Microgreens are small seedlings of plants that are picked soon after they start to grow. They come in a wide spectrum of colors and varieties. Although they may seem small, microgreens pack a big punch. These plant not only have great flavor, but also good nutritional content. A recent study has highlighted just how nutritious these plants are, “The microgreens were four to 40-fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts,” said Qin Wang, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Various nutrients can be found in abundance in microgreens. These nutrients include: vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Antioxidants are also found to be abundant in microgreens. These babies also have more nutrients than mature plants, and Gene Lester, PhD, of the USDA has said, “To find that the levels were not only detectable but in some cases 4-6 times more concentrated than in the leaves of a mature plant, I find that quite astonishing.” Lester also stated, “It’s really kind of an artistic thing currently, but it’s nice to know that not only do microgreens look pretty and have strong flavor, but they also have an incredible punch of nutrition.”
Microgreens are best eaten quickly after harvest because that is when they are at their peak. And they also begin to lose nutrients after they are picked. At The Chef’s Garden we don’t harvest a microgreen until a chef orders it. They are gently hand harvested – most of the time with scissors – cooled, and packed specifically for the chef that ordered them. They are then shipped over-night from our farm door to the restaurant’s kitchen door. In Northern Ohio they could be on a diner’s dish in less than 12 hours. For the rest of the country, in a little as 24 hours.
Because microgreens have great flavor, add visual appeal to the plate, have a wonderful aroma and also add great nutritional content, they are the perfect addition to almost any dish. They combine the best of both worlds, and The Chef’s Garden does our very best to grow these miraculous vegetables slowly, in full accord with nature. We ensure that our microgreens not only have the best flavor possible, but also that they are a healthy superfood that can be used in creative ways with your cuisine.