By : Apeksha Thakkar Clinical Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Nutrigenomic Counselor
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Microgreens, A Trending Nutritional Delicacy 


Microgreens are gaining immense popularity in the culinary world. You can find them with your vegetable vendor or the local supermarket. They are small plants, rather herbs that are used for cooking or garnishing in a variety of dishes, due to the wide variety of
colours, flavours, textures, and nutritional value it offers. Do you love the fragrant coriander? That’s a microgreen right there.

 

Defining Microgreens

When seeds are sowed for growing vegetables, the first leaves or the baby plants from the germinating seeds are termed Microgreens. They are harvested a few days or weeks after germination.

People are including different types of microgreens in their food. Let us take a look at the locally available microgreens.

 

Types of Microgreens in your Kitchen

Many types of microgreens are widely used in Indian cuisine such as coriander, cilantro, fenugreek, fava beans, radish, mustard, lobia, chickpea, basil, lettuce, kale, baby spinach, beet, pea shoots, mung bean.

Besides adding a variety of tastes and colours, these microgreens also add abundant nutrients to your plate, hence they are termed universally as “superfoods”.

 

Microgreens: Packed with Nutrition

Microgreens are known to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper
What’s more, they have a high concentration of nutrients like vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels than the same quantity of mature greens 
Research comparing microgreens to more mature greens reported that red cabbage microgreens had 40 times more vitamin E and 6 times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage. Cilantro microgreens had 3 times more beta-carotene than mature cilantro.
Studies have shown that spinach microgreens had higher levels of antioxidants like phytonutrients and carotenoids than the more mature leaves. 
Studies have also shown that microgreens contain a wider variety of polyphenols and other antioxidants than their mature counterparts which are beneficial in preventing diseases and infections

 

Health benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens being a rich source of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional compounds have been linked to a lower risk of many diseases. The many health benefits include:

They protect the body by building immunity in the cells so as to prevent chronic disease. 
Microgreens are a rich source of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol thus lowering the risk of heart disease. 
Broccoli microgreens are known to be rich in phytochemicals like sulforaphane, which has anti-cancer effects against prostate, breast, and urinary cancers.
Microgreens contain high amounts of antioxidants which keep the blood sugar levels in check, exhibiting high anti-diabetic activity. Some microgreens like radish, amaranth, and kale should be consumed daily.
They help improve vision. Cilantro microgreens are the richest sources of beta-carotene, carotenoids, and lutein which are beneficial for eye health, preventing the occurrence of eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma. 

So, increase your green leafy intake—which should include microgreens. 

 

Microgreens in your Food 

Not just in a variety of dishes served in restaurants and cafes, but microgreens can be added to your everyday recipes. You can eat them raw or add them to your favorite dish.


 

Toss them in your salads. 
Add them to your sandwich fillings.
Top your smoothies with them
Blend them in your chutneys, dips, juices, or raitas. 
Or simply sprinkle them over your dals and subzis

Try and experiment with these superfoods in your kitchen and use these delicious microgreens to your benefit.

 

The Takeaway 

If you are passionate about eating healthy and gardening is your hobby, making microgreens a part of your kitchen garden is the best way to enjoy these superfoods in their natural form. Apart from adding some flavor to your food, these little plants packed with nutrients have been scientifically proven to have great health benefits.

 

The recipe which supports the inclusion of Microgreens

Microgreen Paneer Bhurji  

Nutritious microgreens and paneer scrambled to make this delicious dish with a twist!

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup Green gram (mung bean) microgreens, coarsely chopped
2 cups paneer, crumbled
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp garlic, finely chopped
A sprig of curry leaves
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp pepper powder 
½ tsp cumin powder 
½ tsp garam masala 
¼ tsp Kashmiri chili powder 
Salt as required
2 tbsp vegetable oil 

 

Method

1. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, and sauté for a few seconds. Add the onions, chilies, and sauté for a couple of minutes till the onions are translucent.
2. Add the spices and stir. Add tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft. 
3. Then add the microgreens, stir well and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Now add salt and the crumbled paneer, mix well and cook it till semi-dry.
5. Take it off the stove and garnish it with coriander leaves.
6. Serve with hot roti or on a multigrain toast.

 

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