Growing Microgreens: The Simple & Sustainable Grow.Bar
The above chart shows North American's interest in microgreens. As you can see, over the past 5 years (even if the numbers fluctuate) there has been a steady rise in microgreen attention. And it doesn't seem to be backing down. But why? What are microgreens exactly? And how do you grow them? For our Grow.Bar community, discovering the answers to these questions will be an interactive experience. The adorable greens, although small, provide big flavor, big nutrition and a world of fun for everyone to discover.
Let's start with explaining what exactly classifies a green as "micro". By definition, this means small. However, they are not to be confused with sprouts or baby greens (which are also small). Sprouts can be consumed in their entirety (root, stem and leaf). And microgreens are to be consumed by eating only the stems and leaves (no roots). The microgreen is younger than a baby green (meaning they are harvested earlier) and does not come from a different plant than it's mature plants. Microgreens are simply an extremely young version of the veggies and herbs you know so well.
A microgreen contains only cotyledon leaves. These are the first leaves a plant grows and are extremely healthy. So what makes them so beneficial? It's their high percentage of nutrients. For example, red cabbage microgreens contain 4 times the amount of vitamin C than in the fully grown vegetable. And Cilantro microgreens contain 3 times the amount of beta-carotene as the mature plant.
You can eat less microgreens while getting the same, if not more, nutrition from mature greens. Some may even contain up to 40 times the amount of vitamins found in full grown plants! And this makes sense, if you consider their growth process. Since these tiny greens are harvested so young, they still contain all of the nutrients they needed to grow. Which means if they are consumed fresh, they are literally super-powered greens; adding a boost of nutrition incomparable to anything else.
Since greens are irreplaceable in any healthy diet, the Grow.Bar system is an essential addition to any home. With our system the how to grow question is easily answered. Order a Grow.Bar and seed kits! Let the natural system do the rest. Our seed kits come complete with everything you need to start growing; organic seed trays and organic fertilizer. All you need to do is add water and watch them grow. And the system is app controlled and wireless, making it easy to place the beautiful design wherever it best suits you and your interior design.
With the microgreens growing year round in your home, they are bound to inspire new and creative ways to incorporate them. We know that packaged salads and grocery stores are not always able to provide true organic (and safe) greens. And if they do, chances are good the prices are high. And how many times have you purchased salad that has been wasted or wilted by the time it's all consumed? Eliminate the issue entirely by having your own homegrown herbs and veggies.
We also understand that soil grown produce is imperative to obtaining the best overall nutrition. You will hear arguments against this. Some say hydroponic growing still provides organic produce, and while this is true, soil-grown veggies have a proven higher content of vitamins and lower content of water than hydroponic grown plants (see our post Soil vs. Hydroponic for more details). It's a fact that hydroponic growing saves space, but it wont save you money or time. The Grow.Bar answers this dilemma. Like hydroponic systems, our soil grow system will also save space. In addition, it's quieter, frugal and more convenient as well.
The microgreens young harvest age also means that they contain the most efficient antioxidant effect. If you want to detox, try using cilantro microgreens as apposed to mature cilantro greens. Your body will better absorb the antioxidant properties of the greens. And cilantro is a super-detox machine. The plant contains an antioxidant called quercetin. This compound protects your cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can be a primary cause of aging (see our recipe for cilantro smoothies for more ideas).
It's not only their nutrition that make microgreens so exciting. They also offer the ability to seriously compete with local chefs and the possibility of bring the outdoors inside. Even if you don't identify with "outdoorsy" types, the physical and mental health benefits from growing plants indoors are profound for any human. The photosynthesis process will literally help to clean the air in your home. And live plants create an overall better sense of well-being. Even hospital patients have shown enhanced healing due to the presence of growing greens.
Now that you know why microgreens are so good, how to grow them and what they can do, it's time to explore their aesthetic beauty. The miniature greens are vibrant, colorful and exotic and they offer endless creative presentation options. When tasting food, more comes into play than just taste buds. We as humans have five common senses. Each one is stimulated during the eating process. It's a full experience affected by sight, touch, smell, taste and yes, even hearing (without the sizzle of hot onions and peppers, a fajita just isn't the same).
Our Grow.Bar chefs are constantly creating gorgeous dishes that can easily be served at home. And our mission is to build an open, helpful and healthy user community. We encourage you to sign-up and share your own microgreen knowledge and recipes, and to ask us any questions. We believe the microgreen trend continues to pick up speed because the science speaks for itself. Not only are the young greens super nutritious, flavorful and pungent, they're also beautiful, nurturing and mood enhancing. So get your grow on with the Grow.Bar and start living healthier today!