HYDERABAD: Size does matter in some cases, and in case of greens, the micro plants are the ones which pack the biggest nutrient punch.
The microgreens revolution has been here for some time now, with these teeny saplings being used in dishes, smoothies and salads to add a dash of flavour.
In some species, they are believed to have more nutrients than a full-grown plant.
But did you know that you can grow microgreens in seven days using a kit?
Savio Souza, founder of Green Education Organisation and author of ‘Microgreen Health Revolution’, was in the city at an event organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO).
Over a three-hour session, Savio showed how microgreens can be grown at our homes using his kits.
He said: “Microgreens have 40 times the nutrition of organic vegetables.
It is the best way to get your nutrition fix.
They contain CAKE, which are vitamins C, A, K and E.
Today, most of our food is laced with pesticide, and growing these at home can be your first step towards a healthier life.”
Extolling the benefits of the crucifer family of microgreens, Savio said: “The crucifer family has radish, mustard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and others.
These plants not only stimulate immunity, but help lose weight and reduce inflammation too.
They also have sulphur that can repair damaged cells. These tiny plants are now kitchen pharmacies of many homes,” Savio said.
Also read: The healthy food fix
How to grow microgreens
The kit contains four main components:
While the seeds need to be pre-soaked in some species, they can be sowed directly for others.
In the demonstration, Savio used broccoli seeds.
1. Fill the tray with a base layer which is made of 60 percent coco peat and 40 percent vermi-compost. This forms 3/4 of the depth of the tray. It is then sprayed with water.
2. The seeds form the second layer and a heaped teaspoon amount should be scattered on the base layer. Over-crowding of seeds can lead to fungal diseases.
3. The third layer is the blanket layer where some soil is scattered on the seeds. They are again sprayed with water.
4. These seeds take around a day to germinate, and at the end of the week, your microgreens will be ready.
5. It is important to note that the tray should be kept at a shaded spot initially, and only under soft light later on. They should not be exposed to direct, harsh sunlight.
6. In cases the seeds have to be pre-soaked, it can be done in a glass tumbler and kept overnight in a shaded spot.
How to serve: To get rid of pollutants that might have stuck to the greens, wash them in water to which apple cider has been added. Then you can sprinkle some olive oil and serve them.
What are microgreens?
These are plants that are harvested after the cotyledon leaves have developed.
They have two leaves. They are smaller than baby leaves but bigger than sprouts.
They are believed to be more nutritious than sprouts since they contain chlorophyll.
These little greens are micro varieties of fully mature plants.
They made their appearance as a garnish in the early 80s.
Later they caught up as a healthy trend due to their nutritional value. Microgreens, however, still have to become a part of our daily diet in India. T
hey are said to contain considerably high levels of vitamins and carotenoids – about five times on an average – than their mature counterparts.
Author: Kakoli Mukherjee
The author can be contacted at [email protected]