08-Nov-2017

Creative meals with microgreens

Vibrant, tasty and nutritious, microgreens can bring salads, smoothies and main meals to life. Their rich green and fuchsia hues are an ideal way to enliven a boring salad, garnish your favourite chargrilled meat or add verve to school lunchboxes.

You could consider microgreens as the youngsters of the garden. In age and size, they sit somewhere between sprouts and the baby greens found in the supermarket. Microgreens have a fresh, crisp texture if consumed soon after harvesting.


A miniature version of the larger plant, microgreens have a delicious, concentrated flavour. If you’re seeking a robust contribution to a meal, radish offers an intensive peppery taste, while rocket carries a lovely, spicy zest. For a milder flavour, try sunflower shoots, spinach, tatsoi or beetroot.


Microgreens are highly nutritious, containing up to 40 times more nutrients than the same fully grown plant. These young seedlings are loaded with beneficial digestive enzymes and while they can be cooked, they’re more nutritious and tasty when served raw.


With a rainbow of rich colours, microgreens can be used anywhere you would use sprouts or baby greens:

  • In salads, frittatas or fritters
  • Sprinkled over omelette
  • On crackers with hommus or cream cheese
  • With avocado and smoked salmon on toast or in an open sandwich
  • As a colourful side for fish, chicken or chargrilled steak
  • As a garnish for soups

Summer Salads

Microgreens can play a starring role as a salad base. For a simple salad, try a cup of mixed microgreens (add some cress, fennel or rocket for a peppery zing) with shredded carrot, avocado, and some toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds, dressed with quality olive oil.


If you’re short of time, simply add a handful of mixed of microgreens to a tossed green salad. Microgreens can also be paired with a fruit such as strawberries or mango for added sweetness such as in this Microgreens with strawberry lime vinaigrette recipe.

 

Rainbow salad with microgreens

by Anne Gibson from The Micro Gardener 

Grated carrot

Finely shredded red cabbage

Finely shredded Chinese cabbage

Grated beetroot

2 chopped spring onions

Buckwheat microgreens

 

Dressing:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon tamari

¼ cup vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey


Prepare salad ingredients and add to a bowl. Lightly toss with dressing to mix well. Top with extra greens to garnish. Enjoy!

For more salad inspiration, check out microgreens salads on Pinterest.


School lunches

Involving the kids in growing microgreens is a sure-fire way to get them interested in eating their greens. Microgreens are an easy way to jazz up school lunches:


  • Add to sandwiches, wraps or salads
  • Mix through frittatas or omelettes
  • Lay into rice paper wraps with other vegetables and some leftover cooked chicken
  • Place a handful into a bento box with other snacks such as boiled eggs, carrot or celery sticks, or cheese cubes.

Check out the Heritage Prairie Farm blog for some great school lunchbox ideas with microgreens.


Colourful sides or garnishes

Draw inspiration from gourmet restaurants and celebrity chefs with creatively placed microgreens for sides or garnishes.

Bull’s Blood Chard with an attractive two-tone appearance and distinctive beet flavour, Red Russian kale, purple basil, red cabbage and rainbow chard are colourful favourites. Even better, combine with edible flowers (note there will be a future story on edible flowers for a true paddock to plate look.


Resources

Keen to grow your own microgreens? Check out our story Getting started with microgreens or Anne Gibson’s Easy Guide to Growing Microgreens.

Thanks to The Micro Gardener, Anne Gibson for sharing her knowledge and expertise for this article. The Micro Gardener site contains a wealth of information about microgreens, small space gardening and living more sustainably. Anne is the winner of the 2017 Sunshine Coast Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Award.

 

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