5 Easy-to-Grow Microgreens and Recipes to Use Them

Growing your own microgreens is a real thing right now — just ask Pinterest — and this is a trend we can get behind. Why? Microgreens are especially healthy, simple to grow indoors and even easier to incorporate into your meals.

Radish microgreens are easy to grow indoors and add extra crunch to your favorite dishes.
Credit: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages

Here's how to nurture your own tiny sprouts and reap the tasty benefits.

What Are Micorgreens, Exactly?

You may be seeing microgreens cropping up in your grocery store or as an ingredient called out on a restaurant menu. But you might still be a little mystified as to what they are.

Microgreens aren't one specific plant; rather, the term refers to a very young plant, similar to sprouts or baby greens, although the three are distinctly different because they're harvested at different stages of the plant's growth, per the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Sprouts are harvested first, making them the youngest. Next up is microgreens and lastly, baby greens.

Read more: The Health Benefits of Sprouts and 9 Foods to Try Today

Lettuces don't actually make for good microgreens, but foods like arugula, basil, dill and broccoli work well. Also, the greens of edible foods like beets and carrots make great microgreens.

The best part is that, once they're planted, you can start to enjoy your microgreens in less than two weeks!

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The 5 Easiest Microgreens to Grow

These five were chosen by Home Microgreens because they're easy to plant and they don't have rigid growing requirements or the tendency to retain seed husks. Also, they reach harvest quickly and don't need a lot of light.

1. Radish Microgreens

One of the reasons radishes are simple to grow is because they're so easy to keep track of. The seeds are light in color (providing a significant contrast to the dirt) and are larger in size. They also grow very quickly (think: seven days), making them perfect for those of us who might be a bit impatient (insert 'person raising hand' emoji here).

How to Eat Them

The texture of radish greens is extra crunchy, making them perfect for throwing in your Smashed Chickpea Club or on top of your avocado toast.

Read more: 10 Effortless Ways to Dress Up Your Avocado Toast

Top a salad with broccoli microgreens for extra crunch.
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2. Broccoli Microgreens

Next up is broccoli microgreens. They're similar to radish greens in that they're fairly simple and quick to seed, grow and harvest. Home Microgreens reports that radish greens and broccoli greens are the two easiest for novice growers.

Broccoli microgreens offer crunch like radish greens as well, but their flavor is more similar to a mild cabbage.

How to Eat Them

They're perfect on top of these Grilled Farmers Market Veggie Tacos with Guac or even sprinkled on your favorite pizza.

3. Kohlrabi Microgreens

These greens also have a mild cabbage taste but are a bit sweeter than their broccoli brothers. And they're beautiful in color, with their deep purple stems and bright green leaves.

Although the seeds are pretty small and are tougher to wrangle (they like to bounce out of the planting tray), they are still very easy to grow.

How to Eat Them

Try them on top of this Salmon and Broccolette Superfood Salad.

4. Arugula Microgreens

Just like its fully grown "adult" version, arugula microgreens have that signature peppery flavor. A little bit goes a long way when adding flavor to a dish, and a handful offers big nutritional benefits, too.

Growing arugula microgreens is easy, but you need a little more patience; they can take up to two weeks before they're ready to harvest.

How to Eat Them

Layer the arugula microgreens into this Strawberry, Cucumber and Chicken Mason Jar Salad or add them into a sandwich for extra flavor and bite.

Credit: miriam-doerr/iStock/GettyImages

5. Basil Microgreens

Again, these might not be the best choice for those with less patience. While basil microgreens are still relatively easy to grow, they can take up to three weeks to mature. And like the proverb "a watched pot never boils," the same goes here. If you check on the seeds too early in their growing phase, they may decide not to peek over the top of the soil.

How to Eat Them

Once your basil microgreens are finally ready, try them on this Beet Avocado Salad With Crispy Goat Cheese.

Nutritional Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens are small, but they are uber-concentrated with nutrients. For instance, a three-ounce serving of sunflower and basil microgreens has 25 calories but packs in the following:

  • 2 grams of fiber, or 8 percent of the Daily Value (DV)
  • 90 percent DV of vitamin K
  • 80 percent DV of iron
  • 35 percent DV of manganese
  • 20 percent DV of selenium
  • 15 percent DV of folate
  • 10 percent DV of vitamin A, thiamin and vitamin C

You'd be hard-pressed to find any other food that packs in so many vitamins and minerals in such a small serving and for so few calories. The term "superfood" is often overplayed, but if we were to use it, microgreens would receive the honor.

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