Micro-Greens

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The Mystery of Micro-Greens

According to food trends, listed by Insider Markets, the micro-green trend is increasing with time. Growing and using micro-greens is easy and inexpensive. Almost anyone has enough space to start their own business by growing micro-greens.

What are micro-greens? They are young, tender greens, that are added to foods to enhance the color, texture, and flavor. The greens are harvested at the cotyledonstage, or just when the true leaves start to emerge, they are about 2 inches tall and are snipped just above the soil.

The flavor of micro-greens is generally more intense than the full-grown version later harvested for their leaves only. Don’t mistake micro-greens for baby greens, which are larger, or sprouts, which are harvested even earlier and contain the roots but not the true leaves. For more information on choosing, growing, and cultivating micro-greens you can refer to this fact sheet produced by the University of Florida.

Micro-greens are packed with nutrition; many are 4 to 6 times higher in vitamins and antioxidants than their adult forms. Antioxidants are substances that help to prevent cell damage. Red cabbage, green daikon radish, and cilantro, to name a few, are just some of the microgreens that have higher amounts of certain vitamins than their adult forms.

Including micro-greens in your diet and meal planning can give you an extra nutritional boost with just a few calories.

Some easy ways to add this punch of nutritional power to your menu are:

  • Garnish meals with raw micro-greens, add them to breakfast, or top your fish, chicken, or baked potatoes with micro-greens.
  • Eat them raw, add them to salads, and drizzle with dressing, you will find they have so much flavor.
  • Add fresh micro-greens to soups, stir-fries, and pasta, sandwiches or wraps, or cocktails.

You will be truly impressed with the flavor boost you will taste by simply adding this little green confetti!! Here are a few other ways to use them in some simple recipes.

Micro-green Pesto

(Made just like a basil pesto, only the microgreens are the star)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of micro-greens (your flavor choice)
  • 1 cup of basil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup roasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, for topping

Directions

  1. In a blender, add the micro-greens, basil, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend, until reaching a spread-like consistency.
  2. Add salt and pepper, to adjust taste, you may also add additional olive oil, and or lemon juice to vary taste and spreadability.
  3. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
  4. Yields:  1 cup

Simple Strawberry & Watermelon Salad with Broccoli Micro-greens

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 – 1 ½ cups of cubed seeded watermelon
  • 4 strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup of fresh broccoli micro-greens
  • 6 seedless white grapes, halved

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of salt

Directions

  1. In a single salad bowl, place the broccoli microgreens, strawberries, watermelon, and grapes.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients, and pour over the salad. Toss and serve.

Cilantro micro-greens are my favorite, they truly do pack a bit!!

Cilantro Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons cilantro micro-greens
  • ½ – 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 seeded jalapeno (optional for heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Blend ingredients together to desired consistency. Serve with your favorite salad or as a meat topping.

Mexican Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned
  • Taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup cilantro micro-greens, chopped

For the taco seasoning

(in a pinch you can purchase this)

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. For the taco seasoning, combine all ingredients, mix well.
  2. Taste and adjust the salt or spices as desired.
  3. For the dish, mix the shrimp and the taco seasonings. Add shrimp to the skillet with olive oil and toss for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, until shrimp are cooked through. Add the lime juice and mix in the chopped micro cilantro. You can serve as a dish on its own or as the filling for shrimp tacos.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Micro-Greens

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 ½ tablespoon red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small can cooked black beans, rinsed
  • ½ avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups micro-greens, your choice

For the dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Directions

  1. For the dressing, combine the red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse on high speed while adding the oil in a slow stream until blended.
  2. For the salad, cook the quinoa according to instructions, allow to cool. Once cool, add the rest of the remaining ingredients.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing to the mixture and toss gently. Add more dressing as desired.
  4. Place on plates and serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Grilled Brie with Ham, Apple, and Micro-Greens

(adapted from feedfeedBlog)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices of brioche bread, or your favorite
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 6 slices brie cheese, deli sliced
  • 6 slices of thinly apple
  • 1 small handful of micro-greens, your choice
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Directions

  1. Heat skillet to medium heat, add butter, allow to melt, then swirl to coat pan.
  2. Add slices of bread to the skillet, and place brie and ham on top of each slice. Cook until cheese begins to melt and the bread is golden light brown.
  3. Top one side of the bread with apple slices, mustard, and micro-greens. Flip the untopped slice onto the other slice.