Microgreens might not look like much at first. Standing at one to three inches tall with only a pair of leaves just starting to form, they look more like springy ground cover than a delicious addition to most foods. They fall between a “sprout” and the “baby” variety of plants; harvested after the plants have sprouted and started growing leaves, but before they have established a root system. However, millions of people are supporters of the little guys for there powerful flavor, dense nutritional content, and light environmental impact. Proud supporters are not just backed by their own testimonials; scientists have made promising discoveries pointing to the uniqueness of this growing stage. In 2012, the USDA and the University of Maryland teamed up to investigate exactly what was happening in microgreens. They found that out of the twenty-five varieties they tested, the nutritional content was greater by 4 times to 40 times more than their fully grown counterparts. And there is some evidence to suggest that microgreens could be better for you than the traditional full size plants. In one study, laboratory testing showed small animals that were fed cabbage microgreens had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those fed mature red cabbage. Though they will not replace a well balanced diet, they are an easy, fun, and interesting way to get crucial nutrients. We recommend adding them to soups and salads for extra texture and flavor. They also go well on sandwiches, in omelets, or blended up in a morning smoothie. The entire plant is edible from leaves to stem, though it may or may not need to be cut from its roots depending on how they are stored. Due to their short post-harvest life and the difficulty of transporting such delicate plants, microgreens are not easily accessible. Lucky for us, we have two local growers right here at the Dallas Farmers Market. Braga Farms, located in Irving, TX grows arugula, radish, and mixed salad. And Microgreens from Highland Village offers 16 varieties including kale, red cabbage, and pea shoots. Come and check out these mighty greens and bring your questions for the farmer’s that grow them!
The Dallas Farmers Market is open Fridays (10am – 3pm), Saturdays (9am – 5am), and Sundays (10am – 5am). If you live within 20 miles of Highland Village, you can order a weekly or bi-weekly subscription and have Microgreens, LLC deliver straight to your door.
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A summary of the studies mentioned can be found at: