Although they are rising in popularity quickly, microgreens are still somewhat of a novelty for most of us, so you may not be familiar with how to use them in your cooking. This, combined with the fact that they grow relatively quickly (typical harvest times are 5-10 days) means that once you get started you’re not going to have long to figure out how to use them!
In this blog we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to use microgreens in your salads, smoothies, snacks and more.
If you’d like to learn more about how to grow them or their many health benefits feel free to check out our separate blogs on these topics and more – linked below.
When to harvest microgreens?
Once microgreens form little leaves (which can be as soon as 3 days with some varieties) you can start to sample them. Microgreens’ flavor and texture will change over time, so every day after they sprout, it’s fun to take a pinch to see when their flavor peaks for you.
It’s best to harvest microgreens as needed (meaning immediately before you eat them). This is the best way to ensure optimal flavor and nutrition. After taking a partial harvest, return your tray to the windowsill and let it keep growing until you need it next.
Also, while it’s not at all essential you might notice that your microgreens are a little bit crisper and sweeter in the morning. This is because they spend the nighttime replenishing their lost moisture and converting the previous day’s starch into sugar.
What are the different uses of microgreens?
With flavors ranging from carrot to wasabi and colors ranging from green to pink, microgreens are nothing if not versatile. The most popular ways to use microgreens are:
- Mixing into salads
- Layering in sandwiches
- Garnishing drinks
- Seasoning soups
- Juicing them
- Adding to stir frys
How To Use Microgreens In Food?
We recommend growing microgreens based on how you’ll cook with them but our sampler comes with the main types (spicy radish, sweet lentil shoots, mild kale, and flavorful mustard) to help you get your footing. Our favorite microgreen forward recipes for this mix are:
- Mustard dressed summer salad
- Ava-kale-do toast
- Radish and Root Salad
- Hummus, Tomato, and Lentil Shoot Wrap
Cooking With Microgreens: How To Cook With Microgreens?
As a general rule, cooking microgreens is not recommended as the high heat reduces their potent nutrient content – and they are so crisp and tender that they don’t need the heat to soften them. There are some exceptions, however, such as tossing in mung bean shoots near the end of your stir fry.
Can Microgreens Be Frozen?
Freezing your microgreens is a good way of locking in the nutrition if you’ve grown too many to eat during your harvest – but it will totally destroy their texture, so it’s only a good move if you’re planning on using them in a smoothie.
Best Microgreens Kit For You?
If you're ready to have a go at growing microgreens yourself, then here are a few of our favorite kits:
- Best for Chefs. If you're looking to grow microgreens on your kitchen countertop, then it's hard to go past the ingarden. It's also the only option on this list with an integrated grow light, making it great for low/no light situations.
- Best For Sustainable Living. The Orta Gardens kits are amde from clay in the US and come plastic-free. All of the 'consumable' parts of this kit are backyard compostable, and it's easy to find materials needed for refill. Comes in both a small and large size.
- Best for Larger Households. If you're a household of more than 3 people OR you just really love eating loads of microgreens, then you should check out the Hamama kit. The refill process is super simple, and it offers the largest growing space of any of the kits on this list.
- Best for the Design Lover. The MicroPod offers not only a sleek design, but it's also the only kit on this list that does not require any growing medium!
- Best for Small Spaces. If you live in an apartment or don't have loads of space, then check out the Urban Leaf kit. It comes with 6 seed varieties (more than any of the others) and is also compatible with this window shelf.
Learn more about all of the above kits here. No matter how you grow them, you're bound to love them, so enjoy!