how to grow sprouts and microgreens.
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